Camp spots along the Tanami

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 12:10
ThreadID: 67401 Views:2763 Replies:12 FollowUps:6
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g'day all we are off that way in 3 weeks. Is there any decent free camping along there apart from the roadhouses. We may take 3 days to cross depending on how we are travelling and are in no rush. If you have a gps co-ords to share even better.

Regards dave
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Reply By: klacka - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 12:39

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 12:39
Went down the Tanami last June free camping available at Wolfe Creek was nice, also about 3 K's SE past the Billiluna turnoff there is a short patch of bitumen road that spans a is a free camp area, otherwise just pull off the track you can free camp almost anywhere along the Tanami. Rabbit flat has a nice camping area but at a small cost, we also stopped at Tilmonth Roadhouse to wash the dust down but this was at typical caravan park rates
AnswerID: 357411

Reply By: Willem - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 12:41

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 12:41

No, unfortunately.

There is a Caravan Park at Tilmouth Well but camping near any of the other fuel outlets is not advisable. Rabbit Flat used to have camp sites but not sure if they do any longer.

I found an open area about 3km south of Rabbit Flat in a depression and about 500metres off the road last year.

AnswerID: 357413

Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 13:25

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 13:25
Also a camp spot on Sturt Creek near Bililuna. Not sure of it is still so as I was there last in the mid '90's

A lot of old camp spots have been fenced off due to mining activity.
FollowupID: 625554

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 12:51

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 12:51
In 06, we wanted to free / bush camp along the Tanami also, well away from the various roadhouses. In short, we just kept our eyes on the scrub, and eventually a clearing would emerge for both of our night camps along there. No trouble in getting in off the road by 20 - 30m ..... need to watch out re fires etc - the spinifex was quite thick in most places.
AnswerID: 357414

Reply By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 14:09

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 14:09
Heading up to Halls Creek, about 5 - 10 km past the WA boarder there is a track on the left that goes in about 100 metres to a cleared and excavated area where rock had been taken for road works. The track is rather hard to see and if we had not been looking for it we would have driven past.

AnswerID: 357431

Reply By: Member - AJB (VIC) - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 14:14

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 14:14
Roadhouses: Tilmouth & Rabbit Flat
Roadside: Renahans (Pretty close to the road)
Others: Tanami downs road, about 500metres off the Tanami road
Many stay at the border but it is small and very close to the road.
The old Balgo road where it intersects the old Mulan road has a small spot along there.
Sturt Creek has heaps of nice spots but you need to know where.
There are many more but you have to look for them.
Billiluna had camping available at Stretch lagoon about 17kms (very easy 17kms) south of Billiluna along the start of the Canning.

AnswerID: 357432

Reply By: madcow - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 14:52

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 14:52
Thank fellas, Will print this out for reference. This is the first time for us out that way and we are really looking forward to it. For us it will be the start of a 5 month break from work touring WA travelling from VIC.
AnswerID: 357439

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 15:16

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 15:16
Not too many inspirational camp spots on the Tanami. Wolf Creek
is ok but close to the WA end anyway. Rabbit Flat is pretty ordinary, charcoal everywhere. We camped in a road works
clearing on the left about 30k this side of WA border, about 100 metrs off the road, was fine for overnighter....oldbaz.
AnswerID: 357446

Follow Up By: Member - Richard H (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 15:32

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 15:32
A couple of km. over into W.A. on the left or south side of the road is an old road camp site.

It is a bit over grown, but it has good hard standing.

Go slow and keep a look out for it.

We camped there for two nights a couple of years ago.

Long way from the neighbours.

FollowupID: 625572

Reply By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 16:03

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 16:03

My choice of campsite would be .............nowhere !

I would not want to do that uninteresting 800-1000 km of corrugations ever again.

Did it last June and my teeth are still chattering. It has only got worse since. They seem to have stopped maintaining it.

AnswerID: 357455

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 18:35

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 18:35
Was it ever maintained Willie? Had they started working on the Halls Creek end when you went through? They were doing a lot of re-alignment work, and even the detours were quite good. The rest of the WA section (except for the nine kms maintained by Coyote Mine) looked like it hadn't seen a grader in twenty years.

The NT section was OK around the Granites mine, as the mine occasionally grade it. Alan, who stopped in at the rest area, said they used to grade quite a bit of it, but NT Roads stopped them from doing so. They then made their own internal roads to connect the mines, so that they could keep them in good order for their vehicles. That explained why we saw a bus travelling parallel to the road somewhere between Tanami and Granites mines. It must have been worse earlier in the year near the Granites where the BT overturned; that stretch wasn't too bad when we went through.


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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 08:57

Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 08:57
Mrs Hen,
Of course it was maintained. I did it two years ago and it was a breeze. I did it last year and it was a shocker.
FollowupID: 625700

Reply By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 16:07

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 16:07
Hi Madcow

We had three overnight stops.

We were heading from Halls Creek to Alice Springs and were going to stop at Wolfe Creek, but as it was only lunch time, we, moved on. We watched for gravel ridges, and found a good one (old gravel dump), well off the road about 33 kms Halls Creek side of the Balgo turnoff. Evidence of old camp fires. We had a wonderful peaceful night after a colourful sunset (current rig pic).

Next night we stopped at a well used rest area near the Granites mine. Not that quiet as a bit close to the road, and the security man from the mine drive through during the night 'checking for dingoes'. He usually finds someone camped there. He called around next morning too to check that we were OK as we were late leaving - during a bit of r&m. Nice guy.

Third night we went far enough past Yuendumo where a track turned off at a station dam. The track went over the hill to a wide open area from a very old gravel dump - BUT as there was a dead red car, numerous cans, old steak bones and evidence of primitive barbecue, we thought it must be the local drinking spot just outside of the prohibited zone. Nothing was really recent, so we stayed - we always stay hitched, so moving out quickly wouldn't be a problem. A little later a very old Landrover drive further along the track and stopped at a tree. Our neighbours were quiet all night, and left about half an hour before us in the morning.

Some way down the road, there was the same Landrover broken down. It was a pretty cold morning. Chairs and camp cooker out, they had hot coffee while they tried to ascertain the mechanical problem. It turned out it was a bush lover from Melbourne, taking his brother from NZ (and UK born ) around. They really laughed when we said we'd thought they were from Yuendumo! Two other travellers also stopped, and we all stayed until the Landrover got going again.

We had a problem with our water tanks when we got to Tilmouth Wells, and the same people we had helped (well my husband had helped) came in and helped us out. Their Landrover was still playing up and they could only travel slowly, so it took us the rest of the day following them to make sure they made it to Alice.


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Reply By: Member - Jan B (VIC) - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 18:35

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 18:35
Hi Madcow,
Jan and I are heading off on the 15th may for 4 months may be see you on the road white nissad with trackmaster van also

vks 737 hf Victor 9754 call and sell call sign we from vic as well
comeing home through the great central road in august hope to catch up

Regards Jan & Pete
AnswerID: 357499

Follow Up By: madcow - Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 08:01

Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 08:01
Will keep an eye out but I expect there will be lot on the road out there. We are towing a Southern Cross Camper which has been very reliable for us over the years.
FollowupID: 625690

Reply By: Member - Mary W NW VIC - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 19:42

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 19:42
From the Alice end
Smith's Gift Bore-pprox 30ks before Yuemendu? turn off.On left easy to get out of site of the road-no rubbish-quiet .
Renahans bore-rooom to withdraw to the scrub-no problems
Rabbit flat -Spent a day relaxing-clean well maintained long drops -hot showers available at roadhouse-Great company.
Coyote mine -a sign to coyote camp 3k's led to a level site where we camped big waves from the mine staff -A Ok
Woolfe creek.
We took 5 days with an R&R at Rabbit flat were in no hurry was great trip -no damage sustained to 80's lifted van and sister's 80's Jayco camper came through ok tooIt was SLOW in places but we were in no hurry and spent a further 3 mths on the road.
If it's rough =go slow
We enjoyed it very much.
Picked up Smiths bore o 250k raster map
Had the geese flying alongside the car at times-Great!You will love it -it's no place to be in a hurry,Just simply enjoy every corrugated Kilometre,
"Some people walk in the rain,others just get wet."

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AnswerID: 357516

Reply By: madcow - Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 07:59

Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 07:59
We are both towing campers (offroad) and are certainly in no rush to get over. it takes as long as it takes. Both cars are GU Patrols, We'll be on ch 9 uhf and you come across us don't be afraid to say g'day, we're not that scary or ugly for that matter :). Plus we both have the 2 legged defence system ( the missus)to ward off unwelcome intruders, Well it would work for me anyway. Nah just joking! thanks for your input!
AnswerID: 357606

Follow Up By: troopy 2005 - Sunday, Apr 05, 2009 at 12:02

Sunday, Apr 05, 2009 at 12:02
great road take it easy lots of road trains at alice end .We did it in jan one else around just beautful.Check open times at rabbbit flat ,camping anywhere along the track, freindly and respectful communities.
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