Boom or Bust, Water or Dust, as isolated as it is dusty, at times you can be cut off at the Diamantina by overflowing clay pans or flood waters spilling from the multiple river channels. Seems a great advertising for the park as found in one of the brochures. Sounds very inviting.
Our experience was it was dry, dusty, lots of flies, isolated, rough dusty roads, did I mention the flies. We drove into both camping areas, Gum Hole and Hunters Gorge to have a look. Gum Hole was more like a bush camp with each camp spot separate by trees along the river. Looked nice but dusty all sites were full, they need to be booked online.
Hunters Gorge was a large flattish area in a Gorge with a permanent waterhole. Lots of birds and it would be great to kayak up the river, it was rather muddy looking. This is where the caravans and motorhomes went.
We called into the Diamantina Homestead complex, which has lots of park information, the Old Homestead and Quarters, Ranger Station etc. they have put together a great display area.
A stop at Janet’s Leap lookout is worth a detour into with a view of Janet’s Leap and a view over the river channels and the Diamantina Gates.
Just outside the park heading towards Winton is the Mayne Hotel Ruins. There is not much left of the old hotel and underground cellar. Flies there too. They are not too bad when you first get out of the car but then they find you and try and fly up your nose, in your mouth, behind your sunnies trying to get to your eyes, buzz your ears and whisper we will find you, tickle your arms and legs and just be a great big pest and we are sure if you stand still long enough they will either drop you to the ground with the weight of them on your back or carry you away.
The road on this side of the park is more interesting, more vegetation, trees, ruins, jumpups but the road is rougher. You could be forgiven to thinking you were in a western.
We took the turnoff to Lark Quarry hoping we could do the late arvo tour. We have wanted to go to Lark for a while but it’s never been on our route until today. There is a warning sign at the start of the road warning of rough corrugations.