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Q11: We have heard that alcohol canít be consumed in the Aboriginal lands around Hermannsburg etc. Is this true and does that mean that we canít pack ANY alcohol into our van for our trip to Darwin via Kingís Canyon and the Mereenie Loop?

iii. Purchasing alcoholic drinks in the Northern Territory

 

When purchasing takeaway alcohol in the Northern Territory identification is required.  You will be required to provide photo identification; either a passport, Australian driverís licence or evidence of age card.

 

See current requirements under each region's Liquor Restrictions

 

The Banned Drinker Register is no longer in force.

 

Your identification will be checked against a Banned Drinker Register which prevents problem drinkers from buying takeaway alcohol.

If youíre not banned on the register, then you can buy your alcohol as normal. No information about you will be recorded.

 

See  Buying Alcohol  

 

From 1st September 2017 all Territorians and visitors to the Northern Territory will need to show photo ID to buy takeaway alcohol.

 

When we booked into the campgrounds at both Kings Canyon Resort and at Yulara, we were given a slip authorising purchase of alcohol from the outlets within those resorts.  

 

Information originally given to the person asking was correct July 2012 but there have since been changes.  The superseded text has been crossed out rather that removed, with updated information being added for future reference.  

 

Updated May 2017 due to further changes to linked departmental information.

                                                                           

 

 

 

 

A:

 

i. Consumption of alcohol

 

It is correct that alcohol cannot be consumed by travellers within prescribed areas within the Northern Territory, unless in an exempt area such as some camping grounds within National Parks and some private homes when exemptions have been granted.  I will cover all of the Northern Territory, rather than confining my answers to Hermannsburg and the Mereenie Loop. 

 

Due to a change of Departmental responsibilities, much of the documentation I referred to when initially answering this question is no longer available. 

 

Instead please refer to Restricted (Dry) areas.  Restricted areas are listed here

 

Information on Alcohol in the Northern Territory for tourists

 

Types of General Restricted Areas and how permits may be applied can be seen on this fact sheet

 

Read about Public Restricted Dry Areas here

 

Read more about liquor bans and penalties here

 

 

Are national parks affected?

 

The following campgrounds are exempt from the regulations, noting that this pertains to the campground only and not to the rest of the National Park.

 

You will not commit an offence if you are travelling with unopened liquor across a prescribed area to or from these exempted areas where the consumption of liquor is now allowed.

 

 

The following national parks fall within the prescribed areas and are covered by the new law:

               

                   the eastern half of  Kakadu National Park. This includes East Alligator and Jim Jim Ranger Stations

               and the headquarters area. (The South Alligator, Mary River Ranger Stations and Jabiru are excluded.)

                   Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park

                   Nitmiluk National Park

 

The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs has declared the following campgrounds and viewing areas within these national parks exempt from the new law.

 

This means that the offences will no longer apply to anyone visiting these places:

 

                   Garnamarr, Gunlom, Mardugal, Merl and Muirella campgrounds in Kakadu National Park

                   the coach and car sunset viewing areas of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

                   Leliyn campground in Nitmiluk National Park

 

 

ii. Transport of alcohol when transiting through a prescribed area

 

The information prevously given has been superceded. 

 

As each community is responsible for that community's Alcohol Management Plan, the specific requirements need to be sought from the Land Council for that region.   

 

The intent of the legislation is to prevent supplying of alcohol (sly grog) in communities where alcohol is prohibited.  When transiting on regular tourist routes without going into the communities, there is unlikely to be any issue if the quantity carried is reasonable for oneís own consumption only, and that containers are sealed thus proving none has been consumed whilst in the prescribed area.  Check with the Land Council for that area to ensure you do not break the law. 

 

Bona fide travellers may take alcohol through a general restricted area, provided the container is unopened and the alcohol is not given away, sold or consumed whilst in the restricted area. 

 

See this fact sheet

 

Transportation defence

 

Transportation: Offences and defences:

 

The law provides a defence for transporting liquor across a prescribed area, as long as you can prove that your final destination is outside the prescribed area. Under this defence the liquor must be in your control and must not be consumed while travelling in the prescribed area. It may be difficult for you to claim this defence if you have a half-drunk bottle of wine even though the cap has been screwed back on or the wine was drunk outside the prescribed area.


Q12: Where can we camp between Mount Isa and Darwin?

A: This reply will cover the Barkly Highway from Mount Isa to Three Ways Roadhouse at the junction with the Stuart Highway. For the Stuart Highway from Alice Springs to Darwin see Q10.

 

At Camooweal the Lagoon on the Georgina River is good free but totally unserviced camping.  Access between the two bridges just west of town.   A lot of people stay not far from the highway, but others like us take the track further past the cattle yards for quieter camping.  The track was suitable for all vehicles with caution, but it was mainly the true off roaders that did this; I think this is more about our camping style than the track conditions.

 

There are also commercial caravan parks in the town. 

 

Briefly from east to west along the Barkly Highway in the Northern Territory: 

 

Avon Downs rest area 56 kilometres west of the Queensland border.  This rest area is quite close to the road and I do not consider it a good overnight spot for that reason, although there may be opportunities to get further away by following tracks.  Pit toilet, tank water and bins.  

 

Soudan rest area was also too close to the road for our taste. It is 122 kilometres west of the Qld border. Tracks may be usable by small campers. 

 

Barry Caves rest area at the site of the old Wonarah Store is by the road at the site of a former roadhouse.  This is no longer listed as a rest area by Northern Territory Transport.  Barry Caves themselves are some ten kilometres to the west and the parking area there may be an opportunity to get away from the road, but I did not see the turn off, which can be hard to find. 

 

Wonarah Bore Rest Area had plenty of room and a bit off the highway 207 kilometres west of the Qld border.  This is on a loop of old road which makes a suitable unserviced overnight stop for the self sufficient. 

 

Barkly Homestead Roadhouse near the junction of the Tablelands Highway and the Barkly Highway was opened in 1984 to replace the Barry Caves Roadhouse to the east and the Frewena Roadhouse to the west. All services fuel services are provided and open until midnight every day year round, including gas bottle refills, tyre repairs and basic mechanical repairs.  Cold drinks and groceries can be purchased.  There is a restaurant with bar as well as take away lunches. A serviced caravan park, cabins and motel rooms are available. 

 

Frewena rest area is 55 kilometres west of Barkly Homestead Roadhouse.  This former roadhouse site provides bore water and bins and is suitable for overnight stops.

 

Forty One Mile Bore is a large rest area 117 kilometres west of Barkly Homestead Roadhouse and is a good overnight stop. There are also tracks for getting further away.  Tank water and bins provided. 

 

See our 2009 Travelogues

2013

 

 

Home > Q & A > Questions and Answers - Index > Questions and Answers 11 - 12

A: This reply will cover the Barkly Highway from Mount Isa to Three Ways Roadhouse at the junction with the Stuart Highway. For the Stuart Highway from Alice Springs to Darwin see Q10.

 

At Camooweal the Lagoon on the Georgina River is good free but totally unserviced camping.  Access between the two bridges just west of town.   A lot of people stay not far from the highway, but others like us take the track further past the cattle yards for quieter camping.  The track was suitable for all vehicles with caution, but it was mainly the true off roaders that did this; I think this is more about our camping preferences than the track conditions.

 

There are also commercial caravan parks in the Camooweal townsite. 

 

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