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The Oodnadatta Track and the Stuart Highway

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Borroloola, Carpentaria Highway

Borroloola is a small settlement in the Gulf of Carpentaria, some 380 km east from the Stuart Highway. It is situated on the McArthur River, 50 km inland from its estuary and almost 1,000 km south-east of Darwin.

The Gulf Region is accessed via the the Carpentaria Highway from the Hi-Way Inn on the Stuart Highway, via the Savannah Way from Katherine or Burketown, or the Tablelands Highway from the Barkly Homestead.

The local population and thousands of visitors every year enjoy fishing and the relaxed lifestyle. Borroloola is famous for barramundi, salmon and river fish with good reef fishing around the islands in the bay. The town caters to the surrounding cattle stations, the local Aboriginal people and tourists.

In the early days, the town was a notorious outpost and prompted a Police Station to be built in 1886. (now a museum). Borroloola was famous for its colourful characters like Roger Jose in the 1950s, a well educated eccentric who lived in a disused water tank.

Borroloola's famous library too is now legend, as the well stocked library was far larger than in any other town its size. The story goes that many of the books fuelled the local intellectual discussions of the day. The books were eventually eaten by termites.

Cyclone Cathy devastated the town in 1984 and much of the town was rebuilt, changing its character considerably.