in Western Australia
to Coober Pedy
in South Australia
, the Anne Beadell Highway
extends over 1350kms. It was named after Len Beadell’s wife Anne and was built to support the Woomera
This trek features rarely used tracks that are often very narrow, twisty and sandy and there are times when the vegetation almost encroaches on the track so care needs to be taken. The tracks vary in conditions and will put the 4WD skills to the test. Travelling predominantly over red sand, the conditions vary from fairly hard and packed surfaces to very soft. There are some sections where the track is corrugates with some washouts.
There are a number of permits that must be obtained from different departments and organizations before you start off (See Pemits) and no traffic can pass through the Woomera
Protected Area Amber Zone 2 from 13 May - 2 June 2013 inclusive, 12 August - 25 August 2013 inclusive, 28 October - 10 November inclusive, 3 March 2014 - 23 March 2014 inclusive, or 19 May 2014 - 8 June 2014 inclusive. Note: dates can vary. Always check for latest reports.
How to Use this Trek Note
The idea of a Trek Note, is that we provide a recommended route to explore an area with point-to-point guidance and extensive trip planning information about when to go, what to see, and where to camp. However, all the facts and data files are available should you prefer to build your own route/itinerary.
To see the route we recommend, click on the "Map" tab. Then, use the Moving Map Control to take a virtual tour of the route. You can reverse the order of the direction notes by clicking the arrow alongside the words Start/Finish at the very top of the information on this page.
Click on the "What to See" & "Where to Stay" tabs to see more about each Place that the route follows. Click each listed Place to open a separate page (and download for Members only) to enrich your understanding of the area.
A text list of Place to Place distances (see Directions tab) is given, plus you can download the route file to load into your GPS/Navigator. Go to our shop
to obtain the complete EOTreks Route Files
If you just want the raw data files (for use with mapping software or to load into a GPS/Navigator), then the track file and waypoints are downloadable for free (Members only), using the Download Treks button at the top of this page.
You can also print this page (use the print icon button) and text from all sections (Description, Preparation, What to See, Where to Stay, Directions, Related, Feedback
) will be reformatted into one easy-to-read document (except for detailed Place information – do these separately).
Naming this trek a "highway" is very misleading because it is little more than a track passing through a vast wilderness of vegetated dunes and gibber rises. The entire length from Laverton
to the last 4 kms into Coober Pedy
is across a red sandy base. Generally, the sand is firm and hard, but in some sections it is heavily washed out and in others there it is a little corrugated whilst in some areas there are soft but gentle dunes to cross.
Temperatures can rise to 50°C in summer and it has been known to rise to 60°C. Travel during summer is not recommended.
The Beadell name is well connected with the exploration of Australia
's remotest areas and the creation of outback tracks. Len Beadell was a famous Australian surveyor, explorer and author instrumental in the surveying and building of 6,000kms of lonely desert roads through the Great Victoria
, Gibson and Great Sandy Deserts of Australia
The Anne Beadell Highway
was built by Len and his team in the late 1950's and early 1960's and was named after his wife, Anne. The highway intersects with the Connie Sue Highway Trek Note running South to North, in Western Australia
at Neale Junction
. The Connie Sue Highway is named after Len and Anne's daughter.
But why is the junction called "Neale Junction"? This bit of history took one of our readers significant research through the State Library of Qld and then the Department of Land Administration - Geographic Services
in WA to uncover...Neale Breakaways
run generally north-south along the Rawlinna
track and extend for approximately 75 kilometres. The name Neale Breakaways
is recorded on Commander Harry Bennett's exploration plan 140 of 1935. The feature is named after Commander R.F.C. Neale, the pilot
who flew the "Mackay Aerial Reconnaissance Survey Expedition" in 1935. Name approved on 22.6.1984. So it appears Len simply named the junction using the map showing the name of the surrounding breakaways.
Another point of interest is the intersection with the Woomera
area - notable as the first Australian atomic test site chosen by the British in 1946 due to its uninhabited land and clear skies. The now abandoned Emu
test base and runway can be visited plus the 2 test sites where the first atomic bombs ever to be released in Australia
were exploded. The radiation levels in the area are still considered to be unsafe for permanent occupation but visitors can safely go right up to the totems that mark the spot
where the bombs were exploded. The ripples in the ground are a stark reminder of the devastating effects of atomic power. There are no facilities for camping in the immediate area so time your visit to enable travel time to a another area.
A major factor for preparing for this trip is ensuring you don't attempt to travel during the published closure dates through the Woomera
Prohibited Area (WPA), and the arrangement of permits. See Permit Section.
The trip will take a minimum of five days if you are prepared to drive for about 7 hours a day. This does not allow much time for stopping at sights of interest or for unforeseen circumstances, so most people will take 6 - 7 days.
This track is no longer without fuel supplies. The Ilkurlka Roadhouse
has both Diesel and Unleaded fuel with Eftpos and Credit Card facilities. There is no need to order fuel.
You will need to organise permits with the following before you travel. A South Australia
Desert Parks Pass will enable you to camp in the Mumungari CP, however a full Desert Parks Pass is not necessary for this route.
Maralinga Tjarutja Land
As you will be passing through the Maralinga
Tjarutja Aboriginal Lands, you will need to inform their office of your intended route. Maralinga
Tjarutja Inc. P.O. Box 435, CEDUNA
, SA 5690 Phone: (08) 8625 2946. Fax: (08) 8625 3076. For the permit form, please click: Application for Maralinga Tjarutja Land
Woomera Prohibited Area
The Anne Beadell Hwy
includes a small section of track that traverses an Amber Zone 2 area of the WPA, which will be closed 3 March - 23 March 2014 and 19 May - 8 June 2014. During these noted dates, NO PERMITS will be issued. To see a map of exclusion zones, go to: www.defence.gov.au/woomera/zones.htm
A permit is required outside these dates and applications can be made to the Woomera
Test Range at least 14 days prior to travel via email firstname.lastname@example.org
or phone (08) 8674 3370. More information on access zones, exclusion periods and permits for the WPA can be viewed at www.defence.gov.au/woomera
Tallaringa and Mumungari CPs
Entry & Camping Permit is covered by Desert Parks Pass (if you have one). If not, purchase a permit online http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/Find_a_Park/Browse_by_region/flinders-ranges-outback/tallaringa-conservation-park#fees
Fuel Supplies & UsageIlkurlka Roadhouse
|4cyl 197 litres *||4cyl 223 litres||4cyl 276 litres|
|6cyl 212 litres *||6cyl 265 litres *||6cyl 243 litres|
|8cyl 194 litres *||8cyl 229 litres|
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.
Best Time To Visit
During late autumn, winter and early spring, the weather is pleasant, but nights can be below freezing so take warm clothing and sleeping equipment. Early spring the wild flowers are in full bloom. Please be aware that there are 2 periods, during published dates in March and May, where WPA permit applications will be refused. See permit section within this page for specific dates and further details.
Closest Climatic Station
Distance from Trek Mid Point 214.91km S
Best time to travel Ok time to travel Travel NOT recommended
|Mean Max. °C||33.1||32.2||29.0||26.2||22.2||19.0||18.6||20.8||24.3||27.0||29.9||31.3|
|Mean Min. °C||16.2||16.7||14.3||11.9||8.7||6.0||5.1||5.7||8.2||10.5||13.0||14.9|
|Mean Rain mm||23.1||27.9||27.4||18.8||17.1||16.3||17.0||14.8||16.2||10.3||21.8||26.4|
Services & Supplies