Tanami Track

Thursday, May 06, 2021 at 10:21

Stephen L (Clare) SA

Linking Alice Springs in the Northern territory with Halls Creek in Western Australia, the iconic Tanami Track stretches for around 1050 kilometres, with more than 800 of that being dirt.

A single strip of bitumen leaves the Stuart Highway and is like this all the way out to Tilmouth Well, a distance of just under 190 kilometres and from there on, the corrugations set in. This is also the only place along the drive that has caravan park facilities and after that, you will be bush camping for a minimum of two nights.

Along the way, old highway’s camps make a great place to pull in off the track and enjoy the solitude of our Aussie Outback. One place that is a “must” camp location is along the Sturt Creek, not far from the Billiluna Aboriginal Community, that also sells fuel.

Depending on which way the wind is blowing, you are better to stop and get off the road when you see one of the many Road Trains coming towards you, as you can not see through the wall of dust and you would not want to meet another vehicle head on through the dust cloud.

If travelling solo, you must be fully prepared, as there are no facilities along the drive and the only phone service is within a very small radius of the Tanami Gold Mine. For this reason, I strongly urge all Outback Travellers to carry a PLB as a minimum piece of safety equipment, while a satellite phone or HF Radio will give you contact in an emergency with the outside world.

One lot of old ruins along the drive are the Mount Doreen ruins that are around 320 kilometres west of Alice Springs, but if you do not have a detailed map, you will pass them by without even known where they are.

As this is all traditional Aboriginal Lands, you may encounter traditional turnoffs and the smoke in the distance fills the sky, making it look like rain clouds. The only detour along the way is the famous Wolfe Creek Crater which are around 170 kilometres south of Halls Creek.

If there was one just place for a very special bush camp, it would have to be on the banks of Sturt Creek which is just perfect. As you head further west the scenery greatly changes and the flat countryside gives ways to rolling hills and a few telltale signs let you know you are close to civilisation and you are at the end of this interesting drive.

Smile like a Crocodile
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