Burketown may be a small locality in the Gulf of Carpentaria, but it is a treasure trove of Indigenous experiences and tours that celebrate the traditional owners of Australia.
Yagurli Tours is an Indigenous-owned and operated business, run by the Gangalidda Garawa people, which provides visitors with many opportunities to learn about the heritage and culture of Australia’s first peoples. With tours, festivals and experiences tailored to sharing Indigenous culture and knowledge with others, it’s no surprise that so many people have Burketown as their next travel destination.
Opening image: Yagurli Tours. Tourism and Events Queensland.
Burketown is known for its iconic water features, which are a major part of its traditional culture. The town is situated on the banks of the Gambumanda (Albert River), which connects to the Gulf of Carpentaria. 12km away, visitors will also find Dean’s Creek. A popular spot for launching boats, fishing and mud crabbing, it is also culturally important as the location of the Groper Dreaming Story.
Luckily, Yagurli tours offers visitors the chance to explore these stunning waterways and learn about the connection between culture and land. Aboard a Gambumanda Sunset Cruise, you will cruise the calm waters of the Albert River as an Indigenous guide shares their traditional knowledge of the area and its diverse wildlife. This includes the mighty saltwater croc, which is known an undefeatable spirit within the Gangalidda Garawa community. Heading down the river, there’s a good chance you will see one of these amazing animals. This is a unique opportunity to explore Burketown’s history and culture while soaking in the beautiful sunset.
Burketown is found within the lower Gulf area, home to the largest saltpans in Australia. During the dry season, the flat land stretches on for miles, while in the wet season it is transformed into a wetland of over two million hectares.
Visitors can experience this natural wonder by joining a 4WD tour hosted by Yagurli tours. This experience is designed to teach you about the Indigenous uses for native plants, as well as how Indigenous people have read the land for signs of changing weather for centuries. Bush tucker and medicine are also abundant in the area, if you know where to look. And the Indigenous locals certainly do.
Free from big-city light pollution, the sky above Burketown offers unabridged views of the stars and night sky. And for the Gangalidda Garawa people, it strongly connects to their culture and Dreamtime stories.
On a Yagurli Stargazing Tour, an Indigenous guide shares some of these stories as they lead visitors on an unforgettable stargazing experience. Starting with the constellations, and ending with the use of a professional telescope, you’ll be immersed in stories of the universe, and leave with a better understanding of the stars.
Of course, Indigenous experiences in Burketown don’t stop there. The annual Morning Glory Festival, which celebrates the rare natural cloud phenomenon, has expanded to include Indigenous dance and art, as well as bush food experiences. Plus, the Indigenous centre is open year-round and happy to accept visitors.
Travel to Burketown
You can travel to Burketown with Rex Airlines. Book your flight here.
Can’t get enough of these Indigenous experiences in Burketown? To discover what else is on offer in the nearby area of Doomadgee, click here.