A small rural service town on the banks of the Balonne River in Queensland's Golden West.

Location: 75 km from Roma; 450 km west of Brisbane.

Places of interest: Balonne River; Surat Oil Field (80 km south); the Window to the Balonne freshwater fish aquarium; winery, Shire Hall; Cobb & Co Museum and Tourist Drive

Brief history: Sir Thomas Mitchell passed through the area in 1846 when, on his fourth expedition, he went looking for a route from Boree to Port Essington in the NT. When Mitchell asked a local Aborigine what the locality was called, as has often happened, the native misunderstood the question and gave him the local name of the hatchet he was holding at the time. Thus the Balonne River came to be named after a hatchet. The town, surveyed in 1850, was appointed as a place for holding Courts of Petty Sessions, and a Police building erected. In 1879 a Cobb & Co. coach run was started from St. George to Surat and thence to Yuleba. The last coach run in Australia was from Surat to Yuleba (75 km) on 14th August, 1924.

View Larger Map

Origin of name: The town was surveyed by James Burrowes in 1850. He named it after his residence in Madras Province, India and named most of the streets after members of his family; he gave the main street the family name, Burrowes.

Design by W3Layouts | Content © 2013 Phoenix Group Co. | Sales: phone 1300 753 517, email: