Roper Bar

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesKatherine
DifficultyDifficulty 3/5
Suitable For4WD Motorbike 
Distance870.01 km
Minimum Days3
Average Speed39.6 km/hr
Travel Time21 hrs 58 mins
Page Updated: 18 Apr 2022


If you have a 4WD the opportunities to experience solitude in the Northern Territory wilderness is not far away. This trek from Borroloola - Katherine passes through some of the most remote and unvisited areas of the Top End. From Borroloola we head north through the Nathan River HS towards Port Roper and finally at Roper Bar, once a secret with the locals it is now a popular spot for fisherpeople who want to catch big barramundi.

It is still a very quiet place, more so out of the peak barramundi season. Generally, very early in the dry the barramundi are at their prime. It is pretty much useless to attempt fishing here without a tinnie although fishing tours are available in season.

The approach from Roper Bar into Katherine passes the Elsey National Park and the nearby Mataranka Thermal Springs. After the long dusty route you've just travelled this oasis may be just what you need. The Katherine region is full of fabulous little spots, still remote and relatively untouched but gradually becoming better known with the massive increase in tourism in the Northern Territory as a whole.

How to Use this Trek Note

If you'd like to download this Trek there are two options:
  • Purchase our app ExplorOz Traveller. This Australian-made GPS & Navigation app will allow you to download all the ExplorOz Treks to your GPS enabled smartphone/tablet/iPad or laptop and enable active route guidance along the route as per the Directions shown on this page. The app enables offline navigation and mapping and will show where you are as you travel along the route. The app also allows you to edit/customise the route. Viewing the Trek in the Traveller app also includes all the words, images and POIs exactly as on the website (excludes Wildflowers). For more info see the ExplorOz Traveller webpage.

  • Alternatively, if you already have another raster mapping software program you can Download this route in GPX format using the button shown below the map on this page .


To purchase our maps for offline use, you will need to purchase the EOTopo 2021 map licence. To install the maps you will need the ExplorOz Traveller app.

TrekID: 19


MUST READ: You are strongly encouraged to read the following articles prepared by the knowledge experts at ExplorOz for your safety and preparation before undertaking any published ExplorOz Trek - Outback Safety, Outback Driving Tips, Outback Communications, and Vehicle Setup for the Outback.


Please refer to Road Reports published by the local shire and/or main roads for the area you intend to visit. Road/Track conditions can change significantly after weather events. Travellers must be responsible for their own research on current conditions and track suitability.


No permits needed.

Fuel Usage

4cyl 122 litres4cyl 141 litres4cyl 174 litres
6cyl 133 litres6cyl 158 litres6cyl 153 litres
8cyl 133 litres8cyl 144 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Closest Climatic Station

Distance from Trek Mid Point 77.69km NE
Mean Max. °C35.534.834.133.831.729.829.631.935.037.538.837.7
Mean Min. °C24.924.724.
Mean Rain mm182.8176.5174.855.910.
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended


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Katherine to King Rvr Rest Area
Driving: 48.02 km
Heading: 117°
Avg Speed: 91.98 km/hr
EST Time: 31:19
  • Drive northeast on 1/Victoria Highway. for: 0.01 km time: 00:05
  • Turn right onto 1/Stuart Highway. Continue on Stuart Highway. for: 47.95 km time: 30:56
  • Turn left onto King River. for: 0.04 km time: 00:11
  • Turn left at the end of the road, ontofor: 0.02 km time: 00:07
King Rvr Rest Area to Mataranka Station
Driving: 44.36 km
Heading: 121°
Avg Speed: 107.97 km/hr
EST Time: 24:39
  • Drive southeast. for: 0.02 km time: 00:05
  • Turn right onto King River. for: 0.04 km time: 00:14
  • Turn left at the end of the road, onto Stuart Highway for: 43.93 km time: 23:24
  • Turn right. for: 0.37 km time: 00:56
Mataranka Station to Stirling Mill Wwii Site
Driving: 1.04 km
Heading: 112°
Avg Speed: 45.44 km/hr
EST Time: 01:22
  • Drive northeast. for: 0.37 km time: 00:52
  • Turn right onto A1/Stuart Highway. for: 0.67 km time: 00:31
Stirling Mill Wwii Site to Mataranka
Driving: 13.59 km
Heading: 133°
Avg Speed: 93.77 km/hr
EST Time: 08:41
  • Drive southeast on A1/Stuart Highway. Continue on Stuart Highway. for: 13.59 km time: 08:42
Mataranka to Mataranka Homestead Tourist Resort
Driving: 9.06 km
Heading: 90°
Avg Speed: 68.57 km/hr
EST Time: 07:55
  • Drive southeast on A1/Stuart Highway. for: 2.21 km time: 02:21
  • Turn left onto Homestead Road. for: 6.85 km time: 05:34
Mataranka Homestead Tourist Resort to Mount Price Rest Area
Driving: 87.32 km
Heading: 89°
Avg Speed: 73.77 km/hr
EST Time: 01:11:01
  • Drive west on Homestead Road. for: 6.85 km time: 05:47
  • Turn left at the end of the road, onto Stuart Highway for: 4.86 km time: 02:48
  • Turn left onto Roper Highway/B20. Continue on Roper Highway. for: 75.6 km time: 01:02:26
Mount Price Rest Area to Roper Bar
Driving: 98.47 km
Heading: 78°
Avg Speed: 52.8 km/hr
EST Time: 01:51:53
  • Drive east on Roper Highway/B20. Continue on Roper Highway. for: 98.47 km time: 01:51:55
Roper Bar to Leichhardts Caravan Park
Driving: 0.47 km
Heading: 317°
Avg Speed: 38.15 km/hr
EST Time: 00:44
  • Drive north on Roper Highway/20. for: 0.42 km time: 00:29
  • Bear left. for: 0.05 km time: 00:15
Leichhardts Caravan Park to Roper Bar
Driving: 0.47 km
Heading: 137°
Avg Speed: 38.05 km/hr
EST Time: 00:44
  • Drive southwest. for: 0.05 km time: 00:15
  • Bear right onto Roper Highway/20. for: 0.42 km time: 00:29
Roper Bar to Queensland Crossing
Driving: 22.53 km
Heading: 165°
Avg Speed: 20.57 km/hr
EST Time: 01:05:43
  • Drive south on Roper Highway/20. for: 1.03 km time: 01:11
  • Turn left. for: 21.51 km time: 01:04:33
Queensland Crossing to Lomarieum Lagoon
Driving: 46.56 km
Heading: 72°
Avg Speed: 24.35 km/hr
EST Time: 01:54:43
  • Drive southeast. for: 46.56 km time: 01:54:43
Lomarieum Lagoon to St Vidgeon Ruins
Driving: 0.47 km
Heading: 132°
Avg Speed: 20 km/hr
EST Time: 01:24
  • Drive southeast. for: 0.47 km time: 01:24
St Vidgeon Ruins to Towns River
Driving: 48.88 km
Heading: 130°
Avg Speed: 20 km/hr
EST Time: 02:26:38
  • Drive southeast. for: 18.05 km time: 54:09
  • Bear right onto Nathan River Road. for: 30.83 km time: 01:32:30
Towns River to Cox River
Driving: 37.77 km
Heading: 155°
Avg Speed: 20 km/hr
EST Time: 01:53:18
  • Drive northeast on Nathan River Road. for: 37.77 km time: 01:53:19
Cox River to Maria (Wamungku) Lagoon
Driving: 13.64 km
Heading: 77°
Avg Speed: 18.14 km/hr
EST Time: 45:06
  • Drive north on Nathan River Road. for: 0.14 km time: 00:25
  • Turn right. for: 13.06 km time: 39:14
  • Make a sharp right. for: 0.37 km time: 04:30
  • Keep left at the fork. for: 0.08 km time: 00:58
Maria (Wamungku) Lagoon to Limmen River Campground
Driving: 7.7 km
Heading: 58°
Avg Speed: 17.04 km/hr
EST Time: 27:06
  • Drive northwest. for: 7.7 km time: 27:07
Limmen River Campground to Maria (Wamungku) Lagoon
Driving: 8.68 km
Heading: 238°
Avg Speed: 16.19 km/hr
EST Time: 32:10
  • Drive north. for: 8.01 km time: 24:02
  • Make a sharp left. for: 0.44 km time: 05:24
  • Turn right. for: 0.23 km time: 02:44
Maria (Wamungku) Lagoon to Cox River
Driving: 13.64 km
Heading: 257°
Avg Speed: 18.16 km/hr
EST Time: 45:03
  • Drive northwest. for: 0.45 km time: 05:21
  • Make a sharp left. for: 13.06 km time: 39:17
  • Turn left at the end of the road, onto Nathan River Road for: 0.14 km time: 00:26
Cox River to Burketown Crossing
Driving: 21.31 km
Heading: 161°
Avg Speed: 20 km/hr
EST Time: 01:03:55
  • Drive south on Nathan River Road. for: 21.31 km time: 01:03:56
Burketown Crossing to Southern Lost City
Driving: 51.96 km
Heading: 171°
Avg Speed: 20 km/hr
EST Time: 02:35:52
  • Drive southwest on Nathan River Road. for: 10.61 km time: 31:49
  • Turn left. for: 2.05 km time: 06:10
  • Turn left at the end of the road, onto Nathan River Road for: 35.39 km time: 01:46:11
  • Turn left. for: 3.91 km time: 11:46
Southern Lost City to Lorella Springs Station
Driving: 47.25 km
Heading: 64°
Avg Speed: 22.93 km/hr
EST Time: 02:03:38
  • Drive south. for: 3.91 km time: 11:44
  • Turn left onto Nathan River Road. for: 12.99 km time: 39:00
  • Turn left. for: 30.36 km time: 01:12:53
Lorella Springs Station to Batten Creek
Driving: 83.29 km
Heading: 174°
Avg Speed: 21.53 km/hr
EST Time: 03:52:06
  • Drive west. for: 30.36 km time: 01:12:51
  • Turn left at the end of the road, onto Nathan River Road for: 52.78 km time: 02:38:23
  • Turn left. for: 0.15 km time: 00:49
Batten Creek to Leila 1st Crossing
Driving: 35.6 km
Heading: 185°
Avg Speed: 19.92 km/hr
EST Time: 01:47:13
  • Drive south. for: 0.15 km time: 00:46
  • Turn left at the end of the road, onto Nathan River Road for: 3.41 km time: 10:14
  • Turn right onto Ryans Bend Road. for: 32.04 km time: 01:36:13
Leila 1st Crossing to Cape Crawford
Driving: 15.36 km
Heading: 160°
Avg Speed: 21.89 km/hr
EST Time: 42:06
  • Drive southeast on Ryans Bend Road. for: 13.43 km time: 40:17
  • Turn left at the end of the road, onto Carpentaria Highway for: 1.93 km time: 01:41
  • Turn right. for: 0 km time: 00:08
Cape Crawford to Heartbreak Hotel
Driving: 0.38 km
Heading: 98°
Avg Speed: 16.28 km/hr
EST Time: 01:24
  • Drive north. for: 0 km time: 00:01
  • Turn right onto Carpentaria Highway/1. for: 0.19 km time: 00:20
  • Turn right. for: 0.09 km time: 00:30
  • Turn right. for: 0.1 km time: 00:34
Heartbreak Hotel to Leila Crossing (Carpentaria Hwy)
Driving: 15.76 km
Heading: 59°
Avg Speed: 57.19 km/hr
EST Time: 16:32
  • Drive northeast. for: 0.1 km time: 00:30
  • Turn right. for: 0.03 km time: 00:16
  • Turn left onto Tablelands Highway/11. for: 0.14 km time: 00:12
  • Turn right onto Carpentaria Highway/1. for: 15.5 km time: 15:35
Leila Crossing (Carpentaria Hwy) to Leila Hill
Driving: 1.84 km
Heading: 71°
Avg Speed: 60 km/hr
EST Time: 01:50
  • Drive north on Carpentaria Highway/1. for: 1.84 km time: 01:51
Leila Hill to Borroloola
Driving: 94.59 km
Heading: 38°
Avg Speed: 64.05 km/hr
EST Time: 01:28:36
  • Drive east on Carpentaria Highway/1. for: 84.38 km time: 01:20:03
  • Turn right to stay on Carpentaria Highway/1. for: 8.2 km time: 05:51
  • Turn left onto Robinson Road. for: 2 km time: 02:43
Distance is based on the travel mode shown (Driving, Straight, Cycling, Walking etc), Direction is straight line from start to end, Avg Speed & EST Time is calculated from GPS data.

What to See

Excellent barramundi fishing, remote NT outback country, bush camping, thermal springs


Where to Stay

Services & Supplies


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