The Tanami desert track is a 1000km “shortcut” between Alice springs and the Kimberley. It starts just north of Alice springs and ends at Halls creek in Western Australia. When we were travelling through there were no fuel stations open except Tillmouth Well Roadhouse right at the start (but check before you set out). We filled up and were told by a man that had just travelled from Halls Creek in the opposite direction, that it was “the worst bloody road in Australia” 🙂
We knew we had enough fuel on board to get through to Halls Creek with a detour to Wolfe Creek Crator. Traveling east to west is definitely more efficient due to favourable head winds. Let your tyres down on the dirt tracks (for us with our load we went to 25psi) to reduce damage to tyres. It’s also much more comfortable travelling over corrugations at this psi.
The Tanami Road is mostly unsealed, and we had heard mixed reviews about the conditions before we left. But with any sort of travelling on outback Australia opinions and conditions vary, you just have to be prepared and try it for yourself. We were lucky, large sections of the road had been graded when we passed through so we didn’t find it that bad (even though the man we spoke too thought it was terrible).
We travelled the track in two days. There are lots of free spots to stop that aren’t listed in the Camps Australia book. My only tip would be too camp a bit further off the road due to dust blooms coming into your camp when other vehicles go past and especially as road trains travel on this road regularly.
It really is a beautiful part of our country, red soils, and flat plains of yellow spinifex and saltbush.
next post: Wolfe Creek meteor crater….