Fishing at Borroloola, Tourism NT

Population 775

Located beside the McArthur River, Borroloola is a small settlement with a chequered past. As a frontier town and port in the 19th century it was a base for rum smuggling from Thursday Island. It became known as the home of criminals, murderers and alcoholics, a reputation it lost only when it was virtually deserted in the 1930s. Today Borroloola's fortunes have vastly improved and it is popular with barramundi anglers and four-wheel-drive enthusiasts. Although it lies on Aboriginal land, no permit is required to enter. It also offers access to the waters around Barranyi (North Island) National Park.

Visitor Information

Lot 384, Robinson Rd; (08) 8975 8799.

In Town

Police Station Museum: built in 1886, the museum is the oldest surviving outpost in the NT and displays memorabilia and photographs that illustrate the town's history; Robinson Rd.

Cemetery: pioneer graves; Searcy St and other scattered sites; map from visitor centre.


Cape Crawford This charming town is an excellent base for exploring Bukalara rocks (60 km E) and the Lost City (20 km SE). Bukalara rocks are a mass of chasms winding through ancient sandstone structures (the area is very remote and a guide is recommended). The Lost City is a collection of sandstone turrets, domes and arches formed by water seeping through cracks and eroding the sandstone. It is an important Aboriginal ceremonial site and accessible only by air or 4WD. Flights can be arranged from Cape Crawford. 110 km SW. Read More.

King Ash Bay: popular fishing spot year-round; 40 km NE.

Caranbirini Conservation Reserve: protects weathered rock escarpments and semi-permanent waterhole rimmed by riverine vegetation and open woodland, along with many native birds. Surrounding the waterhole are 25 m sandstone spires providing a vivid contrast in colour and shape to the surrounding countryside; 46 km SW.

Barranyi (North Island) National Park: sun-drenched wilderness with long sandy beaches and excellent angling. No permit is required, but visitors are requested to register with the Borroloola Ranger Station; Offshore; (08) 8975 8792; 70 km NE.

Lorella Springs: campground and caravan park at thermal springs. The road is unsealed and accessible only during the dry season; 170 km NW.

Limmen Bight River Fishing Camp: ideal conditions for barramundi and mud crabs. Accommodation is available but check road access in wet season; 250 km NW.

Fishing charters: river and offshore fishing trips; bookings at visitor centre.

Scenic flights: over town and the islands of the Sir Edward Pellew Group; brochures at visitor centre.

Campsites around town

King Ash Bay Fishing Club 23 km

The King Ash Bay Fishing Club runs a caravan park and camping area open to members and non-members. It’s beside the McArthur River and has powered and unpowered sites. From Borroloola, head north on the sealed hwy... Find out more

Paradise Bay camping area (boat-based camping) 84 km

In the north of the island, this camping area has toilets and bore water on tap, but it needs to be boiled or treated before drinking. A couple of bushwalks lead from here. Campers are encouraged to use gas/fuel stoves... Find out more

Heartbreak Hotel 94 km

With easy access to the spectacular Lost City in Limmen National Park, this Aussie institution has a beer garden with its own pool, and 44 powered as well as unpowered campsites. The hotel is 117 km south of... Find out more

Southern Lost City camping area 96 km

Four kilometres off the Savannah Way, 30 km south of Butterfly Springs, you’ll see the turn-off to this campsite, which is near the 2.5 km walking track among the sandstone pillars of the Southern Lost City rock... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Heartbreak Hotel Caravan Park 92 km

The park forms part of the Heartbreak Hotel complex. It has a large grassy camping area with shady trees but the showers, toilets and laundry all require attention. The hotel serves counter meals to be enjoyed on the... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Heartbreak Hotel Cape Crawford

At the junction of the Carpentaria and Tablelands highways, in the Gulf of Carpentaria region, you’ll find a welcoming pool, good pub food and basic rooms at the Heartbreak Hotel. The bar is worth a visit alone as... Find out more

King Ash Bay Lodge

A stopover for travellers during the dry season and a magnet for anglers later in the year, King Ash Bay is 40 kilometres south of Borroloola. It’s a great place to relax for a couple of days when making the long... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Little River rest area 100 km

10km W of Cape Crawford (L) or 260km E of Stuart Hwy (R)

On the east side of the river under a few trees.

What's on around town

Barra Classic: Easter.

Rodeo: Aug.

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