Mr C wrote:
In my 2010 AA road map there appears to be an error. It seems to show Route 1 veering off the unpaved Savannah Way onto a 4 wheel drive only track that terminates at a T junction with Route 83 going south and Route 1 going north to Normanton (whereas I think Route 1 just takes the direct route to Normanton along the Savannah Way). Having a 4WD only section would be a bit too eclectic!
The route shown on your map is correct - this is the route that was officially allocated to National Route 1 from the beginning.
However, to complicate things, NR1 is not signed between the end of Gulf Developmental Road near Normanton and the NT Border. There used to be some signage on the duplex with NR83 south from Normanton to Donor Hills, however I think this is now long gone (route number signs are often missing in this part of the country).
Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads did have an official schedule of route numbers, however this is now at least 10 years old. In this document, NR1 was shown as signed from Gulf Dev Rd to Donor Hills, then 'allocated' but 'unsigned' from Donor Hills to the NT Border via local authority roads. That's another significant point - the roads west of NR83 are all controlled by Burketown Shire, not the State Government.
So to sum all that up - there is no signed route of NR1 between Normanton and the NT Border. However, the allocated route was always via Donor Hills, not the direct route which has recently been labelled as 'Savannah Way'.
As for road conditions, the road is unpaved and can be dusty and corrugated. In the wet season it can be frequently closed as there are few bridges - most watercourses are crossed either by floodways or by using the river bed itself. The direct route from Normanton to Burketown is much lower lying than the route via Donors Hills so is much more susceptible to flooding.
is a map showing the 'allocated' route for NR1.