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Landsborough Tree (site of)

Burketown, Burketown

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Landsborough Tree prior to destruction; EHP

Landsborough Tree prior to destruction

 Landsborough Tree; State Library of Queensland

Landsborough Tree

The Landsborough Tree was located on a site on the outskirts of Burketown and burnt down in 2002; however, it remains important to the history of Queensland. William Landsborough, an experienced bushman, leased 259 square meters of grazing runs in the Gulf of Carpentaria area and was chosen to lead one of the Burke and Wills’ search parties. The group set out from Brisbane in August 1861 aboard the brig ‘Firefly’ which unfortunately wrecked off the east coast of Cape York, necessitating a group rescue by Captain Norman aboard the ‘Victoria’. It was Lieutenant Gascoyne of the ‘Victoria’ who marked the Landsborough tree ‘DIG 2 FT N’. The ‘Firefly’ was repaired and towed into the Albert River, where it ran aground. Landsborough explored the region, failing to find Burke and Wills, and headed south in February 1862 to extend the search. A depot was established near the ‘Firefly’ on 8 November 1861 and a tank sunk there filled with provisions in case Landsborough’s team returned. By May, Landsborough had learned that Burke and Wills had perished and his party continued south - the first to cross the continent from north to south. In 1864, Burketown was established near the depot.

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Coordinates: -17.73753638, 139.56175806

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