McKinlay is in the remote north west of Queensland

McKinlay is in the remote north west of Queensland on the Landsborough Highway, 1,595 kilometres north west of Brisbane and 228 kilometres south east of Mount Isa.

McKinlay is named for the nearby McKinlay River—itself named for the Scottish explorer John McKinlay who was the first European to discover the river in 1861.

Gold was discovered in the area in 1872 and a letter receiving office was opened in 1883. The town was surveyed and allotments sold in 1888.

Mackinlay Post Office opened on 1 April 1894 and was renamed McKinlay in 1909.

Like many of its counterparts along the track, this little town, established more than 100 years ago, was a staging post for Cobb & Co. coaches and a social gathering point for the graziers whose vast properties surround it.

The offices of the Shire of McKinlay were located in the town until 1930 when they were relocated to Julia Creek. In 2011 census, McKinlay had a population of approx 400 people.

McKinlay today is described as “nothing more than a roadhouse, a few houses and a pub.” The town is best known for the Walkabout Creek Hotel, featured in the movie Crocodile Dundee.

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