The Gulf Track -
The Gulf Track travels along the southern end of the Gulf of
Carpentaria, from Queensland to the Northern Territory.
This trip will see you travel around the southern regions of The Gulf
Of Carpentaria from Normanton in Queensland westward to Borroloola in
the Northern Territory.
The overall distance of the trip will be about 750 km but can be
substantially increased if you decide to take advantage of the many
places to visit along the way.
Travelling in the dry season between April and October will give you a
magnificent trip through some of the wildest and remote country that
has Australia has to offer with volumes of historical
Gold was discovered at Croydon, inland from Normanton, in the late
1800's which helped to turn Normanton into a boom town. A railway line
was later laid between Normanton and Croydon that still operates. The
Gulflander, as it is called, does a regular run each way once a
There are many historic buildings in the town and there are several
hotels and a council run caravan park.The Albert River is fairly wide
and deep at Normanton and offers an excellent opportunity to throw a
line in to catch your dinner as fresh as it comes. If you have a boat
with you there are launching ramps in town and a large expanse of water
Having set your trip meter back to zero, the first stretch of the trip
sees you picking up the gravel road a little out of town and heading
for Burketown.This is bull dust country and you will probably see your
fair share, particularly towards the end of the dry season after the
road trains have loosened things up a bit.The road is maintained during
the dry season so you could strike it on a good day and have a good
Take care on the the creek and river crossings as they could be washed
out.About 40 km out of Normanton, just before the Bynoe River crossing,
you can take a left turn and visit the historic camp site of Burke and
Wills. There are some good camp sites around here on the banks of the
Bynoe River.Remember, when you are camping near rivers in this part of
the world, that the rivers are most likely crocodile infested so always
set up camp at least 50 meters away from the water.
Back on the road and heading for Burketown.
There are river crossings along the way but take particular care at the
Alexandra River crossing about 150 km west from Normanton as it can be
a rough crossing with large holes.Further on you will come to the
causeway crossing the Leichhardt River. This is a lovely spot and a
good place to camp. If you have time have a look at the Leichhardt
Falls. They vary in intensity from a raging torrent of water in the wet
season to a mere trickle towards the end of the dry season. Worth a
look though all the same.
Continuing on your journey you will see a sign post Floraville
Homestead. Here will will find the monument to Frederick Walker, who
was a leader of one of the search parties that looked for Burke and
Wills after they went missing.230 km west of Normanton sees you arrive
at Burketown, situated on the Albert River. In the old days
Burketown was Australia's "wild west' gun toting town.
Today it is a hospital and friendly town that welcomes visitors.There
is motel accommodation in town as well as camping facilities. It is
also an opportunity to replenish fuel and food stocks.There are several
historic sights in town as well as a drive towards the coast and
Kangaroo Point.Fishing, once again, is excellent and if you have a boat there are lots of waterways to explore.
Offshore are Mornington Island and Sweers Island resorts that also
offer fantastic fishing experiences. Both are accessible by light plane
that regularly fly from Burketown. If you have the time head
out of town south on the Wills Developmental Road for a while and visit
the well renowned Gregory Downs Hotel on the banks of the Gregory River
and a trip west of there to the spectacular Lawn Hill National Park is
well worth while.Having finished your stay in Burketown your next
heading will be for Wollogorang.
you have been down to Lawn Hill National park head back towards
Burketown and pick up the road about 30 km west of the town. No need to
go back into Burketown.
There are several river and creek crossings with a normally reasonable
road for about 100 km from Burketown when the road starts to
deteriorate a little through scrubby flat country.
From Hell's Gate the scenery becomes a bit more interesting for the
rest of your travels into Wollogorang.Wollogorang is a large cattle
station that includes the land right up to the Gulf. There is a track
from the Wollogorang Homestead that goes up to the Gulf. distance of 80
km. It is slow going but worth it when you get there.
There is a roadhouse on the main road through the station which also
has camping and accommodation facilities. You can also pick up any fuel
and other supplies you may need.From here going westward you travel up
the ranges for a bit and at the top the view becomes quite interesting.
Later on, and further into this leg of the journey you will cross the
Robinson River, which is a picturesque spot. However if you decide to
camp here you will need a permit from the locals based at the Robinson
River Homestead some 15 or so km past the river crossing.
There are also camping facilities further on at Managaroo Homestead,
Greenbank Homestead and Seven Emu Homestead. You must make arrangements
first before you just set up camp.From here you have less than 60 km to
travel till you reach Borroloola on the McArthur River.
This is a historic spot that was originally built in the late 1880's.
Whilst the town did fall somewhat into disrepair, it was restored by
The National Trust sometime later only to suffer further damage in the
1984 cyclone.Nowadays it is poised for another revival as they have
started mining at Bing Bong, a little over 50 km due north on the Gulf.
This is not a bad place to stop for a break as there are all the modern
conveniences available as well as charter fishing boats, houseboats to
hire and scenic flights over the area.There is a choice of hotel,
motel, caravan and camping facilities in town.
From here you can head on up north to the Roper River, there is another
page on this website describing that trip, or you can head south west
for Cape Crawford from where you can either go south on the Tablelands Highway until the
junction with the Barkly Highway.
Turning east at this point will take you to Tennant Creek and west to
Mt Isa in Queensland.Alternatively you can go due west on the
Carpentaria Highway and pick up the north south Stuart Highway at Daly
Waters, then north to Darwin via Mataranka and Katherine, or south to
Tennant Creek and beyond.
4x4 Tag Along Toursl operates a relaxed and informal 12 day Tag
Along that includes the Simpson, North Simpson,
Hay River and several other iconic Outback places and regions in NSW,
SA, NT, Qld
The information provided on this web page is for use as a guide only.
If you are planning to undertake this trip you must seek out other
authorative advice and information. Desert and Outback travel
can be very hazardous and should only be undertaken after lengthy and
careful planning. The owners of this website shall not be held
responsible for any damage or injury that you may experience during any
conventional vehicle or four wheel drive trip, desert or otherwise.
Distances between places mentioned on this page are as a guide only.
You must verify these details yourself using professional maps and/or
mapping equipment before you set out on a the trip. Do not attempt to
access desert or other remote regions in an ill-prepared vehicle and
without adequate communications equipment. Do not under estimate the
limited supply of fuel, water and provisions in these areas as well as
the possibility of encountering extremely harsh elements and conditions.