Fuel availability - Telfer

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 05, 2008 at 20:27
ThreadID: 56330 Views:3711 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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Hi All,
I am planning to do the trip from Port Hedland to Alice Springs via Gary Junction. Can anyone advise if I can buy fuel at Telfer?
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Reply By: Topcat (WA) - Saturday, Apr 05, 2008 at 20:45

Saturday, Apr 05, 2008 at 20:45
I very much doubt it as it is a closed settlement & restricted to mine working personnel only.
AnswerID: 296849

Reply By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Saturday, Apr 05, 2008 at 21:49

Saturday, Apr 05, 2008 at 21:49
Wrinkly D ,
I don't know anybody that has been let in there . I got diesel at Punmu last year when I did the run across .
Willie .
AnswerID: 296869

Follow Up By: wrinkly - Sunday, Apr 06, 2008 at 10:29

Sunday, Apr 06, 2008 at 10:29
Hi Grey Gnomad,

Thanks for your response. A couple of questions for you.

Is fuel generally available at Punmu or did you have to make special arrangements?

Did you do the complete trip - Hedland to Alice - and if so what was the road like and was fuel available at Kunawaritji and Kiwurrkurra?

Any info you could provide would be very helpful.

I have had a look at the whole road on Google Earth and it appears that the complete alignment of the road has been re-engineered and looks pretty good.

FollowupID: 563000

Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Sunday, Apr 06, 2008 at 12:23

Sunday, Apr 06, 2008 at 12:23
Wrinkly D ,

I left Nullagine at 9.00 am in the morning , topped up my long range diesel tanks ( 280 lt ) at Punmu without any special arrangements . I reached the CSR late that first night to camp in below freezing temps ( long day ).

I had applied many months before for permission to travel through the WA aboriginal land and the NT aboriginal land . I received the NT permit straight away , but never received anything from the WA people . I was never asked by anyone for these permits .

Up early the next morning and got to Alice Springs the next night at 9.00 pm .

The Pommie manager at Punmu said the track ahead was good and he travelled at 100 kph on it . That was true too , until it got dark and then it was more like 50 kph . It is narrow and sandy , but good enough . It deteriorates as soon as you cross into the NT . There it becomes wider and badly corrugated .

I would have made it all the way to Alice without re-fuelling , but I only found that out after I got there ! I take 280 litres and it saves buying for $2-3 a litre at those aboriginal settlements .

To get fuel at Punmu , I had to first find the office , which from memory was a "white house "with no garbage around it . The guy was quite happy to sell to me ( cash is easier for them ).

Kunawaritji - Arrived there after dark . It looked like a concentration camp with arc lights , high fences , boom gates and " Keep Out " signs . The office was closed , so I drove out without stopping . I do not know if fuel is available there or not .

Kiwirrkurra - I cannot remember going past this place at all .

Walungurru (Kintore ) - Remember nothing about this place either.

Papunya - I went in here because the road went straight through the settlement . I could not find the road out and had to stop for directions . This is a very depressing place with garbage everywhere. There was a huge police presence between here and Alice Springs and I was stopped twice and breathalysed twice . Wrecked cars were every couple of km here , so watch out for drunk locals .

Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with .

Willie .
FollowupID: 563010

Follow Up By: wrinkly - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 11:15

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 11:15
Hi Willie,

Thank you very much for the great info.

This is the detail that I needed!!

I have a petrol Pajero with a long range tank - 155litres usable.

It sounds like a couple of jerry cans might be the way to go as this tank will give me a range of 700-800 (poor driving) and a max of 900-1000 (careful driving).

I have just bought copies of the latest Hema maps covering this track and they provide excellent details about the communities, their opening hours for fuel and even phone numbers.

I think that if I fuel at Punmu, I should get through to Walungurru or Papunya OK.

Just a further question - from Papunya, did you go to Alice via Glen Helen or via the Tanami track? The distance looks pretty similar but the Glen Helen road might be in better condition.

Once again, many thanks.

FollowupID: 564184

Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 16:13

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 16:13

If you have the Community numbers , I would ring them and ask them if it is OK for you to buy PETROL there . Some places only sell diesel , as the locals sniff the petrol . Then I would ask the name of the person you talked to , so that if you have a problem when you get there , you can say " so and so said they would sell me fuel ". Also ask where you go and who you contact when you get there - the communities are very confusing places .

I would get aboriginal land permits for both sides of the border , even though there is a good chance you will not be asked for them.Things can turn nasty sometimes .

I went from Papunya to Alice via the Tanami Track . I was not sure what the other road would be like and I remembered the first part of the Tanami was black top so I opted for that .

Have a great trip ,

Willie .

FollowupID: 564205

Reply By: Member - Footloose - Saturday, Apr 05, 2008 at 22:06

Saturday, Apr 05, 2008 at 22:06
Would you allow anyone into your Gold Mine :))))))))
AnswerID: 296871

Follow Up By: Rock Ape - Sunday, Apr 06, 2008 at 06:21

Sunday, Apr 06, 2008 at 06:21
Yep as long as they bring beer
FollowupID: 562978

Reply By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Saturday, Apr 05, 2008 at 22:23

Saturday, Apr 05, 2008 at 22:23
Your only hope for fuel there is to contact them but dont expect a positive reply.
AnswerID: 296875

Reply By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Saturday, Apr 05, 2008 at 22:43

Saturday, Apr 05, 2008 at 22:43
Hi Wrinkly, No you will not be able to get fuel at Telfer unless things have changed in the past couple of years, there is serious security there, When we did the CSR in 2005 one of the vehicles that we were travelling with did in all four shockies at Kunawaritji, our daughter was working at Telfer at the time so we got a set of shockies flown in there and hubby and I went over to pick them up, also have lunch with her and a shower (the best shower that I can remember), we had to wait at the gate until daughter came down and escorted us in.

As mentioned above, Punmu or Kunawaritji, but would check it out before leaving.



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AnswerID: 296879

Reply By: Waza & Wend - Saturday, Apr 05, 2008 at 22:47

Saturday, Apr 05, 2008 at 22:47

In early Feb I was trying to get back to Port Hedland and got stranded between Nifty mine and Marble Bar as the Oakover River was over 2 mts deep. I ended up leaving the hire 4x4 at Telfer and flying back. The answer is no, you cannot buy fuel at Telfer, but Marble Bar is the closest town and you can fuel up there.


AnswerID: 296881

Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Apr 05, 2008 at 23:15

Saturday, Apr 05, 2008 at 23:15
My son got fuel at Kintore on the way home from Alice Springs last year. I don't know if it was pre-arranged.


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AnswerID: 296891

Reply By: wrinkly - Sunday, Apr 06, 2008 at 10:14

Sunday, Apr 06, 2008 at 10:14
Hi All,

Thanks for the many replies.

Looks like I might have to carry a bit more fuel than I had planned.

Have a good one - might catch you on the road somewhere.
AnswerID: 296940

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