Tanami track

I am a fairly new member, however have been following the forum nearly every night for 2 years. My wife and I are heading across the Tanami in a month or so. I know that rabbit flat fuel stop is now closed, so was just wondering where diesel fuel can be purchased between Rabbit flat and Halls Creek.
We are driving a 2004 4.2 TD intercooled nissan patrol towing a 2.4 tonne offroad caravan. I have calculated that I should do between 650 - 700 Kms on a tank of fuel.I wiill be carrying 2 x 25 lt jerries that will give me another 200+ range, so by my calculations I won't quite get to Halls Creek. I don't really want to carry more fuel as for the rest of our trip I will have plenty of fuel. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Our trip will start in Bannockburn Vic and will be going thru to Tom Price and then return thru the Kimberely via the Gibb river road, Darwin, kakadu, Lawn Hill and return via central Qld,central NSW and back to Bannockburn.
To check fuel consumption for the Tanami stretch we will be heading up the Oodnadatta track and the road from Mt Dare to Alice.
possibly will take about 7 months give or take a month. I retire this Friday.
Thanks Hugh
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012 at 23:02

Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012 at 23:02
Hugh, I'll leave it to someone more informed to advise on the fuel, but I would like to say... welcome to the Forum, welcome to retirement, and have a really great trip.


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AnswerID: 484087

Reply By: Mick O - Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012 at 23:04

Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012 at 23:04

you would fill up at Tilmouth Roadhouse on the way out. Yeundumu is another possible option and then Billiluna short of course of trekking the 34 km into Balgo and back, you'd be best to carry a little extra fuel if possible. The communities can be a bit hit and miss and you would be advised to ring in advance and ensure opening and availability of fuel. Balgo has some very nice country around it and the mission also.

With the price of fuel at the communities it would almost be worth your while to purchase two extra yellow plastic fuel cans and divest yourself of them at the other end. It would probably cost you less.

The joys of taking those roads less travelled.

Enjoy, happy retirement and safe travels.

''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012 at 23:30

Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012 at 23:30
Not sure of your distance numbers .... around 700ks from Tillmouth to Billiluna and about another 170ks from there to Halls Creek - so all up about 870ks from Tillmouth to Halls Creek - depends on how tight you want to run your margin with the 2 jerries I suppose.

Billiluna is probably your best bet, however as Mick says, check the opening times.
AnswerID: 484094

Reply By: Member - john y - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 10:17

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 10:17
Good luck on your requirement. Just a query as to how much fuel your tanks hold? Given the road conditions recently mentioned in recent posts and the weight of your van I would budget on 4km /ltr. Have a great adventure.John
AnswerID: 484136

Follow Up By: BUSH CAMPER - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 12:26

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 12:26
Main tank, 90 Lt, sub tank holds 36Lt, useable about 33 Lt. Toatal useable about 122 lts.
Last trip to Alice and home sitting on 2000 RPM ( about 90 kph ) best consumption was 6.2 KPL and worst was 4.2 KPL. When we did the Merr
eni loop we averaged about 5.3 KPL. My guess is that would be similar consumption to the Tanami.
We are doing the Oodnadatta on the way up so this will give me a better idea of consumption.
FollowupID: 759380

Reply By: Outbackogre - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 10:40

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 10:40
Hugh, I did Tilmouth to Halls Creek last July towing a 1 tonne trailer with a diesel Pajero. Had a standard tank (90 lit) and 4 x 10 lit jerries. This 130 lit was easily enough to get me to HC. What's the total fuel you'd be carrying with main tank, aux tank and 2 x 25 lit jerries? About 170 lit? I'd have thought this would be enough, even with your heavier rig. But to be sure, carry another 25 lit jerry and empty all jerries into your main tank as soon as possible. Have a great trip.
AnswerID: 484142

Reply By: Frances - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 17:43

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 17:43
I did the tanami last year in a 3 ltr 2008 diesel nissan.

I used 153 litres between Tilmouth Well and Halls Creek keeping under 2000 revs which was about 80kph. I damaged wheel bearings on the camper trailer and both front wheels of the car (SHOULD HAVE HAD THEM REPACKED BEFORE I LEFT HOME BUT DIDN'T KNOW TO) by travelling so slowly.

So on the return journey I sped up, dropped my tyre pressure a lot and used a lot more fuel. I had to use a jerry can on the return journey. Apart from blowing a tyre on the c/t there was almost no damage on the return trip.

There are little aboriginal communities along the tanami that you can get diesel at but last year they were selling it for at least $3.60 p/l.

I took the step of putting a long range fuel tank on the nissan and it was money well spent. It gives me 178 litres carrying capacity and if I ever came across expensive fuel I had the luxury of driving right on by! I carried one jerry can only.

Apart from all that congratulations on your retirement and what a fantastic trip you have ahead of you.Lawn Hill is the most amazing place, we have been everywhere else you have said too and it's all great.
AnswerID: 484185

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