The Tanami Track

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesAlice Springs
FinishHalls Creek
DifficultyDifficulty 2.5/5
Suitable For4WD AWD Camper Bike 
Distance1120.36 km
Minimum Days2
Average Speed77.42 km/hr
Travel Time14 hrs 28 mins
Page Updated: 18 Jul 2019

Description

Although the Tanami Track traverses one of Australia's great deserts - The Tanami Desert, it is in fact a relatively easy route for travellers with 4WD and a comparatively safe introduction to remote, arid area travel.

Gold has always been known to be in abundance in the region and although mining was sporadic over the last century, a number of major mines dominate the area, now widely regarded as one of Australia's last under-explored mineral provinces. The companies that own and operate these mines have gained access to large areas of land through negotiating agreements with the Arunta people - the traditional Aboriginal owners.

The Tanami and Granites Mines found just off the track are amongst the largest gold producing mines in Australia. It is believed that they will remain operational for many years yet. The infrastructure of these fly in fly out mines are temporary, yet immense. The use of the Tanami Track as their major service route will continue to benefit tourists by ensuring that it is well graded, that sufficiently large fuel stops are nearby and that emergency help and facilities are close at hand.

There are few highlights along the route to make this a specific destination - it really is just a "shortcut" from the Red Centre to the Kimberley. (The alternative route is to take the Stuart Highway up to Dunmarra then strike north-west along the Buchanan and Duncan Highways). However, the aboriginal dot paintings are probably the best specimens in Australia. The local communities are encouraged to paint and their work is regularly collected from the surrounding communities and put in the gallery at Tilmouth Well for tourists to view and/or purchase. These are originals, with each artists name scrawled on the back of the canvas.

With the large number of "grey" and even "blonde" nomads roaming the outback these days, it is worth finding as many alternative routes as you can. So give the Tanami some thought - however take note that although it is popular and not so notorious, this is still remote desert country and certain precautions need to be observed.

How to Use this Trek Note

If you'd like to download this Trek there are two options:
  • Purchase our app ExplorOz Traveller. This will allow you to download all the ExplorOz Trek Notes to your GPS enabled smartphone/tablet/iPad or laptop and enable active route guidance along the route we provide as per the Directions. The app also allows you to edit/customise the route. In the app you will get all the words, images and POIs for each Trek exactly as on the website (excludes Wildflowers). For more info see the ExplorOz Traveller webpage.

  • Alternatively, if you already have another mapping software program (or an HN7 device) you can try downloading the data files we provide via the Download Trek button at the top of this page (or purchase EOTreks Route Files). Be aware that this doesn't include maps or text just the route line.

TIP

To purchase our maps for offline use, you will need to purchase an EOTopo map licence (available either in App Version, or Raster Version).

TrekID: 75

Preparation

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.

Permits

None if sticking to the track. Permits are required for visiting aboriginal communities for any reason other than purchasing fuel or supplies.

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel SymbolTilmouth Well Roadhouse.
DieselULPLPG
4cyl 143 litres *4cyl 181 litres4cyl 224 litres
6cyl 152 litres *6cyl 161 litres *6cyl 197 litres
8cyl 128 litres *8cyl 186 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Closest Climatic Station

Rabbit Flat
Distance from Trek Mid Point 115.73km NW
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C38.837.335.833.928.225.426.029.434.337.038.738.5
Mean Min. °C24.123.521.616.711.67.56.88.414.518.522.023.6
Mean Rain mm105.098.179.322.415.27.45.11.56.522.639.673.4
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Map

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What to See

Showing 3 Places

Where to Stay

Showing 1 Places

Directions

Alice Springs to Tanami Rd & Stuart Hwy
Driving: 20.69 km
Heading: 354°
Avg Speed: 83.55 km/hr
EST Time: 14:51
Tanami Rd & Stuart Hwy to Tanami Rd & Gary Junction Rd
Driving: 117.14 km
Heading: 290°
Avg Speed: 92.13 km/hr
EST Time: 01:16:17
Tanami Rd & Gary Junction Rd to Napperby Ck, Tanami Rd (Tilmouth Crossing)
Driving: 50.47 km
Heading: 329°
Avg Speed: 86.86 km/hr
EST Time: 34:51
Napperby Ck, Tanami Rd (Tilmouth Crossing) to Tilmouth Well Roadhouse
Driving: 0.5 km
Heading: 89°
Avg Speed: 42.8 km/hr
EST Time: 00:42
Tilmouth Well Roadhouse to Yuendumu
Driving: 108.79 km
Heading: 307°
Avg Speed: 90.39 km/hr
EST Time: 01:12:12
Yuendumu to Mount Doreen Ruins
Driving: 61.88 km
Heading: 296°
Avg Speed: 82.3 km/hr
EST Time: 45:06
Mount Doreen Ruins to Wolfram Hill
Driving: 3.56 km
Heading: 300°
Avg Speed: 26.59 km/hr
EST Time: 08:01
Wolfram Hill to Tanami Rd & Rabbit Flat turnoff (closed)
Driving: 258.04 km
Heading: 326°
Avg Speed: 86.62 km/hr
EST Time: 02:58:44
Tanami Rd & Rabbit Flat turnoff (closed) to Rabbit Flat Roadhouse (closed)
Driving: 0.67 km
Heading: 348°
Avg Speed: 96.11 km/hr
EST Time: 00:25
Rabbit Flat Roadhouse (closed) to Tanami Rd, WA-NT Border
Driving: 127.34 km
Heading: 287°
Avg Speed: 79.01 km/hr
EST Time: 01:36:42
Tanami Rd, WA-NT Border to Tanami Rd & Balgo Sturt Creek Rd
Driving: 83.61 km
Heading: 271°
Avg Speed: 82.67 km/hr
EST Time: 01:00:40
Tanami Rd & Balgo Sturt Creek Rd to Tanami Rd & Balgo Mission Rd
Driving: 23.23 km
Heading: 290°
Avg Speed: 81.13 km/hr
EST Time: 17:10
Tanami Rd & Balgo Mission Rd to Sturt Creek, Tanami Rd
Driving: 44.22 km
Heading: 311°
Avg Speed: 82.01 km/hr
EST Time: 32:21
Sturt Creek, Tanami Rd to Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater National Park
Driving: 68.94 km
Heading: 14°
Avg Speed: 78.72 km/hr
EST Time: 52:32
Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater National Park to Great Northern Hwy & Tanami Rd
Driving: 135.01 km
Heading: 345°
Avg Speed: 59.32 km/hr
EST Time: 02:16:33
Great Northern Hwy & Tanami Rd to Halls Creek
Driving: 16.27 km
Heading: 46°
Avg Speed: 88.57 km/hr
EST Time: 11:01
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.

Wildflowers

Related Travel Journals

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