Savanah Way Borroloola to Hells Gate

Submitted: Sunday, Aug 24, 2008 at 22:00
ThreadID: 124996 Views:4260 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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Hi folks,

We are just about to head east from Borroloola to Hells Gate (we are currently in Borroloola) and wondering if anyone has been this way recently and can advise on road conditions.

Appreciate any feedback.


Allan and Sharon
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Reply By: Graham & Barbara - Monday, Aug 25, 2008 at 00:30

Monday, Aug 25, 2008 at 00:30
we did not travel that road, but were in Borroloola and have heard that they are no fuel stops at Hells Gate or somewhere else further down the road ther but the name escapes me at the moment. just check about the fuel. we heard various versions on the actual road. we went north from Boroloola to Roper. are you going to King Fisher Camp? have a great trip. Graham and Barbara
Graham and Barbara

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Follow Up By: Pixellator - Monday, Aug 25, 2008 at 01:15

Monday, Aug 25, 2008 at 01:15
Hi A & S

No fuel at Hells Gate (small camp ground with showers/loos)
Wollogorang long since closed- no access
Fuel available at Doomadgee (not sure about weekends).
Diesel was $2.30 per litre at Adels Grove in late July. A bit cheaper at Gregory Downs Hotel if you can hold out long enough.

Enjoy your trip. If travelling through Lawn Hill, don't miss a photo stop and walk at the Riversleigh D Site. Be careful of the dips just before you get there!

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Follow Up By: Pixellator - Monday, Aug 25, 2008 at 01:56

Monday, Aug 25, 2008 at 01:56
Allan and Sharon
I recall reading that you went on a tag along tour from East to West.
How did it go? I have read your tales of things BT and defects in components, but was wondering what you thought of the tagalong idea?
What was the make-up of the group?
What types of vans?
How many?
What route did you take?
Do you all travel homewards again or split up once you reach the west?
How long was the trip?
Did you all get along well?
Was it worth the cost?
Would you do it again?

Interested to hear your response.
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Reply By: Deleted User - Monday, Aug 25, 2008 at 02:37

Monday, Aug 25, 2008 at 02:37
We went west on the Savannah Way in May and there is no fuel at Wolloragang or Hells Gate as both are closed. We called into Hells Gate to look for a phone and the owner was in his shed. They closed when his liquor licence was revoked as did Wollargorang so there is a lot of road between fillups. However Hells Gate will supply up to 60litres if you are stranded. A lot of maps show it as still open. That was in May, it might be different now.

The road is like any gravel road up that way. Good one day and not so the next. The only difference between a good road and a bad one is a bit more time.....providing you are rigged accordingly.

I never take any notice when told "It's a shocker mate". An opinion is very subjective.

AnswerID: 575823

Reply By: Wherrol - Monday, Aug 25, 2008 at 03:03

Monday, Aug 25, 2008 at 03:03
Thanks for all the info folks we appreciate the update. We just talked to a couple who have just been on the road. Mmm we are still thinking about what we should do. Based on our record of disasters we are a little wary.

Bob you asked about the tag along tour. The group were wonderful and lovely people. The tour consisted of Trackmaster van x 1 (leader); 1 BT (Round to it Marie and Ron); 1 x Kedron; 1 x Royal Flair Off Road Edition; 2 x T Vans; 1 x Kimberley Kamper; 1 x RV atop Toyota Hilux.

We learnt so much on the trip however we pulled out in Alice Springs. Allan was concerned for the van as we did not have much experience with regards to packing etc. I was concerned that we were so slow we could not keep up with the group. The leader did say not to worry and not to rush if we felt we could not keep up. So that was nice. He also said that if we lost contact by radio we could phone on our satellite to theirs, they were on the phone at 7pm at night for a short while.

Our route was via Thargominda; Birdsville; across the Plenty to Alice Springs, where we pulled out of the tour for the reasons above. The rest of the team went via Gary Junction Road to Newman; down to Mt Augustus and then to Steep Point via Hamelin Pools. The trip was supposed to be 28 days however we understand it was extended slightly due to mechanical problems.

Yes we got along fine, everyone was really lovely and because we were sort of ‘in the club’ we really enjoyed their companionship especially at night by the fire drinking wine.

Was the trip worth the cost? Mmmmm well we need to answer this in a bit of a strange fashion. We thought the trip would have been worth it as we thought we would learn a lot (which we did) and we had backup if we needed help (which we would have had). The trip cost nearly $4000 and there was no refund for any un-used campfees or museum fees.

Would we do it again? With likeminded travellers, yes we would but not a paid for Tag Along. By that we mean with other BT owners with friends or family it would be fine. We enjoy companionship and chatting over the fire.

We are now headed to Quilpie and our first rally which we are really looking forward to.


Allan and Sharon.

AnswerID: 575824

Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Monday, Aug 25, 2008 at 03:11

Monday, Aug 25, 2008 at 03:11
You will find lots of like minded BT travellers there

Last year we started off from the Sunshine Coast with 3 vans heading for Boulia gathering and gradually increased in numbers until we had 12 vans by the time we got to Boulia.

It was one of the best weeks travelling we have had, just travelling slowly and having lots of time for chats and happy hours around the camp fires.

Enjoying the friendship of BOG members

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Reply By: Wherrol - Monday, Aug 25, 2008 at 03:59

Monday, Aug 25, 2008 at 03:59
Hi Brian,

Yes that sounds exactly how we would like to travel.

Now for the bad news for all you fisherfolk...Fish are not biting at King Ash Bay. Good news. A very elderly Aboriginal Gentleman says that 'they come back when the tourists leave'. If you are coming this way maybe hang back a couple of weeks.

Luckily for us we don't fish!!!!

AnswerID: 575825

Reply By: KimberlyKruiser - Tuesday, Aug 26, 2008 at 00:16

Tuesday, Aug 26, 2008 at 00:16
Hi Wherrol

Travelled that section about 4 weeks ago with van in tow.

Some sections good, some not so good. As with all dirt to conditions.

AnswerID: 575826

Reply By: Wherrol - Saturday, Aug 30, 2008 at 07:18

Saturday, Aug 30, 2008 at 07:18
Hi folks,

Thank you all for your replies, we decided to go via the Savannah Way. It was just fantastic. We learnt so much about travelling on these roads, and at our own speed rather than following folks at much higher speed.

We ended up going to Hells Gate (thanks for the tip); Kingfisher Camp (beautiful) and then down to Lawn Hill Gorge national park, where we stayed at the national park, which was beautiful.

We are now in Mt Isa trying to cool down a little, it was 37 degrees each day at Lawn Hill.

We now know we can travel on all manner of roads, as long as we are careful, and watch our speed. The Savannah Way was a piece of cake, lots of corrugations, stones and creek crossings. The road into and out of Kingfisher Camp were rough too and we loved every minute of it. We are looking for where the next adventure may lie.

Thanks again one and all.


Allan and Sharon
AnswerID: 575827

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