Burke River Campground, Boulia (Free Camp)

Address: Selwyn Road, Boulia Qld.
Location Description: Head out of town along Burke Street, towards the Boulia Showground. You will see a camel farm on your left. Once you get to the showground you will notice a camping area, this is NOT the freecamp but camping only open during showground events. Follow the road all the way around where it turns into a track, continue along the track till you reach a large open area on the river. This is the beginning of the camping areas.
Cost: Free
Type: Campground
  • Tents
  • Camper Trailers
  • Caravans
  • 2WD Access
  • 4WD Access
  • Dog Friendly
  • Bins
  • Generators
  • Fires Permitted
  • Phone Reception
  • Fishing
  • Swimming


This is a great outback free camp located right on the banks of the Burke River. Depending on the time of year after travelling through kilometers of dry landscape it is a great change to see a river with water. Located near the cross roads of the Plenty Hwy, NT to the West, Diamantia Devlopment Road to Mount Isa, Qld to the North or Birdsville, Qld to the South and Kennedy Development Road to Winton to the East it is the perfect location to stop off for a few hours, overnight or an extended stay and recharge the batteries before you hit the road again.

Once you get off the sealed road at the showgrounds it is only a short easy drive into the camping areas. Whilst it is a dirt track there is nothing to present a huge issue for 2WD or larger rigs (the grass can get a little high) you may want to just take it slower for your own comfort.

The campsites are freerange and people have set up various camps right along the river bed. However the big open space that you drive into on entry to the campground is best suited to larger set ups. The remaining sites that people have made up range in size from a single to group set ups. The base of the campgrounds when we where there was mostly squashed down high grasses but it is dirt underneath so at other times of year it would be dirt. The sites are either flat or have a gentle slope and are surrounded by shurbs offering some level of privacy between sites. They are also mainly shaded by gumtrees which may cause an issue for solar.

There are no toilets, showers or access to drinking water within the campground. There are some toilets at the showground but we cannot confirm whether they are open for use by the public at anytime. There are a couple of bins for rubbish disposal which appear to be emptied regularly. If the bins are full take your rubbish with you to avoid feral animals spreading it and ruining a great campground. The local waste transfer station is only a short drive from the site.

Fire are permitted, it is best to use the existing fire spots within the campsites. Ensure that you check the current fire restriction status for the area before you go to the campground.

The water level of the Burke River varies considerably with the volume of rain from within the catchment. But when the water level is suitable it is a great location for a swim and the locals also pop down. Depending on the time of year there are also redclaw and fishing within the river.

We visited the campground in September and were warned by a couple of locals that some brown snakes had been spotted in the campground. We personally did not see any but it is important to keep in mind that they may be around.

Closest Services:
Petrol Station: Herbert Street, Boulia Qld.
Water: Herbert Street, Boulia Qld. (beside council building or in the park up the road)
Chemical Toilet Dump Point: Hamilton Road, Boulia Qld.
Waste Transfer Station: Bedourie Road, Boulia Qld.
Container Exchange Point: Mount Isa, Qld. & Winton, Qld.

About The Area:

Boulia is part of channel country that passes through outback queensland. Given enough range the dry creek beds fill and water flows across state boards into places like Lake Eyre, Goyders Lagoon, and Coongie Lakes. These channels play a vital part in the cattle industry.

Once a year the sleepy town comes to life when it host the Melbourne Cup of Camel Races, the Great Australian Camel Race. The event draws people from all over the country to come take part in the event. But it is not just racing camels, it is racing lawn mowers & yabbies too. There is facinators, live music, fireworks and fun for the kids. And if that hasn't sold the event you camp onsite and enjoy a drink next to the campfire.

The more mysterious side of Boulia is the famous Min Min Lights. It is said that back in in 1918 a stockman was chased down by some mysterious floating lights near the site of the Min Min Hotel but by the time he got to the town of Boulia they had simply vanished. There are more recent accounts of the lights being seen but they aren't something everyone can go out to see, the Min Min Lights look for you.

Nearby Attractions:

Closest Tourist Information Centre: Herbert Street, Boulia Qld.
There is lots of things to have a look at and do in the Boulia area including:
- Min Min Lights Encounter
- Boulia Camel Races
- Boulia Hertitage Centre
- Min Min Hotel Site
- Old Police Barracks
- Corroboree Tree

Closest Town And Distance: Boulia, Qld. - 4.5km

What We Liked: It was great to be able to camp at a convient location on a river (with water) in the middle of the outback. Going for a swim and catching some redclaw was a great bonus.

What We Didn't Like: It is very common in places that you can have fires but there was so many existing fire sites, meaning that you had to set up on or nearly on some ashes. This could easily be fixed by people using existing firespots.


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