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Burketown Tourist Information Centre

Musgrave Street, Burketown

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Old Post Office from N (2009) ; EHP

Old Post Office from N (2009)

Old Post Office from W (2009); EHP

Old Post Office from W (2009)

Burketown to Camooweal Mail Coach outside the Burketown Post Office ca.1923 SLQ; Heritage Branch Staff

Burketown to Camooweal Mail Coach outside the Burketown Post Office ca.1923 SLQ

Burketown Tourist Information Centre; Heritage Branch

Burketown Tourist Information Centre

The former Burketown post and telegraph office was relocated to the corner of Musgrave and Burke Streets in 1988 from its original 1887 location on Gregory Street. An earlier post office was established here in 1866, coinciding with the demise of the town following a mystery illness, possibly typhoid. The entire population of Burketown relocated to Sweers Island, declared a port in 1867 and developed to the detriment of Burketown. It was not until the 1880s that government services were re-established in Burketown, reinvigorating the town. The post office which had been closed in 1871 was reopened in 1883, with the postmaster filling the role of police magistrate, customs officer and weather forecaster. A devastating cyclone virtually destroyed Burketown on 5 March 1887, including the post office. The new post and telegraph office symbolised a fresh beginning for the town, managing postal orders and services for pastoralists in the gulf region, supported by the shipping companies that plied their trade here. The post office operations were systematically downgraded from the 1960s and ceased in 1988. After its relocation, the building served briefly as an airline office, before becoming today’s tourist information centre. The town’s war memorial is also on site.

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Coordinates: -17.74132337, 139.54610643

Full details of this heritage-registered place are in the Heritage register.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
28 February 2023