Diamantina, Lark Quarry, and Lochern Parks August 19 - 20 2021
  Diamantina Lakes. The old station buildings that have become ranger headquarters.

A little map of the loop, with numbered interesting spots, that could have been useful before we drove it. Though we saw most.

  Janet's Leap isn't on any of our maps. But it obviously exists as we are here.

The east side of the Diamantina Gates - aka the gorge.

Moses Cone in the distance.

  The west side, north of the camp site.
  We can just (we think) see the camp site, with Mt Mary (the island) on the left and the plateau we walked on to the right.
  Looking south east. The eroded edge of the Hamilton Range.
  Driving north east (so we can drive south east). A well made road as we drop down off the range.
  These were the stragglers. A large group, caught in the open, they first of all huddled in a group, before running for the cover of trees.
  The old Mayne Hotel. Serving drinks from this cool cellar until 1951.

At the confluence of Mayne and Diamantina Rivers.

On a Cobb and Co route.

  They must have made Arizona after seeing this bit of Australia.
  We are headed to Lark Quarry.

The road sufficiently bad I let some air out of the tyres. The signposts first class.

  Occasional sand ridges.This one pink.
  Perhaps the bestest road sign ever.

We can't possibly go wrong ....

  We know exactly where we are headed.
  Past a deeper red sand ridge.

More iron oxide.

  We reach the west side of the hills that contain Lark Quarry.
  And climb up onto the top.

Barcoo Shire road maintenance has been a bit better than Winton Shire. Slower maximum speed with low tyre pressures, but more consistent, no slowing for obstacles and corrugations, so overall better time.

  Lark Quarry is about fossils.

An opal hunter found some interesting things.

  Most importantly, dinosaur footprints. Which led to the uncovering of a dinosaur stampede.

The large footprints on the right are of the theropod. Not so tall, with big feet so it doesn't sink in mud, so shortish steps, but running. It turns away to the right after 6 prints.


  The smaller prints from coelurosaurs. Chicken sized thingoes.

The medium prints from emu sized ornithopod.

  The rim around the large prints, where mud was squeezed out, is reminiscent to us of the sauropod tracks we saw at James Price Point.

This was a single event. Small tracks disappear under, and some on top, of the big tracks.

Consensus is that the coelurosaurs and ornithopods were drinking peacefully from a lake (at far end of pics) and scattered to head towards the safety of trees behind as the theropod arrived, and chased something.

The lines in this pic were of cause unknown, but occurred before the tracks. Perhaps tree branch (though long and straight and thin perhaps unusual tree.

About 60 tonnes of sandstone were removed to uncover the site. A thin layer of ironstone allowing relatively easy separation.

  We'd arrived just before 1pm and joined the 1pm tour. Five of us in all.

We didn't get to dig around in the original quarry nearby.

So we went for a 3.5km loop walk to the west of the centre.

  Climbed up on to a plateau.
  Looked at the edge. The colours are magic.
  And down again.

The yellow would possibly make good ochre.

  And back to the centre, and the truck.
  We camped just outside the park boundary, overlooking the valleys.

The dinosaur centre is off the pic to our right.

Important was the Telstra mobile phone signal emanating from an antenna above the ranger house.

  Ever onward. We booked a night at Lochern National Park.

More corrugations. Which was ok as I hadn't pumped up the tyres.

  Down the hill, eventually.
  Trees of all sizes give way to open plain.
  Which once inside the park boundary has Mitchell grass. Four different species - hoop, curl, barley, and bull.

I need pictures to help me distinguish.

  Camped next to the Thomson River. Which, when flowing, flows into Cooper Creek ..... and eventually to Lake Eyre.

Heaps of campsites spread out along the river bank. At least 100m apart. Spoiled for choice.

Zebra Finches, the inevitable whistling kite, and, surprisingly to us, honeyeaters. Not quick enough with the camera for turtle and kangaroos.

The only info at the campsite entrance was about catch limits and sizes for freshwater fish. We by-passed the ranger station.

Our efforts to find information on Hell Hole Gorge have proved a little fruitful. Our knowledge has shifted from "not accessible by road" to "mud maps are available a Quilpie Info Center and Adavale Pub". Also something about a permit for a walk to Spencer Waterhole, about 2km walking along creek bed from the Hell Hole Waterhole campsite. But the web page referenced is defunct.

Looks like we'll have to approach Hell Hole Gorge from Adavale, from the east. Which means a detour to the south. Next stop Welford National Park, on the Barcoo River. Though we'll stop at Jundah for water and whatever else they have that is useful to us.


  Got a bit of a shock when I looked at the google satellite image for where we are. Took me a few seconds to work it out. We are the red teardrop.

The image is of the river in flood.

Its dry now, no flow. We really are camped next to the peaceful looking (last pic) billabong.

I'll have to look at the gps map track to figure out how we got here.

I guess if it rains anywhere upstream we should beat a hasty retreat .....

About 5pm the phone rang. Scam call, but a big surprise to have a signal. Hoisted the modem up the pole and we have internet. I have no idea where the signal is coming from, but likely a long way.

Welford National Park August 21 2021

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