Tanami Track Day 15 - Sturt Creek to Ord River Causeway (Camp)

Friday, Jul 06, 2001 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Day 15 - Friday 6/7/01
Start - Sturt Creek
Stop - Ord River causeway camp (50km north of Halls Creek)
Trip Odometer - 266km
Stopped time - 4.21hrs
Moving average - 33.4km/hr
Moving time - 3.35hrs
Max speed - 102.8km/hr

We changed time zones overnight so our departure time today was 9.50CST or 8.20WST. There was some light rain last night and a little more this morning, but it had no effect on the track or the crossing. The Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater was formed many millions of years ago when a meteorite shower hit the area, creating the world’s second largest meteorite crater at 800m wide at the rim. The turnoff to the crater is about 30minutes drive from Sturt Creek and is one of the reasons for driving the Tanami Track. Visitors to the crater from Halls Creek are frequent in either hire cars or tourist buses so you can sure that the access track is kept in good condition. We found driving conditions along the access track to the crater were good enough to sit on around 80km/hr. It seems a shame but camping is not allowed along the access track as it passes through aboriginal lands, however CALM have just opened (this week) free camping at the crater. The camps have toilets and info sheets on the area. No water is available and fires and dogs are prohibited.

The crater is impressive, with just a short scramble to the rim for views.

The final leg of the Tanami, from the Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater to Halls Creek is quite dusty and dry but very scenic with the first signs of the Kimberley ranges coming into view. We had hoped to move fast and make it into the Bungles for tonight’s camp but at midday Colin stopped for his 3rd flat tyre on the Tanami – his 4th flat in 2 weeks since leaving Sydney. Colin’s GU Patrol runs on Bridgestone Desert Duellers, but 2 of the tyres were on their last legs and due for replacement somewhere along this trip.

Thankfully, with tubes and spares by the roadside, he was able to get going again to make it into Halls Creek. Amazingly, the local tyre shop had 2 new replacements (at the same price as in Kununurra - $230!!) and fitted them on the spot while the girls grabbed some foodstocks from the supermarket.

The drive north from Halls Creek to Kununurra along the tar passes over a number of great creeks – most are popular stopovers for caravaners, but all are delightful camps. Heading out of Halls Creek a sign indicates distances to roadside parking bays that are suitable for camping and we estimated we’d make it to the 100km camp, just before the Spring Creek access track through Mabel Downs Station into the Bungles. At the 50km mark however, it was 4.30pm and we came across a parking bay on a sidetrack with a concrete causeway that was flowing – creating an enticing waterfall into a stream below. We doubled back and after a little exploring found ourselves the ideal camp on a gently sloping grass lawn overlooking the cascades. As the sun was setting a number of other cars cruised by our camp hopefully but there was only room for 2 and we were well setup by then.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Travelling fulltime in 2024
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