Tanami Track Day 12 - Papunya Turnoff to Mt Doreen

Tuesday, Jul 03, 2001 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Day 12 - Tuesday 3/7/01
Start - Papunya Turnoff
Stop - Mt Doreen
Trip Odometer - 225.1km
Stopped time - 3.37hrs
Moving average - 72km/hr
Moving time - 3.07hrs
Max speed - 104.4km/hr

We had a big camp to pack up with a couple of roasts and a pudding and muffins cooked in camp ovens from the night’s campfire and didn’t depart until 10.12am. We only had about 40km to Tilmouth Roadhouse where we had a leisurely stop to admire the enormous range of aboriginal dot paintings on canvass from the neighbouring Tanami communities – Napperby, Billiuna, Yuendumu. Jutunta. It’s actually a fabulous facility, and so I wasn’t surprised to read their own promotional brochure where they call themselves the “Oasis on the Tanami”.

At Tilmouth you can buy hot chips, pies, etc plus a good range of basic supplies and even fresh cut fruit, vegies and icecream! The camping looks good, the grass is green and the pool area looks like a resort but it was too early to stop for a camp and we were on a bush camping mission. The track so far has been like a highway, in terms of both condition and the numbers of travellers. We have been jokingly calling it the “Tanami Expressway”. There has been little gravel, mostly hard packed red earth road base and much evidence of grading. There are only a few washouts and bulldust is minimal at this point. Past Yuendumu we saw the first ranges come into view and groups of rocks, similar to the Devils Marbles near Tennant Creek. There were various dry river beds with tracks which could be worth investigating for possible campsites.
60km from the Yuendumu turnoff, an unmarked track on the RHS leads to Mt Doreen where a bore, creek bed and mining ruins made our next camp. The track winds around behind the distinctive looking mountain and we spent the entire afternoon exploring before setting up camp in the river bed beyond the bore pond about 1.5km from the Tanami Track.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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