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Driving Savannah Way from Cairns to Broome

  • Published: 2009-01-10 (Revised/Updated 2015-03-07) : Author: Mairead Foley
  • Synopsis: Interesting things to see and do when traveling the Savannah Way from Cairns in Queensland to Broome Western Australia.

Quote: "An alternative route to the park from Katherine is via Timber Creek. At Timber Creek you can replenish supplies and fish from the Victoria River."

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Planning a visit to Cairns in Queensland, Australia? The Savannah Way is a fantastic way to explore Australia's Queensland, Northern Territory, and Western Australia. It stretches about 3,500km from Cairns in the North East, to the town of Broome in Western Australia.

The Savannah Way route is along the Australian Highway 1. Taking a self-drive tour of the Savannah Way involves covering the whole of Northern Australia, from Cairns in the North of the state of Queensland, via Booroloola and Katherine in the Northern Territory, to the historic town of Broome in Western Australia.

You'll experience an alluring and diverse landscape of wide flat horizons, unique rock formations, gorges and hot springs, and the exquisite flora and fauna of the region. It's important to do some background research before undertaking the route, as some sections may require a four-wheel drive.

The best time of the year to travel the Savannah Way is during the dry season, between April and September. Summer, from December to March is a better time to do the drive if you are interested in the flora of the area.

You will experience the beauty of the flora, lush green plants, copious bird life and sparkling, flowing rivers. However, if you travel in summer, some of the main routes are closed, due to flooding and impassable routes, so it's necessary to plan your journey well in advance of your tackling the route, if traveling at this time.

The Savannah Way Route...

The starting point is Cairns. In Cairns itself, you can spend a bit of time at the Gateway Discovery Center, and learn all there is to know about the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the world, and the World Heritage Rainforest that is a protected and listed territory.

From Cairns follow the Australian Highway 1. Along the section of the route that takes you from Queensland to Hells Gate you'll see the wonder of the Atherton Tablelands as you drive across the Savannah Woodlands. This area is known as the Queensland Gulf and there's plenty to do and see here.

Why not rejuvenate your senses before the next stage of the journey at the exotic Innot Hot Springs and marvel at the unique rock formations of Cobbold Gorge and Undara Lava Tubes.

The next stage of your travel itinerary will take you from Hell's Gate to Borroloola. Located along the banks of the McArthur River, Borroloola is a perfect place to relax and do some fishing. The Borroloola Museum is well worth a visit too, and gives you an insight into the varied history of the area, and the settlers and natives who once controlled these lands.

Fancy a boat trip You can also hire a boat from King Ash Bay to do some fishing, and also to explore the quaint Sir Edward Pellew Islands.

From Borroloola, follow the road to Roper Bar. A popular attraction along the way is the Caranbirini Nature Reserve. You can learn about Aboriginal culture and art, as well as catching a glimpse of some of the area's endangered species.

Also situated in the Gulf Country is Cape Crawford, often referred to as ''The Lost City''. This is an astounding area of tall and imposing sandstone rock formations in the desert.

Roper Bar is a place where you can relax, refuel and stock up on any provisions. You can also try a spot of fishing to add to your food supplies!

The next stage of the Savannah Way, along Highway 1, will take you to Mataranka. There's a Nature Reserve at Mataranka, with thermal springs where you can rejuvenate before the next leg of the journey!

From Mataranka, you can take the more direct route to the town of Katherine, traveling west along Victoria Highway. In the Katherine region, you can visit the scenic Nitmiluk National Park, and enjoy some watersports in the area. You could also travel east to Daly Waters, and onto Gregory National Park. The main entrance to the park is located along the Victoria Highway.

Gregory National Park encompasses a huge area of around 13,000 sq km, and covers both tropical and desert areas. It's well worth visiting, you can see the strange and beautiful karst rock landscapes, similar to the Burren in Ireland, and learn about Aboriginal culture and the wave of European colonization and exploration.

An alternative route to the park from Katherine is via Timber Creek. At Timber Creek you can replenish supplies and fish from the Victoria River.

The next stage of this epic adventure drive takes you from Timber Creek to Kununurra. A trip to the Keep River National Park, on the border with Western Australia, is also well worthwhile.

As you travel into Western Australia, in the East Kimberley region, you'll come to Kununurra. There's plenty to see in this charming area and some of the must visits are the wonderful Lake Argyle and the World Heritage Listed Sandstone Beehive Huts, locally known as the Bungle Bungles!

The final stretch of the Savannah Way takes you from Kununurra to the picturesque town of Broome. The Kimberley Region has quite a rugged terrain, and due care is needed on these roads.

The white sandy beaches of Broome at Cable Beach are a welcome place to relax after an epic journey crossing the Northern Territory into Western Australia. Broome is a town that is steeped in history, and was a major center for the production of pearls in the past.

Reference: Mairead Foley writes for where you can book car hire at airports, ferry ports, rail stations, cities and towns all over the world.


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Similar Topics

1 : Australian Road Trips - Highway 1 : Mairead Foley.
2 : Explore Aboriginal Australia : Mairead Foley.
3 : Day Trips Around Brisbane Australia : Mairead Foley.
4 : Driving Savannah Way from Cairns to Broome : Mairead Foley.
5 : Visiting Southern Highlands from Sydney : Mairead Foley.
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