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Submitted: Sunday, May 04, 2008 at 22:40
ThreadID: 57283 Views:2491 Replies:2 FollowUps:1
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In September we would like to travel Katherine - Borroloola - Normanton. We will be travelling with a Patrol and Jayco dual axle O/B pop-top. We would be grateful if you could enlighten us as to the road conditions etc.
Thanking you in anticipation,
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Reply By: Cupie - Monday, May 05, 2008 at 09:32

Monday, May 05, 2008 at 09:32
G'day .... To offer meaningful comment it is first necessary to understand your travelling preferences/capabilities. vis. are you a blacktop only or a committed off roader. Given that you are pulling a dual axel Jayco it is likely that you are a blacktopper like me.
We have been across the Carpentaria highway from Daly Waters to Cape Crawford & then down the Tablelands highway to Barkly Homestead. Did it in an ageing 95 Patrol & 21'6" Jayco. All 1 to 2 lane bitumen in good condition but sharp shoulders in parts. Not too much in the way of traffic/roadtrains. Beautiful cattle grazing grazing country. We stayed at Cape Crawford - good CP - and tripped to Borroloola & Bing Bong - great road. However the road to the fishing 'camp' at King Ash Bay (still a fair way to the Gulf) is VERY variable. When we were there the corregations were so bad that we abandoned the trip after about 10 of the 20km to KAB.
The Barkly highway from the 'Homestead' to Camooweal is good with lots of traffic. The stretch from Camooweal to Mt.Isa has been progressively upgraded from one of the worst to an excellent road (probably finished by now).
The Matilda Highway from Cloncurry to Normaton is mostly single lane usually with very bad sholders & LOTS of roadtrains. We stay at Normanton & day trip to the fishing Town of Karumba.

ps.. From reading this you might deduct that we are not fishing people & our rig is not suitable for off roading.

Enjoy ... Cupie
AnswerID: 302089

Reply By: Member - Kevin J (QLD) - Monday, May 05, 2008 at 13:32

Monday, May 05, 2008 at 13:32
Daly Waters to Cape Crawford and on to Borroloola is narrow bitumn as stated but in pretty fair condition. Depehding on ther time of year it can also have very limited traffic. The day we did this stretch we met 2 and passed one (stopped for lunch). Fuel at Cape C and Borroloola. The CP at Cape is great and the people at the pub were very friendly.
From Borroloola to Woolagarang is gravel?? and has some rivers which can present problems at the wet end of the season. Stoney crossings can play havoc with standard suspensions if you miss the tracks but a falcon travelling just in front managed the trip even though he was smart enough to wait at the worst crossings until there was another vehicle around.
Woolagang to Hells Gate can be a bit hairy and there are afew steep little bits. Not serious hills but require attention. There is now no fuel at either Woolagarang or Hells Gate I'm told .
Hell's Gate to Burketown via Doomagee is dirt and gravel and while it can be corrugated it can also be very good. There was fuel available at Doomagee when I last did the trip in 2006 but to be honest it is not a stop I would make again if it could be avoided.
Burketown is quite an acceptable CP and the pub also served meals. Not flash but value for money.
Through to Normanton is basically black soil - two wheel tracks - but not bad running.
Normanton has everything you will need within reason.
I must admit I would be hesitant to take a van through but many have. The main thing is to make sure you enquire locally eg Daly WatersCape Crawford and Borrooloola and Burketown as the roads can change from week to week depending on the weather and when the graders have been through.

Still a great part of the country.

Kevin J
AnswerID: 302127

Follow Up By: zha zha cruiser - Sunday, Jun 01, 2008 at 10:40

Sunday, Jun 01, 2008 at 10:40
Thanks Kev, Im doing the trip in September, but once Im in Booroolloossa, ill be meeeting friends and travelling up the Nathan River road. Ive travelled the cape crawford road to daly a few times. Have you ever travelled up to the limmen bight?
FollowupID: 572928

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