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 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.
The Savannah Way
travels through 19 bioregions across two states (Western Australia
) 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.
The Savannah Way
was officially launched at the Australian Tourism Exchange on June 4th 2004 by Queensland
Tourism Minister Margaret Keech and her Northern Territory
and West Australian counterparts Claire Martin and Bob Kucera. This tourist route across Australia
’s ‘Top End
’ was coined under a spirit of cooperation and adventure, reminiscent of the pioneers who first explored the region.
The three ministers signed a Memorandum of Agreement to work together to develop and promote the route - a 3700km route linking Broome in Western Australia
, Katherine in the Northern Territory
, and Cairns in Tropical North Queensland
. The project, which has been jointly funded under the Drive Tourism and Federal Government Regional Tourism programs, have provided more than half a million dollars to make the route more ‘tourist friendly’, including erecting 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.