Burke & Wills ExpeditionPrint Page Print this page

30-July-2023 (Lauren Johnson)
30-July-2023 (Lauren Johnson)

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Chris Gregory / Lauren Johnson

The obelisk commemorates the Burke and Wills expedition of 1861.

In 1860 - 1861, Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills led an expedition of 19 men with the intention of crossing Australia from Melbourne in the south to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north, a distance of around 3,250 kilometres . At that time most of the inland of Australia had not been explored by non-indigenous people and was completely unknown to the European settlers.

The south-north leg was successfully completed (except that they were stopped by swampland 5 kilometres from the northern coastline), but owing to poor leadership and bad luck, both of the expedition's leaders died on the return journey. Altogether, seven men died, and only one man, John King, crossed the continent with the expedition and returned alive to Melbourne.

Note : As at 15 September 2023, Monument Australia have been informed that the plaque from the obelisk is being exhibited at the Mary Kathleen Museum in Cloncurry..


Address:Barkly Highway, 43 kilometres west of Cloncurry, Corella Creek, 4824
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -20.782036
Long: 140.112532
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Actual Event Start Date:22-January-1861
Actual Event End Date:22-January-1861


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1961
Front Inscription

Burke and Wills Memorial

This obelisk was erected by the Cloncurry Shire Council, Mount Isa Mines Ltd. and Mary Kathleen Uranium Ltd. 

To commemorate the expedition of Burke & Wills who crossed this spot on 22nd January 1861 on their journey across the Australian continent.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au