Tanami in one day and track condition

Submitted: Monday, Jun 08, 2015 at 21:49
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Hi we are planning to do the Tanami in three weeks time from Alice Springs to Halls Creek.

Just wondering what the track is like?

Is it possible to do the whole track in daylight hours if you leave earlier - say around 6 am.

Are there good campsites?

Thanks for any info - new to this area
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Reply By: Bob R4 - Monday, Jun 08, 2015 at 22:01

Monday, Jun 08, 2015 at 22:01
1100 odd kms of dirt. What are you driving, Cessna or Beechcraft?
I'd suggest you'll need two overnight camps.
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Jun 08, 2015 at 22:48

Monday, Jun 08, 2015 at 22:48
It's over 1000km, mostly dirt, may be heavily corrugated in parts, but I don't have a current track report. If you try to do it in a day your vehicle will likely cop a fair hammering.

What vehicle? Is it prepared or suitable for remote touring (suspension, tyres, etc)? Are you towing? If so what? More than one driver?

Based on my experience of that road which was in good condition at the time, to do it in a day you'd have to be travelling mighty fast - too fast for conditions, IMO. You'd be a danger to yourself and to others. You'd probably break some poor unfortunate's windscreen, or your vehicle or blow tyres or all three.

Camping at Tilmouth, 190km from Alice (nearly all sealed), Renahans Bore, 260 from Tilmouth. Rabbit Flat is closed so the next is Balgo (40k off track), about 390km, then about 155 to Wolfe Creek (23k off track and reputedly very corrugated), then 150 to Halls Creek.

Or bush camp.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Jun 08, 2015 at 23:08

Monday, Jun 08, 2015 at 23:08
There are a few other camps depending on which map you use and how much research you do.

I agree with Bob R4 - at least two overnights. We did it in three, Wolfe Creek, Tilmouth and a bush camp somewhere in between and enjoyed the drive.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Jun 08, 2015 at 23:33

Monday, Jun 08, 2015 at 23:33
Lots and lots of places to pull off for the night, from rest areas to old gravel dump sites.

Your speeds will vary and you need to be alert to potential problems. Hitting ruts hidden by bulldust has resulted in breakages and rollovers on the Tanami. 800 odd kilometres of corrugations is damaging to anything, unless you travel slowly and cautiously.

Allow three days; you may do it in two if you have a very good run. We put in fairly long days and spent three nights camped out along the Tanami. Our only sightseeing diversion was to Wolf Creek Crater.

Do you have a good fuel range in your vehicle? If you want to see the distances between all fuel outlets (some involve a drive into Aboriginal communities and may need to be pre-arranged) Google "With the closure of the Rabbit Flats Roadhouse in December 2010, there is still at minimum 561 kilometres without any fuel outlets".





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Reply By: Member - Robert1660 - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 00:23

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 00:23
We did the Tanami back in July 2013. We managed to travel from Tilmouth Wells to Billiluna in a relatively easy day. That was about 700 km. We camped at Stretch Lagoon which is about 15 km from Billiluna on the Canning Stock Route. Call into Billiluna to pay your camping fees. It is a very good camp site with, at the time, good composting toilets. We took extra fuel with us which we used to reach Halls Creek. Remember there is a Quarantine Station just outside Halls Creek which asks you to dump fruit, nuts, honey etc., so take care what you are carrying. The campsite at Wolfe Creek Crater is rather exposed and the road to the crater from the Tanami was very corrugated.
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Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 01:38

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 01:38
Been down a few times. One trip we managed Wolfe Crater to Tillmouth in a day, but got in late and VERY knackered. Take 2 days to reduce the stress....
AnswerID: 554723

Reply By: cookie1 - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 07:46

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 07:46
I agree with what others have written here, we did it in 2 days camping at Mt Doreen Ruins, there were road gangs working on it last year and for the most of it was good apart from near the communities.

cheers
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Reply By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 09:11

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 09:11
Last year we completed the section from Alice Springs to Billiluna easily in one and 1/2 days arriving in Billiluna about 2PM with time to get fuel and drive to Stretch Lagoon and set up camp. We camped over night near Rabbit Flat.

They were working on upgrading some sections and others were perfect at 100 KPH but then there were the corrugated parts where 60 - 80 was the norm. Lots of paved road between Alice and the WA/NT border.
AnswerID: 554730

Reply By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 11:55

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 11:55
A few years ago I was driving on a good section of the Tanami at about 80kph when a large bull camel appeared out of the bush and ran straight in front of me. I missed it by about 1 metre; scared the hell out of me.

The camel's body is at exactly the same height as your windscreen - forget about the bull bar.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
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Reply By: Kyle H - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 20:41

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 20:41
Yes also we had a couple of near misses with camels when we did it, may be hard to miss them if at speed.
Took 3 days for us staying at Wolfe Creek, Rabbit Flat (now closed) then Tilmouth Wells, we were towing a 3 tonne caravan.
Had a stop for fuel at Yeundemu and Billiluna which was a cultural experience for both of us.
AnswerID: 554765

Reply By: JFRCN - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 14:22

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 14:22
Thanks all

appreciate the tips / advice
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Reply By: Jarrahrules - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 21:59

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 21:59
Hi JFRCN
I am looking at going around the 10th of July. If you have done it by then can you please post something when you reach Halls creek. I do about 1200kms per day on the bitumen so i was also wondering if i can do that in a day.
It would be appreciated if you can let me know asap after you do it so i can figure out whether i need to go vis Kathrine or the Tanami road.
I won't be towing anything and am in a 200 serries. But i will be traveling alone. All good.

Thanks
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Reply By: Jarrahrules - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015 at 19:08

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015 at 19:08
Hi guys.
Just a quick calculation.
1000 kms at 70 km/hr is 14 hrs via tanami
2000 kms at 120 km/hr is 16 hrs via Katherine.
For the two hours difference wouldn't i be better going via Kathrine.
Vehicle won't be shaken, more fuel stops. don't need to carry fuel.
I am not going to enjoy the scenery but need to get to Halls creek quick.

What do you think????
AnswerID: 556048

Follow Up By: Steve in Kakadu - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015 at 19:17

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015 at 19:17
From Alice to Barrow creek you can sit on what ever speed suits you and from there to the WA border it is 130 kph.
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Follow Up By: Jarrahrules - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015 at 19:22

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015 at 19:22
Is that sealed up to barrow creek?? I will be traveling alone
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Follow Up By: Jarrahrules - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015 at 19:24

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015 at 19:24
sorry didn't realize that is up the stuart highway.
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Follow Up By: Jarrahrules - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015 at 19:25

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015 at 19:25
Also driving a 200 series v8 i don't know if i could keep the fuel up to it?
Which would bring me to another question. Which Chip???????
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015 at 20:23

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015 at 20:23
Jarrah,

What about going up to Dunmara, across the Buchanan H'way to Top Springs, then down the Buntine to Halls Creek. Only 181 clicks across to Top Springs, then bitumen to Wave Hill, and another 400 kms of gravel to H/C. I went across the Buchanan 40 years ago in a Holden ute, and as I was bullet proof back then, remember sitting on 100 kph all the way to the Stuart H'way.

Think your average (70 kph) via Tanami is ultra conservative, and the average (120) through Katherine will see you getting scrapped of the bitumen somewhere.

A Beechcraft Baron is a lot more comfortable than even a 200 series, if you want "quick".

Bob

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Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Steve in Kakadu - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015 at 21:52

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015 at 21:52
In December I drove from Alice to Jabiru, I sat on 145 kph to Barrow Creek, I then drove at 130 to Daily Waters with a lunch stop it took about 7 hours 880 ks.
I put $50 of diesel in at the Three Ways and made it easy to Daily waters, in fact I recon I could have done it in one tank, the car is a 200 series cruiser.
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Follow Up By: Jarrahrules - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015 at 21:58

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015 at 21:58
Thanks steve.
Great to hear. I think i will go that way. may chip the 200 first.
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