Tanami track travel

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 13, 2019 at 09:32
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Has anyone out there traveled the Tanami in 2019

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Reply By: David I1 - Sunday, Apr 14, 2019 at 09:50

Sunday, Apr 14, 2019 at 09:50
I am not sure any one can really answer what this road (its not called a track anymore) is like. I have traveled it over 10 times and all I can say is it is getting easier to drive. There seems to be more bitumen on the Alice side now and if it has been graded on the WA side it is smooth as. Then again it can be very rough, corrugated, and muddy. It just depends what the weather is like and what upkeep has been done just before you travel on it. A number of the old features of the road have disappeared (Rabbit Flat and some of the bores), which is a pity, but I guess just a sign of the times.
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Follow Up By: LAZYLUX16 - Sunday, Apr 14, 2019 at 22:52

Sunday, Apr 14, 2019 at 22:52
So true. But I am glad Rabbit Flat closed he was ripping us for fuel.But surprised no one took it over ,perhaps something to do with traditional land owners?


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Follow Up By: David I1 - Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 06:59

Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 06:59
No Lazylux16, The couple refused to put in Opel tanks at their cost (they had normal unleaded which the trad owners sniff) and the Government refused to assist them. I went down the track (as it was called then) in 1968 and it was the same people there in 2010 when they closed on New Years Eve. Also they sold beer to the locals, which was also being frowned upon. However now that it is closed it is remarkable how clean the road and side of road now is. Last time I went down 2018, not a car shell, beer can or any rubbish to be seen. Its now hard to get anything but low strength beer anywhere around there. Even wine is off limits at bottle shops unless drunk in the hotels where the publican can "monitor" intake.
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Follow Up By: Candace S. - Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 13:57

Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 13:57
"However now that it is closed it is remarkable how clean the road and side of road now is. Last time I went down 2018, not a car shell, beer can or any rubbish to be seen."

Sounds like progress to me. I just flicked through my 2008 photos from the Tanami. Several burned-out Vehicles appear in those photos.

BTW, during that trip, I did stop at rabbit Flat Road House. I didn't need fuel, but I went inside to have a look and bought a little snack, just some candy or gum. I might have stayed for a meal. But the woman who served me was so indifferent, if not downright rude, that I decided against it. Nevertheless, I'm glad I got to see the place while it was still open.
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Follow Up By: David I1 - Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 14:03

Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 14:03
Yes they were a German couple I think, and towards the end they were very indifferent. In the 70"s that place used to "rock". When i went there in 2010, the servery was like an old bank tellers grill, with an opening just big enough to slide a slab of cans through. Very disappointing and in a sorry state.
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Follow Up By: Candace S. - Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 14:14

Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 14:14
I forgot to mention, on 25 May 2008, diesel at Rabbit Flat was $2.51 per liter.
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Follow Up By: Member - nickb "boab" - Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 19:15

Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 19:15
I'm fairly sure they are still living out there or were ~ after they closed it ??
Cheers Nick b
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Follow Up By: Member - JOHN C16 - Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 21:06

Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 21:06
Bruce and Jackie Farrands established Rabbit Flat Roadhouse in 1969 and ran it for 42 years. Bruce was an Australian stockman and bushman. Jackie was born in France. They met at Mongrel Downs Station.

Here is a link to an article from a 1970’s airline in-flight magazine about the Farrands and Rabbit Flat:French Cooking, Australian wine and a dingo orchestra

I met Jackie in 2009. The servery was as described by David l1 above. I also noticed a rifle behind the bank tellers grill. It was not in a gun safe. It looked ready for action.

Cheers, John

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Follow Up By: David I1 - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 07:04

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 07:04
Oops I thought 1968 must have been 69. And French not German. Grey Nomad syndrome. When I went in last time (2018) there was a gates across the two off road entrances. I walked in and the place was no longer there (or I could not see it). You could see where the petrol bowsers were, but nothing else. In 2010 Jackie looked very frail. I know the fuel was expensive, but they were never supported by fuel companies or any government agency. But by being there they opened up that track (road) to the average Joe or Jill who did not have a long range tank. Price of petrol in the middle of nowhere is always expensive. Ie Canning Fuel dump or at Kunawariji community, probably now at least $4 per litre.

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Follow Up By: Member - Ray J5 - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 08:10

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 08:10
Thankyou all for your input. It is my intention to use it from SA end thru to between Broome and Derby and back in a Mack Truck, empty on way over and loaded on way back. It is encouraging to hear that it is facing a gradual improvement rather than the opposite. Would it be possible in anyones opinion to average 35KPH. once again thanks
Ray

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Follow Up By: LAZYLUX16 - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 09:49

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 09:49
They were ripping us off. Down the road fuel was 85c a litre at Balgo in 1997 and $1.50 at RF. I spoke to BP and they told me they did not charge haulage of fuel to Rabbitt Flat.Also they were ripping the Aboriginals off with Alcholol prices too..
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Reply By: Member - nickb "boab" - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 06:52

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 06:52
Ray J5 ~ last year (2018) most of the driving vehicle towing camper was around the 80 kh but when you get to the Balgo turn off the road condition deteriorates somewhat we came across a couple of trucks around there they were only crawling along 40ks ?? If that !
& including some bloke on a pushbike lol
The Alice Springs end of the road is bitumen some of which is only single lane , the bitumen ends around the tilmouth well area . At times the road has a reputation of being pretty rough because of the truck traffic to the Granite gold mine . Have a mate that does that run in a truck ... at times and he keeps us entertained with his tails..Lol
Cheers Nick b
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Follow Up By: David I1 - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 11:02

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 11:02
From my memory the bitumen goes well past Tilmouth. Its almost to the Yuendumu Community.
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Reply By: Member - Racey - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 14:33

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 14:33
With Rabbit Flat closed, what is the fuel situation along the road?
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Reply By: Member - Steve R (NSW) - Sunday, May 26, 2019 at 20:19

Sunday, May 26, 2019 at 20:19
Just came across the Tanami from Alice Springs to Halls Creek. Camped just north of the Granite mine. Road conditions were pretty poor. Sometimes 60 kms/hr others 80kms/hr. Lots of bad corrugations. After Granite mine road was generally better. So much so we were planning to camp at Wolf Creek crater but with the better road and time difference we easily pushed on to Halls Creek. It is an experience!
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Follow Up By: Member - Ray J5 - Monday, May 27, 2019 at 08:05

Monday, May 27, 2019 at 08:05
Thankyou Steve R May I ask how long it took you, we are ready to take off now.Regards Ray

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Reply By: Member - Steve R (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 02, 2019 at 16:32

Sunday, Jun 02, 2019 at 16:32
We left Alice Springs around 8.15 am and stopped for fuel at Tilmouth Well and Yuendumu. We stopped to set up camp around 4.00 pm. We found a good spot just west of the airport that services the Granite Mine. It was probably only 5 mins drive past the airport. The howling dingoes were a bit disconcerting for my wife though. We had no problems though. Just make sure no food left out. Left next morning around by 8.30 am. Stopped to look at Wolf Creek crater and were in Halls Creek by 4.00 pm.
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