TRAVELLERS UPDATE - TOURING AUSTRALIA - NORTHERN TERRITORY
Road Conditions for area around Mt Dare Hotel and Simpson Deserty
Mt Dare Hotel updates regularly the road and track conditions for their area, including the Simpson Desert. Well worth checking before and during your trip.
Colson Track Clarification Update
The whole of the Colson Track is not open to 4WD travellers. Currently at this point of time you can travel up the Colson Track from the French Line as far as Madigan's Camp 5. Or you can access the Madigan Line to Camp 5 from Camp 1a and Camp 2, although it is requested that you do not visit Camp 2. Visiting Camps 3 & 4 is prohibited. When you apply to the Central Lands Council (www.clc.org.au) for a Simpson Desert Track permit for the Madigan Line a map will be supplied showing you where you are allowed to go.
Traditional Owners have also expressed concern with people driving on clay pans. Even in dry weather when they might be shallow or nearly dry, tracks can persist on the clay pans for over 25 years. Not driving on clay pans will probably form part of the amended permit conditions.
Gulf Road (NT/Qld)
Tirranna Springs Roadhouse
Located between Doomadgee and Burketown (30km from Burketown) Tirranna Springs Roadhouse is located near the infamous Gregory Crossing. The roadhouse is a great spot to relax with a coffee and good food. Our lolly shop is a hit too! We also stock essential supplies and have fuel available. There are a number of accommodation options including ensuite units, powered and un-powered campsites, and donga accommodation. Amenities include toilets and showers, a fully furnished camp kitchen, and laundries. There are plenty of farm animals to enjoy too, making it a great spot for families with kids. Address 6 Doomadgee Road, Burketown 4830 Opening Hours 8am – 8pm April - October. Off season unspecified (please call ahead). Phone Number 0747483998 Email email@example.com Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Tirranna/
Hells Gate Roadhouse
Meanwhile just a little further west, Hells Gate Roadhouse offers food, fuel, accommodation and camping to travellers on this track.The petrol station is located between Doomadgee and Borroloola and is open 7 days a week from 7am to 8pm. Diesel and unleaded are both available.
Alice Springs Desert Park
When you are in Central Australia this year, take time out to visit the Alice Springs Desert Park. You'll be amazed at what secrets our desert country holds and will be enlightened and enthralled by the displays at the park. If you've got kids along they love it, while there's often special programmes to keep the little ones entertained. For more details check out: www.alicespringsdesertpark.com.au.
This is a much shorter route from Kununurra in the Kimberley across to the Stuart Highway in the NT via Top Springs. It travels via the impressive Jasper Gorge (Lupayi) where bush camping is available and passes the great Victoria River Downs HS.
There is fuel, accommodation and camping available at Top Springs RH
Indigenous Protected Areas in NT
Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) are areas of land and sea managed by Indigenous groups as protected areas for biodiversity conservation through voluntary agreements with the Australian Government. IPAs are an essential component of Australia’s National Reserve System, which is the network of formally recognised parks, reserves and protected areas across Australia. There are currently 81 dedicated IPAs over 85 million hectares. These account for more than 49 per cent of the National Reserve System.
To learn more about the IPAs in the Northern Territory, check out the website at:
Linking up routes such as the tracks from Mt Dare in SA through Old Andado to Alice Springs, the Binns Track is the latest four-wheel drive experience for NT visitors looking for a route off the blacktop. Taking seven days or so the adventure finishes in Timber Creek.
For more details contact Central Australian Tourism, ph: (08) 8952 5800, web
If you are travelling the Binns Track then check out the Dunmarra Wayside Inn on the Stuart Highway, about 8km south of the intersection of Buchanan and Stuart highways. This top roadhouse has cheap and clean motel-style units and campsites, an excellent bistro and bar and fuel supplies. For more information call 08 8975 9922.
Red Gum Store, Plenty Highway - Outback Grocery Shop on the Plenty
The Mt Swan store, 40km north of the Plenty Highway, is not always open to supply basic food stuff or fuel, bu the nearby Red Gum Store - just 2km away - is open 7 days! from 9am to 4pm - only closed on 25 and 26 December and on 1st Januarys. And it is well stocked with groceries, and with diesel and ULP for sale, and if you have a flat tyre they just may have a tube or even a tyre that fits your car. At least you may fill it using their air compressor. Just follow the signs from the gate at Mt Swan. For more details, phone 08 8956 9940.
NO Fuel at Rabbit Flat - CLOSED
Rabbit Flat Roadhouse, half way along the Tanami Road between Halls Creek and Alice Springs, has closed its doors to passing travellers. There is no longer fuel available.
FREE CAMPING / CAMPING / FARM STAYS etc
You’ll find details of all free and low cost camps on the following web sites:
Newhaven Sanctuary Camping
Newhaven Sanctuary is a few hundred kilometres north-west of Alice Springs and was a cattle station acquired some years ago by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy and Birds Australia.
There is a great little camping area located here which is nice and shady, and set amongst the mulga. Composting toilets, a hot shower, water taps, fireplaces and wood delivered to your tent or camper each afternoon by the friendly staff, costs just $10 a person/night. For more info check out: www.australianwildlife.org/sanctuaries/newhaven-sanctuary.aspx.
Lichfield National Park - Central Valley
For the latest stage of camping released in September 2021, you'll need a 4WD! Enjoy the cascades at Buley Rockholes. For more details visit:
Off-the-beaten-track in central Australia and easily accessed off the Plenty Highway is Tower Rock, which is included in the 470 odd hectare Mac and Rose Chalmers Conservation Reserve where free camping is available. There's not much shade and no water. It's a pretty spectacular area with the outcrops of red rocky boulders.
While there check out the nearby MacDonald Downs Station (was Mt Swan), 20 km away, on the Plenty Highway, north of Harts Range Police Station, which has a store where you can get fuel and basic supplies, and even takeaway food. There is also a paid campground which offers toilets, showers and power hookups. It is dog friendly.
Down on the Daly
Banyan Farm is a spacious, grassy and shady camping park on the banks of the Daly River and is ideal for those wanting to fish the river for the elusive barra or other fish species.
For more info, ph: (08) 8978 2461;
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