Gulf Savannah Way


The Savannah Way traverses Northern Australia, linking Cairns in Tropical North Queensland to Broome in Western Australia’s Kimberley. The route is approximately 3,700km, crossing 15 National Parks, five World Heritage areas and a variety of natural routes across the Top End.

The total length of this section is 313km with almost 60% of the road already sealed, however there are critical missing links that require pavement upgrades, bitumen seal, minor realignment of substandard curves, concrete causeways and 4 major river crossings.


Upgrading substandard infrastructure over the entire length of the Queensland segment of the Savannah Way to provide a 7.5m wide bitumen sealed pavement, with concrete causeways through creek crossings and raised floodways (using 1.2m high culverts) through major river crossings.

Normanton to Burketown is approximately 221km with about 50% unsealed. This section requires pavement augmentation and bitumen sealing to 7.5m wide, some minor realignment, concrete causeways and a major culvert crossing at the Leichhardt River.

Burketown to Doomadgee is approximately 88km long and fully sealed but has 2 major river crossings at the Gregory River and Nicholson River which require some minor pavement, alignment and causeway improvements.

Doomadgee to NT Border is approximately 104km long with only 30% sealed. This section requires pavement augmentation and bitumen sealing to 7.5m wide, minor realignment and concrete causeways plus a major river crossing at Branch Creek.

On completion, the entire length of the Savannah Way will be sealed in Queensland with improved flood resilience that supports local communities, improves tourism opportunities and increases commerce and agricultural prosperity.


Estimated at $186M to be completed over a 10 year period with funds becoming available each year to allow the establishment of a local workforce:

  • Normanton to Burketown – $100M to be constructed progressively over 10 consecutive years.
  • Burketown to Doomadgee – $30M funded over 4 consecutive financial years (equally in years 1-4).
  • Doomadgee to NT Border – $56M to be provided in equal instalments over the 10 year project period.

North West Queensland, along the Gulf of Carpentaria from Normanton to the Northern Territory boarder, passing through Burketown, Doomadgee and Hell’s Gate in Queensland and connecting to Wollogorang in the Northern Territory.

Large sections of the North West Queensland route of the Savannah Way are unsealed and flood prone, isolating communities during the wet season and limiting the economic value of this northern road link.


That the Commonwealth and State Governments support the sealing and improved flood resilience of the western Queensland section of the National Highway by providing project funding at 80% Commonwealth and 20% State Government in accordance with the Commonwealth State Roads funding model.

Allocation of funds to be determined in 2018/19 financial year and distributed to the controlling Local Government Authorities in equal portions over a 10 year period from 2018/19 to support and enhance local businesses.

Project funds to support and enhance local work forces in Burke, Carpentaria and Doomadgee LGAs and improve prosperity for North West Queensland communities.


CEO, Advance Cairns  Ph: 07 4080 2900

Savannah Way Map - Northern Australia

PROPONENTS: Advance Cairns, Burke Shire Council, Carpentaria Shire Council, Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council
PRIORITY: Infrastructure
COUNCILS: Burke, Carpentaria, Doomadgee