Camooweal is located on the Queensland-Northern Territory border, 330 kilometres south of Burketown, 188 kilometres from Mount Isa and 440 kilometres from the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory.
Camooweal proudly declares itself ‘Gateway to the Northern Territory/Queensland’. The road from Mount Isa to the town, known to locals as ‘Tojo’s Highway’, was built during World War II with American funds and was originally designed as a link between the southern states and the theoretical ‘front line’ in the Northern Territory.
The explorer William Landsborough was the first European to pass through the Camooweal area. At the time (1862) he was looking for Burke and Wills. His reports led to the area being settled by pastoralists but it wasn’t until 1884 that the town of Camooweal was gazetted. It grew as a service centre for the surrounding properties but the growth of Mount Isa meant sustained growth was not possible. Camooweal is now considered a ‘suburb’ of Mount Isa, such is the vastness of the region, and the huge jurisdiction the Mount Isa City Council operates. The Barkly Highway between Mount Isa and Camooweal is considered the longest main street in the world at 188 kilometres long!
The Camooweal district is honeycombed with rare sink holes and caves, dating back to the Cambrian Period, about 500 million years ago. Those visitors experienced in serious caving will discover a whole new world beneath the Camooweal region.
The Barkly Tableland and Heritage Centre
Barkly Highway Camooweal Qld 4828
Tel: (07) 4748 2160 Fax: (07) 4743 7913
The Georgina River is the north-westernmost of the three major rivers of the Channel Country in Central West Queensland that flow in extremely wet years into Lake Eyre. It was originally called the Herbert River before being given its current name in 1890 to avoid confusion with the other river in Queensland that bore (and still bears) that name. The newer name commemorates Georgina Mildred Kennedy, Queensland governor Arthur Kennedy’s daughter.
Photo Credit: Isaeagle Photography
The 13,800 hectares of semi-arid Barkly Tablelands that make up Camooweal Caves National Park are characterised by open eucalypt woodland, spinifex, turpentine wattle shrubland and extensive areas of Mitchell grass plains. The park provides a stopover for weary travellers to camp and refresh in a remote bush setting. A variety of birds including waterbirds and woodland species can be seen in the park at different times of the year. The caves are sinkholes in the ground. Here, water has percolated through 500 million year-old layers of soluble dolomite creating caverns linked by vertical shafts up to 75 metres deep. Visitors should be extremely cautious around the edge of the sinkholes. The caves are not accessible to visitors.
Take a walk through Camooweal cemetery in the small outback town and see the beautiful headstones from an era gone by.