Marble Bar Hillside Road; is it a good shortcut?

If you’re wondering how you can get from the Great Northern Highway to Marble Bar without having to do a huge detour, there is a decent option that takes you almost directly there. We’ve done it twice now, both times coming from Marble Bar towards Auski Roadhouse, and thoroughly enjoyed the drive.

The Road name is called Marble Bar Hillside, and its aptly named when you take it!

Hillside Road
Hillside Road, between Marble Bar and Auski Roadhouse

Where does it start?

If you are in Marble Bar, head out towards the pool, and stick on the main road. This will take you all the way to the great northern highway with great signage where needed. It’s a ripper Marble Bar Road.

Marble Bar in town
It starts just out of Marble Bar itself

How much of the road is gravel?

The gravel section starts around 20km out of Marble Bar, and ends about 100 kilometres out of Marble Bar, giving you around 80km of gravel. From there, it goes back to bitumen all the way to the Great Northern Highway.

What is the road condition?

The road is well maintained, and is generally kept in pretty good conditions. We averaged 60km/h for the first part, dropping down to 40km/h and slower for a few sections and then the rest of it probably averaged around 75 – 85km/h.

Slow down when you have flood ways and where the road topography changes suddenly (or you’ll bend something), but its generally a pretty good road.

We did deflate each time, and pump back up at the end purely to reduce the chance of a puncture and absorb some of the corrugations and bumps, but I’m sure there are plenty of people who don’t do this.

Its certainly off road caravan friendly, and I’d probably take a semi off-road down it with no real issues either. We did see a couple of 2WD vans doing the road, and you’d be OK in anything with a bit of clearance that can handle some corrugations.

Marble Bar Road
Its generally in pretty good shape

Alternative pathways

If you want to avoid the gravel all together, you basically need to head towards Port Hedland and then back down. Heading East of Marble Bar does a big loop and requires you to do Skull Springs Road (which is far worse), and then gravel from Nullagine down to about 100 odd kilometres north of Newman.

Overall, this is a drive worth doing with some pretty spectacular scenery, decent road conditions and it takes you to a beautiful  part of the world; Marble Bar.

Check out Albert Tognolini Rest Area

If you are taking this road, you’ll be close to Albert Tognolini Rest area, which is one of the most spectacular places you’ll see in the Pilbara, and you can even camp there overnight. If you haven’t already checked it out, add it to the list as well.

Enjoying the views

Have you done the Marble Bar Hillside road? What did you think of it?

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