Tanimi Track

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 11:25
ThreadID: 19693 Views:4519 Replies:8 FollowUps:6
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We are thinking of taking our new Goldstream Sovereign to the Kimberley via the Tanami Track mid year. We drive a 2004 Pajero. Could anybody comment about whether our setup is suitable for the Tanami Track. We will very grateful for any advice.
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Reply By: Member - Anni M (SA) - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 11:42

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 11:42
Hi Craigevar

I'm afraid that I don't know what a Goldstream Sovereign is so I hope that our advice is helpful.
We came down the Tanami Road in our Troopy towing an offroad campertrailer with no problems at all. Really there is so much traffic on the road now that they will bitumenise it soon. There are places where the corrugations are pretty ordinary, but it isn't too bad. Work out exactly where you are going stay though before you go. Most of the country is aboriginal reserve, so camping is limited. I would recommend Tilmouth Well Roadhouse as a very pleasant stop. Rabbit Flat is only open on selected days (closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday), not only for fuel and supplies but camping too, so you need to take that into account. We bush camped beside the Sturt Creek which was lovely. Stay away from Balgo.
We've found the Lonely Planet "Outback Australia" book very useful for lots of our trips.
Have a great time.
Cheers
Anni
AnswerID: 94515

Reply By: Member - Craigevar - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 11:50

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 11:50
Thanks Anni. That's very encouraging and helpful. Our Goldstream Sovereign is an off-road camper trailer similar in style to a Jayco although we believe, and hope, considerably tougher.
AnswerID: 94517

Follow Up By: Member - Craigevar - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 11:53

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 11:53
Thanks Anni. That's very encouraging and helpful. Our Goldstream Sovereign is an off-road camper trailer similar in style to a Jayco although we believe, and hope, considerably tougher.

Oops! I just realised that I initially posted my response to myself!!
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Reply By: draff - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 12:40

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 12:40
I agree with Anni, you should have no trouble as long as you take it easy. We took the Tanami last June and it was pretty corrugated but once you got used to it it was fine. We camped at Mount Doreen Ruins and then at Wolfe Creek Crater. The track it detailed in the trek notes on this site so have a look at these. Have fun!
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Follow Up By: Member - Craigevar - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 12:44

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 12:44
Thanks Draff. How many days did you spend on the Tanami Track?
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Reply By: Tripp'n Around - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 14:18

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 14:18
Hi Craig

We took 2 nights, 3 days many years ago to do the track.
We stayed at Mt Doreen the first night and some klms before Wolf Creek just off the side of the road for the second night.
The road back then was pretty good with corrugations here and there and some big patches of bulldust.
I'm sure it is some what better now.
Next time we will do it in 3 or 4 days to make sure we have a good look around.

Cya
Tripp'n
:)
AnswerID: 94537

Reply By: kimprado - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 16:32

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 16:32
Hi Craig,
The Tanimi Road is generally in good condition but can change rapidly with heavy usage or wet weather. Your camper trailer is made for light work. If conditions are good you'll have no problems. However, if the corrugations are well developed you could substain some damage to the trailer prior to your arrival in Halls Creek.
If there has been heavy rain (as there was last year) go the long way around.
The trip can be done quite comfortably in three days.

I'm not sure why the previous respondant made the statement about Balgo. Sure it has it's problems but there are some wonderful Aboriginal people living there. Particularly the older folk. Take a side trip and learn about the problems of our indigineous people. It will open your eyes.

Regards

Kim
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Follow Up By: Member - Anni M (SA) - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 09:25

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 09:25
Hi Kim,

I couldn't agree more about the wonderful Aboriginal people, and would recommend a stop at Yuendumu. There is also some fantastic artwork around which is well worth a look. Balgo has some significant problems at the moment and I believe it is not particularly safe. It is a very sad situation and there are efforts to try and fix it.

Regards
Anni
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Reply By: zac_sprint - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 17:07

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 17:07
Having worked in the Tanami I know of people who travelled the Tanami in a stock standard rwd wagon without any trouble and that was over ten years ago. As the previous post said much more traffic on the Tanami now but you still need to take:
a) Recovery Equipment
b) Communications Equipment (HF Radio/Satellite Phone, not just UHF as it won't work out there most of the time)- including an EPIRB beacon
c) First Aid
d) Extra Fuel
e) Water
f) Map, Compass and/orGPS
g) Tyre Spares/Repair Kit
h) Mechanical Spares

It used to be standard procedure to tell the local police your destination, but that was when we were locals and everyone knew each other... but if you're a tourist not sure what the story is...you may want to drop in to the local police station to check this out.

Your 4WD together with the above equipment should have no trouble negotiating the trail.
AnswerID: 94546

Follow Up By: zac_sprint - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 17:14

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 17:14
I forgot to mention, make sure you travel during the dry season-we were cut off for weeks at a time during the wet- the road can be impassable even to 4WDs especially if a cyclone appears off the coast of WA or NT.
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Reply By: pmacks - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 10:05

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 10:05
craigevar,
we have a goldstream goldwing off road camper trailer which is similar to the one you have ( great arn't they ) we have towed this across and through central australia nine times including one trip to cape york and never had a problem with it my only advice is to make sure the electric brake lines are protected as they are suspect to getting cleaned up with rocks. We have fixed this by hanging truck mud flaps in front of the suspension, we also run our tyres on the camper at 30 psi when outback as this seems to absorb most of the corrugations, works for us anyway. The other point i would make is to minimize the dust getting in you should seal the lid a bit better, we just got some of that sponge gaskets type stuff about 5mm wide and 10mm high that is self adhesive on one side and stuck it all the way around where the lid meets the bottom and this has worked a treat.
I am sure you will have a great trip and the goldstream will not let you down.
pmacks
AnswerID: 94621

Follow Up By: Member - Johnno - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 12:21

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 12:21
Pmacks

I am not intending on hijacking Craigevar's post but I too am a Goldstream offroader (we have a new Link Ltd - the smallest of their campers, with optional independent suspension) and Craigevar may be interested in your response too.

I had always thought that Cape York was too difficult for campers to attempt and was more suited to trailers , which are not as beamy as the track is narrow in places. Could you briefly elaborate on your experience?

Many Thanks
John........
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Reply By: pmacks - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 12:53

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 12:53
John,
i will be breif. We went to the cape in August 2003 and we had six vehicles in convoy towing assorted trailers, we had no problems with the track although it was narrow in some places but mainly on the bypasses around washouts ect, we did not even attempt gunshot and iam not sure i would even without a trailer to me the trick to towing in this or any area for that manner is to drive to the conditions, we had six vehicles and it was not uncommon for us to be spread out over a couple of klm's and we were not in a rush we had 21 days to go from cairns to cairns. The other thing is i do not loose a lot of sleep if i get some scratches down the side of the camper. All in all i would most certainly take the camper again with out hesitating the other thing we do, ( which is most likely the wrong thing to do )
is not listen to much to what people tell us and go have a look for ourselves. As long as you no your equipment and what it can do you will not have any problems.
The camper stood up really well to all the corrugations and the only thing that broke was a jar of marmalade which if i had put away instead of leaving on the seat wouldn't have happened.
hope this helps
Pmacks
AnswerID: 94647

Follow Up By: Member - Johnno - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 18:26

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 18:26
Thanks Pmacks

Much appreciated. Take your point re :- too much (mis)information and drive to the conditions.

We will do it later in year.

thanks again
John.....
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