Tanami Track

The Tanami Track is essentially a handy short-cut linking the Red Centre to the Kimberley of Western Australia (the alternative route is to take the Stuart Highway to Dunmarra then strike north-west along the Buchanan and Duncan Highways). Although once a notorious 4WD track, it is now a graded dirt highway. Although the 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.

Fuel is available at Tilmouth Well, Yuendemu, Balgo and Billiluna, with emergency fuel available at the Granites Mine if required. Rabbit Flat Roadhouse was closed permanently from December 2010.

Note: Permits are required for visiting aboriginal communities for any reason other than purchasing fuel or supplies.

What You Will See

Located just off the Tanami Track in the Northern Territory, the Mt Doreen station ruins provides visitors with an interesting place to explore and even bush camp. The station was named after Doreen Braitling, wife of Bill Braitling who ran the station in the 1920s. The homestead was abandoned due to poor water supply and Bill died in 1959.

Located at Yuendumu, 300km northwest of Alice Springs, Yuendumu Art Centre displays works by local Aboriginal artists. Paintings may be purchased here.

The Wolfe Creek Crater is a well-preserved meteorite impact crater 150 km south of the town of Halls Creek. The second largest meteorite crater in the world, it is central to the Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater National Park. The crater averages about 875 metres in diameter, 60 metres from rim to present crater floor and it is estimated that the meteorite that formed it had a mass of about 50,000 tonnes, while the age is estimated to be less than 300,000 years. It was brought to the attention of science after being spotted during an aerial survey in 1947.

The local Djaru (Jaru) Aboriginal people refer to the crater as Kandimalal. There are multiple Dreaming stories about the formation of the crater. One such story describes the crater's round shape being formed by the passage of a rainbow snake out of the earth, while another snake formed the nearby Sturt Creek.


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Distances

For the purpose of this exercise, the journey is calculated as starting from Alice Springs, North Territory and concluding at Halls Creek, Western Australia

Alice Springs to Tanami Road turnoff on Stuart Highway: 21 km (15 minutes)
Tanami Road Turnoff to Tilmouth Well Roadhouse: 170 km (2 hrs)
Timmouth Well Roadhouse to Rabbit Flat Roadhouse: 431 km (5 hours)
Rabbit Flat Roadhouse to WA border: 128 km (1 hour 30 mins)
WA Border to Wolfe Creek meteorite crater: 220 km (3 hours 45 mins)
Wolfe Creek meteorite crater to Halls Creek: 152 km (2 hrs 30 mins)
Total distance: 1,122 km
Total travelling time: 15 hours

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