Savannah Way Travelling

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 20:41
ThreadID: 101228 Views:1899 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
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We are planning part of our route home to Vic. from Darwin , estimated time is June - July ..we would like to travel the Savannah Way.We are not sure which would be the better/easier/more scenic way(time is irrelevant)...start at Mataranka and go through Roper Bar to Borroloola and then to Hells Gate , a bit further past Hells Gate is a road that leads down to Lawn Hill, from here we go down to Cloncurry and beyond. We are 2 persons travelling in a dual cab 4x4 and towing a dual axle poptop , both vehicles are well maintained and have new tyres all round , the van has seen some extremely rough roads in the past and has suffered no ill effects (not visibly anyway). The alternative route is from Daly Waters to Cape Crawford and then to Borroloola etc,etc , but instead of short cutting to Lawn Hill continue on and have a look at Burketown , then down to Gregory Downs and into Lawn Hill.Any comments or advice about these roads and the conditions of them and what would be interesting to see and /or not miss along the way would be greatly appreciated.
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Reply By: Harry - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 22:15

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 22:15
G'day Rooster,
Did that route last June. Road is great to Port Roper turnoff, then it changes from fair to ok but slow. There are rocky sections, corrugated stuff and generally slow, but it's a nice change and if you take it easy and don't expect to get hundreds of K's, then you'll enjoy it. The river crossings are good, but check the depth first. We didn't have any dramas and we tow a T Van. (up to the hubs)
Lost city is a must see and you can camp there with drop toilet as well.
Butterfly spring is fabulous as well.
Hell's gate is another nice spot to camp.
Borroloola to Hell's gate is a lot better than the track from Port Roper turnoff.
AnswerID: 507308

Follow Up By: Member Andys Adventures - Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 09:53

Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 09:53
The road from Roper Bar to Port Roper has a lot of bull dust holes, their is a mine starting up near the towns river crossing and have road trains using it every day. The road from Port roper to Lorella Springs has been graded in January as we did not get a wet session this year. All river crossings are low and most not running. I agree with Harry that the southern lost city's are worth doing, but if you drop into the ranger station at Nathan River you can get a key and do the Western lost city's, and they are by far the best.

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FollowupID: 784574

Reply By: Harry - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 22:25

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 22:25
G'day again,
The road / track through Kingfisher to Lawnhill is rougher and slower than Port Roper to Borroloola.
As I said earlier, drive to the conditions and it will be ok, but it has bulldust and roughish sections and is a narrow track, not that many go through that way anyway. I now know why.
Kingfisher is a nice camp.
Your poptop needs good suspension though to cope.
I would do it all again.
AnswerID: 507311

Reply By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 22:27

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 22:27
i would do the "Burktown" run, even if you never do it again it is worth it as it is not much further, basically the road is now sealed from Doomadgee to Burkton and back to Gregory Downs, with the exception of 30 odd K's and that is good gravel, we have had very little rain and they are starting to maintain it now so it will be a good road to be on, only catch is you "may" get in just after the "haulout" of cattle and the roads turn to crud after that, still nothing really bad but just dust holes .....
I would pencil in Hells Gate, Kingfisher Camp, Burktown, Gregory Downs, Lawn Hill, spending time at Lawn Hill as it is awsome, Kingfisher is really nice as well but could be crowded at that time, more choice at Lawn Hill, Burktown is really only fishing but worth the drive .......
Cheers and enjoy
Joe (Doomadgee Roadhouse)
AnswerID: 507313

Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 22:29

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 22:29
oh and do Roper Bar, well worth it ....
FollowupID: 784551

Reply By: rumpig - Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 17:23

Friday, Mar 22, 2013 at 17:23
we basically did your first route mentioned 2 years ago, there's some fantastic stuff to see going that way and i'd happily revisit that route again to see what we missed the first time around (we only had 5 weeks to get from Brisbane to Darwin and back again, so a rushed trip). being we were late in the dry season there was some severe corrogations encounted along the way, but we towed an offroad camper trailer and never had any real dramas ourselves with them. the Savanah Way running North out of Lawn Hill is a real pretty drive, constantly changing scenery along the way makes the klms fly by.
i'll post a link up to a trip report i did of that trip when the website i hosted it on starts working again to give you an idea of what to see along the way.
AnswerID: 507373

Follow Up By: rumpig - Monday, Mar 25, 2013 at 17:29

Monday, Mar 25, 2013 at 17:29
here's the link to the trip report i mentioned, should be viewable now the forum is back up and running again......
the first few days aren't where your looking at, but around day 4 onwards should be of some interest to you
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