Borroloola – Overview & Things to See and Do
Borroloola is a remote fishing community on the McArthur River in the Gulf of Carpentaria with a population of only 900. The town’s population primarily work or service the nearby McArthur River Mine and surrounding cattle stations. It is a small town with timber and fibro buildings that also include a small supermarket, general store, pub, police station, petrol stations and workshops.The region is famed for its excellent fishing which is well serviced with hire boats, fishing gear and boat ramps available. Local tour operators offer expeditions on the McArthur River or around the Sir Edward Pellew Group of islands.
Things to See & Do
McArthur River Mine
McArthur River Mine is one of the world’s biggest lead/zinc/silver mines. Deposits were discovered in the early 1950s. But geographical remoteness and lack of appropriate technology delayed their exploitation until the 1990s. Today, the mine is a solid producer of zinc which provides royalties to Aboriginal people at Borroloola. There are no tourist tours available and that’s OK because its not built to be interesting to tourists.
Caranbirini Conservation Reserve
Shortly after McArthur River Mine, Caranbirini offers a scenic stopover. This waterhole supports numerous birds particularly at the end of the dry season including a wide variety of birds of prey prevalent in the area. A few hundred metres from the waterhole is a sandstone formation known as the “Lost City,”
Barranyi National Park
The Sir Edward Pellew archipelago is a very spectacular chain of islands 45 km boat trip off Borroloola. One of the islands, North Island, is a 5421-hectare National Park named Barranyi National Park, administered by the Parks and Wildlife Commission on behalf of the Barranyi traditional owners, these islands are attractive, unspoilt and offer excellent bluewater fishing.
Nathan River Rd (Borroloola – Roper Bar)
A reasonably conditioned road depending on the wet season and if the grader has been through. Able to be travelled by a conventional vehicle with care. For latest road conditions refer to www.self-drive.com.au.
Nathan River Station
Half way between Borroloola and Roper Bar in the north is the Nathan River Station, the home of a spectacular geological formation, which extends for 12 kilometres. This spectacular scenery consists of large pillars supporting perfectly rounded rocks.
Limmen Bight River Fishing Camp
The fishing camp lies about 24 km off the Nathan River road and has all the facilities required for a good fishing holiday. Including accommodation from camping through to basic air-conditioned cabins. Prior booking of cabins is recommended. Still an untapped and moderately visited resource being so isolated.
The mightly Roper River passes through Borroloola on its way to the Gulf of Carpentaria. Roper Bar is the natural rock crossing which seperates the saltwater from the freshwater sections of the river. A very popular fishing spot. The Roper Bar crossing used to be the site of an old Police station , the road across the river is now just a slab of concrete that can get a bit slippery.
The site of several bloody ambushes on European and Chinese miners is at the appropriately named Hell’s Gate. Graves that dot the landscape tell the story of the extraordinary struggle. The Aboriginal people took their dead to a sacred burial site nearby, which is a sacred site and off limits to all.