Plenty Highway

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesBoulia
FinishAlice Springs
DifficultyDifficulty 3.5/5
Suitable for4WD AWD Camper Bike 
Distance813.34 km
Minimum Days2
Average Speed52.31 km/hr
Driving Time15 hrs 32 mins
Article By: ExplorOz Team
Page Updated: 29 Aug 2016

Description

The Plenty Highway really doesn't begin until you reach the NT border, but to get there you travel from Boulia in outback Queensland along the Donohue Highway (just a track). Typically, the Queensland section of the track is in the worst condition with long stretches of extreme bulldust and big holes (making it a dry weather road only) - the NT section is more regularly maintained and graded.

The countryside changes considerably along the track and although it lacks services and "things to do" it is certainly one of the prettier shortcut tracks that you can do in this area. The overwhelming difference is that although the soil is the same red sandy stuff of the Simpson Desert, the terrain is completely flat, the spinifex grass much greener, and if there's been recent rains then wildflowers line the roadsides. Billy buttons, bush daisies, poached egg daisies, yellow tops and native violets carpet the sides of the road where water collects in the gutters.

As you approach the Harts (Hartz) Range you begin to see the first mountains you've probably seen in quite a while. If you've come from Birdsville or Boulia for long your senses seemed to be bombarded, a result of having been surrounded by gibber, sand and dust.

Just past the Harts Range Police Station (next door to an aboriginal community), turn left (south) down a track to the "Racecourse". Probably deserted for 363 days of the year this racetrack becomes a mecca for the outback racing enthusiasts with a crowd of a few thousand on the last weekend in August. Just behind the racecourse a track leads south for about 10km and finally reaches the base of a few impressive mountains, the highest being Mt Palmer. Mt Palmer is the highest in the Harts Range and is a fabulous climb. It will take about 2 hours to reach the summit but on the way you can explore open gaps left by mica miners and soak up the impressive views. Black-footed rock wallabies live in the "Disputed" mine shaft (where 2 miners lost their lives in a collapse not long after it was opened) and many wildflowers grow amongst the rocky outcrops on the climb up.

Outback Way

The Outback Way is made up of seven inter-connecting roads including The Great Central Road (WA); Tjukaruru Road, Lasseter Highway, Stuart Highway and Plenty Highway (NT); and Donohue Highway and Min Min Byway (QLD). Collectively these are called The Outback Way.

How to Use this Trek Note

Click the "Map" tab below 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 Google Play or the App Store. The app enables you to carry the ExplorOz Places, Treks, & Maps data offline in your mobile device ready for your adventures. It is a complete mapping, navigation and tracking app. 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.

Preparation

The minimum requirements would be to carry good communications and navigation equipment (along with being proficient with it's usage).

Safety Note - in case of an emergency, please note that a hospital complete with ambulance is located at Bonya (Orrtipa Thurra) which is north of Jervois on the Bonya Creek along the Mt Isa-Urangdangi Track.

Permits

None

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel Symbol
DieselULPLPG
4cyl 114 litres4cyl 132 litres4cyl 163 litres
6cyl 124 litres *6cyl 101 litres *6cyl 143 litres
8cyl 125 litres8cyl 135 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Dry season is best as it may be impassible when wet.

Closest Climatic Station

Jervois
Distance from Trek Mid Point 88.71km NW
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C38.536.934.530.525.322.021.925.029.733.235.937.7
Mean Min. °C22.722.119.214.39.96.45.27.111.315.618.921.3
Mean Rain mm50.058.732.817.518.510.614.37.68.815.424.838.4
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

The following locations have various services And supplies:Harts Range Police Station

Map

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What to See

Download Trek
Save time and download all digital map data for this trek (all places are included in the trek download).
This list may not be complete for the entire region. Places listed here are directly located along the plot file associated with this Trek Note. You can locate other nearby Places by browsing the map or searching Places.
Gem fossicking, abandoned mica mines, remote country, bush camping, great alternative east-west crossing, faster and easier than Simpson Desert

Showing 7 Places

Where to Stay

Download Trek
Save time and download all digital map data for this trek (all places are included in the trek download).
This list may not be complete for the entire region. Places listed here are directly located along the plot file associated with this Trek Note. You can locate other nearby Places by browsing the map or searching Places.
West of Boulia the Georgina River makes a wonderful camp. At times this incredible river can be in full flood, flowing fast towards Eyre Creek. Once you reach the Qld/NT border its 569km to Alice Springs. Other excellent camps are at the Marshall River (shade shelter and picnic table) and then further on at the Plenty River.

Showing 7 Places

Directions

LocationsDistanceDirection Time
Boulia to Plenty Highway, NT-QLD Border245.76 kmW289° N/A
Plenty Highway, NT-QLD Border to Tobermorey2.49 kmNW307° N/A
Tobermorey to Injerrabonna Waterhole63.4 kmW252° N/A
Injerrabonna Waterhole to Jervois Station154.64 kmSW246° N/A
Jervois Station to Atitjere132.12 kmW268° 3 hr 23 min
Atitjere to Harts Range Police Station1.8 kmNW295° 1 min
Harts Range Police Station to Gemtree74.43 kmW271° 2 hr 42 min
Gemtree to Stuart Hwy & Plenty Hwy69.57 kmW252° 2 hr 8 min
Stuart Hwy & Plenty Hwy to Tanami Rd & Stuart Hwy48.44 kmS160° 1 hr 29 min
Tanami Rd & Stuart Hwy to Alice Springs20.69 kmS174° 14 min
Boulia to Alice Springs813.34 km  15 hr 32 min
Distance is GPS recorded driving distance (not straight line), Direction is straight line from start to end, Time is calculated from actual GPS driving data.

Related

Nearby ExplorOz Treks

Travel Journals

The following are links to Members' Blogs that contain the words Plenty Highway. Creating Blogs is restricted to Members only. Not a Member? Join here.

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