In winter last year we travelled to the Kimberley. The epic road trip to get there was a pilgrimage in itself. There is so much to see between the NSW east coast and the Kimberley but our goal was to maximise our time in Western Australia so we took two “shortcuts” to get there, the Plenty highway and the Tanami track.
The Plenty highway is an 800km unsealed road that connects western Qld to Alice springs. You are essentially driving straight through the middle of Australia. We started just outside Winton, Qld, early in the morning and drove approximately 350km to the town of Boulia. We fuelled up at Boulia, but just make sure that the servo is going to be open when you are passing through, because this is the only fuel stop, and town of any size, until Alice Springs. The scenery changes so much in this section from spinifex grasses to open plains. The road then turns into the Donahue Highway from Boulia to Tobermery Homestead on the Qld/NT border. We kept driving from the border for a few hundred kms on the Plenty highway till we found a nice free camp.
I would recommend doing the drive over a few days to see everything along the way. Due to limited time we did it in two days. It is very rough in some parts, single lane with lots of red bull dust. Check the road conditions before you start, we were there during June in a very dry year so there were no flooded creek crossings to worry about. It is an amazing drive of changing landscapes and vegetation, forgotten towns and a different way of life. I thoroughly enjoyed the drive but its not for everyone.
Next post: Our free camp on the Plenty Highway.
The route we took from Winton to Alice Springs