Burke and wills tragedy

by Rob Asplin

The first camels into Australia were brought in especially for the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition in 1860.  The 25-camels and their 3-handlers were quarantined at Vectis near Horsham in Western Victoria. The camels were then brought to Melbourne for the Great Northern Expedition which set off in August 1860.

Robert O’Hara Burke, an Irish born policeman, led the party with William John Wills, an English born surveyor and meteorologist, became second in charge.  It took the group over 6-weeks to travel through the goldfields of Victoria and they were treated like modern day movie stars with their camels which most of the diggers had never seen before. 

Burke, Wills, King and Gray with 6-camels and a horse set off into the unknown from Menindie leaving the remainder of the camels in the care of William Brahe.  In February 1861 Burke and Wills reached the marshland near the Gulf of Carpentaria, thus becoming the first people to cross the continent from south to north.  Gray died on the return trip to Cooper Creek, the other three reached base at Cooper Creek on April 21, 1861 only to discover that Brahe and his party had left only hours before.  Both Burke and Wills perished in the harsh outback but King was found alive in September 1861 after being looked after by the aborigines.   Burke and Wills remains were returned to Melbourne for a public farewell however later the Victorian Government inquiry into the tragedy were very critical of Burke and several others.

During this well organized flight tour to Innamincka the modern traveler will discover the difficulties confronting the early explorers, we will be taken to the famous Dig Tree and to the place that Burke died and the actual spot where the rescue party found King as well as many other most interesting facts.

Burke and Wills experience - Tour itinerary

River Country Adventours in conjunction with Aus-Air, EchucaProudly presents “The Burke & Wills Experience”

Departing from Echuca
A closer look at the tragic circumstances of the Burke & Wills expedition in 1860-61.  Other attractions include Mungo, Broken Hill, Innamincka, Flinders Ranges and Cooper Creek.

Tours Departing


Day 1 0700 Arrive at Shepparton Airport, meet pilot and other passengers.
  0730 Take off for Broken Hill, gateway to the Great Outback.
  1000 Morning tea in terminal (own expense)..
  1300 Innamincka, lunch. Tour to Burke’s monument near Cooper Creek.
  1530 Kingfisher cruise on Cooper Creek, birdlife and historic.
  1830 Dinner in Innamincka Hotel and free night.
Day 2 0730 Breakfast.
  0900 Short flight to Dig Tree, most famous tree in Australia.
  1030 Take off for Flinders Ranges, Wilpena Pound and Leigh Creek.

  1230 Picnic lunch at Leigh Creek
  1600 Mildura afternoon tea (own expense).
  1830 Return to Shepparton, tour ends.


Max 8-PAX


Bookings Essential  

*Incl. GST and price will remain valid until June 30, 2014.

For Bookings and further information please contact us at River Country Adventours - Rob and Joan Asplin - phone: 61 3 5852 2736 - email:info@adventours.com.au