Savannah Way

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesBroome
FinishCairns
DifficultyDifficulty 3/5
Suitable For4WD AWD Camper Bike 
Distance3867.51 km
Minimum Days11
Average Speed73.24 km/hr
Travel Time2 days 4 hrs 48 mins
Page Updated: 8 Aug 2018

Description

The Savannah Way is over 3,700kms long, and thus, could possibly be done in as little as 3 days. Although that said - why would you do that!! Make the most of it, and give yourself a couple of weeks to absorb the interesting towns and spectacular attractions along the way. Although most of the trip is sealed, making large sections doable for 2WD sedans; there are sections where a 4WD is required. This includes the stretch between Borroloola and Normanton in the Gulf of Carpentaria (with some sections impassable during the November to April ‘wet season’). Generally, the Savannah Way is an easy to follow route that features clear signage, interpretative displays, maps and brochures, as well as a comprehensive visitor information centre network for travellers.

This fascinating drive passes through some of Australia’s most spectacular scenery, including 4 World Heritage Areas and 15 National Parks - ideally suited for the ultimate getaway!!! Marvel as you journey through diverse and spectacular landscapes featuring ancient gorges, rock pools, waterfalls, salt pans and hot springs. All the things to do and see within this trek are near infinite, although beginning from Broome, the highlights of this trip in respective order could include: Geikie Gorge and the vast flood plains of the Fitzroy River, Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungle), Lake Argyle near Kununurra, Timber Creek (the doorstep to Gregory National Park), Katherine Gorge (one of NT’s most scenic natural attractions), the small township of Roper Bar, the remote fishing community of Borroloola, the bird-watching wetlands between Normanton and nearby Karumba, and last but not least - the Undara Lava Tubes (in the Undara Volcanic National Park), which boasts the largest and most preserved lava tubes system on earth.

How to Use this Trek Note

Click the "Map" tab to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places on each POI page..

If you'd like to save this information there are a couple of ways to go about it, depending on what you're actually after:-
  • Ideal solution - download the ExplorOz Traveller App from the applicable store for your device -
    either the Google PlayStore, the App Store, or the Windows Store (for Windows 10 devices only). The ExplorOz Traveller app is a complete mapping, navigation and tracking app and includes all the ExplorOz Trek routes ready for you to simply click and follow with auto-guidance available whether you are online, or offline. For more details, read our ExplorOz Traveller page.
  • You can print a paper copy of the text using the print icon button shown above, near the social media buttons. For the best output it is advised to open each tab/section to load all images and artwork. You will still need to click open each Place page (listed in Where to Stay, What to See) to print off all available information.
  • If you have a Hema Navigator or use Mapping Software such as OziExplorer, or TrackRanger AND you are an ExplorOz Member, then you can click the Download Trek button at the top of this page to obtain the raw data files (eg. GPX) for this Trek.
  • If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.

Environment

The Savannah Way travels through 19 bioregions across two states (Western Australia and Queensland) and one territory (Northern Territory). The tropical savannah regions, which cover around 1.9 million square kilometres (a quarter of mainland Australia) can be generally described as landscapes of dense grass and scattered trees. Home to hundreds of species of native plants, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, many of these groups are found nowhere else in the world but within our tropical savannahs. The Gulf Savannah region in particular - is hugely diverse, as it provides habitats within tropical rainforests, rocky gorges, mangrove swamps, wetlands and rivers.

Some iconic fauna and flora you should keep an eye out for are; Wedge-tailed eagles, which have wingspans of 2.5m and are amongst the largest eagles in the world; Camels, as they are an estimated 200,000 ferel camels in the Northern Territory alone, and the Boab tree, which is found in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia and stores water in its bulbous trunk. The town of Normanton in Queensland is internationally recognised as an important location for an estimated third of Australia’s migratory wading birds, such as brolgas and sarus cranes. Another amazing iconic and natural phenomena is the Magnetic termite mounds, which are predominantly found in the Northern Territory are precisely oriented with their narrow edges facing north-south. These mounds are built by tiny blind insects and are oriented so that they get the least sun at the hottest time of the day.

History

This tourist route was "created" in 2004 across Australia’s ‘Top End’ as the result of more than half a million dollars spent to make the route more ‘tourist friendly’, including directional road signage, interpretive panels, and publishing dedicated route brochures, map, and a trip planning website - namely: www.savannahway.com.au

Over 80 per cent of the 3700km route has been sealed, but for more adventurous drivers an alternative 4WD unsealed route can also be taken. The route passes through some of Australia's most spectacular scenery, including five World Heritage areas, 15 national parks, the world's longest lava tubes, historic gold mining towns, Outback cattle stations, Australia's oldest pub and a wealth of indigenous culture.

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.

The Savannah Way needs to be well planned before undertaking such a long journey. Consider taking adequate fuel, water and supplies, and plan the stops where you can fuel up, and even stay overnight to rest. It’s a good idea to carry sun protection, sunscreen, insect repellent, first aid kit, and sufficient clothing for the time of the year. Staying in contact in the outback is vital, and while mobile phones will work in many towns, staying in contact by radio, satellite phone or carrying an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) is advisable. Obtain current maps of the route, and if you are venturing off the main road into Aboriginal lands, you will need to enquire about permits - contact the local tourist centre for more information.

It is important to take heed of the road conditions, as it can vary from bitumen to gravel and dirt, and can be affected by climatic conditions. It is best not to attempt the route in the wet season from January to March in any vehicle, because you might get stuck for many days or even weeks. Although the most scenic time to travel is in Summer, as this time of year produces lush green foliage, clear, full-flowing waterways and greater numbers waterbirds in the surrounding wetlands. Unfortunately, one of the challenges of travelling in summer is that some of the main routes will be closed. Alternate routes are available and access is possible throughout the year, although certain areas may be temporarily impassable following prolonged periods of rain. Check the road conditions for each state before departing: There are some good PDF brochures on the Savannah Way, including maps and safety information, which is available for download. Please click: Savannah Maps and Brochures.

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel SymbolRoebuck Roadhouse, Doon Doon Roadhouse, Victoria River Roadhouse, Hells Gate Roadhouse.
DieselULPLPG
4cyl 543 litres4cyl 626 litres4cyl 774 litres
6cyl 593 litres6cyl 701 litres6cyl 681 litres
8cyl 593 litres8cyl 641 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Travel is best between April and September. In the wet season, from December to March, high sporadic rainfall means the conditions of the unsealed roads can change rapidly - often causing closures.

Closest Climatic Station

Elliott
Distance from Trek Mid Point 58.77km NW
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C37.636.735.634.431.328.428.331.335.438.039.138.6
Mean Min. °C24.123.822.219.515.912.311.213.217.420.823.424.3
Mean Rain mm133.2159.486.623.57.34.73.01.16.022.849.196.1
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

Map

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What to See

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Where to Stay

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Directions

Broome to Milliya Rumurra
Driving: 6.61 km
Heading: 15°
Avg Speed: 88.3 km/hr
EST Time: 04:29
Milliya Rumurra to Roebuck Roadhouse
Driving: 27.17 km
Heading: 77°
Avg Speed: 79.99 km/hr
EST Time: 20:22
Roebuck Roadhouse to Bedunburra
Driving: 76.73 km
Heading: 72°
Avg Speed: 41.74 km/hr
EST Time: 01:50:17
Bedunburra to Great Northern Hwy & Derby Hwy
Driving: 68.74 km
Heading: 89°
Great Northern Hwy & Derby Hwy to Great Northern Hwy & Fairfield-Leopold Downs Rd
Driving: 172.72 km
Heading: 104°
Great Northern Hwy & Fairfield-Leopold Downs Rd to Fitzroy Crossing
Driving: 43.09 km
Heading: 125°
Avg Speed: 95.14 km/hr
EST Time: 27:10
Fitzroy Crossing to Mount Campbell
Driving: 14.08 km
Heading: 159°
Mount Campbell to Kellys Pass
Driving: 81.66 km
Heading: 134°
Kellys Pass to Ngumban Cliff Lookout
Driving: 1.65 km
Heading: 102°
Ngumban Cliff Lookout to Lamboo Gunian
Driving: 174.22 km
Heading: 73°
Lamboo Gunian to Great Northern Hwy & Tanami Rd
Driving: 2.23 km
Heading: 53°
Great Northern Hwy & Tanami Rd to Halls Creek
Driving: 16.27 km
Heading: 46°
Avg Speed: 88.57 km/hr
EST Time: 11:01
Halls Creek to Palm Creek, Great Northern Hwy
Driving: 27.16 km
Heading: 35°
Avg Speed: 86.26 km/hr
EST Time: 18:53
Palm Creek, Great Northern Hwy to Little Panton River, Great Northern Hwy
Driving: 20.99 km
Heading:
Avg Speed: 84.38 km/hr
EST Time: 14:55
Little Panton River, Great Northern Hwy to Upper Panton River, Great Northern Hwy
Driving: 9.84 km
Heading: 343°
Avg Speed: 69.29 km/hr
EST Time: 08:31
Upper Panton River, Great Northern Hwy to Leycesters Rest
Driving: 44.15 km
Heading: 24°
Avg Speed: 82.39 km/hr
EST Time: 32:09
Leycesters Rest to Spring Creek
Driving: 7.2 km
Heading: 36°
Avg Speed: 77.08 km/hr
EST Time: 05:36
Spring Creek to Great Northern Hwy & Purnululu NP Access
Driving: 0.67 km
Heading: 66°
Avg Speed: 42.69 km/hr
EST Time: 00:56
Great Northern Hwy & Purnululu NP Access to Fletchers Creek, Great Northern Hwy
Driving: 12.45 km
Heading: 31°
Avg Speed: 75.1 km/hr
EST Time: 09:56
Fletchers Creek, Great Northern Hwy to Warmun (Turkey Creek)
Driving: 40.41 km
Heading: 26°
Avg Speed: 86.37 km/hr
EST Time: 28:04
Warmun (Turkey Creek) to Telegraph Creek
Driving: 20.26 km
Heading: 23°
Avg Speed: 71.52 km/hr
EST Time: 16:59
Telegraph Creek to Bow River, Great Central Hwy
Driving: 9.27 km
Heading: 360°
Avg Speed: 87.97 km/hr
EST Time: 06:19
Bow River, Great Central Hwy to Doon Doon Roadhouse
Driving: 62.46 km
Heading: 356°
Avg Speed: 91.13 km/hr
EST Time: 41:07
Doon Doon Roadhouse to Dunham River Rest Area
Driving: 25.15 km
Heading: 36°
Avg Speed: 88.59 km/hr
EST Time: 17:02
Dunham River Rest Area to Great Northern Hwy & Victoria Hwy
Driving: 35.92 km
Heading:
Great Northern Hwy & Victoria Hwy to Cockburn Rest Area
Driving: 0.51 km
Heading: 266°
Avg Speed: 68.43 km/hr
EST Time: 00:26
Cockburn Rest Area to Kununurra West Rest Area
Driving: 32.12 km
Heading: 70°
Avg Speed: 96.77 km/hr
EST Time: 19:54
Kununurra West Rest Area to Dunham River, Victoria Hwy
Driving: 4.71 km
Heading: 129°
Avg Speed: 90.04 km/hr
EST Time: 03:08
Dunham River, Victoria Hwy to Kununurra
Driving: 7.61 km
Heading: 82°
Avg Speed: 72.64 km/hr
EST Time: 06:17
Kununurra to Emu Creek Community
Driving: 7.11 km
Heading: 132°
Emu Creek Community to Saddle Rest Area
Driving: 102.99 km
Heading: 101°
Saddle Rest Area to Desmonds Passage
Driving: 6.3 km
Heading: 57°
Desmonds Passage to East Baines River
Driving: 52.24 km
Heading: 68°
East Baines River to Timber Creek
Driving: 57.14 km
Heading: 75°
Timber Creek to Muringung
Driving: 3.17 km
Heading: 163°
Muringung to Victoria River Roadhouse
Driving: 88.32 km
Heading: 85°
Victoria River Roadhouse to Sullivan Campground
Driving: 17.28 km
Heading: 78°
Sullivan Campground to Noel Buntine Memorial
Driving: 51.25 km
Heading: 45°
Noel Buntine Memorial to Vince Connoly Crossing
Driving: 68.21 km
Heading: 35°
Vince Connoly Crossing to Tony Green Crossing
Driving: 23.2 km
Heading: 51°
Tony Green Crossing to King West Rest Area
Driving: 3.18 km
Heading: 18°
King West Rest Area to Katherine
Driving: 31.49 km
Heading: 39°
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
Borroloola to Burketown Crossing
Driving: 3.87 km
Heading: 142°
Burketown Crossing to Snipe Lagoon
Driving: 6.01 km
Heading: 73°
Snipe Lagoon to Echo Gorge
Driving: 218.86 km
Heading: 131°
Echo Gorge to Wollogorang
Driving: 30.3 km
Heading: 99°
Wollogorang to Savannah Way, NT-QLD Border
Driving: 5.26 km
Heading: 92°
Savannah Way, NT-QLD Border to Westmoreland
Driving: 34.38 km
Heading: 117°
Westmoreland to Lake Morgan
Driving: 4.48 km
Heading: 159°
Lake Morgan to Dilldoll Rock
Driving: 12.72 km
Heading: 136°
Dilldoll Rock to Hells Gate Roadhouse
Driving: 1.67 km
Heading: 119°
Hells Gate Roadhouse to Savannah Way & Doomadgee Access
Driving: 82.07 km
Heading: 137°
Avg Speed: 28.87 km/hr
EST Time: 02:50:33
Savannah Way & Doomadgee Access to Savannah Way & Wills Dev Rd
Driving: 73.76 km
Heading: 82°
Avg Speed: 24.92 km/hr
EST Time: 02:57:35
Savannah Way & Wills Dev Rd to Burketown
Driving: 25.9 km
Heading: 57°
Burketown to Leichhardt Falls
Driving: 70.58 km
Heading: 147°
Leichhardt Falls to Burketown Rd & Savannah Way
Driving: 2.59 km
Heading: 122°
Burketown Rd & Savannah Way to Armstrong Waterhole
Driving: 99.58 km
Heading: 69°
Armstrong Waterhole to Savannah Way at Little Bynoe River
Driving: 15.28 km
Heading: 59°
Savannah Way at Little Bynoe River to Normanton
Driving: 37.44 km
Heading: 51°
Normanton to Glenore Crossing
Driving: 25.07 km
Heading: 163°
Glenore Crossing to Blackbull Campground
Driving: 69.56 km
Heading: 98°
Blackbull Campground to Croydon
Driving: 60.39 km
Heading: 120°
Croydon to Turkey Knob Hill
Driving: 13.75 km
Heading: 114°
Turkey Knob Hill to The Jump Up
Driving: 10.38 km
Heading: 79°
The Jump Up to Gilbert River Bridge
Driving: 48.53 km
Heading: 86°
Gilbert River Bridge to Georgetown
Driving: 74.77 km
Heading: 98°
Georgetown to Mount Surprise
Driving: 92.12 km
Heading: 79°
Mount Surprise to Forty Mile Scrub National Park
Driving: 60.07 km
Heading: 85°
Forty Mile Scrub National Park to Mount Garnet
Driving: 63.36 km
Heading: 32°
Mount Garnet to Innot Hot Springs
Driving: 15.43 km
Heading: 86°
Innot Hot Springs to Archer Creek Rest Area
Driving: 12.87 km
Heading: 78°
Archer Creek Rest Area to The Millstream Rest Area
Driving: 0.28 km
Heading: 250°
The Millstream Rest Area to Ravenshoe
Driving: 15.51 km
Heading: 77°
Ravenshoe to Atherton
Driving: 53.2 km
Heading: 358°
Atherton to Tolga Recreation Reserve
Driving: 4.43 km
Heading:
Tolga Recreation Reserve to Rocky Creek Camp area
Driving: 6.76 km
Heading: 336°
Avg Speed: 61.82 km/hr
EST Time: 06:33
Rocky Creek Camp area to Walkamin
Driving: 7.02 km
Heading: 331°
Avg Speed: 42.76 km/hr
EST Time: 09:51
Walkamin to Mareeba
Driving: 15.42 km
Heading: 359°
Mareeba to Cairns
Driving: 67.45 km
Heading: 78°
Distance is GPS recorded distance 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.

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