The Shire of Burke is in far north west Queensland, 400km north of Mount Isa on the Gulf of Carpentaria. The Shire lies on the southern coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria along the Northern Territory border (Roper Gulf Regional Council).
Other neighbouring shires are:
- Carpentaria (Normanton and Karumba)
- Mount Isa
- Roper Gulf (Borroloola)
The Shire has a strong rural base and two townships, Burketown and Gregory. There is a resident population of around 550 people. Communities are diverse, with significant indigenous populations as well as town residents and cattle graziers.
With the Shire boundaries lies the Boodjamulla National Park, formerly known as the Lawn Hill National Park, and the World Heritage Site Riversleigh fossil fields.
Burke Shire experiences warm to hot weather conditions year round, with two distinct seasons. The ‘dry season’ starts around May and extend towards the end of November. The ‘wet season’, including increased humidity and flooding starts in December and can continue until April.
Burketown is the larger township in Burke Shire, with around 170 residents. About a six hour drive from Mount Isa, the town is located on the Gulf of Carpentaria, on the Albert River, about 40km south of the coast. Burketown is located 2115km to the north west of Brisbane.
Burketown has a primary school (Prep to Year 6), a kindergarten, children’s play areas, parks, an acquatic centre made up of six pools, an outdoor multi sports facility (tennis and basketball), a police station, post office, service station, two small general stores, a take-away food outlet, rodeo ground and race course, caravan park, clinic with Royal Flying Doctor services, lodge and cabin accommodation and a hotel.
The Nijinda Durlga complex is the venue for many community events. It also has facilities including meeting rooms for hire. For information about hiring a meeting room or the hall, contact the Council Administration team on (07) 4745 5100 Monday to Friday between 9:00am and 4:00pm.
There is Next G mobile phone coverage and broadband internet services. The town has an off grid electricity generation facility.
There is road access to Mount Isa and Cloncurry outside of wet season closures. There is an all weather airport, with regular scheduled weekly services to Mount Isa and Cairns.
Gregory Downs is a small town located near the Gregory River, about 90 minutes drive south of Burketown. The town has a population of around 50 people. The historic hotel motel offers accommodation and meals. Additionally there is a children’s play ground, tennis courts, community hall, racetrack and airstrip.
Lifestyle and Remote Living
Burke Shire is considered a remote living environment. Given seasonal influences (the wet season) the townships and properties can experience extended periods of isolation, including limited road access.
Burketown has grocery supplies provided through two small outlets, but it is common practice for residents to phone orders into grocery stores in Mount Isa or Cloncurry. These ‘country orders’ are then delivered for a fee by the mail service or other transport providers.
Most roads in the townships are sealed and some have curb and channel (gutters). Burketown itself is very flat and less than a metre above sea level.
The common feedback from residents and visitors is that they enjoy a relaxed, stress-free lifestyle in the Burke Shire.
Find out more about the Burke Shire.