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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Lake Murphy Conservation Park, QLD.

Sunset over the dry lake-bed of Lake Murphy.
We decided to camp at Lake Murphy, even though the lake has been dry for about three years. We turned off the Leichhardt Highway onto the Taroom Bahinia Downs Road and pulled over on the side of the road to make an online booking before loosing phone reception. National Parks Queensland has been phasing out self-registration, even in remote locations, and we weren't sure if we would be able to pay on arrival. A truck coming the other way pulled up and told us not to drive up the road because the corrugations were a foot deep but when we told them we were going to turn off to Lake Murphy they said that would be fine. I love country people they are always so helpful.

We enjoyed our stay at Lake Murphy but flies were a pest during the heat of the day and it was surprisingly cold during the night. 

Lake Murphy Camping Area.
Lake Murphy Day Use Area at sunset.
Lake Murphy Circuit: Grade 4 walk.
The track runs along the southern side of the lake past Red Gums and Dawson Palms before running alongside Robinson Creek and returning to the campground. Both Robinson Creek and Lake Murphy are completely dry. 

The walk goes past Dawson Palms and Red Gums.

I particularly liked these magnificent gum trees that had a "tessellated" bark at the base.


There were still lots of birds about including a number of Whistling Kites.

Whistling Kite
A large echidna crossed the path in front of us and hid in the long grass with its head buried in a small log. There were lots of kangaroos and wallabies grazing in the long grass.

Echidnas make sure only there spines are visible when they "hide".

Details for Lake Murphy Conservation Park:
Where: 495 km north-west of Brisbane via Miles.Turn off the Leichhardt Highway 18 km north of Taroom, onto the road signposted Fitzroy Development Road, (north onto Taroom Bahinia Downs Rd) travel 2 km to the Glenhaughton Road turnoff. Turn left and drive 10.5 km to the Lake Murphy.
Access: The last 10.5 km is unsealed and has some corrugations. Suitable for most rigs in dry weather.
Campsites: Grassy area with defined sites. See photo. Suitable for tents and all rigs.
Bookings and Fees: Self-registration is available and is the easiest or book online before arrival. Normal QLD National Park fees: $6.30 pp.
Facilities: Compost toilets, fire rings BYO wood, tables. There is one tap with non-potable water for washing hands at the toilet block but it is better to BYO water. Walk. Day Use Area with picnic tables, a picnic shelter and wood BBQ's. No phone reception.
Prohibited: Pets. Generators. No boating or fishing when there is water.
Of Interest: The lake has been dry only a few times over the last hundred years. Unfortunately it is completely dry now and has been for about 3 years. There were lots of flies.

Wildlife List: Echidna, Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Red-necked Wallaby, Bearded Dragon.
Bird list: Apostlebird, Grey-crowned Babbler, Whistling Kite, Nankeen Kestrel, Pacific Bazza, Grey Butcherbird, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Little Corella, Galah, Peaceful Dove, Red-backed Fairy-wren, Little Friarbird, Blue-faced Honeyeater, White-plumed Honeyeater, Black-chinned Honeyeater, Laughing Kookaburra, Rainbow Lorikeet, Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Australian Magpie, Magpie-lark, Noisy Miner, Red-winged Parrot, Red-rumped parrot, Crested Pigeon, Pale-headed Rosella, Rainbow Bee-eater, Grey Shrike-thrush, Willie Wagtail, White-breasted Woodswallow. Emus were seen alongside the entrance road.

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