The Federal Government runs ths national road safety program, so they hand out big sums of cash to promote road safety. One of the conditions for the NT was to introduce speed limits on the highways. So the NT Government complied and introduced a 130Km/h (about 75+ MPH) for the main north-south highway, so they could get some of this Federal money. Following the recent NT elections, they agreed to trial the unrestricted speeds on 200 Km (about 125 miles). If it is successful, they will open more stretches up to this "unrestricted" speeds.
In the days when there were no speed limits on the open roads, they used to have a CanonBall Run from Darwin (at the top) to Uluru (Ayre's Rock), at distance of about 2000Km, until a couple of Japanese left the road at some remarkable speed in their Ferrari and killed a couple of spectators (with all that space, why were they so close to the action?). Japanese are not very good in cars, because the maximum speeds that they are used to is about 55Km/h (about 30 mph), so it would be like letting a New Yorker out to play - they might know the game, but are not very good at it! If you plan on coming for a vacation, the rest of Oz is pretty well contained on restricted roads, so the only places you can strap on your lead boots, or your hard twist throttle is in the NT.
Anyway, check out the press release:
Northern Territory - TRIAL TO BEGIN ON REVISED SPEED LIMITS
main points -
The Northern Territory Government has delivered on its election promise to undertake an evidence based investigation into speed limits.
A 200 kilometre stretch of the StuartHighway between Barrow Creek and Alice Springs will undergo a one year trial on revised speed limits from February 1, 2014.
The current limit on that stretch of the Stuart Highway is 130 kph. That limit will be suspended, for the trial, and there will be no speed limit in operation for that part of the Stuart Highway
Learner and provisional drivers and heavy vehicles will continue to be speed limited as they are now.
... government would also be implementing a new policy for setting speed limits near road houses on major highways.
For information -
the Stuart Highway between Barrow Creek and Alice Springs is undivided; generally well-surfaced; a few hills; not many bends; not many intersections.
Cattle are often seen near the road, which is unfenced.
Plenty of big 'roos, but they're not as suicidal as the ones in Queensland.
Traffic - not much, but there is a high proportion of road trains (upto 57 metres long - about 180 feet with a tractor pulling a B-double and two other trailers) and tourists with caravans.
the southern end of the trial area is 10 km from Alice; but the Northern end is 1,350 km from Darwin -
so us Top-Enders won't be much affected.
in N.T. -
the speed limit in built-up areas is 50 kph, unless otherwise posted;
the speed limit outside built-up areas is 110 kph, unless otherwise posted;.
Plan your holidays !