Tanami Road Conditions - Balgo Hills to Alice Springs 1-2 July 2014

Given the number of recent inquiries regarding conditions on the Tanami, I thought I'd provide a quick update regarding its condition.

We traveled the track from Balgo south east to Alice last week. Remember I base my judgement on driving a well prepared 4x4 and not towing.



Balgo Hills turn to the WA-NT Border. (100 km)

Mainly 'FAIR' condition with medium corrugations the norm and isolated patches of severe corrugations.

NT Border to The Granites (160 km)

Mainly 'GOOD' condition with some excellent stretches. Medium corrugations the norm with some patches of exposed rock and severe corrugations, particularly on sharp bends. Watch out for sudden stony humps in the road.


The Granites to Yuendumu (250 km)

Deteriorating conditions - Generally poor with severe corrugations, sandy patches and some areas of exposed rocks. Slower going especially for those towing.

Yuendumu to Tilmouth Well (100 km)

Poor condition- very badly corrugated with sandy patches.


Overall I would assess the road as in fair to poor condition with the NT having done more work than WA for a change. North of Balgo I can only assume conditions would be similar to that experienced between Balgo and the border with poorer conditions around community access roads and the last 'high volume' stretches near Halls Creek.

Fuel is available at Balgo on a 24 hour basis now with a self serve bowser system that uses credit card (Opal and Diesel).

Tilmouth Roadhouse providing a good camp ground and fantastic meals.

There was a lot of traffic heading north. Many were towing and off road campers were the norm. A few brave souls were towing their Jayco "off Road" campers at high speed.


Driving conditions for 4x4 vehicles (not towing) - fair with a speed of 60-80 kph easily maintained.

Towing for vans

In a well prepared off road van - slow.
Normal van behind 2 wheel drive - very slow going.

Corrugations are the norm along the entire length and the only thing that varies is their severity. Corners are to be treated with caution as it would be easy to bounce a van or trailer off the road if tackled too fast. As said a million times on the forum, tyre pressures will be crucial. Plan ahead, carry water and drive to the conditions

As an aside the country is looking fantastic (for a desert that is) with water in some salt pans and lakes.

EO Road conditions have been updated.



Cheers Mick



''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

Back Expand Un-Read 3 Moderator

Reply By: Krooznalong - Monday, Jul 07, 2014 at 12:51

Monday, Jul 07, 2014 at 12:51
G'day Mick
Waste of your time posting this. Some thickhead who ignores searching will post tomorrow "Has anyone been on the Tanami Track recently and what condition is it in".
AnswerID: 535594

Follow Up By: Mick O - Monday, Jul 07, 2014 at 15:08

Monday, Jul 07, 2014 at 15:08
I'm sure enlightenment will follow Krooza. At least the info is now here for those who are interested.

Cheers, Mick.
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 819469

Reply By: Member - Magic (VIC) - Monday, Jul 07, 2014 at 13:30

Monday, Jul 07, 2014 at 13:30
Thanks for this Mick. An excellent summary.

We're heading that way in a couple of weeks time, so very useful info.
AnswerID: 535595

Follow Up By: Mick O - Monday, Jul 07, 2014 at 15:06

Monday, Jul 07, 2014 at 15:06
Enjoy the trip. There is a power of traffic heading up the Stuart towards Alice. I was simply amazed at the numbers of nomads heading north. Seems to be more than usual, a "silver tsunami" perhaps ;-) it would probably be wise to pre-book any accommodation required in Alice.

There were quite a few heading north on the Tanami as well. Most local traffic goes no further than Yuendumu hence the poor conditions in the southern stretches of the track.

Safe travels

Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 819468

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Jul 07, 2014 at 19:14

Monday, Jul 07, 2014 at 19:14
Hi Mick,

I can vouch for your comments on the amount of "grey nomads" heading north.

We recently returned from our Kimberley trip and were gobsmacked at the number of folk heading north up the Stuart Highway, while we were (unfortunately) heading south. Boy, the Caravan and Camping industry must be experiencing a high at present.
At pretty well every Rest area, a gaggle of caravans, campers and motorhomes were present as we passed them, both in the morning or afternoon. It seems a lot of people are looking for free camping as they travel.

On the other hand, we picked the right time to travel the Gibb River Road and everywhere we stopped in caravan parks, had no problem in obtaining two sites together, or the occasional cabin for the four of us.
We had an absolute blast and met some great folk during our travels.

I would not have thought a simple tree could bring so much smiling and a feeling of happiness, but that is what the Boab tree did to us.
Absolutely loved them on our trip from Timber Creek to Broome and back again. We passed them, we camped next to them and we photographed a multitude of them. I think there was one or two we noticed on the Katherine side of Timber Creek but not all that far away. This seems to be the "cutoff" point for the Boab area.

Bill


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 819490

Follow Up By: Mick O - Monday, Jul 07, 2014 at 19:20

Monday, Jul 07, 2014 at 19:20
There's a mass migration underway alright Bill.

Desert Oaks are the trees that always do it for me. The sighing of the wind through the trees lets me know I'm out back once again.

Trust you had a fantastic trip. I'm back in bleak old Melbourne for another three weeks before heading out again (thank god I have an understanding wife ;-)

Cheers Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 819492

Follow Up By: cookie1 - Monday, Jul 07, 2014 at 22:07

Monday, Jul 07, 2014 at 22:07
I found that either side of the communities were badly corrugated too in early June in particular between Balgo & Billiluna, although I didn't experience bad corrugations for the most of it, I would hazard a guess and say that it was the influx of Gnomads heading north that made it worse after then

cheers
0
FollowupID: 819519

Follow Up By: Slow one - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2014 at 06:13

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2014 at 06:13
Mick,
your advise to prebook in Alice is well founded. Where we are at the moment is full every night. The amount of traffic coming off the mereenie loop is awesome.

One thing I have struck this year, is many people are slowing right down when passing which is a very pleasant surprise.
0
FollowupID: 819530

Follow Up By: Mick O - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2014 at 07:13

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2014 at 07:13
Cheers all.

Cookie, I don't think the tourist influx will be doing much damage, it will more likely be the high volume of local 2 wheel drive traffic travelling way too fast and the dozen or more three dog road trains carting supplies to and from the various mines (Ammonia, fuel, and other chemicals) on a daily basis.

Cheers Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 819532

Follow Up By: rocco2010 - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2014 at 11:07

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2014 at 11:07
Mick

Another vote for the desert oaks. I have done the trip a few times and it always makes me feel better when we hit the first groves of them heading east from Newman on the Tallawanna track.

We were out there in late April on the way to your stamping ground Ruddall River. What a place, every bit as good as you say and I know why you keep going back.

We didn't do any cross country stuff, just camped in the usual places. There was plenty of water in the pools and the spinifex was as high as a 200 series bonnet.

Magic place.

Cheers
0
FollowupID: 819551

Follow Up By: cookie1 - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2014 at 12:00

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2014 at 12:00
We did the Talawana from start to finish and the Spinifex was a joy, we attempted to go into Rudall via the first track but gave up due to the bushes getting closed in and washouts.

Didn't see any water in June but enjoyed the corrogations :(

cheers
0
FollowupID: 819556

Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Jul 07, 2014 at 23:55

Monday, Jul 07, 2014 at 23:55
Thanks for such a comprehensive report Mick.

Motherhen
Motherhen

Red desert dreaming

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 535636

Follow Up By: Mick O - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2014 at 07:15

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2014 at 07:15
My pleasure. Looked for you on the roads this year but didn't see you. There are a few 250's towing trackers out there ;-)

Safe travels

Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 819533

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2014 at 07:33

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2014 at 07:33
We've done very little travel over the last few years Mick; just a few short local breaks.

Mh
Motherhen

Red desert dreaming

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 819536

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)