Tanami Track

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 at 15:59
ThreadID: 21091 Views:3673 Replies:5 FollowUps:5
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Hi All

We are preparing for our trip in June across the centre from Perth to Alice then up the Tanami to Kunnunurra then along the long awaited trip down the Gibb River Road. My question is this at this stage we have another vehicle travelling with us to Alice, but it looks like they may not be able to do the next stretch up the Tannami, and we have been advised not to do this bit of road on our own, surely it can not be that bad. We are travelling with our two year old son and will be towing our Camprite camper we are totally self sufficient and carry heaps of food,water and fuel and have 3 spare tyres that fit both the Patrol and the Camper and also have tyre repair equipment. In the way of communications we have CDMA phones which i know are only good in certain areas, UHF radios and a HF Radio. We are not new to travelling the bush but just wanted an insight into the track conditions of the Tannami.

Many Thanks,

Martin and Samantha

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Reply By: Member - Nick (TAS) - Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 at 17:19

Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 at 17:19
Tanami track will be fine,not really a track but a dirt road(with corrigations).Plenty of other vehicles useing it if anything does go wrong.Just make sure you have plenty of fuel as Rabbit flat R/H isnt open every day.
AnswerID: 101781

Reply By: Des Lexic - Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 at 17:22

Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 at 17:22
The last time I travelled on the Tanami Road (5 years ago) the road was in good condition and apart from bad corrugations on the WA side of the border you could drive a conventional vehicle along it with the only restriction being fuel availability at Rabbit Flat. Can't remember the days that it is open now but you need to check beforehand.
AnswerID: 101782

Follow Up By: Indy - Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 at 17:43

Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 at 17:43
Des & others,
The last I heard was that Rabbit Flat is only open Friday to Monday. I will be coming down the Tanami in late June early July. My schedule gets me to Rabbit Flat on a Thursday afternoon. Could anyone tell me if there is nearby camping for the Thursday night assuming the Rabbit Flat owner dosen't accept anyone before Friday?
Cheers,
Indy
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FollowupID: 359617

Follow Up By: ian - Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 at 18:28

Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 at 18:28
Indy,
there are heaps of spots, but a good place is right on the W.A./ N.T. border.
when you reach the sign, turn left off the road at a well marked track and go over the rise. large areas cleared by the road crews that make good camp spots. No fire wood. Get that 500 metres gefore the border on the R.H.S.
Ian
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Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 at 19:53

Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 at 19:53
I first met the owners of Rabbit Flat in the 1970's and spent a couple of boozy days there...can't remember why. Bruce and Jacqui Farrands are a very eccentric couple who have made it their lifes journey to live at Rabbit Flat. Last year Bruce got fined $800 for threatening one of the Leylands(of Leyland Brothers fame) with a rifle as he ventured to come into the living area of the Farrands on a day out of sequence.

We refuelled there some while ago. If you dont complain about the price of of the fuel or the beer then Bruce may invite you ope camp there for free. He had made up some campsites in the scrub. Other than the campsite at the NT/WA border there isnt much around Rabbit Flat due to very thick spinifex growth on the side of the road.
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FollowupID: 359644

Reply By: ian - Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 at 17:36

Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 at 17:36
Martin,

Sadly, you are 10 or 20 years too late for it to be a track. It is now the Tanami Road, and I guess soon it will be the Tanami Highway.

All things considered it is a pretty good road, a few corrugations in part, but no problems except traffic coming the other way. There are absolutely no issues to worry about as you are well equiped.

There is a fair bit of traffic, and it is very do-able in a car if you have reasonable tyres and shocks. (All the locals have cars, not 4x4)

What it does do though, is get you into some interesting country and places. Even though you can do it in one long day, we took 5 days last June, exploring all sorts of spots.

Martin and Sam, it is a straightforward outback road. Don't think twice about it. (Unless there is heavy rain)

Have a great trip.
Ian

I think it will be the best dirt road you travel on your trip. There are long sealed sections, including one long section near Tanami Mine that is the best road I have ever seen. The Wolfe Creek Crater road last year was the worst road I have ever driven. Mitchell Falls Rd was a dream by comparison.

Most people seem to want to visit Rabbit Flat, but I prefer the road when R/Flat is closed and there are less drunks about.

Newman Station is a good place to camp, but it is 2 hours off the main road and you may not want to do that.

AnswerID: 101784

Follow Up By: ian - Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 at 17:39

Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 at 17:39
Martin,
that should be NEWHAVEN station
Ian
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Reply By: Member - Martin- Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 at 20:29

Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 at 20:29
Thanks everyone, that is what i like about this site you allways get good info Tanami ROAD here we come.

Thanks

Martin and Samantha
AnswerID: 101819

Reply By: Pyalong - Thursday, Mar 10, 2005 at 17:01

Thursday, Mar 10, 2005 at 17:01
Drove tanami (Both ways)June last year with kids and trailer in tow on our pat....great drive, didnt see too many others, stopped at rabbit flat for fuel but opted not to camp there....didnt look too flash at the time....either did the border when we got there. Not a bad camp on the south side of road about 43kms on NT side of border, small track and followed it in about 1 1/2 kms...and firewood.

Youll enjoy the trip...and you get used to the corragations.
Cheers,
Mick.
AnswerID: 101957

Follow Up By: Indy - Friday, Mar 11, 2005 at 10:02

Friday, Mar 11, 2005 at 10:02
Hi everyone,
I quess I will have give the propietors of Rabbit Flat a phone call assuming they have a phone. I would asking what the owners reaction would be if we rolled in on the Thursday afternoon before their opening day on Friday and camped overnight before getting fuel the next day. Has anyone else done this? Is this what the Leylands did? Or did they try to enter the building on an off day?
Cheers,
Indy.
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FollowupID: 359850

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