Barkly Highway

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesThree Ways Roadhouse
DifficultyDifficulty 1/5
Suitable For2WD Motorhome/Van Motorbike 
Distance762.98 km
Minimum Days2
Average Speed97.35 km/hr
Travel Time7 hrs 50 mins
Page Updated: 22 Feb 2023


The Barkly Highway, now also promoted as part of the Overlander's Way, is a sealed road connecting the states of Qld & NT. The road connects the Three Ways Roadhouse in the Northern Territory to the township of Cloncurry in Queensland. The Barkly Highway forms the main transport route between Queensland and the Northern Territory, and consequently it is heavily used by road trains and tourists.

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Between Cloncurry to Mount Isa, the Barkly Highway winds through the spectacular Swelwyn Ranges. Around Camooweal you'll see wide expanses of Mitchell grass plains and spinifex woodland. Closer to Tennant Creek, the Barkly Tablelands are an enormous expanse of cattle stations and scrubby grasslands. These habitats do not support a great variety of wildlife with just a brushtail possum, the antechinus, and dunnart being the few mammals known to exist in small isolated pockets.

There are many grasslands birds however, such as bronzewing, night parrots, and seasonal wetlands birds may occasionally be seen during periods of flooding. Snakes, reptiles and amphibians can adapt to the clay soils between the wet summer season to the dry winter season.


In 1861, William Landsborough explored the western regions of Queensland and named a wide section of scrubby grasslands to the north-east of Tennant Creek after Sir Henry Barkly, the then Governor of Victoria.

The route of today's Barkly Highway follows a stock route that was formerly used by drovers to herd their cattle through the Tablelands. It was put to use during wartime as a defence road and bitumen surfacing works commenced in 1943. The highway was named and registered in 1947.

An upgrade of the Queensland section of the highway between Mount Isa and Camooweal was completed in 2008.

TrekID: 225


MUST READ: You are strongly encouraged to read the following articles prepared by the knowledge experts at ExplorOz for your safety and preparation before undertaking any published ExplorOz Trek - Outback Safety, Outback Driving Tips, Outback Communications, and Vehicle Setup for the Outback.


Please refer to Road Reports published by the local shire and/or main roads for the area you intend to visit. Road/Track conditions can change significantly after weather events. Travellers must be responsible for their own research on current conditions and track suitability.
The North West Outback Queensland Tourism Association recommend that travellers prepare alternative routes, especially during the Australian summer (Nov – Apr) when rain and storms can impede travel plans.

Be prepared to lose mobile phone coverage when travelling outside town boundaries. Most towns will have Telstra and Optus coverage for about a 20km radius around the town

Be patient of stock and wary of kangaroos and emus, especially if driving near sunrise or sunset.


No permit required.

Fuel Usage

4cyl 107 litres4cyl 123 litres4cyl 153 litres
6cyl 117 litres6cyl 138 litres6cyl 134 litres
8cyl 117 litres8cyl 127 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Travelling throughout Northern Australia in the dry cooler months from April to October is very pleasant. Days are temperate and the nights cool. Summer is the wet season with higher temperatures and the chance of minor localised flooding.

Closest Climatic Station

Camooweal Township
Distance from Trek Mid Point 83.08km E
Mean Max. °C37.336.
Mean Min. °C24.323.721.718.
Mean Rain mm99.193.254.914.411.
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended


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Three Ways Roadhouse to 41 Mile Rest Area
Driving: 70.96 km
Heading: 79°
Avg Speed: 112.28 km/hr
EST Time: 37:55
  • Drive southwest. for: 0.2 km time: 00:45
  • Bear left onto A87/Stuart Highway. for: 0.29 km time: 00:08
  • Turn left onto 66/Barkly Highway. for: 70.41 km time: 36:39
  • Turn right. for: 0.06 km time: 00:23
41 Mile Rest Area to Frewena Rest Area
Driving: 61.57 km
Heading: 102°
Avg Speed: 107.4 km/hr
EST Time: 34:23
  • Drive north. for: 0.06 km time: 00:18
  • Turn right onto 66/Barkly Highway. for: 61.4 km time: 33:33
  • Bear left. for: 0.11 km time: 00:33
Frewena Rest Area to Barkly Homestead
Driving: 55.15 km
Heading: 125°
Avg Speed: 121.53 km/hr
EST Time: 27:13
  • Drive southwest. for: 0.11 km time: 00:33
  • Make a sharp left onto 66/Barkly Highway. for: 54.91 km time: 25:57
  • Turn right. for: 0.12 km time: 00:44
Barkly Homestead to Barkly Hwy & Murray Downs Rd
Driving: 10.89 km
Heading: 127°
Avg Speed: 108.45 km/hr
EST Time: 06:01
  • Drive southeast. for: 0.14 km time: 00:46
  • Turn right at the end of the road, onto Barkly Highway for: 10.75 km time: 05:16
Barkly Hwy & Murray Downs Rd to Wunara Store Rest Area
Driving: 82.08 km
Heading: 108°
Avg Speed: 128.24 km/hr
EST Time: 38:24
  • Drive southeast on 66/Barkly Highway. for: 82 km time: 37:57
  • Turn right. for: 0.08 km time: 00:28
Wunara Store Rest Area to Soudan Rest Area
Driving: 32.53 km
Heading: 111°
Avg Speed: 99.54 km/hr
EST Time: 19:36
  • Drive west. for: 0.08 km time: 00:25
  • Turn right onto 66/Barkly Highway. for: 32.26 km time: 18:45
  • Bear left. for: 0.18 km time: 00:27
Soudan Rest Area to Soudan
Driving: 15.16 km
Heading: 81°
Avg Speed: 119.43 km/hr
EST Time: 07:36
  • Drive east. for: 0.2 km time: 00:29
  • Bear left onto 66/Barkly Highway. for: 14.84 km time: 06:51
  • Turn left. for: 0.12 km time: 00:17
Soudan to Barkly Hwy & Ranken Rd
Driving: 21.07 km
Heading: 75°
Avg Speed: 91.51 km/hr
EST Time: 13:48
  • Drive south. for: 0.12 km time: 00:15
  • Turn left onto 66/Barkly Highway. for: 20.95 km time: 13:34
Barkly Hwy & Ranken Rd to Avon Downs Rest Area
Driving: 29.7 km
Heading: 94°
Avg Speed: 86.56 km/hr
EST Time: 20:35
  • Drive east on 66/Barkly Highway. for: 29.63 km time: 20:15
  • Turn right. for: 0.02 km time: 00:09
  • Turn right. for: 0.03 km time: 00:10
  • Bear left. for: 0.01 km time: 00:01
Avon Downs Rest Area to NT / QLD Border Rest Area
Driving: 56.21 km
Heading: 77°
Avg Speed: 114.6 km/hr
EST Time: 29:25
  • Drive northeast. for: 0.04 km time: 00:06
  • Turn left. for: 0.02 km time: 00:06
  • Turn right onto 66/Barkly Highway. for: 56.11 km time: 28:51
  • Turn right. for: 0.03 km time: 00:23
NT / QLD Border Rest Area to Camooweal
Driving: 13.82 km
Heading: 93°
Avg Speed: 71.7 km/hr
EST Time: 11:33
  • Drive east. for: 0.03 km time: 00:15
  • Turn right onto 66/Barkly Highway. for: 13.08 km time: 09:30
  • Turn left onto Nowranie Street. for: 0.23 km time: 00:32
  • Turn right onto Frances Street. for: 0.13 km time: 00:23
  • Turn right onto Morrison Street. for: 0.23 km time: 00:36
  • Turn right at the end of the road, onto Barkly Highway for: 0.12 km time: 00:17
Camooweal to Inca Creek Rest Area
Driving: 70.54 km
Heading: 104°
Avg Speed: 105.79 km/hr
EST Time: 40:00
  • Drive west on A2/Barkly Highway. for: 0.01 km time: 00:01
  • Make a right U-turn at Nowranie Street to stay on A2/Barkly Highway. for: 70.42 km time: 39:48
  • Turn left onto Thorntonia-Yelvertoft Road. for: 0.11 km time: 00:12
Inca Creek Rest Area to David Hall Rest Area
Driving: 20.68 km
Heading: 134°
Avg Speed: 105.84 km/hr
EST Time: 11:43
  • Drive south on Thorntonia-Yelvertoft Road. for: 0.11 km time: 00:08
  • Turn left at the end of the road, onto Barkly Highway for: 20.57 km time: 11:35
David Hall Rest Area to Rest Area
Driving: 46.13 km
Heading: 118°
Avg Speed: 63.12 km/hr
EST Time: 43:50
  • Drive southeast on A2/Barkly Highway. for: 45.54 km time: 26:05
  • Turn right. for: 0.37 km time: 11:15
  • Bear left. for: 0.22 km time: 06:31
Rest Area to Hilton
Driving: 35.76 km
Heading: 134°
Avg Speed: 98.36 km/hr
EST Time: 21:48
  • Drive east. for: 0.08 km time: 00:28
  • Turn left. for: 0.02 km time: 00:08
  • Turn right onto A2/Barkly Highway. for: 35.67 km time: 21:14
Hilton to Outback at Isa Complex
Driving: 19.1 km
Heading: 176°
Avg Speed: 69.45 km/hr
EST Time: 16:30
  • Drive south on A2/Barkly Highway. for: 17.39 km time: 13:11
  • Keep left to stay on A2. for: 1.51 km time: 02:33
  • Turn right onto Mullan Street. for: 0.1 km time: 00:18
  • Turn right. for: 0.09 km time: 00:28
Outback at Isa Complex to Lake Julius Turnoff Rest Area
Driving: 19.16 km
Heading: 81°
Avg Speed: 76.02 km/hr
EST Time: 15:07
  • Drive northeast. for: 0.03 km time: 00:07
  • Turn left. for: 0.07 km time: 00:17
  • Turn left at the end of the road, onto Mullan Street for: 0.08 km time: 00:20
  • Turn right onto 83/A2/Marian Street. Continue on 83/A2. for: 18.72 km time: 12:55
  • Make a right U-turn. for: 0.26 km time: 01:29
Lake Julius Turnoff Rest Area to Mary Kathleen Rest Area
Driving: 31.92 km
Heading: 101°
Avg Speed: 90.22 km/hr
EST Time: 21:13
  • Drive west. for: 0.03 km time: 00:07
  • Make a right U-turn onto 83/A2/Barkly Highway. for: 31.8 km time: 20:45
  • Bear right. for: 0.03 km time: 00:07
  • Bear left. for: 0.06 km time: 00:14
Mary Kathleen Rest Area to Fountain Springs Rest Area
Driving: 9.38 km
Heading: 128°
Avg Speed: 91.94 km/hr
EST Time: 06:07
  • Drive northeast. for: 0.04 km time: 00:11
  • Bear right onto 83/A2/Barkly Highway. for: 9.27 km time: 05:40
  • Turn left. for: 0.07 km time: 00:16
Fountain Springs Rest Area to Corrella Dam Entry
Driving: 6.7 km
Heading: 118°
Avg Speed: 94.43 km/hr
EST Time: 04:15
  • Drive southeast. for: 0.07 km time: 00:16
  • Turn left at the end of the road, onto Barkly Highway for: 6.63 km time: 03:59
Corrella Dam Entry to Burke & Wills Memorial Rest Area
Driving: 8.87 km
Heading: 53°
Avg Speed: 94.01 km/hr
EST Time: 05:39
  • Drive east on 83/A2/Barkly Highway. for: 8.82 km time: 05:18
  • Turn right. for: 0.05 km time: 00:22
Burke & Wills Memorial Rest Area to Cloncurry
Driving: 45.6 km
Heading: 79°
Avg Speed: 91.27 km/hr
EST Time: 29:58
  • Drive west. for: 0.05 km time: 00:17
  • Turn right onto 83/A2/Barkly Highway. Continue on A2. for: 45.55 km time: 29:42
Distance is based on the travel mode shown (Driving, Straight, Cycling, Walking etc), Direction is straight line from start to end, Avg Speed & EST Time is calculated from GPS data.

What to See


Where to Stay

The route consists of numerous free roadside rest areas suitable for caravanners however it is difficult to escape the road noise.

Services & Supplies


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