Dorat road diversion – Hayes Creek to Adelaide River (73/5208k)

(written by Nancy)

Dave got a lovely picture of the sunset after we headed back to camp last night and the stars were out nice and clear after it got dark. There were very few lights on in the park so it was a good night for stargazing. This morning we splurged and had breakfast at the roadhouse – after having too much oatmeal for so long we are now getting short on breakfast supplies. Eggs on toast weren’t too bad but nowhere near as nice as Dave makes them. The coffee left a bit to be desired but you can’t expect too much from these roadhouses, I guess.

Sunset at Hayes Creek


Eggs on toast for brekkie

We had only 6k to ride this morning on the Stuart Highway before we turned off on Dorat Road, a scenic route that we rode all the way to the town of Adelaide River. It was great being off the highway – the road was very quiet and had numerous ups and downs and twists and turns. Quite a difference from the straight roads we have had for the last several hundred kilometres. This is the route folks take to get to Daly River, another popular tourist place but we didn’t have too much caravan traffic. Perhaps they were all sleeping in on a Sunday morning.

Haven't seen this kind of sign in a long time

We ran into another touring cyclist today just before the turnoff to Douglas Crossing and Douglas Hot Springs. Vince left Darwin a few days ago and was headed south at least to Katherine. He had intended to ride to Broome but thought he was going to have to head back up to Darwin after Katherine because he had some property there that was for sale. We chatted for a bit – he had run into Jan a few days ago as well. We finally pushed off and continued our way north as he headed south.

Nancy and Vince

We pulled off the road at about 40k to eat some muffins I’d picked up at the roadhouse. There were no towns, stores or anything along Dorat Road so were on our own for supplies. We saw a few cattle along the way but really nothing else, just lots of grass and trees (though we also saw quite a few smashed cane toads on the road today). . There are spots where the grass and groundcover is quite green – so different that what we have seen lately. It probably doesn’t look like much in the picture but the green seems very vibrant to us – we have obviously been in the dry area for a bit. You can also see some evidence of burning – there is a lot of this along the roadside as a fire prevention practice. It’s obviously pretty wet along here – and the moisture level in the air is pretty high. It doesn’t take long to start to sweat!

Green grass under the burnt trees

We made it to Adelaide River, which is a very small town with a service station, pub, caravan park and grocery store (not open today). When we rolled up into town there was a little market on in the park across the street from the service station. Lucky for us there was a nice little old lady who was selling home baked goods – cookies, cakes and breads. We couldn’t decide which to choose so we just got one of everything – banana cake, lemon bars and a date and walnut bread. They’re small though….

Treats from the market in Adelaide River

We have checked into the caravan park next to the pub. It seems okay – it has a little camp kitchen and we have a grassy site. They even had a bocce game going on in the park this afternoon. We have mobile signal here so will stay here two nights while we try to work on some plans for Asia. The pub is serving roast for its special tonight so I suspect that is where we will end up. We have to figure out food supplies for the remaining part of the trip through Litchfield National Park – word has it there is not much in the way of supplies along the way so hopefully the grocery store here will have some things we can make into a few meals.

Bocce at Adelaide River caravan park


Adelaide River

We are both feeling a bit knackered today even though it was a relatively short day.  It is pretty hot here even sitting in the shade.  Sounds like it is time for a cool beverage of some kind.  We’ll update you on the roast dinner tomorrow…


8 responses to “Dorat road diversion – Hayes Creek to Adelaide River (73/5208k)

  1. Civilization! Bocce ball, grass, and homebakes…….looks good!

  2. What a great little town! I’m going to look and see where this river goes. It certainly doesn’t go all the way to Adelaide, the city, does it? Is Adelaide a common Australian name for places, like Washington or some form of Columbus in the US?

    • River goes north, not to Adelaide. You see a few things here named Adelaide – after Queen Adelaide (consort of King William IV). Not as common as Washington in the USA.

  3. Looks very pretty there! We went to a Costa family BBQ yesterday and met some of Pete’s Australian relatives! A very nice family who own a 3000 acre farm in a town of about 600 people. Loved their accents and actually understood a few of the unfamialar words thanks to this blog! Apparently a branch of the Italian Costa family headed to Australia about three generations ago…who knew??!! Looking forward to picks of Litchfield National park…

  4. Hi guys, i live in Darwin and i’m into gravity sports, the aim of which is to get as fast as you can skating down roads without any added propulsion. i was wondering if you could help me out with some info on the Dorat road pass, in particular how steep did you find it and how long was the steepest part of the decline, any help would be much appreciated



    • We had just ridden across from the east coast of Australia and covered many k’s that were completely flat. The hills around Dorat Road were very small but our perspective was skewed by the previous k’s. From memory, the road was steepest on the Adelaide River side of the junction to Daly River, pretty close to the junction. I think that the road was also pretty curvey here as well. I’m not sure if curvey makes downhill on skates more or less fun. Good luck.

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