Rudall River

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesTelfer Security Gate
FinishTalawana Tk & Rudall River Access
DifficultyDifficulty 3.5/5
Suitable for4WD 
Distance504.29 km
Minimum Days5
Average Speed28.91 km/hr
Driving Time17 hrs 26 mins
Page Updated: 3 Feb 2016

Description

This vast National Park is a vast ancient land, with ranges, remote water holes and gorges. Some pools are permanent and are scattered throughout the park enabling large numbers of marsupials, birds and vast herds of camels to survive in what would otherwise be a very dry landscape indeed. As for the pronunciation of the name Rudall its ‘Roo-dal’ and not as most people say ‘Rudd –all’

The park sits on the boundary between the Great Sandy and Little Sandy Deserts, and tracks in the park are not maintained.

Whilst remote and challenging, visitors to the park can expect to see a pristine desert environment with ancient ranges that provide the visitor with spectacular vistas. These ranges contain numerous, gorges, rock holes and permanent water holes. Rudall River itself is an ancient river system that flows easterly through the park to Lake Dora.

The Department of Environment and Conservation doesn’t provide any visitor services, you are on your own and need to be totally self sufficient and prepared if wishing to travel in the area. Most people access Rudall River from Newman via Jigalong using the Talawana Track or Marble Bar via the Ripon Hills Telfer Road.

A drive to Desert Queen Baths in the Broadhurst Range will provide the visitor with a wonderful scenic walk along a gorge that has a series of large waterholes, many of which are permanent. Allow at least one day for this trek leg.

Equally spectacular is a drive along the Graphite Valley track. This track although very rough provides hundreds of photographic opportunities on the drive along the valley floor or along the ridge line as you follow the route to its end. Views range from, mounts, jump ups, sandy creek beds, ranges, bluffs, mesas, and quartz outcrops. The Graphite Valley track is not suitable for trailers of any type. Allow a full day return for this trek leg alone.

Out to the west, another track takes you to Watrara Pool, Curran Curran Rockhole and Hanging Rock. This is another impressive trek with views of ranges, valleys and water courses. Allow 1.5 days return for this trek leg.

How to Use this Trek Note

Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places on each POI page.

If you'd like to save this information there are a couple of ways to go about it, depending on what you're actually after:-
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  • If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.

Environment

Rudall River NP has the Little Sandy Desert in the south-west, an area of ranges and stony hills and the Great Sandy Desert to the north.

The most prevalent vegetation is spinifex with trees and shrubs concentrated around water courses. Belts of large river gums along watercourses provide many a spectacular vista.

The main animals seen are camels, dingoes and marsupials. Depending on the season many birds are seen throughout the park, although mainly were water is found nearby. We have seen plovers, swallows, willy wagtails, honeyeaters, bustards and birds of prey to name just a few.

From a 4WDriving point of view, other than the poorly maintained and at times very corrugated main north south track, all other tracks in the park are rough. Some have not been graded since the day they were built and are now very rough, washed out and very difficult to traverse. It is however along these tracks that the best sights and places to visit are found.

History

The Warnman, Gardutjarra, Mandjildjarra and Ngulibardu aboriginal people were the original inhabitants of the Rudall river area.

The first white men to arrive in the area were W Rudall and F Hann in 1896-97. Rudall, a government surveyor, led a party searching for George Jones and Charles Wells, lost members of the Calvert Expedition. Hann was on a private trip looking for suitable pastoral country. Hann and Rudall met at Meeting Gorge, west of Hanging Rock.

Hann named Rudall River; he also named Broadhurst Range after Eva Broadhurst a part owner of Pyramid Station in the Pilbara.

Rudall changed the name of Lake Misery to Lake Dora after his fiancée Dora Miller.

One of Rudall’s men was H S Trotman; he later became the 2 I C to A Canning when the Rabbit Proof Fence and the Canning Stock Route were explored and built.

Trotman’s initials and names of other explorers can be seen chiselled into the rock face at Christmas Pool (Wantamata).

Alfred Ives prospected in the area of the park 1937 -1939. A plaque commemorating his expeditions is screwed to a tree at Tjingkulatjatjarra Pool.

The Rudall River National Park was declared on 22 April 1977.

Preparation

Travelling in remote areas is very exciting and challenging, but you must be thoroughly prepared and self-sufficient. You can't call for local roadside assistance out here. It is not recommended you travel this area on your own, if you must then at least advise the Newman Police at 48 Mindarra Drive, Newman or telephone Tel: (08) 9175 4000 before leaving and when you return.

Have your vehicle fully serviced and checked over for remote area travel by an experienced 4WD service centre, have at least two spare tyres, have a spare tube and the appropriate puncture repair gear for your tyres and have the usual spares of belts, hoses, fuses, oils, etc.

Ensure you have adequate recovery gear including at least a snatch strap, two rated shackles, a towrope and a long handled shovel. Have an HF Radio or Satellite Phone and EPIRB for emergencies. The use of either 27MHz or UHF radios is only suitable for vehicle convoy work. They will not transmit to emergency services if you strike problems out in the desert.

Ensure you have enough fuel to travel at least 1,100 kms, for the section between Jigalong and Punmu. Then allow a sufficient margin of at least 20% on top of that for sand driving, detours and if you happen to be bogged. Although no fuel or supply points are shown in this trek note, the nearest are at Newman which has all fuels as well as supermarkets. For general fuel and light supplies, phone Jigalong on: (08) 9175 7020, Parnngurr on: (08) 9176 9157, and Punmu on: (08) 9176 9160. Please ring in advance and ensure supplies are available. Also be aware that permits may be required to enter Aboriginal communities.

Also, ensure you carry sufficient food and water for the whole trek (i.e. minimum of 5 days). Although there are two hand pumps in Rudall River National Park and the water is classed as potable, we have seen the pumps out of order on a number of occasions so don’t rely on them. There are no fuel stations or supply points in the park. Newman, Parrngurr, Punmu and Jigalong are your closest supply points.

You may find water in water holes but this is not to be relied upon, you should also consider the risks of illness if you drink any of it.

Permits

Permits not required unless obtaining fuel at Jigalong, Parrngurr or Punmu. If wanting to visit any of these locations then apply for permits from www.dia.wa.gov.au or phone Permits Officer on (08) 9235 8000.

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel Symbol Newman has all fuels available. For general fuel supplies: Jigalong (08) 9175 7020, Parnngurr (08) 9176 9157, and Punmu (08) 9176 9160. Please ring in advance and ensure supplies are available.
DieselULPLPG
4cyl 71 litres4cyl 82 litres4cyl 101 litres
6cyl 77 litres6cyl 91 litres6cyl 89 litres
8cyl 77 litres8cyl 84 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

The cooler months of April to September.

Closest Climatic Station

Telfer Aero
Distance from Trek Mid Point 65.12km N
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C40.638.637.334.529.125.325.328.432.737.039.440.2
Mean Min. °C26.025.423.920.615.311.910.612.516.520.823.425.4
Mean Rain mm49.1102.777.320.018.914.313.25.42.52.916.546.9
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

Newman for vehicle services and all food supplies, Jigalong and Punmu for basic food supplies.

Map

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What to See

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Where to Stay

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Directions

LocationsDistanceDirection Time
Telfer Security Gate to Telfer Mine Rd & Punmu Access Tk0.31 kmSE147°
Telfer Mine Rd & Punmu Access Tk to Kurili Hill17.43 kmS180° 17 min
Kurili Hill to Turn Off to Christmas Pool9.53 kmSW204° 10 min
Turn Off to Christmas Pool to Christmas Pool (Parking area)1.2 kmSE113° 3 min
Christmas Pool (Parking area) to Turn Off to Christmas Pool1.2 kmNW293° 3 min
Turn Off to Christmas Pool to Duck Pool37.23 kmSW205° 38 min
Duck Pool to Coolbro Pool0.26 kmS195° 1 min
Coolbro Pool to Northern Water Hand Pump20.87 kmSE134° 22 min
Northern Water Hand Pump to Main Track & Desert Queens Baths Access10.93 kmS160° 11 min
Main Track & Desert Queens Baths Access to Compton Pinnacle View7.61 kmSE120° 16 min
Compton Pinnacle View to Miles Hill5.83 kmSE137° 19 min
Miles Hill to Desert Queens Baths Campsite4.34 kmSE144° 11 min
Desert Queens Baths Campsite to Desert Queens Baths Campsite0.79 kmNE47° 3 min
Desert Queens Baths Campsite to Miles Hill0.79 kmSW227° 3 min
Miles Hill to Compton Pinnacle View4.34 kmNW324° 11 min
Compton Pinnacle View to Main Track & Desert Queens Baths Access5.83 kmNW317° 19 min
Main Track & Desert Queens Baths Access to Main Track & Watrara Pools-Hanging Rock Access7.61 kmNW300° 16 min
Main Track & Watrara Pools-Hanging Rock Access to Number 11 Pool21.5 kmS182° 27 min
Number 11 Pool to Main Track & Watrara-Tjingkulatjatjarra Pools Access5.28 kmNW293° 13 min
Main Track & Watrara-Tjingkulatjatjarra Pools Access to Watrara Pool1.6 kmNW305° 4 min
Watrara Pool to Main Track & Watrara-Tjingkulatjatjarra Pools Access2.51 kmW289° 9 min
Main Track & Watrara-Tjingkulatjatjarra Pools Access to Hanging Rock2.51 kmE109° 9 min
Hanging Rock to Native Well22.55 kmW262° 54 min
Native Well to Hanging Rock38.69 kmW275° 1 hr 24 min
Hanging Rock to Main Track & Watrara-Tjingkulatjatjarra Pools Access0.07 kmE87° N/A
Main Track & Watrara-Tjingkulatjatjarra Pools Access to Number 11 Pool0.07 kmW267° N/A
Number 11 Pool to Main Track & Watrara Pools-Hanging Rock Access38.69 kmE95° 1 hr 24 min
Main Track & Watrara Pools-Hanging Rock Access to Rudall River, Main Track (Plaque) Now Karlamilyi National Park22.55 kmE82° 54 min
Rudall River, Main Track (Plaque) Now Karlamilyi National Park to Island Hill1.6 kmSE125° 4 min
Island Hill to Soak (Rudall River)5.28 kmSE113° 13 min
Soak (Rudall River) to Main Track & Graphite Valley Access1.66 kmSE144° 2 min
Main Track & Graphite Valley Access to Graphite Valley4.89 kmSE127° 11 min
Graphite Valley to Main Track & Graphite Valley Access1.33 kmNE42° 2 min
Main Track & Graphite Valley Access to Soak (Rudall River)28.46 kmSE113° 1 hr 2 min
Soak (Rudall River) to Island Hill7.42 kmSW209° 22 min
Island Hill to Rudall River, Main Track (Plaque) Now Karlamilyi National Park7.42 kmNE29° 22 min
Rudall River, Main Track (Plaque) Now Karlamilyi National Park to Southern Water Hand Pump28.46 kmNW293° 1 hr 2 min
Southern Water Hand Pump to Talawana Tk & Rudall River Access1.33 kmSW222° 2 min
Telfer Security Gate to Talawana Tk & Rudall River Access504.29 km  17 hr 26 min
Distance is GPS recorded driving distance (not straight line), Direction is straight line from start to end, Time is calculated from actual GPS driving data.

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