Burketown to Borroloola

Dust, Dust, Bull Dust, Rocks and Corrugations, Dust then more Dust well that was just getting to the Northern Territory border then things just got a whole lot worse.

We left Karumba after two happy restful days, driving back through Normanton and then a further 150km to camp at Leichhardt River Falls, I saw a freshwater croc in the small remaining waterhole. The falls as to be expected were not flowing this time of year.

The next day we drove into Burketown, a Sunday morning very quiet in Burketown, found a few locals sitting in the waiting room of the local Chinese take-away, it appeared to be the only business open that late morning and it was air-conditioned. I went in to ask for directions, but just bought two ice-creams instead. We made good the next 100km to Doomadgee where we topped up our fuel and had a roadside lunch just out of town. Two young boys on 350cc dirt bikes, who we had chatted to at the fuel station came out along the road to make sure we were Ok. One of the young boys, I guess about ten years old, could only just reach the foot-pegs on his motorcycle. To stop he had to first jump off, dismount before he came to a complete standstill; his legs were not long enough to reach the ground while seated on the bike. That night we stopped just 30km short of Northern Territory border at Hann Creek Billabong, after we had setup, right on dusk four German Backpackers in two 100 series Toyota Landcruisers arrived. They camped right next to us, having just driven from Daly Waters. During the campfire yarns which went until after midnight we were informed the road was pretty bad through to Borroloola. What would German backpackers know!

Next morning we said goodbye to the backpackers and crossed the QLD/NT border.  Joanne’s put a border crossing picture up on Facebook which ended up being used as the feature picture on Kokoda’s Facebook page. Up to now we had already repaired a few minor rattles, shakes and a busted anderson plug. It was from here that road conditions deteriorated sharply, for the next 250km, we found out the backpackers were correct. Joanne drove more than half this distance including the three creek crossings. By far this stretch was the roughest road ever, towing the Digger caravan. We encounter more dust, larger bull dust holes, bone shattering rocky corrugations.

While in Borroloola we did manage to achieve a few other activities:

  • Visit to the local art centre and local Museum
  • Met Nathan the local Aboriginal Land Council representative
  • Washed car and caravan
  • Dust proofed van, sealing up where dust was getting in


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