Darwin Bound

Submitted: Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 17:26
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So we have decided , mmm did i say we ,the wife doesn't want to do the Kimberly's just yet ,so iv Decided to go up to Darwin and then Off Road it on the way home calling into Lorrella Springs for a week ,looking at the Map looks like we will go in from Mataranka, any info on Camp Sights and must sees would be appreciated ,cheers
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Reply By: Member - peterdre - Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 23:53

Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 23:53
Good campsite at Tomatoe Island, (great showers and toilets), then Towns River, Limen River Fishing Camp, Butterfly Springs, Southern Lost City and finally Lorella Springs. We found Lorella overpriced. Take it easy, rough in places but a great drive and magnificent scenery. Where to after Lorella?
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Follow Up By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 09:31

Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 09:31
Your also in the area/vicinity of Lawn Hill a definite MUST
Insanity doesnt run in my family.... it gallops!

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Follow Up By: Member - GREENDOG - Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 12:57

Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 12:57
Thanks Pedro, ill check the Map ,We done Lawn Hill 2 yrs so not sure we head to after Lorella, cheers
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Reply By: Member - Megan and Kevin D - Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 12:18

Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 12:18
We loved Butterfly Springs in 2015. Tomato Island looked great although we didn't camp there. We were not impressed with Lorella Springs - the 30 km drive in was rough and we thought the facilities poor for the cost although there were interesting drives. Megan
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Follow Up By: Member - GREENDOG - Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 12:59

Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 12:59
Thanks Megan
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Reply By: CSeaJay - Tuesday, Nov 21, 2017 at 11:26

Tuesday, Nov 21, 2017 at 11:26
We did that same road in June this year, came from Broome and did the GRR on the way over. No need to be scared of the GRR, it is no harder than the route you are planning.
I fully agree with the posts above on campsites, and wish to add;
At Mataranka we preferred the Bitter Springs CP. If you are unpowered you can get a site right on the creek.
In addition to the isolated camps noted in posts above, there are several more along the way, all good; Our best was a creek crossing with no one around (sorry I forgot which river, but there are several)
Lorella Springs started running dry at the end of June, so many of the "attractions" which involves waterfalls and flowing creeks became dry. That also means less fishing in some areas. When I go again I will time it so I am closer to the end of the Wet.
When coming out of NT into QLD the road deteriorated, and camping opportunities became less.Hells Gate Roadhouse has good facilities, fuel and food.
Around Borroloola, where we stocked up on fuel and supplies we were told not to camp on roadside anywhere near, so we decided to make the relatively short run up to King Ash Bay. FULL of Grey Nomads, but pleasant enough for our overnight stay, and the food from the fishing club was the best value meal we had.
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Reply By: Member - JOHN C16 - Tuesday, Nov 21, 2017 at 19:25

Tuesday, Nov 21, 2017 at 19:25
Lots of good advice above.

Another vote for Bitter Springs caravan park. Some of the unpowered sites feel like they are in the jungle and get lots of wildlife visiting at night.

Roper Bar is a must. Drive over the causeway, turn around and drive back.

There are four lost cities:

Western Lost City. Access is restricted to limit visitor numbers. Get the key to the locked gate from the ranger at Nathan River. Phone ahead if possible 08 8975 9940. No towing allowed. The track is narrow and includes a sandy river crossing which can be steep and difficult late in the season.No camping. Campers and caravans can be left at Nathan River Ranger Station. There is no charge for the key.

Southern Lost City. Excellent walking Track. National Park campground.

Cape Crawford. Access only by helicopter from Heartbreak Hotel- $300 per person.

Caranbirini Conservation Reserve. Good walking track around lost city formations. Also has a bird hide. Day use only. No camping. Free.

I spent a week at Lorella Springs in 2015. A week is long enough to visit all of the attractions. Most people camp near the homestead and do day trips from there. There are also some nice remote camp sites. In particular there are several private spots on the river on the way to the ‘secret fishing spot’. I camped at one which had a Great Bowerbird bower as well as a bloody big saltie.

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Reply By: Been-Everywhereman - Wednesday, Nov 22, 2017 at 10:23

Wednesday, Nov 22, 2017 at 10:23
As someone has already said, the new way you have chosen is just as bad as the Gibb River Road, but don't get me wrong as they are both fantastic beautiful paths to take but they are actually 100% identical breakage risk.
I had seen your decision not to go the GRR is because of the horror stories from broken vehicles etc.....
The reason we don't see the same horror stories of the Savannah Way is because the GRR has 1,546,765 cars per season and the Savannah Way has 190,987 cars per season.
The river crossings on the Savannah Way can be a little trickier than the straight forward ones on the GRR, the massive corrugations are the same, the rocks are sharper on the GRR, the camp spots are further between on the SW, less to see on the SW, very very busy traffic conditions on the GRR, not much swimming along SW, heaps of swimming on GRR gorges etc.
So my point is don't be put off by the road conditions, because you are in for pretty much the exact same risk either way you choose to go.
Along the GRR you can expect cool nights with warm days (good for sleeping)
Along the SW you can expect warm nights with hot days.
Either way is a great trip.

Okay now to answer your question regarding "things to see along the way and camp sites"
"Towns River" is a good spot (and maybe the only one I thought was awesome), others are just next to river crossings along the way.
I have been along there 4 times and if you don't get your self away from the sight of the main road when you camp it's not uncommon for blacks to find their way to you asking for all the normal stuff like, fuel, wheel brace, jacking equipment, general help, a lift etc.... and they don't seem to care if it is 3am either hahahaha..

Things to see,,,,, well,,,, along that road everything is signposted..... You wont miss anything...

Lorella Springs access road is probably the most corrugated road (apart from Wolfe Creek) I have ever been on.....
Great place though when you get in there "must see"....

If you wanted to keep your car in one piece you want to consider going in at Daly Waters and go to Cape Crawford and the head north from there to Lorella because only 100kms of rough dirt that way instead of 100s of kms of rough dirt the Mataranka way...

Which ever way you decide I am sure you will love it...
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Follow Up By: Member - GREENDOG - Wednesday, Dec 13, 2017 at 16:50

Wednesday, Dec 13, 2017 at 16:50
Thanks very much for your in depth information, will come in handy, as we get closer to our trip,cheers
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