About McKinlay

The McKinlay district was first discovered by Scottish born explorer, John McKinlay, in 1861 during his travel from Adelaide to the Gulf of Carpentaria. McKinlay was established in 1888 as a staging post for the Cobb and Co. coaches and a gathering point for the graziers from surrounding properties.  McKinlay Shire Council offices were located in McKinlay until 1930, when they were moved to Julia Creek. McKinlay is more recently known as the home of the Walkabout Creek Hotel. This historic pub was once the Shire Hall and has recently gained notoriety as the pub in the movie “Crocodile Dundee”. The hotel was originally named the Federal Hotel and was built in 1900 and licensed in 1901.


  • The McKinlay Museum

    McKinlay houses a museum that was established on the 28th April 2012, to commemorate the 150 years since John McIntyre passed this way. The museum has some private collections so if you would like to have a look through, pop into the McKinlay Library & Visitor Centre and grab the key.

  • The Coolibah Tree

    Created during a welding workshop at the ‘Crafty Old School House’ in 2013, The McKinlay Coolibah Tree, celebrates the history of the area, and recognises that even though the population of a small outback town seems small, there is a much wider community who belong to it. The project was a welcome distraction from the pressure and stress that the locals face due to drought.

  • Crafty Old School House

    The Crafty Old School House group meet at the old McKinlay School House on the 3rd Thursday of every month. Activities include tennis, health information and UFO afternoons (Un Finished Objects). This is a day for social gathering and to finish off/get help with any craft items that you may be working on. Crafts include patch working, horn and silver smithing, scrapbooking and card making. The group organises a craft workshop weekend once a year. The group is always looking for new craft ideas to try! Everyone is welcome to come along.

  • Love unusual things?

    This display can be found just on the edge of McKinlay. It was put together by the current owners of the Walkabout Creek Hotel to commemorate John McKinlay & Burke and Wills the explorers. It is unusual to find a display of this nature in ‘the middle of nowhere’ as some say, but make sure you get out and have a look and picture yourself travelling in the Outback on horseback, using only what is displayed. Things were extremely tough in days gone by. Enjoy the display, take photos but please leave it untouched so others can enjoy.

  • the smallest public library in QLD

    McKinlay has the smallest Library and Visitor Information Centre in Queensland. It might be a tiny building but it carries a great selection of books and visitor information. Make sure you call in while in McKinlay. Currently open from April to October.

  • Love Crocodile Dundee

    Come on out to McKinlay and check out the Walkabout Creek Hotel, see the original pub set, safari truck and other items from the movie yourself. From April to October, the Walkabout Creek Hotel do a great range of meals, but all year round, they have accommodation, caravan park, a huge range of coldies, spirits and other refreshments available. Please note though, you cannot just turn up and take photos without spending something to help out the economy of McKinlay. So why not book in and stay a night or 2, restock your supplies and check out the scenery!