Peninsula Developmental Road

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Peninsula Developmental Road
Major roads in northern Queensland
Map of the Cape York Peninsula, with Peninsula Developmental Road highlighted in green
General information
Type Rural road
Length 558 km (347 mi)
Route number(s) State Route 81
Major junctions
Northwest end Weipa
  Bamaga Road (Telegraph Road)
Southeast end Lakeland
Major settlements Coen

The Peninsula Developmental Road (PDR) runs 558 km from Lakeland to Weipa.[1] It is the main road transport link within the Cape York Peninsula and between the peninsula and the rest of the Australian mainland.

The road is closed for up to four months per year due to the summer wet season causing damage to the surface and flooding over low level river crossings.[2]

Current Road Condition[edit]

Photo of two lane highway, with advance directional sign on the left listing distances to destinations
Southern end of PDR at Lakeland

Approximately 400 kilometres (250 mi) of the road is unsealed.[3] Some parts of the unsealed road are severely corrugated [4] which, as at November 2012, included about 30 kilometres (19 mi) of road to the north of Laura and between Coen Airport and Lockhart River.

Sealed Sections:

  • Lakeland to Laura - 62 kilometres (39 mi)
  • Hann River - 2 kilometres (1.2 mi)
  • Bamboo Range - 4 kilometres (2.5 mi)
  • Coen to Coen Airport / Quarantine Station - 27 kilometres (17 mi)
  • Telecom Tower 48 kilometres (30 mi) north of Coen - 3.45 kilometres (2.14 mi)
  • Mein to Cape York (Telegraph Road) Junction - 4.3 kilometres (2.7 mi)
  • Batavia turnoff to Sudley - 4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi)
  • York Station - 4 kilometres (2.5 mi)


Sealing of the PDR with bitumen is argued as being essential to develop a vibrant, diverse and sustainable economy in Cape York. The cost is estimated at $750 million, likely to be shared between the Commonwealth and Queensland governments.[3]

Strategies currently in place include providing overtaking opportunities every 40 km, upgrading easer sections to seal the longest distances and seal sections that had the highest maintenance after wet seasons.[2]

Ongoing and recently completed projects, as at January 2013, include:[5]

  • Port Stewart turnoff to Coen (22 km): Safety grading and resheeting
  • Aurukun turnoff to Batavia turnoff (16 km): Resheeting
  • Rocky Creek to North Kennedy (10 km): Resheeting
  • Kalinga Station to Healy Creek (7.5 km): Resheeting
  • Laura River south of Laura (1 km): Sealing of road and high level bridge over river

List of towns, localities and points of interest along the highway[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hema Maps (2010). Cape York Regional Map (11 ed.). Eight Mile Plains, Qld: Hema Maps. ISBN 978-1-86500-227-9. 
  2. ^ a b Kleinhardt Business Consultants (November 2007). CYP Economic & Infrastructure Framework Project (PDF) (Report). Kleinhardt Business Consultants. 
  3. ^ a b CYSF (2010). A Bitumen Road to Weipa by 2020 (Report). Cape York Sustainable Futures. 
  4. ^ "Gulf Country - Cape York Peninsula". Holiday Ideas. NRMA. 2012-01-01. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  5. ^ "Peninsula Developmental Road". Projects. State of Queensland (Department of Transport and Main Roads). 2012-12-12. Retrieved 2013-01-20.