Anne Beadell Highway

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesLaverton
FinishCoober Pedy
DifficultyDifficulty 4/5
Suitable For4WD 
Distance1365.01 km
Minimum Days5
Average Speed52.53 km/hr
Travel Time1 day 1 hr 59 mins
Page Updated: 22 Feb 2023


From Laverton in Western Australia to Coober Pedy in South Australia, the Anne Beadell Highway extends over 1350kms. It was named after Len Beadell’s wife Anne and was built to support the Woomera rocket range.

This trek features rarely used tracks that are often very narrow, twisty and sandy and there are times when the vegetation almost encroaches on the track so care needs to be taken. The tracks vary in conditions and will put the 4WD skills to the test. Travelling predominantly over red sand, the conditions vary from fairly hard and packed surfaces to very soft. There are some sections where the track is corrugates with some washouts.

There are a number of permits that must be obtained from different departments and organizations before you start off (See Permits) and no traffic can pass through the Woomera Protected Area Amber Zone 2 during exclusion periods. Always check for latest reports.

How to Use this Trek Note

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Naming this trek a "highway" is very misleading because it is little more than a track passing through a vast wilderness of vegetated dunes and gibber rises. The entire length from Laverton to the last 4 kms into Coober Pedy is across a red sandy base. Generally, the sand is firm and hard, but in some sections it is heavily washed out and in others there it is a little corrugated whilst in some areas there are soft but gentle dunes to cross.

Temperatures can rise to 50°C in summer and it has been known to rise to 60°C. Travel during summer is not recommended.


The Beadell name is well connected with the exploration of Australia's remotest areas and the creation of outback tracks. Len Beadell was a famous Australian surveyor, explorer and author instrumental in the surveying and building of 6,000kms of lonely desert roads through the Great Victoria, Gibson and Great Sandy Deserts of Australia.

The Anne Beadell Highway was built by Len and his team in the late 1950's and early 1960's and was named after his wife, Anne. The highway intersects with the Connie Sue Highway Trek Note running South to North, in Western Australia at Neale Junction. The Connie Sue Highway is named after Len and Anne's daughter.

But why is the junction called "Neale Junction"? This bit of history took one of our readers significant research through the State Library of Qld and then the Department of Land Administration - Geographic Services in WA to uncover. Neale Breakaways run generally north-south along the Rawlinna - Warburton track and extend for approximately 75 kilometres. The name Neale Breakaways is recorded on Commander Harry Bennett's exploration plan 140 of 1935. The feature is named after Commander R.F.C. Neale, the pilot who flew the "Mackay Aerial Reconnaissance Survey Expedition" in 1935. Name approved on 22.6.1984. So it appears Len simply named the junction using the map showing the name of the surrounding breakaways.

Another point of interest is the intersection with the Woomera area - notable as the first Australian atomic test site chosen by the British in 1946 due to its uninhabited land and clear skies. The now abandoned Emu test base and runway can be visited plus the 2 test sites where the first atomic bombs ever to be released in Australia were exploded. The radiation levels in the area are still considered to be unsafe for permanent occupation but visitors can safely go right up to the totems that mark the spot where the bombs were exploded. The ripples in the ground are a stark reminder of the devastating effects of atomic power. There are no facilities for camping in the immediate area so time your visit to enable travel time to a another area.

TrekID: 59


MUST READ: You are strongly encouraged to read the following articles prepared by the knowledge experts at ExplorOz for your safety and preparation before undertaking any published ExplorOz Trek - Outback Safety, Outback Driving Tips, Outback Communications, and Vehicle Setup for the Outback.


Please refer to Road Reports published by the local shire and/or main roads for the area you intend to visit. Road/Track conditions can change significantly after weather events. Travellers must be responsible for their own research on current conditions and track suitability.
A major factor for preparing for this trip is ensuring you don't attempt to travel during the published closure dates through the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA), and the arrangement of permits. See Permit Section.

The trip will take a minimum of five days if you are prepared to drive for about 7 hours a day. This does not allow much time for stopping at sights of interest or for unforeseen circumstances, so most people will take 6 - 7 days.

This track is no longer without fuel supplies. The Ilkurlka Roadhouse has both Diesel and Unleaded fuel with Eftpos and Credit Card facilities. There is no need to order fuel. However, due to COVID - many circumstances are changing so do not rely on this information. Check with the permit provider for the latest details.


You will need to organise permits with the following before you travel. A South Australia Desert Parks Pass will enable you to camp in the Mumungari CP, however a full Desert Parks Pass is not necessary for this route.

Maralinga Tjarutja Land and Mumungari CP

As you will be passing through the Maralinga Tjarutja Aboriginal Lands, you will need to inform their office of your intended route. Maralinga Tjarutja Inc. P.O. Box 435, CEDUNA, SA 5690 Phone: (08) 8625 2946. Fax: (08) 8625 3076. For the permit form, please click: Application for Maralinga Tjarutja Land

Woomera Prohibited Area

The Anne Beadell Hwy includes a small section of track that traverses an Amber Zone 2 area of the WPA, which is closed for testing during nominated dates. During these noted dates, NO PERMITS will be issued. To see a map of exclusion zones, go to: A permit is required outside these dates and applications can be made to the Woomera Test Range at least 14 days prior to travel via email or phone (08) 8674 3370. More information on access zones, exclusion periods and permits for the WPA can be viewed at

Tallaringa CP

Entry & Camping Permit is covered by Desert Parks Pass (if you have one). If not, purchase a permit online

Fuel Usage

Coober Pedy, Laverton
4cyl 195 litres *4cyl 221 litres4cyl 273 litres
6cyl 210 litres *6cyl 263 litres *6cyl 240 litres
8cyl 192 litres *8cyl 226 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

During late autumn, winter and early spring, the weather is pleasant, but nights can be below freezing so take warm clothing and sleeping equipment. Early spring the wild flowers are in full bloom. Please be aware that there are 2 periods, during published dates in March and May, where WPA permit applications will be refused. See permit section within this page for specific dates and further details.

Closest Climatic Station

Distance from Trek Mid Point 214.94km S
Mean Max. °C33.
Mean Min. °C16.216.714.311.
Mean Rain mm23.127.927.418.817.116.317.014.816.210.321.826.4
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended


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Laverton to Point Kidman
Driving: 41.18 km
Heading: 69°
Avg Speed: 75.04 km/hr
EST Time: 32:55
Point Kidman to Yamarna HS Ruins
Driving: 102.38 km
Heading: 67°
Avg Speed: 74.38 km/hr
EST Time: 01:22:35
Yamarna HS Ruins to Point Sunday
Driving: 43.34 km
Heading: 84°
Avg Speed: 51.46 km/hr
EST Time: 50:31
Point Sunday to Yeo Lake Homestead
Driving: 24.36 km
Heading: 78°
Avg Speed: 51.37 km/hr
EST Time: 28:27
Yeo Lake Homestead to Bishop Rileys Pulpit
Driving: 43 km
Heading: 117°
Avg Speed: 57.17 km/hr
EST Time: 45:07
Bishop Rileys Pulpit to Neale Junction
Driving: 123.35 km
Heading: 94°
Avg Speed: 55.4 km/hr
EST Time: 02:13:35
Neale Junction to Wrecked Caravan
Driving: 109.46 km
Heading: 92°
Avg Speed: 68.71 km/hr
EST Time: 01:35:35
Wrecked Caravan to Turnoff Marker
Driving: 4.06 km
Heading: 84°
Avg Speed: 62.71 km/hr
EST Time: 03:53
Turnoff Marker to Light Plane Wreckage
Driving: 8.18 km
Heading: 18°
Avg Speed: 30.69 km/hr
EST Time: 15:59
Light Plane Wreckage to Turnoff Marker
Driving: 8.18 km
Heading: 198°
Avg Speed: 30.69 km/hr
EST Time: 15:59
Turnoff Marker to No. 1 Campsite
Driving: 9.74 km
Heading: 88°
Avg Speed: 67.81 km/hr
EST Time: 08:37
No. 1 Campsite to Ilkurlka Roadhouse
Driving: 48.92 km
Heading: 94°
Avg Speed: 63.67 km/hr
EST Time: 46:06
Ilkurlka Roadhouse to Tjutatja Tank Campsite
Driving: 57.81 km
Heading: 97°
Avg Speed: 30 km/hr
EST Time: 01:55:37
Tjutatja Tank Campsite to No. 4 Campsite
Driving: 97.23 km
Heading: 99°
Avg Speed: 44.97 km/hr
EST Time: 02:09:43
No. 4 Campsite to WA-SA Border
Driving: 13.78 km
Heading: 80°
Avg Speed: 30.49 km/hr
EST Time: 27:07
WA-SA Border to Voakes Hill Corner
Driving: 171.23 km
Heading: 93°
Avg Speed: 44.04 km/hr
EST Time: 03:53:17
Voakes Hill Corner to Boundary Marker
Driving: 31.18 km
Heading: 90°
Avg Speed: 43.37 km/hr
EST Time: 43:08
Boundary Marker to Woomera Prohibited Area
Driving: 50.76 km
Heading: 86°
Avg Speed: 50.15 km/hr
EST Time: 01:00:43
Woomera Prohibited Area to Anne's Corner
Driving: 24.92 km
Heading: 92°
Avg Speed: 41.07 km/hr
EST Time: 36:24
Anne's Corner to Boundary Marker
Driving: 23.16 km
Heading: 97°
Avg Speed: 41.3 km/hr
EST Time: 33:38
Boundary Marker to Emu Junction
Driving: 27.31 km
Heading: 109°
Avg Speed: 41.27 km/hr
EST Time: 39:42
Emu Junction to Ground Zero Totem 1
Driving: 23.84 km
Heading: 113°
Avg Speed: 54.61 km/hr
EST Time: 26:11
Ground Zero Totem 1 to Ground Zero Totem 2
Driving: 1.63 km
Heading: 160°
Avg Speed: 40.32 km/hr
EST Time: 02:25
Ground Zero Totem 2 to Tallaringa CP Boundary
Driving: 79.02 km
Heading: 114°
Avg Speed: 58.35 km/hr
EST Time: 01:21:15
Tallaringa CP Boundary to Tallaringa Native Well
Driving: 31.33 km
Heading: 107°
Avg Speed: 62.93 km/hr
EST Time: 29:52
Tallaringa Native Well to Dingo Barrier Fence
Driving: 59.5 km
Heading: 84°
Avg Speed: 57.02 km/hr
EST Time: 01:02:36
Dingo Barrier Fence to Mabel Creek
Driving: 56.72 km
Heading: 84°
Avg Speed: 67.3 km/hr
EST Time: 50:34
Mabel Creek to Coober Pedy
Driving: 49.44 km
Heading: 100°
Avg Speed: 74.57 km/hr
EST Time: 39:46
Distance is based on the travel mode shown (Driving, Straight, Cycling, Walking etc), Direction is straight line from start to end, Avg Speed & EST Time is calculated from GPS data.

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