The Tanami Track

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesHalls Creek
FinishAlice Springs
DifficultyDifficulty 2.5/5
Suitable For4WD AWD Camper Bike 
Distance1119.9 km
Minimum Days2
Average Speed76.55 km/hr
Travel Time14 hrs 37 mins
Page Updated: 5 Jul 2021

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 Australian-made GPS & Navigation app will allow you to download all the ExplorOz Treks to your GPS enabled smartphone/tablet/iPad or laptop and enable active route guidance along the route as per the Directions shown on this page. The app enables offline navigation and mapping and will show where you are as you travel along the route. The app also allows you to edit/customise the route. Viewing the Trek in the Traveller app also includes all the words, images and POIs exactly as on the website (excludes Wildflowers). For more info see the ExplorOz Traveller webpage.

  • Alternatively, if you already have another raster mapping software program you can Download this route in GPX format using the button shown below the map on this page .

TIP

To purchase our maps for offline use, you will need to purchase the EOTopo 2021 map licence. To install the maps you will need the ExplorOz Traveller app.

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.

TIP

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.

Permits

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

Fuel Usage

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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Download Trek
Use this download for GPX, Hema Navigator and OziExplorer. Geo data only no map included.

Directions

Halls Creek to Great Northern Hwy & Tanami Rd
Driving: 16.32 km
Heading: 226°
Avg Speed: 79.28 km/hr
EST Time: 12:21
  • Drive northeast. for: 0.2 km time: 00:59
  • Turn right onto 1/Great Northern Highway. for: 16.1 km time: 11:17
  • Turn left onto Roberta Avenue. for: 0.02 km time: 00:05
Great Northern Hwy & Tanami Rd to Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater National Park
Driving: 135.01 km
Heading: 165°
Avg Speed: 59.32 km/hr
EST Time: 02:16:33
Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater National Park to Sturt Creek, Tanami Rd
Driving: 68.94 km
Heading: 194°
Avg Speed: 78.72 km/hr
EST Time: 52:32
Sturt Creek, Tanami Rd to Tanami Rd & Balgo Mission Rd
Driving: 44.22 km
Heading: 131°
Avg Speed: 82.01 km/hr
EST Time: 32:21
Tanami Rd & Balgo Mission Rd to Tanami Rd & Balgo Sturt Creek Rd
Driving: 23.23 km
Heading: 110°
Avg Speed: 81.13 km/hr
EST Time: 17:10
Tanami Rd & Balgo Sturt Creek Rd to Tanami Rd, WA-NT Border
Driving: 83.61 km
Heading: 91°
Avg Speed: 82.67 km/hr
EST Time: 01:00:40
Tanami Rd, WA-NT Border to Rabbit Flat Roadhouse (closed)
Driving: 127.34 km
Heading: 107°
Avg Speed: 79.01 km/hr
EST Time: 01:36:42
Rabbit Flat Roadhouse (closed) to Tanami Rd & Rabbit Flat turnoff (closed)
Driving: 0.67 km
Heading: 168°
Avg Speed: 96.11 km/hr
EST Time: 00:25
Tanami Rd & Rabbit Flat turnoff (closed) to Wolfram Hill
Driving: 258.04 km
Heading: 147°
Avg Speed: 86.62 km/hr
EST Time: 02:58:44
Wolfram Hill to Mount Doreen Ruins
Driving: 3.56 km
Heading: 120°
Avg Speed: 26.59 km/hr
EST Time: 08:01
Mount Doreen Ruins to Yuendumu
Driving: 61.88 km
Heading: 116°
Avg Speed: 82.3 km/hr
EST Time: 45:06
Yuendumu to Tilmouth Well Roadhouse
Driving: 108.79 km
Heading: 127°
Avg Speed: 90.39 km/hr
EST Time: 01:12:12
Tilmouth Well Roadhouse to Napperby Ck, Tanami Rd (Tilmouth Crossing)
Driving: 0.5 km
Heading: 269°
Avg Speed: 42.8 km/hr
EST Time: 00:42
Napperby Ck, Tanami Rd (Tilmouth Crossing) to Tanami Rd & Gary Junction Rd
Driving: 50.47 km
Heading: 149°
Avg Speed: 86.86 km/hr
EST Time: 34:51
Tanami Rd & Gary Junction Rd to Tanami Rd & Stuart Hwy
Driving: 117.14 km
Heading: 111°
Avg Speed: 92.13 km/hr
EST Time: 01:16:17
Tanami Rd & Stuart Hwy to Alice Springs
Driving: 20.18 km
Heading: 173°
Avg Speed: 78.88 km/hr
EST Time: 15:20
  • Drive east on Tanami Road/5. for: 0.02 km time: 00:01
  • Turn right onto 87/Stuart Highway. Continue on Stuart Highway. for: 19.41 km time: 13:35
  • Bear left onto Wills Terrace. for: 0.56 km time: 00:57
  • Make a right U-turn to stay on Wills Terrace. for: 0.08 km time: 00:20
  • Turn left. for: 0.11 km time: 00:29
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.

What to See

Facilities

Where to Stay

Services & Supplies

Wildflowers

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