Ready to hit Burketown, the true heart of the Gulf

by Jordan Armstrong

After a long drive from Cairns, we are ready to hit Burketown which is the true heart of the Gulf!

But there are still a couple of points of interest on the way from Normanton to Burketown. The first is Burke and Wills Camp 119, which is reputed to be their most northerly camp on their trek. The turn off is about 30-35km out from Normanton (well sign posted) and there is interpretive signage to help at the site.

The next spot is Alexandra Falls. There are a series of tracks leading into this hidden gem just before and after the causeway over the river. The easiest to find is the turnoff to your right just before you go over the causeway, but be careful the track can be washed out in sections and is about 1km off the main road. The other tracks are found to your right between the Normanton turnoff and the Leichhardt crossing (third one back from Leichhardt will take you straight there, but be careful as the vege gets pretty thick and can easily scratch your vehicle). If you’re lucky you might get to see crocs sunning themselves below on the rocks.

Just around the corner, quite literally is Leichhardt Falls, 70km from Burketown. These seasonal falls provide the perfect spot for camping, which is FREE! Please stick to the rock platform and don’t go beyond any temporary fencing that has been erected by either Armraynold or Floraville Downs Stations. If you search around there are old Aboriginal grinding grooves and even some fossils still found in the rock. Be warned though, estuarine crocodiles are most certainly found on the top of the falls as well as below (they have legs and can walk you know!) so don’t go camping right on the water’s edge and watch out for your little four-legged friends if you have them in tow. NO SWIMMING no matter what anyone tells you.


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