On the fringe of the spectacular eastern escarpments of the Barkly Tablelands and the rugged beauty of the Gulf of Carpentries' flood plains, the remote Hell's Gate offers travellers a unique insight into what is truly Australia's last frontier.
Rich in flora and fauna from both ecosystems, the region boasts one of the world's oldest landscapes. The wealth of mineral deposits, crystal veins and stunning rock formations tell their own tales of the land's evolvement.
Native tribes indigenous to the area, the Waanyi, Gungalita and Gawara people have also left their mark. Caves near Hell's Gate act as natural art galleries for the pictorial history of these early residents. Native wells and other remnants of their life in the district can still be found today. Small springs and pockets of prehistoric rainforests, which once covered the region, provide a lifeline to the wealth of birdlife including rare native species such as the Carpentaria Grass Wren and the Red Tailed Black Cockatoo.
While today's visitors can expect a warm country welcome, it was the sometimes bloody history of the land during early European settlement which gave the outpost its rather ominous sounding title. Before the turn of the century settlers heading for the rich pastoral land of the Northern Territory quaked at the mention of its name.
In the late 1800s police stationed at the nearby Corinda provided regular escorts for settlers as far as the rocky escarpments of Hell's Gate, refusing to accompany the travellers past this point because of the fierceness of Aboriginals to the area.
This century the story is somewhat different. Rather than an insight of hell, travellers are greeted by the small green oasis of Hell's Gate Roadhouse, part of the 1500 sq km working cattle property "Cliffdale Station" which has been providing prime beef to the nations since its settlement in the early 1980s.
Hell's Gate Roadhouse
Facilities: Camping grounds (no power), toilets and showers, fuel available.
Fuel is available from Tirranna Roadhouse (30kms west of Burketown/ 60kms east of Doomadgee or at the Doomadgee Roadhouse.