Travelling the Tanami Track – 821 kms of corrugations!

Just did three days on the Tanami Track going from Alice Springs to Halls Creek, so three driving days, 1233 kms including 821 on rough, corrugated roads (used to call these washboard roads in Canada).  Not much traffic but a few road trains.  Lots of red dust everywhere but overall the van was pretty airtight except for one small leak under the stove.  On the first day we stayed in a deserted bush camp south of Rabbit Flat and we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn – Dick is very happy as he likes being in the tropics.  Saw six wild camels crossing the road in front of us and saw lots of dead cows and kangaroos beside the road.  Have been on a big campaign to eat all our fruit and veg since we are crossing into WA and they have strict quarantine laws.  Had a ‘border lunch’ of Thai beef salad and freshly squeezed lemonade to use up the last of our fruit and veg. No one at the border but we are following the rules on this.

Thanks to a suggestion from Paul and Margaret (one of their many tips we are following), we camped at Stretch Lagoon on the Canning Stock Route near Billiluna.  Peaceful beautiful lagoon, lots of birds and no one else there.  Only casualty from a full day of corrugations was one bottle of beer that leaked over everything in the fridge, and meant the fridge got an unplanned wash.

Needed to get fuel in Billiluna, an aboriginal town, on Monday morning and there was an interesting hive of activity around the store and pump – lots of kids, dogs, cars and people just hanging around and shopping.  A sign on the pump said “Beware of the camel – he will get you cornered and kick and bite you!”  Fortunately we didn’t see the camel.  Diesel was $2.60 per litre (the highest we have paid) which compares to the price in Alice Springs of $1.28 per litre.

Back on the Tanami to drive to Wolfe Creek to see the meteorite crater.  Took lots of pictures for my sister Eileen who didn’t want us to go there and made us promise not to camp there (because of the movie).  Dreadful road to get there and we lost the aerial for our CB – it just broke off.  Only had a look at the crater as we didn’t have time to do the rim walk.  Not a particularly inspiring place, even without having seen the movie.

Did a quick supply stop in Halls Creek –  fuel, fruit & veg, low alcohol beer (thats all they sell as its a restricted community), and water (which cost 20 cents/litre); and drove to the van park near the road to the Bungle Bungle.  Drove in the last hour of daylight along a highway where the Brahman cattle roam freely, and we saw lots along the side and on the road.  Difficult driving but we got to the van park just on dark.


Airing down the tires to go on the gravel road


Meeting a road train on the Tanami, just before the dust obliterates our view!


Bush camp beside the Tanami
Border lunch using up the fruit and veg


Crossing the border into WA- looks like the road goes on forever…….
Lovely camp at Stretch Lagoon
Camels at the side of the road
Cattle crossing in front of us
On the way into Wolfe Creek
Sign for Eileen
On the rim looking into the crater
View of the crater


Felt like a ‘gate girl’ as I opened 8 gates in one day


2 thoughts on “Travelling the Tanami Track – 821 kms of corrugations!

  1. Great to see you got to Stretch Lagoon – the first time we were there you could hear the brumbies on the other side of the lagoon during the night. Terrific spot to rest after all those corrugations!! We’ll assume you haven’t lost any fillings from your teeth!
    When we went to refuel in Billiluna they tried to put diesel into our petrol vehicle – lucky we were watching!!
    Now to enjoy the Kimberley – the adventure never stops.
    Marg and Paul

  2. Wow! The only good camel/ goat/ anything that doesn’t belong here is a dead one I reckon. I’m glad you haven’t hit anything.
    And good on you for complying with the quarantine laws – I bet lots of people don’t!
    Stretch Lagoon looks beautiful – great sunrise or sunset colours.
    You’re obviously having a ball but don’t break any more beer bottles will you – don’t want to waste it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.