Population 176

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.

Visitor Information

Old Post Office (Apr–Sept); or council offices (Oct–Mar), Musgrave St, (07) 4745 5100


Nearby national parks

Nearby towns

  • Karumba

    Karumba is at the mouth of the Norman River in the Gulf Savannah. It is the easiest access point for the Gulf of Carpentaria, the key reason...more

  • Normanton

    Normanton thrived as a port town in the late 1800s when the gold rush was on in Croydon. The Normanton-to-Croydon railway line, established...more

In Town

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: 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

Burketown Caravan Park

This caravan park in Burketown, about 225 km west of Normanton, has excellent facilities: tourist and fishing information, 2 amenities blocks, laundry facilities, EFTPOS and a kiosk. There are also self-contained... Find out more

Albert River camping area (bush camping) 3 km

Bush camping for self-sufficient campers is permitted on the banks of the Albert River north-east of Burketown; there are no designated sites and no facilities. The Western Gulf region of Qld has a mixture of sealed and... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Burketown Caravan Park

This is a tidy caravan park with the normal facilities. In addition to a well-stocked kiosk, there is a separate takeaway food outlet at the front gate (sells cooked local barramundi). This park is in the heart of... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Burketown Caravan Park

This park is in walking distance to everything in town, including the local swimming pool. It has a range of air-conditioned rooms, and units with ensuites and mini kitchens. The managers will provide a cooked breakfast... Find out more

Burketown Pub

The hotel has eight air-conditioned motel units with refrigerators and ensuites, plus eight hotel rooms with shared facilities. Four of the hotel rooms are air-conditioned. There’s a licensed dining area and you... Find out more

Adels Grove

Adjacent to Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park and 50 kilometres from the World Heritage–listed Riversleigh Fossil deposits, the accommodation here is beside spring-fed Lawn Hill Creek, downstream from Lawn Hill... Find out more

What's on around town

World Barramundi Championships: Easter.

May Day Weekend (Gregory): May.

Arts and Crafts Festival: Aug.

Campdraft: Sept.

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