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Q13 I am visiting the Northern Territory and am in the process of booking some day tours.  Many of the tours have a cost that I need to pay on the day for National Park fees of $25.00.  I intend to visit:

 

Uluru

Kata Tjuta

Kings Canyon   

Katherine Gorge

Litchfield

Kakadu

A.

 

Parks administered by Parks and Wildlife Northern Territory have free entry – BUT – two parks are Federal Government managed and fees apply

 

1.       Uluru-Kata Tjuta:  This is in the one park and a three day fee of $25 per person applies to visit the Uluru and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). 

 

It appears that at this stage the pass can only be purchased on site, as you pass through the entry station to visit the rock at Uluru.  The pass is dated for the three days from time of entry.

 

Three days is a good time frame for seeing both Uluru and Kata Tjuta, taking the walks and looking through all the information and displays in the Cultural Centre.  You are not permitted to take cameras into the Cultural Centre. 

 

You will be covered for the park entry component of the Sounds of Silence dinner under the stars at Uluru if within your three day pass period, but of course other costs apply.  

 

Read about where what we enjoyed in Central Australia in our Travelogues 

 

2.      Kakadu:  The #$25 per person entry fee covers fourteen days and can be extended for a further fourteen day period at the Bowali Visitor Centre within the National Park.   The pass can be purchased on line here Kakadu Passes or at the following locations:

 

Kakadu Park passes can also be purchased at any of these locations:

•     Tourism Top End, corner of Bennett and Smith Streets, Darwin

•     Bowali Visitor Centre, Kakadu National Park

•     Gagudju Lodge, Cooinda

•     Goymarr Interpretive Centre, Mary River Roadhouse southern entrance to Kakadu

•     Aurora, Kakadu South Alligator, Arnhem Highway

•     Katherine Visitor Information Centre, corner of Lindsay Street and Katherine Terrace, Katherine

Agents are able to support payment by credit card, debit card and cash.

 

Family passes are not available, but there is no charge for children under 16 at either of these parks. 

 

Kings Canyon, Litchfield and Katherine Gorge are entry fee free.  However the best was to see Katherine Gorge is by boat and fees apply – but well worth it.  You have chosen some of the real highlights of Northern Territory travel.  My travelogues for 2008 and 2009 include all of these areas. 

 

Read about Katherine Gorge, Ltichfield National Park and Kakadu National Park in our Travelogues

 

See also  Permits for the special conditions and permit requirement to visit Channel Point Coastal Reserve, and the permit and fee requirements to visit Garig Gunak Barlu National Park on the Cobourg Peninsula.  

 

2013

 

tn_q13kata.jpg tn_q13uluru.jpg
Every Australian should visit Uluru at least once in their lifetime
The Valley of the Winds walk amongst the many heads of Kata Tjuta is even better
The rim walk at Kings Canyon is the best in the area
tn_q13katherineg.jpg tn_q13yellowwaters.jpg tn_q13litchfield.jpg
A boat ride is the best and easiest way to see Katherine Gorge
Lush vegetation and waterfalls are some of the variety found at Lithcfield National Park
A boat ride will show you an amazing array of birdlife and large crocodiles at Yellow Waters, Kakadu

 A.  You will be unlikely to need extra fuel as there are adequate roadhouses, although prices will be high.  Distances shown here are approximate.  Although these roadhouses offer a full range of fuels, supply is not guaranteed as sometimes there have been delays in delivery.  It pays to top up at a few locations.  If you have a dedicated gas car, it may pay to telephone ahead to ensure adequate supplies are available.  All roadhouses have LPG except Penong Roadhouse. 

 

These roadhouses offer take away food, motel accommodation and campgrounds with powered sites.  Night travel is not advised due to the danger of animal strike.  If you do not want serviced sites, there is plenty of room to get off the road for bush camping.

 

See our Travelogues of Crossing the Nullarbor.

 

Nullarbor Roadhouses with distances between

 

Ceduna to Penong – 73 kilometres (No LPG at Penong)

 

See our review of the Penong Caravan Park.  Penong is known as a town of windmills.  

 

For those heading east, there is a Quarantine Checkpoint as you approach Ceduna.  

 

On the coast south of Penong, the road to Point Sinclair also goes to Cactus Beach, a popular surfing beach with basic camping.  Cactus Beach is 21 kilometres from the highway via an unsealed road.

 

Penong to Nundroo - 78 kilometres

 

Thirty five kilometres west of Penong is the turn-off to Fowler’s Bay and an alternative road rejoins the Eyre Highway five kilometres east of Nundroo Roadhouse.   These roads are mostly unsealed.  High sand dunes tower over the town.  

 

Nundroo to Nullarbor Roadhouse - 145 kilometres

 

Note that some maps show a roadhouse at Yalata between Nundroo and Nullarbor Roadhouse. This was closed in February 2006 after the building was declared unsafe due to asbestos in the building and is even more of a hazard due to vandalism of the derelict old building. 

 

Nullarbor Roadhouse to Border Village - 187 kilometres

 

Road to the Head of Bight is approximately eighteen kilometres east of Nullarbor Roadhouse.  There are viewing platforms and a whale watching discovery centre.   Best times for whale watching are from May to September, however even out of season if the gate is not locked, it is still worth visiting where there are cliffs on the west side and sand dunes on the east side of the bay known as Head of Bight.  

 

Starting approximately fifty kilometres west of Nullarbor Roadhouse, the highway runs close to the coast and the majestic Bunda Cliffs.  A number of lookout parking areas remain open for viewing, but heed signs and do not walk near the edge of this crumbling coast.  A number of the lookouts that may be shown on your maps have been closed due to safety concerns.  

 

Don’t forget the  Quarantine Checkpoint at Border Village as you enter Western Australia.  Note the advice re preparing fruit and vegetables.  Honey is not permitted into Western Australia, nor is soil of any type. Boxes which have carried fruit or vegetables will also need to be discarded. 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Border Village to Eucla – 13 kilometres

 

Eucla Roadhouse is well serviced, and campsite is informal under trees not too close to the highway. 

 

Take a drive and a walk to the coast where the sand dunes are swallowing the historic old telegraph station and look east to where the white sand dunes give way to the start of the Bunda Cliffs.  

 

Eucla to Mundrabilla – 67 kilometres

 

Mundrabilla usually has the cheapest fuel of the Nullarbor roadhouses, although Eucla may be similar.  

 

Mundrabilla to Madura – 116 kilometres

 

Madura Roadhouse is a pleasant location a little away from the highway.  Heading west from Madura, the road takes you up to the top of the scarp.  A parking area at the top is a good place to take a break.  

 

Madura to Cocklebiddy - 93 kilometres

 

Cocklebiddy Roadhouse offers fuel, meals, accommodation and caravan park.  Although not the easiest to find and access, the Cocklebiddy Cave is reached by a very rough track leaving the highway ten kilometres west of Cocklebiddy.  

 

Cocklebiddy to Caiguna - 64 kilometres

 

Caiguna Roadhouse offers 24 hours service.  Five kilometres west of Caiguna, the Caiguna Blowhole breathes.   

 

Caiguna to Balladonia - 182 kilometres

 

At Balladonia Roadhouse, see the Skylab museum.  Parts of this NASA spacecraft were recovered in the Balladonia area from the fiery re-entry of the spacecraft Skylab in 1979.  

 

Balladonia to Norseman - 192 kilometres   

 

Not only is this the longest stretch between fuel outlets, but as it crosses hills, consumption will be higher, particularly if towing.  There are two fuel outlets in Norseman and prices can be checked on Fuel Watch.

Best time to travel

 

This will be the time that best suits your plan.  Headwinds can be encountered at any time of the year regardless of direction of travel as they can on any other travel routes.  You can use this wind roses website to see the range of prevailing winds each season as well as morning and afternoon variations.  If strong head or side winds are encountered, the best option is to stop for a few hours or until the next morning, so it is wise to allow flexibility in your travel plans. 

 

Safety

 

The Eyre Highway is a well formed highway, frequented by heavy haulage day and night.  Keep your UHF on channel 40 to stay in touch with the truck drivers and be forewarned of wide loads or other traffic incidents. 

 

Kangaroos are likely to be active after dark, particularly around dusk and dawn.  You may also encounter camels or wombats.  Driving after dark, particularly if towing, is not wise.    See animal strike dangers.

 

 

Communications

 

Telstra 4g and 3g coverage extends across much of the Eyre Highway now, particularly if you have an external antenna.  Do not expect as much cover with other networks. 

 

 

Camping 

 

Powered campsites are available at all roadhouses.  Bore water may not be of best quality and there may be a fee for water.  Power is provided by on site generators. 

 

It is quite safe to pull off the road for the night, either in roadside rest areas, or along other tracks.  As heavy haulage travels throughout the night, getting a little further away from the road is desirable.  The woodland area of Yalata is Aboriginal land and off road camping is frowned upon, however there are roadside rest areas for legitimate stopping. 

 

2013 and last updated April 2016

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Q14  We are planning to cross the Nullarbor east to west.  Will I need to carry extra fuel?  When is the best time of year to avoid headwinds?  What about safety? 

The Madura Roadhouse with the scarp the road climbs in the background
The crumbling edge of the Great Australian Bight at the Bunda Cliffs
Climbing the scarp above Madura Roadhouse

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#Please note that Kakadu entry fees will changed at 1st April 2016.  See the full details in News.  Fee will be for seven days, but can be extended.  A higher fees ($40) will apply in the dry season.  Discounts are available booking on line and for concession card holders will be available.  Camping fees will also rise but camping in remote camping areas with no toilet facilities will remain free. 

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