Travelling by road

Exploring the Gulf of Carpentaria by road is one of the best ways to fully appreciate the beautiful landscape and the region’s rich history.

Carpentaria has so much to explore, with sealed roads – and a few unsealed – Telstra and Optus network reception in Normanton and Karumba (Optus does not work between Normanton and Charters Towers), and more self-sufficient caravan and camper facilities, travelling through the Gulf has never been easier.


Whether you’re a first timer or an experienced driver in these parts, it is recommended you familiarise yourself with the local landscape before departing on your travels.

Call in to the local Visitor Information Centre, council office, or police station if you have questions about road conditions or closures – even if you’re a local.

Tips before hitting the road

View the Welcome Guide to find out more about the following ways to get ready for your trip:

  • Check your vehicle
  • Map out your trip
  • Pack the essentials
  • Check the travel conditions daily
  • Let someone know
  • Carry extra communication devices

Tips for on the road

Wet Weather

Be careful of slippery conditions and unstable road edges when the roads are wet. It is best to keep your car’s headlights on low beam, and make sure the windscreen and lights are clean.


If you come across a closed road due to flooding, do not attempt to enter it. Remember, if it’s flooded, forget it! Regular updates can be found at the Department of Transport and Main Roads, by phoning 13 19 40, or by visiting the council’s Disaster Dashboard at

Flood Cameras

Daily Rainfall Bulletin for Gulf and Cape Rivers

Latest River Heights for the Gulf and Cape Rivers

Lost or broken down

The first thing to remember is to not panic. Stay with your vehicle and call for help with your mobile phone or emergency communication device (such as a satellite phone or a personal location beacon), and make sure you keep your vehicle visible.

Sunrise and Sunset

Many of our roads have an east-west orientation. When the sun is low in the sky, and you’re driving on many of the outback rounds facing east or west, clear vision can be impossible. It can be hard to see oncoming vehicles or animals crossing the road. It is best to avoid driving before 7am, and between 4pm and 5pm.