Carpentaria Highway

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesDaly Waters Pub
DifficultyDifficulty 1/5
Suitable For2WD Motorhome/Van Motorbike 
Distance387.21 km
Minimum Days1
Average Speed90.73 km/hr
Travel Time4 hrs 16 mins
Page Updated: 21 Oct 2021


The Carpentaria Highway is a bitumenised road with a narrow one lane strip across the mid-section of the Northern Territory connecting the Gulf country to Central Australia. It is the most northerly route across this part of the continent passable year-round. The terrain is mostly shrubby and the area marked with cattle, both synonomous with travel through the barren Barkly Tableland region.

If you're looking for a highlight along the way, make time to stop around sunset in the Bullwaddy area. A rest area just off the highway might bring delights of prolific birdlife if conditions are right.

How to Use this Trek Note

  • To download this information and the route file for offline use on a phone, tablet, headunit or laptop, go to the app store and purchase ExplorOz Traveller. This app enables offline navigation and mapping and will show where you are as you travel along the route. For more info see the ExplorOz Traveller webpage and the EOTopo webpage.


ExplorOz Traveller now features the NEW EOTopo 2024 mapset!

TrekID: 224


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.

Fuel Usage

4cyl 54 litres4cyl 63 litres4cyl 77 litres
6cyl 59 litres6cyl 70 litres6cyl 68 litres
8cyl 59 litres8cyl 64 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Closest Climatic Station

Mcarthur River Mine
Distance from Trek Mid Point 135.42km E
Mean Max. °C36.035.234.934.732.229.730.032.035.337.838.637.7
Mean Min. °C24.924.723.420.616.412.412.213.317.
Mean Rain mm208.5181.9148.932.
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended


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Stuart Hwy & Daly Waters Turnoff to Hi-Way Inn Caravan Park
Driving: 3.81 km
Heading: 189°
Avg Speed: 104.67 km/hr
EST Time: 02:11
  • Drive south on 1/Stuart Highway. Continue on Stuart Highway. for: 3.75 km time: 01:48
  • Turn left. for: 0.06 km time: 00:23
Hi-Way Inn Caravan Park to Bullwaddy Rest Area
Driving: 90.87 km
Heading: 101°
Avg Speed: 100.26 km/hr
EST Time: 54:22
  • Drive northwest. for: 0.06 km time: 00:22
  • Turn right at the end of the road, onto Stuart Highway for: 0.04 km time: 00:06
  • Turn right onto Carpentaria Highway/1. for: 90.51 km time: 52:30
  • Turn right. for: 0.27 km time: 01:26
Bullwaddy Rest Area to October Creek Rest Area
Driving: 79.27 km
Heading: 106°
Avg Speed: 92.9 km/hr
EST Time: 51:11
  • Drive west. for: 0.23 km time: 01:11
  • Turn right at the end of the road, onto Carpentaria Highway for: 78.99 km time: 48:34
  • Turn right. for: 0.05 km time: 01:27
October Creek Rest Area to Goanna Creek Rest Area
Driving: 60.66 km
Heading: 99°
Avg Speed: 105.33 km/hr
EST Time: 34:33
  • Drive northeast. for: 0.05 km time: 01:22
  • Turn right at the end of the road, onto Carpentaria Highway for: 60.61 km time: 33:12
Goanna Creek Rest Area to Little River Rest Area
Driving: 30.11 km
Heading: 89°
Avg Speed: 105.39 km/hr
EST Time: 17:08
  • Drive east on Carpentaria Highway/1. for: 30.04 km time: 16:23
  • Turn right. for: 0.08 km time: 00:46
Little River Rest Area to Cape Crawford
Driving: 10.27 km
Heading: 78°
Avg Speed: 95.93 km/hr
EST Time: 06:25
  • Drive north. for: 0.08 km time: 00:39
  • Turn right onto Carpentaria Highway/1. for: 10.19 km time: 05:38
  • Turn right. for: 0 km time: 00:08
Cape Crawford to Leila Crossing (Carpentaria Hwy)
Driving: 15.8 km
Heading: 59°
Avg Speed: 60.35 km/hr
EST Time: 15:42
  • Drive north. for: 0 km time: 00:01
  • Turn right onto Carpentaria Highway/1. for: 15.8 km time: 15:42
Leila Crossing (Carpentaria Hwy) to Borroloola
Driving: 96.42 km
Heading: 39°
Avg Speed: 61.02 km/hr
EST Time: 01:34:48
  • Drive south on Robinson Road. for: 2.01 km time: 02:10
  • Turn right at the end of the road, onto Carpentaria Highway for: 8.2 km time: 05:50
  • Turn left at the end of the road, onto Carpentaria Highway for: 86.22 km time: 01:26:48
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

Services & Supplies


Related Travel Journals

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