Karumba to Borroloola 7 day roadtrip (Savannah Way guide – part 2)

Welcome to part two of our epic Savannah Way roadtrip guide!

Part 1 link: Savannah Way guide – Part 1

Day 1: Karumba to Carpentaria

Distance: 203km

Continuing on from leg one of the Savannah Way, this seven-day road trip kicks off in Karumba – a town in the Gulf Country region of Queensland. Surrounded by wetlands, birdlife and huge crocs, Karumba is the perfect place to soak up nature. Start your day with a tasty brekky at Ash’s @ the Point Cafe. Then, head across to Karumba Beach and spend your morning exploring the coastline.


Enjoy an early lunch at the Sunset Tavern before the five-hour drive to Carpentaria. Don’t worry, there are several spots to stretch the legs and grab a snack along the way! Upon arrival, grab a bit to eat and have an early night – this is just the beginning.

Day 2: Carpentaria to Burketown

Distance: 106km

Carpentaria is merely a stop-over town, so rise and shine travellers; it’s time to hit the road en route to Burketown. Grab your morning coffee and head west via National Route 1. Located on the edge of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Burketown is a small, isolated town. However, there is still a variety of things to see and do. Fishing fans will be happy to learn Burketown is referred to as the Barramundi Capital of Australia.


Upon arrival, have lunch and head towards Sweers Island – a fishing paradise. With miles of blue water, golden beaches and a wealth of history, Sweers caters for the whole family. Located directly north of Burketown, the island is surrounded by acres of rock reef and myriad coral species. Fly fish off the beach or troll the waters from a boat. Regardless of choice, you are almost guaranteed a catch. Alternatively, explore the surrounding area, stroll along the sand or relax under the shady riverbank. To top it off, finish your day with a tasty meal at the Burketown Pub.

Day 3: Burketown to Doomadgee

Distance: 127km

Fulfil your breakfast cravings at Morning Glory Cafe before visiting Fredrick Walker’s grave – a pioneer explorer from the 1800’s. Next, head two hours west towards the town of Doomadgee, home to a small Aboriginal community. The township of approximately 1200 people sits alongside the Nicholson River. Providing access to the coast, freshwater rivers and Lawn Hill National Park, it’s definitely a visitor favourite along the Savannah Way.


Stop at the Doomadgee Roadhouse to stretch the legs, grab some snacks and refuel before taking a short detour to Kingfisher Camp. Considered the gateway the regions most scenic sights, it’s definitely worth the hour’s drive. The picturesque waterhole stretches five kilometres, so get your adventure on and fish, bushwalk and explore the Gorge. Freshwater crocs are commonly spotted here so steer clear of swimming – you’ll thank us later!

Day 4: Doomadgee to Calvert (travel day)

Distance: 202km

Today is all about the ‘roadtrip’! The journey from Doomadgee to Calvert will take around seven hours, so stop at Nicholson to stretch your legs, grab lunch and ultimately break up the drive (especially if you’re travelling with kids). This will take up most of your day, so have an early night and re-energise for the remainder of your trip.

Road travel

Day 5: Calvert to Pungalina

Distance: 88km

Wake up, have breakfast and head west towards Pungalina. The drive will take approximately four hours, so depart early. Upon arrival, spend your day exploring the Pungalina-Seven Emu Wildlife Sanctuary. Covering over 300,000 hectares, the sanctuary protects over 50 kilometres of pristine coastline and 100 kilometres of the Calvert River. The wildlife sanctuary also shelters over 300 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs. The area is home to a rich variety of habitats including mangroves, wetlands, coastal rainforest, eucalypt woodlands and bubbling thermal springs.

Alternatively, visit Pungalina Station – an outback safari camp resort offering several guided tours. Whether you enjoy fishing, canoeing, rugged gorges, thermal springs or limestone caves, Pungalina Station offers the complete wilderness experience.

Day 6: Pungalina to Borroloola

Distance: 196km

You’ve almost made it! Today will be your last official travel day – probably the longest too. With limited things to see and do between Pungalina and Borroloola, we suggest knocking the drive over in one day – including short stopovers of course! Before you know it, the sun will be setting. Have a hearty dinner and get a good nights rest – exploring can wait until tomorrow!

Day 7: Borroloola

Borroloola is a small isolated township near the Gulf of Carpentaria. The town is ideally located by the McArthur River. The increasing popularity of Barramundi fishing and four-wheel-driving has seen the town evolve dramatically in recent years. Slowly transitioning from a remote settlement to a small tourist destination, it’s a popular stop for visitors travelling the Savannah Way route.

Spend the morning visiting Borroloola Museum, once a police station. Built in 1886, the museum houses an exhibition exploring the lives of late police officers. It also boasts a collection of documents, artefacts and photographs outlining local Aboriginal history. Access is by key which is available at the caravan park.

Grab lunch before heading towards Barranyi National Park. The picturesque island landscape comprises sweeping sandy beaches, sandstone cliffs and small coves making it a popular tourist location. Fishing is a popular activity as the waters are full of northern bluefish tuna, trevally, Queenfish and Spanish mackerel. Explore the park and enjoy the views. However, do not swim – saltwater crocodiles and box jellyfish inhabit the area!


And there you have it – the second leg of the Savannah Way road trip is done and dusted! While this leg of the trip includes a lot of driving, we promise it will be worth it. Stay tuned for part three!


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