Normanton to Coen via Kowanyama

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesNormanton
DifficultyDifficulty 3/5
Suitable for4WD Bike 
Distance919.94 km
Minimum Days2
Average Speed68.78 km/hr
Driving Time13 hrs 22 mins
Page Updated: 11 Jun 2016


Enjoy the golden savannah grasslands and the monsoonal wetlands of this trek in this rather barren region of Australia. There are a variety of native animals and a diverse portrait of birds including herons, jabirus, brolgas, sarus crane and many other waterbird species that migrate here - especially after the rains.

A good majority of the trek is on the Burke Developmental Road with minor portions being on the Karumba Development Road, Kowanyama Development Road and Musgrave Strathgordon Road before hitting Peninsula Development Road before Coen. The majority of the journey is a true adventure drive with most of it being unsealed. Although some of these roads can be rough, it’s quite navigable by conventional vehicles with care.

The trek passes through beautiful scenery, including some old historic towns. Examples include: Normanton, which is well known for its diverse migratory wading birds and Barramundi fishing and Karumba which sits on the mouth of the Norman River and is home to the Gulf of Carpentaria’s prawning and fishing industries and not to forget its stunning sunsets. Kowanyama, which means ‘the place of many waters’ is a culturally significant Aboriginal community town. This town is situated on the banks of Magnificent Creek and during the wet season, it’s not uncommon to have supplies flown in by air. There are many homestead stations olong the way including Dunbar Station and there is an old ex-fortress telegraph station now called Musgrave Roadhouse. Coen is a beautiful small town located on the old telegraph line that ran from Laura to Bamaga and is considered the last place north for supplies such as food, fuel and mechanical repairs before heading towards the tip of Cape York.

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Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel SymbolMusgrave Roadhouse.
4cyl 129 litres4cyl 149 litres4cyl 184 litres
6cyl 141 litres6cyl 167 litres6cyl 162 litres
8cyl 141 litres8cyl 153 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Closest Climatic Station

Kowanyama Airport
Distance from Trek Mid Point 56.29km NW
Mean Max. °C33.032.332.832.932.030.730.732.234.636.236.234.8
Mean Min. °C24.324.223.721.819.016.115.416.218.921.924.024.3
Mean Rain mm341.7357.5237.155.511.
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

The following locations have various services And supplies:Musgrave Roadhouse


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What to See

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Where to Stay

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LocationsDistanceDirection Time
Normanton to Norman River, Burke Dev Road1.51 kmNE59° 4 min
Norman River, Burke Dev Road to Stake Hole21.31 kmNE27° 13 min
Stake Hole to Burke Dev Road & Karumba Dev Rd7.36 kmN17° 5 min
Burke Dev Road & Karumba Dev Rd to Maggieville1.72 kmNW308° 1 min
Maggieville to Karumba Dev Rd & Karumba Point Rd34.5 kmW269° 22 min
Karumba Dev Rd & Karumba Point Rd to Karumba4.62 kmSW213° 8 min
Karumba to Karumba Dev Rd & Karumba Point Rd4.62 kmNE33° 8 min
Karumba Dev Rd & Karumba Point Rd to Maggieville34.5 kmE89° 22 min
Maggieville to Burke Dev Road & Karumba Dev Rd1.72 kmSE128° 1 min
Burke Dev Road & Karumba Dev Rd to Gilbert River, Burke Dev Road72.48 kmNE62° 52 min
Gilbert River, Burke Dev Road to Wyaaba Creek, Burke Dev Road63.96 kmN20° 47 min
Wyaaba Creek, Burke Dev Road to Staaten River, Burke Dev Road22.72 kmNE33° 15 min
Staaten River, Burke Dev Road to Burke Dev Road & Kowanyama Rd71.18 kmNE32° 49 min
Burke Dev Road & Kowanyama Rd to Burkes Lagoon6.27 kmNW307° 4 min
Burkes Lagoon to Kowanyama94.73 kmNW312° 1 hr 27 min
Kowanyama to Mitchell River, Kowanyama Pormpuraaw Tk68.01 kmNE63° 1 hr 28 min
Mitchell River, Kowanyama Pormpuraaw Tk to Alice River & Kowanyama Pormpuraaw Tk16.65 kmE102° 37 min
Alice River & Kowanyama Pormpuraaw Tk to Musgrave Strathgordon Rd & Kowanyama Pormpuraaw Tk73.63 kmNW327° 1 hr 31 min
Musgrave Strathgordon Rd & Kowanyama Pormpuraaw Tk to Opera Hill169.85 kmE89° 2 hr 3 min
Opera Hill to Glen Garland12.34 kmE85° 10 min
Glen Garland to Musgrave Roadhouse28.61 kmE73° 38 min
Musgrave Roadhouse to Coen107.65 kmN340° 1 hr 26 min
Normanton to Coen919.94 km  13 hr 22 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.


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