Tanami Track Day 11 - Alice Springs to Papunya Turnoff (Tanami Track)

Monday, Jul 02, 2001 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Day 11 - Monday 2/7/01
Start - Alice Springs
Stop - Papunya Turnoff (Tanami Track)

Being Monday, we assumed that our tyres had arrived the previous Friday so lifted camp and headed to the tyre shop only to find that the tyres had gone missing in transit and couldn’t be found!

The saying “not happy Jan” had new meaning. Numerous hours and phone calls later we had the only Coopers tyre in Alice Springs fitted to our vehicle (and yes it was replaced under warranty). But the problem was that this was not the same tyre – we had to take an AT rather than an ST. The ST never arrived so we arranged for it to be re-routed to Kununurra where we expected to be in another weeks time after going up the Tanami Track. We re-repaired the staked tyre and put it back on the vehicle. We like to have 2 spares for desert/outback driving.

So for the Tanami we have the Grand Trek as our main spare and the odd AT Cooper as our second spare which will be switched with the ST when we get to Kununurra. A bit confusing for all concerned but finally we were able to leave the city and get out in the bush again, although it was 2.45pm.

The first 118km from Alice Springs was bitumen. The Tanami turnoff is just 19km north of Alice Springs on the Stuart Highway but from then on its just a single lane tar road. We encountered over 20 oncoming vehicles including caravans, camper trailers and trucks so we began to look for a bush camp a bit off the road. We past a few interesting spots such as Kunoth Bore on the left at just 50km and Cadney Bore on the RHS and through a gate, also a sandy river bed at Hamburger Creek and Charlie Creek about 2km east of the first marked roadside P bay. The P bay was not tent friendly, with broken glass and rubbish strewn everywhere so we pushed on further and found a side track off the Papunya turnoff that led to a couple of secluded campsites behind the gravel pit that were ideal.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Travelling fulltime in 2024
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