Mataranka to Katherine 106 kilometres (LPG)
 
             See Cuta Cutta Caves, Katherine Gorge and further north Edith Falls
 
   Katherine to Pine Creek 90 kilometres
 
             From Pine Creek a detour thorugh Kakadu needs several days at the least
 
   Pine Creek to Emerald Springs Wayside Inn 32 kilometres
 
   Emerald Springs to Hayes Creek 28 kilometres
 
             Visit the nearby Douglas Hot Springs
 
   Hayes Creek to Adelaide River 52 kilometres (LPG)
 
             Litchfield National Park is another detour well worth taking          
 
  Adelaide River to Coolalinga 84 kilometres (LPG)
 
 
After this you are in the suburbs of Darwin
 
Distances are approximate and taken from mapping.  Some towns or roadhouses may require a short drive from the Highway. 
 
See alsoWhere can we camp along the Stuart Highway between Alice Springs and Darwin?

2014 and updated February 2016
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Home > Q & A > Questions and Answers - Index > Questions and Answers 22 - 24
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Q24  What are the distances between fuel stations on the Stuart Highway between Port Augusta to Darwin?

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Q22 Can we/should we take our 2010 Jayco Eagle Outback along the Broome-Cape Leveque Road

A. My best advice is to ask others who have just been there for an up to date report on the state of the road when you get to Broome, if you plan to stay in Broome.  Are you equipped to take a tent and camp all the way to and including at Kooljaman?   You can only take a caravan as far as Middle Lagoon, but whether you would get in to Kooljaman with your Eagle under the camper trailer banner I do not know.   You need to make booking for Middle Lagoon and most stay several days to enjoy to beauty and do day trips to places such as Beagle Bay, Cape Leveque, Lombadina and One Arm Point (Ardyaloon).  The worst part of the road is getting that far, and the road is known for 150 sandy kilometres of bone rattling corrugations, with a thirty kilometre rough track to get into the campground as well.   Much of the road further north is sealed but tracks still need to be traversed to get to most localities.   

 

If you do decide to take your Eagle, lower tyre pressures and travel slowly.  The biggest risk in these distant areas is cost of recovery if the camper needs recovery should it suffer something like suspension damage.  I don’t know if you have travelled many corrugated roads, but every corrugation is doing your rig damage (and your car as well). Even if it doesn’t show at the time; the damage is cumulative.  Check everything that can come unscrewed inside and outside on the camper.  Things at risk internally may be cupboard attachments and cupboard doors, fridge tray supports and internal freezer if a small single door fridge.     

 

You may like to consider alternatives to taking your own vehicle and/or camper.  We have friends with a real off road caravan who choose the adventure tracks that few dare to travel even without a caravan.   Rather than risk damaging their rig, they chose to take a two day adventure tour of the Dampier Peninsula, so this is another option. 

 

Others have chosen to protect their rig and hired a Landcruiser camper from Broome to go the whole way and get into the different places such as Bully’s Camp (Djoodoon), Quandong Beach and Chile Beach (vans are permitted at Chile).  Whalesong Café (Munget) is another lesser known site with campground.

 

Another thing to remember in these campgrounds is that no matter how inviting the water looks, there is a chance of crocodiles and other much smaller nasties in the water.   As much as I love a swim, I choose not to take the risk.

 

2014 

 

Q23 We are planning to travel from Melbourne to the gulf and then up to Cape York during July to September.  We have a Land Cruiser and Off Road Camper and have had reasonable 4wd experience.  You hear so many stories of what permits are needed; where can I go to get clarification? 

A. Aboriginal lands permit For Cape York the only permit required to access the tip of Cape York is from the Injinoo people. This is included in the ferry crossing ticket at the Jardine River, including the return trip.  It includes camping and fishing permits in their land area and a small information booklet and currently costs $99 per vehicle plus $30 per trailer.  It is purchased at the ferry, I think cash only. There are no other transit permits required in the Gulf.  See below for updated price list

 

If you wish to specifically visit an Aboriginal community that is not part of the normal tourism route, you need to make contact with the Elders first and gain permission, giving your reason as per Visiting Communities.  Most Aboriginal lands in Queensland do not require permits to transit. 

 

Camping: Due to pressure of the QParks campgrounds, a book system now applies, although this is difficult to manage as no-one knows their timeframes.  Other locally run campgrounds may require payment for a “camping permit” but this is no different to campgrounds anywhere else, and is paid at the location. 

 

For those wanting commercial caravan park options see Tourism Cape York.  In addition to this list there is Merluna Station, who have just a few powered sites avaialbe in addition to a roomy unpowered camping area.  Cape York Sustainable Futures covers a wider geographical areas than those afore. 

 

Alcohol: Be aware you cannot carry any alcoholic drinks when transiting some of the communities, and strict limits apply in others.  See  Alcohol Restrictions for Travellers for what and where.  Click on Injinoo for the specific requirements of the Peninsula. 

 

The biggest risk is from travellers coming the other way on short time frames, travelling too fast and without due care and attention.  Rollovers and collisions are not uncommon in peak tourism season. 

 

2014

 

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A. The longest distance without services is between Glendambo and Coober Pedy, being only 252 kilometres.
 
Most, but not all, roadhouses provide Autogas.  This has been noted as LPG where known. 
 
Towns and the majority of roadhouses provide accommodation and powered sites. 
 

Main Roads rest areas for South Australia can be obtained from an RAA App.  Not all will be suitable for overnight stays and those that are may fill early in the afternoon. 

 

Main Roads rest areas are shown here for the Stuart Highway within the Northern Territory

 

    Port Augusta to Pimba (intersection with turnoff to Woomera) 173 kilometres (LPG)

      

From Pimba, Woomera is only eight kilometres to the north and a worthwhile detour to see outdoor and indoor displays of the history of the Woomera Rocket Range.  Caravan park at Woomera. 

 

At the road junction, Spud's Roadhouse is a popular overnight stopping place, with all roadhouse services, as well as unpowered sites available for a gold coin donation.  Coins showers (2 x $1 coins) and toilets. 

 

Lake Hart has an unserviced rest area with information boards where some self contained travellers stay overnight.        

   

   Pimba to Glendambo 113 kilometres (LPG)

 
   Glendambo to Coober Pedy 252 kilometres(LPG)
  

Coober Pedy is the service centre for the largest opal mining area in the world.  In such a hot area, many of the homes are “dug-outs”. 

 

32 kilometres to the north you can access The Breakaways, colourful eroded hills which are at their best in the early morning light or at sunset. 

  

   Coober Pedy to Cadney Homestead Roadhouse 155 kilometres (No LPG)
 
   Cadney Homestead to Marla 84 kilometres (LPG)
 
   Marla to Kulgera 189 kilometres(No LPG)
 
   Kulgera to Erldunda 84 kilometres (LPG)
 

Desert Oaks 24 hour roadside rest area is large enough to get away from the highway and has toilet, picnic shelters, barbecues and a small tank for water.  One of the better Stuart Highway rest areas. 

 

There is a popular but small 24 hour roadside rest area by the Finke River Bridge 74 kilometres north of Erldunda which toilet, picnic shelters, barbecues and a small tank for water. 

 

   Erldunda to Stuarts Well 108 kilometres (No LPG)
 

Stuarts Well Roadhouse offers all levels of accommodation, including free for self contained campers. 

 

Rainbow Valley turnoff is 14 kilometres north of the roadhouse with 23 kilometres of unsealed road to reach Rainbow Valley.  There is a National Parks camping area suitable for small rigs.

 

   Stuarts Well to Alice Springs 92 kilometres  (LPG)
           

Alice Springs is a very well provisioned large town, with plenty to see and do.  See our travelogues of Alice Springs and surrounds

  
   Alice Springs to Aileron 134 kilometres(LPG)
 
For details of other options for camping see Where can we camp along the Stuart Highway between Alice Springs and Darwin?
 
See our Travelogues from the linked place names for what to see in that area.
 
   Aileron to Ti Tree 60 kilometres (LPG)
 
   Ti Tree to Barrow Creek 92 kilometres
 
   Barrow Creek to Wycliffe Well 89 kilometres (No LPG)
 
   Wycliffe Well to  Wauchope 1 kilometre (LPG ?)
 
            Near Wauchope, see the Devil's Marbles.  Camping with NT Parks fees. 
 
   Wauchope to Tennant Creek 134 kilometres (LPG)
 
            Tennant Creek offers all town services of a regional town and has two caravan parks. 
 
   Tennant Creek to Three Ways 24 kilometres (LPG)
 

Attack Creek is a good 24 hour rest area with toilets 47 kilometres north of Three Ways.  Although close to the Highway it is popular for overnight stays. 

 
   Three Ways to Renner Springs 137 kilometres (LPG)
 
  Renner Springs to Elliott 92 kilometres (LPG)
 
   Elliott to Hi-Way Inn Roadhouse 152 kilometres
 

Daly Waters Airfield was the first international airfield in Australia and the Daly Waters Pub boasts the longest held hotel licence in the Northern Territory. (Daly Waters is five kilometres from the Stuart Highway)

 

The Daly Waters access road is approximately three kilometres north of the Carpentaria Highway turn-off, where the Hi-Way Inn Roadhouse offers a full range of services including fuel, Autogas (LPG), caravan park, cabin and motel accommodation, a licensed restaurant and bar, plus takeaway food. 

 

   Daly Waters to Dunmarra 48 kilometres (LPG)
 

36 kilometres south of Mataranka, Warlock roadside rest area has toilets, picnic shelter, barbecues and tank water.  This is one of the better rest areas for overnight but it fill by then end of the afternoon.

  
  Dunmarra to Mataranka 210 kilometres (LPG)
 
            Mataranka has hot springs and our favourite was the fast flowing Bitter Springs. 
 

47 kilometres south of Katherine, King River rest area has toilets, picnic shelter, barbecues and tank water.  This is one of the better rest areas for overnight

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See also Q27 about where alcoholic drinks can and can't be carried.
 
For more specific information about travelling on the Cape York Peninsula, incuding where the locals go, where to drive, camp, fish and swim, see all about and where to purchase Destination Cape York Travel Guide.
 
Updated January 2015
 
Note new schedule of fees for the Jardine Ferry and camping from April 2015.  See full schedule of Jardine River Ferry Charges. Cost for a single vehicle including return is now $99, and $129 for a vehicle with trailer.  Camping fees at the campground near the ferry have risen to $10 per person per night. 
 
The combined ferry and access fee generally covers all bush camping from the Dulhunty River to Cape York and provides a fishing licence for the Jardine and Jacky Jacky rivers.  Ferry receipt will act as a permit to camp in bush campsites only; maintained campsites will require further payment. 
Updated May 2015