Roper Bar

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesKatherine
DifficultyDifficulty 3/5
Suitable For4WD Bike 
Distance868.46 km
Minimum Days3
Average Speed73.54 km/hr
Travel Time11 hrs 48 mins
Page Updated: 14 Jun 2015


If you have a 4WD the opportunities to experience solitude in the Northern Territory wilderness is not far away. This trek from Borroloola - Katherine passes through some of the most remote and unvisited areas of the Top End. From Borroloola we head north through the Nathan River HS towards Port Roper and finally at Roper Bar, once a secret with the locals it is now a popular spot for fisherpeople who want to catch big barramundi.

It is still a very quiet place, more so out of the peak barramundi season. Generally, very early in the dry the barramundi are at their prime. It is pretty much useless to attempt fishing here without a tinnie although fishing tours are available in season.

The approach from Roper Bar into Katherine passes the Elsey National Park and the nearby Mataranka Thermal Springs. After the long dusty route you've just travelled this oasis may be just what you need. The Katherine region is full of fabulous little spots, still remote and relatively untouched but gradually becoming better known with the massive increase in tourism in the Northern Territory as a whole.

How to Use this Trek Note

If you'd like to download this Trek there are two options:
  • Purchase our app ExplorOz Traveller. This Australian-made GPS & Navigation app will allow you to download all the ExplorOz Treks to your GPS enabled smartphone/tablet/iPad or laptop and enable active route guidance along the route as per the Directions shown on this page. The app enables offline navigation and mapping and will show where you are as you travel along the route. The app also allows you to edit/customise the route. Viewing the Trek in the Traveller app also includes all the words, images and POIs exactly as on the website (excludes Wildflowers). For more info see the ExplorOz Traveller webpage.

  • Alternatively, if you already have another raster mapping software program (or an HN7 device) you can try downloading the route line data files via the Download Trek button shown below the map on this page (OR purchase EOTreks Route Files). Be aware that this doesn't include maps or text just the route line.


To purchase our maps for offline use, you will need to purchase an EOTopo map licence (available either in App Version, or Raster Version).

TrekID: 19


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.


No permits needed.

Fuel Usage

4cyl 122 litres4cyl 141 litres4cyl 174 litres
6cyl 133 litres6cyl 157 litres6cyl 153 litres
8cyl 133 litres8cyl 144 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Closest Climatic Station

Distance from Trek Mid Point 77.67km NE
Mean Max. °C35.534.834.133.831.729.829.631.935.037.538.837.7
Mean Min. °C24.924.724.
Mean Rain mm182.8176.5174.855.910.
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended


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Katherine to King Rest Area
Driving: 47.98 km
Heading: 117°
Avg Speed: 90.56 km/hr
EST Time: 31:47
King Rest Area to Mataranka Station
Driving: 43.79 km
Heading: 121°
Avg Speed: 102.51 km/hr
EST Time: 25:37
Mataranka Station to Stirling Mill Rest Area
Driving: 0.46 km
Heading: 112°
Avg Speed: 102.75 km/hr
EST Time: 00:16
Stirling Mill Rest Area to Mataranka
Driving: 14.6 km
Heading: 133°
Avg Speed: 88.5 km/hr
EST Time: 09:53
Mataranka to Mataranka Homestead Tourist Resort
Driving: 8.71 km
Heading: 90°
Avg Speed: 70.85 km/hr
EST Time: 07:22
Mataranka Homestead Tourist Resort to Mt Price Rest Area
Driving: 146.18 km
Heading: 89°
Avg Speed: 93.97 km/hr
EST Time: 01:33:20
Mt Price Rest Area to Roper Bar
Driving: 38.42 km
Heading: 76°
Avg Speed: 77.62 km/hr
EST Time: 29:41
Roper Bar to Leichhardts Caravan Park
Driving: 0.84 km
Heading: 59°
Avg Speed: 70.59 km/hr
EST Time: 00:42
Leichhardts Caravan Park to Roper Bar
Driving: 0.84 km
Heading: 239°
Avg Speed: 70.59 km/hr
EST Time: 00:42
Roper Bar to Queensland Crossing
Driving: 21.13 km
Heading: 156°
Avg Speed: 74.77 km/hr
EST Time: 16:57
Queensland Crossing to Lomarieum Lagoon
Driving: 46.54 km
Heading: 72°
Avg Speed: 73.52 km/hr
EST Time: 37:58
Lomarieum Lagoon to St Vidgeon Ruins
Driving: 0.54 km
Heading: 132°
Avg Speed: 81.07 km/hr
EST Time: 00:23
St Vidgeon Ruins to Towns River
Driving: 48.66 km
Heading: 130°
Avg Speed: 79.05 km/hr
EST Time: 36:56
Towns River to Cox River
Driving: 37.52 km
Heading: 155°
Avg Speed: 75.52 km/hr
EST Time: 29:48
Cox River to Maria (Wamungku) Lagoon
Driving: 12.72 km
Heading: 77°
Avg Speed: 55.72 km/hr
EST Time: 13:41
Maria (Wamungku) Lagoon to Limmen River Campground
Driving: 7.43 km
Heading: 58°
Avg Speed: 39.25 km/hr
EST Time: 11:21
Limmen River Campground to Maria (Wamungku) Lagoon
Driving: 7.43 km
Heading: 238°
Avg Speed: 39.25 km/hr
EST Time: 11:21
Maria (Wamungku) Lagoon to Cox River
Driving: 12.72 km
Heading: 257°
Avg Speed: 55.72 km/hr
EST Time: 13:41
Cox River to Burketown Crossing
Driving: 21.26 km
Heading: 161°
Avg Speed: 67.3 km/hr
EST Time: 18:57
Burketown Crossing to Southern Lost City
Driving: 51.93 km
Heading: 171°
Avg Speed: 67.55 km/hr
EST Time: 46:07
Southern Lost City to Lorella Springs Station
Driving: 47.19 km
Heading: 64°
Avg Speed: 54.24 km/hr
EST Time: 52:12
Lorella Springs Station to Batten Creek
Driving: 82.73 km
Heading: 174°
Avg Speed: 59.32 km/hr
EST Time: 01:23:40
Batten Creek to Leila 1st Crossing
Driving: 35.69 km
Heading: 185°
Avg Speed: 68.47 km/hr
EST Time: 31:16
Leila 1st Crossing to Cape Crawford
Driving: 15.16 km
Heading: 161°
Avg Speed: 66.48 km/hr
EST Time: 13:40
Cape Crawford to Heartbreak Hotel
Driving: 0.62 km
Heading: 125°
Avg Speed: 49.3 km/hr
EST Time: 00:45
Heartbreak Hotel to Leila Crossing (Carpentaria Hwy)
Driving: 15.82 km
Heading: 59°
Avg Speed: 92.5 km/hr
EST Time: 10:15
Leila Crossing (Carpentaria Hwy) to Leila Hill
Driving: 1.82 km
Heading: 71°
Avg Speed: 101.75 km/hr
EST Time: 01:04
Leila Hill to Borroloola
Driving: 99.73 km
Heading: 38°
Avg Speed: 90.31 km/hr
EST Time: 01:06:15
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

Excellent barramundi fishing, remote NT outback country, bush camping, thermal springs


Where to Stay

Services & Supplies


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