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Savannah Way

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Go to government Savannah Way web site


This is the first in a series of Travel Guides covering the Northern Territory. Using our local knowledge, we have selected a range of web sites from the thousands out there, to assist you in planning your travels. We hope to give you some on line experience of the wonder of our fantastic area so that your visit will be a truly memorable experience.

Click on most of the titles for further information; some entries have additional embedded links. You may occasionally need plug-ins like Flash, QuickTime or Ipix; just click on the name to install.

Road Reports

Click here for a summary of Queensland road conditions, or here for the Territory equivalent. If in doubt, and you really need to travel, contact the local shire councils and police stations for information, but in times of adverse weather conditions, bear in mind that they're probably very busy. Click image at left to access Savannah Way site provided by NT, WA and Qld tourist bureaux.

Weather and Flood Warnings
Click here to access the Bureau site for this area; from here you can link to what ever you wish to know about the weather etc all over Australia. Check out the white shading on the catchment map to get some idea of the area draining across the roads you'll drive on! All the rain falling on the Barkly Tablelands, to the west of this catchment area, will eventually end up in Lake Eyre, 16m below sea level! If you're setting off from the Territory side, click here for weather.

Burketown to Borroloola

Here's a few sites to give you some idea of life and things to do in and around Burketown.

Burke Shire Council
Don't dismiss this as an, all too often, boring old "Council" site; it's loaded with useful information and the links in the "history" heading can keep you occupied for hours.

Savannah Aviation
As well as providing a great flying service, Amanda and co at Savannah are well versed in the tourist industry. They can suggest lots of places to go and their site has all sorts of links to info about the Gulf area.

Sweers Island
Located 30km off the coast north of Burketown, this island is popular with people who take their fishing very seriously.

Burketown Caravan Park
Having done plenty of travelling themselves, Peter and Janet know that you need to relax after a long drive! They're well acquainted with the road to Borroloola, and can give you plenty of first hand tips of what lies ahead.

The Gulf Savannah
The link page we have selected for you will take you to the Burketown section of their main Gulf Savannah site, prepared as a regional development initiative. The links on the page will provide lots of info about the services available on the way to Borroloola and Lawn hill etc. Using the mouse over function on the map in the right hand column, you can access all other areas of the site relating to the Queensland section of the Savannah Way. Click here to go to their general map or here to check driving conditions and travel times. To get an overall picture of Australia's newest "Adventure Highway", the "Savannah Way", click here. This themed route stretches the width of Australia, from Cairns to Broome.

Just a few details from the Gulf Savannah site about the first place you'll come to, about 90km west of Burketown. Click here if you want a more comprehensive over view of this isolated community.

Hells Gate Roadhouse
This comfortable green stopover, 50km east of the Territory border, is certainly no "hell hole" but derives its name from the small gap in the escarpment that the road passes through just nearby. In days gone by, this is as far as the mounted police from Queensland would escort travelers, who were often on foot, on horseback at best. They gathered at places like Normanton and Burketown until they could travel in convoy because, after passing through the "Gates of Hell", they were on their own in wild and mostly unexplored country until they reached the relative safety of places like Katherine!!

                 The roadhouse is now closed to tourists as of Dry Season 2005.
We have left this site up for you because it forms part of the Gulf Savannah site and will let you know a bit about the surrounding area. If you want to read about the station and the man behind it all, click here.

Some great photos along the road
This is a Bicycling Australia site that will open at the "Top Road", as the Savannah Way is sometimes called. It contains thousands of other great photos from all around Australia, posted by the web community members; click on the thumbnails to enlarge them.

Redbank Mine
It may surprise you to find a copper mine way out here but copper was mined here on and off for most of the 20th century. It changed hands on a regular basis and was last mined by a WA company from 1994 -1996; like many a mine it still awaits a change of fortunes.

Pungalina Station
After crossing the border into the Territory, think about driving into Pungalina, very isolated but that's the way we like it! It's a very personal wilderness experience and Owen will inspire you with his deep affection for the land and people of this hauntingly beautiful area. One of the partners has their own airline, so naturally fly in tours for small groups are their specialty; their web site has all the details. Click here to read the impressions of a couple of Scottish girls who went teaching there.

Old Links
Here are some old links to travelers who have gone before you and obviously survived to tell the tale; click on each hyper linked word to access a new site (please advise us of any broken links). Burketown or Bust a search for fish. Motorbike Trip all in German, but a good map (click to enlarge) and some nice photos along the way. Avalook Australia - handy tips and some more nice photos.

Calvert, Foelsche and Wearyan Rivers
All top spots to picnic or fish; outside the road reserve the permission of the relevant landowners should be sought. Click here to view some of the plants that grow through here.

Manankurra (Manangoora)
This site will take you into the stories of the traditional owners of this area. Feel free to read through wherever you wish; enjoy exploring the menu on the left of the new page that will open. We will deal with the Diwurruwurru site in more detail under the "Borroloola - Things to See and Do" section of our site. Click here for contact phone numbers at Manankurra plus other fishing spots in the area.

Time to head into Borroloola. Clicking here will take you to our section on "Borroloola - Past and Present", or here will take you to the section of our Travel Guide about getting to Borroloola via Mt Isa and the Barkly Highway.

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