Drives: Duncan Road/Highway

Probably the most remote highway in Australia, this rugged 429 km gravel road between Halls Creek and Kununurra snakes back and forth several times across the Western Australian and Northern Territory border, rejoining the Savannah Way (Highway 1) to the east of Lake Argyle.

It offers spectacular outback scenery. The Duncan can be rough and is especially subject to flooding. A 4 Wheel Drive vehicle, fitted out with a full offroad kit is recommended. Please check road conditions in advance of travel. 4WD vehicles is recommended.

Places to visit along the Duncan Hwy: (distance in kms from Halls Creek)

China Wall - 6km

Caroline Pool - 15km

Old Halls Creek (Old Town) - 16km

Pioneer Cemeteries - 16km

Stone Hut

Lake Komaterpillar - 29km

Brockman's Hut & Mount Bradley Mine - 35km

Palm Springs - 45km

Saw Pit Gorge - 52km

Ringer Soak (Kundat Djaru) - 120km to the turn off then 52km

Marella Gorge - 151km

There are no facilities or fuel centres for the length of the 443 kilometre road.


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History

The Duncan Highway began life as an unmade track between the remote cattle stations along the Ord River. Cattle was the primary industry of the northwest region with sprawling stations of up to one million hectares. It often took weeks of droving to get cattle from the stations to the ports or the meatworks and it was acknowledged that if stock could be transported more efficiently, much greater profits could be made by the industry.

The road began as a 1949 proposal to help the beef industry that was developing in the Kimberley region of Western Australian. Construction of a 282-mile (454 km) road linking Wyndham to Nicholson started in 1950, and was completed in 1956. The highway was decommissioned in July 1976, and renamed Duncan Road.

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