Burketown is on the edge of the Gulf of Carpentaria, on the dividing line between the wetlands to the north and the Gulf Savannah plains to the south. It was named after the ill-fated explorer Robert Burke, who was the first European (with partner William John Wills) to arrive in the area. Regularly in spring, the natural phenomenon known as Morning Glory takes over the horizon at dawn between Burketown and Sweers Island, offshore. The clouds appear as rolling tube-like formations and can extend for more than 1000 kilometres.
Old Post Office (Apr–Sept); or council offices (Oct–Mar), Musgrave St, (07) 4745 5100
Nearby national parks
Museum and Information Centre: in the original post office, with displays on the history of the area plus local arts and crafts. Open Apr–Oct; Musgrave St.
Artesian bore: operating for over 100 years and quite a sight to see due to the build up of minerals; The Great Top Rd.
Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park Approximately 90 km W of the town of Gregory, this park is steeped in Aboriginal, pastoral and evolutionary history. Highlights include canoeing, swimming and walking in lush Lawn Hill Gorge, home to the Waanyi rock-art sites of Wild Dog Dreaming and Rainbow Dreaming, and the early-morning climb to Island Stack. The park's Riversleigh section contains some of the world's most significant mammalian fossils, which record the evolution of mammals over 20 million years, as the vegetation changed from rainforest to semi-arid grassland. Guided tours provide an insight into the ancient world, and there is a self-guide interpretive trail; public access is restricted to D site. Access to the park by conventional vehicle is best from Cloncurry; 4WD access from Burketown, Mount Isa and Camooweal; 200 km sw.
Original Gulf Meatworks:
Original Gulf Meatworks:machinery relics of this once-thriving industry; just north of town.
Colonial Flat: site of the Landsborough Tree. Blazed by the explorer in 1862 on his search for Burke and Wills, it became the depot camp for search parties and the resting place of Landsborough's ship Firefly – the 1st ship to enter the Albert River; 5 km E.
Nicholson River wetlands: breeding ground for crocodiles, fish and birds; 17 km W.
Bluebush Swamp: large wetland area ideal for birdwatchers; 30 km SW.
Sweers Island: excellent spot for lure and fly fishing, plus golden beaches and over 100 species of birds; access by aircraft or boat, details from visitor centre; 30 km N.
Leichhardt Falls: picturesque flowing falls in rainy months; 71 km SE.
Gregory: small outback town that holds the Gregory River Canoe Marathon in May; 113 km S.
Fishing and boat tours: to nearby estuaries and Wellesley Islands; details from visitor centre.
Campsites around town
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Caravan parks around town
Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town
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What's on around town
World Barramundi Championships: Easter.
May Day Weekend (Gregory): May.
Arts and Crafts Festival: Aug.