Normanton to Coen via Kowanyama

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesNormanton
FinishCoen
DifficultyDifficulty 3/5
Suitable For4WD Bike 
Distance879.45 km
Minimum Days2
Average Speed45.08 km/hr
Travel Time19 hrs 30 mins
Page Updated: 5 Mar 2021

Description

Enjoy the golden savannah grasslands and the monsoonal wetlands of this trek in this rather barren region of Australia. There are a variety of native animals and a diverse portrait of birds including herons, jabirus, brolgas, sarus crane and many other waterbird species that migrate here - especially after the rains.

A good majority of the trek is on the Burke Developmental Road with minor portions being on the Karumba Development Road, Kowanyama Development Road and Musgrave Strathgordon Road before hitting Peninsula Development Road before Coen. The majority of the journey is a true adventure drive with most of it being unsealed. Although some of these roads can be rough, it’s quite navigable by conventional vehicles with care.

The trek passes through beautiful scenery, including some old historic towns. Examples include: Normanton, which is well known for its diverse migratory wading birds and Barramundi fishing and Karumba which sits on the mouth of the Norman River and is home to the Gulf of Carpentaria’s prawning and fishing industries and not to forget its stunning sunsets. Kowanyama, which means ‘the place of many waters’ is a culturally significant Aboriginal community town. This town is situated on the banks of Magnificent Creek and during the wet season, it’s not uncommon to have supplies flown in by air. There are many homestead stations olong the way including Dunbar Station and there is an old ex-fortress telegraph station now called Musgrave Roadhouse. Coen is a beautiful small town located on the old telegraph line that ran from Laura to Bamaga and is considered the last place north for supplies such as food, fuel and mechanical repairs before heading towards the tip of Cape York.

How to Use this Trek Note

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TIP

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TrekID: 143

Preparation

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.

Fuel Usage

DieselULPLPG
4cyl 124 litres4cyl 142 litres4cyl 176 litres
6cyl 135 litres6cyl 159 litres6cyl 155 litres
8cyl 135 litres8cyl 146 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Closest Climatic Station

Kowanyama Airport
Distance from Trek Mid Point 56.29km NW
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C33.032.332.832.932.030.730.732.234.636.236.234.8
Mean Min. °C24.324.223.721.819.016.115.416.218.921.924.024.3
Mean Rain mm341.7357.5237.155.511.04.22.42.42.616.956.6174.8
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Map

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Directions

Norman River, Burke Dev Road to Stake Hole
Driving: 21.62 km
Heading: 27°
Avg Speed: 45.75 km/hr
EST Time: 28:21
  • Drive southwest. for: 0.31 km time: 09:13
  • Turn right onto Burke Developmental Road. for: 21.11 km time: 12:42
  • Turn right. for: 0.18 km time: 05:33
  • Turn left. for: 0.03 km time: 00:54
Stake Hole to Burke Dev Road & Karumba Dev Rd
Driving: 8.14 km
Heading: 17°
Avg Speed: 36.42 km/hr
EST Time: 13:24
  • Drive southeast. for: 0.03 km time: 00:50
  • Turn right. for: 0.18 km time: 05:32
  • Turn right onto Burke Developmental Road. for: 7.76 km time: 04:46
  • Bear right to stay on Burke Developmental Road. for: 0.12 km time: 00:14
  • Turn right. for: 0.06 km time: 02:02
Burke Dev Road & Karumba Dev Rd to Maggieville
Driving: 1.84 km
Heading: 308°
Avg Speed: 29.52 km/hr
EST Time: 03:44
  • Drive north. for: 0.06 km time: 01:56
  • Take the exit. for: 0.08 km time: 00:06
  • Bear right onto Lloyd Clarke Way. for: 1.69 km time: 01:42
Maggieville to Karumba Dev Rd & Karumba Point Rd
Driving: 34.65 km
Heading: 269°
Avg Speed: 59.82 km/hr
EST Time: 34:45
  • Drive west on Lloyd Clarke Way. for: 34.58 km time: 34:35
  • Turn right onto Col Kitching Drive. for: 0.06 km time: 00:10
Karumba Dev Rd & Karumba Point Rd to Karumba
Driving: 4.67 km
Heading: 213°
Avg Speed: 48.27 km/hr
EST Time: 05:48
  • Drive southeast on Col Kitching Drive. for: 0.06 km time: 00:05
  • Turn right at the end of the road, onto Lloyd Clarke Way for: 3.61 km time: 03:18
  • Turn right onto Walker Street. for: 0.47 km time: 00:41
  • Turn left onto Clarina Street. for: 0.48 km time: 01:17
  • Turn left at the end of the road, onto Clarina Street for: 0.05 km time: 00:27
Karumba to Karumba Dev Rd & Karumba Point Rd
Driving: 4.67 km
Heading: 33°
Avg Speed: 49.26 km/hr
EST Time: 05:41
  • Drive northeast on Clarina Street. for: 0.05 km time: 00:27
  • Turn right to stay on Clarina Street. for: 0.48 km time: 01:17
  • Turn right at the end of the road, onto Walker Street for: 0.47 km time: 00:41
  • Turn left at the end of the road, onto Lloyd Clarke Way for: 3.61 km time: 03:11
  • Turn left onto Col Kitching Drive. for: 0.06 km time: 00:06
Karumba Dev Rd & Karumba Point Rd to Maggieville
Driving: 34.65 km
Heading: 89°
Avg Speed: 59.91 km/hr
EST Time: 34:42
  • Drive southeast on Col Kitching Drive. for: 0.06 km time: 00:05
  • Turn left at the end of the road, onto Lloyd Clarke Way for: 34.58 km time: 34:37
Maggieville to Burke Dev Road & Karumba Dev Rd
Driving: 1.84 km
Heading: 128°
Avg Speed: 29.49 km/hr
EST Time: 03:44
  • Drive east on Lloyd Clarke Way. for: 1.69 km time: 01:42
  • Take the exit. for: 0.08 km time: 00:06
  • Bear right. for: 0.06 km time: 01:57
Burke Dev Road & Karumba Dev Rd to Gilbert River, Burke Dev Road
Driving: 72.82 km
Heading: 62°
Avg Speed: 29.63 km/hr
EST Time: 02:27:27
  • Drive north. for: 0.06 km time: 01:56
  • Turn right onto Burke Developmental Road. for: 72.75 km time: 02:25:30
Gilbert River, Burke Dev Road to Wyaaba Creek, Burke Dev Road
Driving: 63.12 km
Heading: 20°
Avg Speed: 60 km/hr
EST Time: 01:03:07
  • Drive north on Bourke Development Road. for: 63.12 km time: 01:03:07
Wyaaba Creek, Burke Dev Road to Staaten River, Burke Dev Road
Driving: 23.1 km
Heading: 33°
Avg Speed: 60 km/hr
EST Time: 23:06
  • Drive northeast on Bourke Development Road. for: 23.1 km time: 23:06
Staaten River, Burke Dev Road to Burke Dev Road & Kowanyama Rd
Driving: 71.94 km
Heading: 32°
Avg Speed: 59.81 km/hr
EST Time: 01:12:10
  • Drive north on Bourke Development Road. for: 71.47 km time: 01:11:28
  • Make a sharp left onto Kowanyama Road. for: 0.48 km time: 00:42
Burke Dev Road & Kowanyama Rd to Burkes Lagoon
Driving: 6.55 km
Heading: 307°
Avg Speed: 49.99 km/hr
EST Time: 07:51
  • Drive west on Kowanyama Road. for: 6.55 km time: 07:52
Burkes Lagoon to Kowanyama
Driving: 94.72 km
Heading: 312°
Avg Speed: 49.98 km/hr
EST Time: 01:53:42
  • Drive northwest on Kowanyama Road. for: 94.72 km time: 01:53:43
Kowanyama to Mitchell River, Kowanyama Pormpuraaw Tk
Driving: 30.64 km
Heading: 63°
Avg Speed: 39.93 km/hr
EST Time: 46:02
  • Drive south on Chellikee Street. for: 0.29 km time: 00:24
  • Turn left onto Carrington Street. for: 0.24 km time: 00:26
  • Turn right at the end of the road, onto Chapman Road for: 1.62 km time: 02:31
  • Bear right. for: 28.3 km time: 42:27
  • Keep left at the fork. for: 0.2 km time: 00:15
Mitchell River, Kowanyama Pormpuraaw Tk to Alice River & Kowanyama Pormpuraaw Tk
Driving: 11.2 km
Heading: 102°
Avg Speed: 50 km/hr
EST Time: 13:26
  • Drive southeast. for: 11.2 km time: 13:26
Alice River & Kowanyama Pormpuraaw Tk to Musgrave Strathgordon Rd & Kowanyama Pormpuraaw Tk
Driving: 74.27 km
Heading: 327°
Avg Speed: 50 km/hr
EST Time: 01:29:07
  • Drive north. for: 74.27 km time: 01:29:07
Musgrave Strathgordon Rd & Kowanyama Pormpuraaw Tk to Opera Hill
Driving: 167 km
Heading: 89°
Avg Speed: 49.14 km/hr
EST Time: 03:23:54
  • Drive east on Strathgordon Road. for: 111.9 km time: 02:14:18
  • Keep left to stay on Strathgordon Road. for: 54.98 km time: 01:05:59
  • Turn left. for: 0.12 km time: 03:39
Opera Hill to Glen Garland
Driving: 13.55 km
Heading: 85°
Avg Speed: 14.11 km/hr
EST Time: 57:37
  • Drive west. for: 0.12 km time: 03:38
  • Turn left. for: 12.12 km time: 14:36
  • Turn right. for: 1.31 km time: 39:22
Glen Garland to Musgrave Roadhouse
Driving: 29.94 km
Heading: 73°
Avg Speed: 23.84 km/hr
EST Time: 01:15:21
  • Drive southeast. for: 1.31 km time: 39:16
  • Turn right. for: 28.22 km time: 33:56
  • Turn left at the end of the road, onto Peninsula Developmental Road for: 0.32 km time: 00:16
  • Turn left. for: 0.1 km time: 01:53
Musgrave Roadhouse to Coen
Driving: 108.52 km
Heading: 341°
Avg Speed: 51.78 km/hr
EST Time: 02:05:44
  • Drive south. for: 0.1 km time: 01:53
  • Turn left at the end of the road, onto Peninsula Developmental Road for: 108.42 km time: 02:03:52
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

Facilities

Where to Stay

Services & Supplies

Wildflowers

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