West Great Victoria Desert

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesNeale Junction
DifficultyDifficulty 4.5/5
Suitable for4WD 
Distance457.44 km
Minimum Days4
Average Speed43.11 km/hr
Driving Time10 hrs 36 mins
Page Updated: 31 Aug 2014


This trek starting at Neale Junction takes you though varying countryside from Spinifex flats to rocky patches. Even the flora changes from marble gums to acacia and mulga trees. This trek is definitely not for the faint hearted and adequate experience and preparation for remote travel is a must.

The route traverses around 48kms of the Anne Beadell Highway to the west from Neale Junction before turning south onto what is known as the Naries Point Road. The condition of the Naries Point Road and the vegetation varies, with a mixture of windy and straight sections, with gravel, rock and sand patches. It has areas of spinifex and kangaroo grass and areas of mulga and marble gum. Speeds may vary between 20 to 30 km/hr. Allow a comfortable 5 hours along Naries Point Road to reach the Plumridge Lakes Road. Once on this road, you should be able to travel a little faster as the track is much straighter and wider than Naries Point Rd. The country is also much prettier, with breakaway country, many mounts and small salt lakes. The landscape soon turns to open country as you head towards Lake Rason and can be rather easy to drive along.

At the western end of Lake Rason you will come to a turn off to the north where you will see a letter box and a slow down to 40kph school sign at the corner – some one has a good sense of humour. Following the track up, you will arrive at a tin shack with an earth floor. It has all the basic appointments including a table, pot belly stove, kero fridge, beds and lighting, and a wood fired oven outside. From the front veranda, the views across Lake Rason to the east and north east are superb.

Continuing on through some pretty breakaway country, you will eventually meet up with Tiger Trap Gully which is a set in a group of breakaways. Some of the interesting names of features in this breakaway system include Signal Point and Crow Cave Hill. Heading ever further west towards the next stop - Mallee Hen Rocks, which is another Frank Hann named feature and near the western side of the breakaways, there is the site of a rock hole.

The trek then heads towards Burtville, which is an abandoned gold mining area with interesting ruins and abandoned mine shafts. From here, the final stretch into Laverton is on excellent, wide, graded road and is straightforward but just watch for trucks and other mining traffic.

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.

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Although called the Great Victoria Desert, don't think of sand dunes like the Sahara Desert, far from it. It's called a desert because the area attracts little rainfall, at times it may not rain for years. Terrain in the GVD varies from vast spinifex plains, spinifex covered dunes, belts of marble gum and mulga, bluffs, breakaways and buttes. In addition to marble gums, mulga and spinifex there are vast areas of shrubs and other small desert plants such as parakeelya.

If rain has fallen in the winter months, the desert can blossom into a botanist dream when you may find vast fields of everlastings, flowering grevilleas, acacias and numerous other flowering plants and shrubs.

The best months for travelling are April to October. Outside these months the desert can be a very hot, placing additional stresses on your vehicle, especially the cooling system. It is highly recommended that one sticks to the cooler months.

Wildlife variety in the GVD is also surprising; camels, dingoes, kangaroos, galahs, budgerigars, birds of prey and wild turkeys are not uncommon.


Noted explorer Frank Hann had his base in Laverton and frequently travelled in this area between 1903 and 1908, he was prospecting and looking for pastoral country. Hann discovered and named many of the features seen on this trek.

In 1891 the Elder Expedition led by David Lindsay travelled through this area from north to south. Of particular note is his camp at a place now known as Lime Juice Camp. David Lindsay on the day of Camp 47 on 11th September 1891 suggested to Dr Elliot that they open the supply of limejuice and have a celebration. Dr Elliot agreed and mixed the concentrated juice with whisky and water in a galvanized canteen. The entire party became very ill with zinc poisoning.

Len Beadell, as a surveyor for the Australian army, surveyed, and with his road construction party, made many bomb roads in the 1960's. He named the Connie Sue Hwy after his daughter and the Anne Beadell Hwy after his wife. Len wrote a number of entertaining books about his time in the desert.

The name Neale in Neale Junction comes from the Raster map for the area "Neale". That in turn came from Captain Frank Neale a WW1 flying ace, who carried out private aerial surveys in the area from 1930 to 1935 for a Donald McKay from Wallenbean NSW. The map was named in recognition of his aerial work.


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. Don't travel this area on your own - if you must, advise the Laverton Police 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, Satellite Phone and Epirb for emergencies. The use of either 27MHz or UHF 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 1000 km. Then allow a sufficient margin of at least 20% on top of that for sand driving, detours and if you happen to be bogged. Also, ensure you carry sufficient food and water for the whole trek (i.e. minimum of 4 days). There are no fuel stations or supply points available en-route, except at the town of Laverton. Warburton and Tjukayirla Roadhouse which is on the Great Central Road may be the closest supply points; however they are nowhere near this track and therefore not shown in this trek note. 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.

Useful Phone Contacts

Laverton Police: (08) 9031 1000
Laverton Shire: (08) 9031 1202
Tjukayirla Roadhouse: (08) 9037 1108


For further historical and inspirational reading see:
"Do not yield to Despair" F Hann's exploration diaries - edited by Elliot and Donaldson
"A lifetime in the Bush - biography of Len Beadell" - by M Shephard
"Journal of the Elder Scientific Exploring Expedition 1891-92" by David Lindsay
"The Great Victoria Desert" by M Shephard (now out of print and unlikely to ever be re-printed).


Permits may be required for some sections that enter aboriginal land. If you are uncertain, contact either the Ngaanyatjarra Council (08) 8950 1711, or contact them by email ngcouncil@ngaanyatjarra.org.au, or visit their website www.Ngaanyatjarra.org.au where you can obtain a permit online.

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel Symbol Warburton and Tjukayirla Roadhouse which is on the Great Central Road may be the closest supply points; however they are nowhere near this track and therefore not shown in this trek note.
4cyl 64 litres4cyl 74 litres4cyl 91 litres
6cyl 70 litres6cyl 83 litres6cyl 81 litres
8cyl 70 litres8cyl 76 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Closest Climatic Station

Laverton Aero
Distance from Trek Mid Point 165.42km W
Mean Max. °C35.633.730.326.622.118.318.320.624.428.130.933.3
Mean Min. °C21.520.718.114.910.
Mean Rain mm42.663.637.518.414.315.717.89.27.713.820.928.5
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

Warburton and Tjukayirla Roadhouse which is on the Great Central Road may be the closest supply points; however they are nowhere near this track and therefore not shown in this trek note.


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What to See

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This is just a selection. We recommend also browsing the map for other Places nearby.
Pristine desert country, Waterfall Gorge, Sydney Yeo Chasm, Hann's Tabletop, Mallee Hen Rocks, caves, majestic marble gums, vast spinifex plains, bluffs and breakaways.

Showing 11 Places

Where to Stay

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LocationsDistanceDirection Time
Neale Junction to Anne Beadell Hwy WA/SA Border marker33.38 kmW253° 34 min
Anne Beadell Hwy WA/SA Border marker to Anne Beadell Hwy & Naries Point Rd14.57 kmW276° 15 min
Anne Beadell Hwy & Naries Point Rd to Old Airstrip37.88 kmSW210° 53 min
Old Airstrip to Naries Point Rd & Plumridge Lakes Rd58.64 kmSW229° 1 hr 28 min
Naries Point Rd & Plumridge Lakes Rd to Frank Hann (FH) Rock Inscription16.31 kmNW305° 48 min
Frank Hann (FH) Rock Inscription to Plumridge Lakes Rd & Rason Lake Rd31.5 kmW280° 56 min
Plumridge Lakes Rd & Rason Lake Rd to Capped Bore31.66 kmNW303° 40 min
Capped Bore to Lake Rason Shack28.67 kmW254° 38 min
Lake Rason Shack to Isolated Hills31.02 kmW271° 38 min
Isolated Hills to Tiger Trap Gully11.96 kmW285° 22 min
Tiger Trap Gully to Point Bott22.99 kmSW236° 30 min
Point Bott to Plumridge Lakes Rd & Mallee Hen Rocks19.52 kmSW234° 23 min
Plumridge Lakes Rd & Mallee Hen Rocks to Mallee Hen Rocks3.62 kmS177° 10 min
Mallee Hen Rocks to Plumridge Lakes Rd & Mallee Hen Rocks3.62 kmN357° 10 min
Plumridge Lakes Rd & Mallee Hen Rocks to Rockhole Northside14.15 kmW267° 17 min
Rockhole Northside to Coglia Merolia Rd & Plumridge Lakes Rd35.61 kmW275° 39 min
Coglia Merolia Rd & Plumridge Lakes Rd to Burtville28.29 kmNW307° 28 min
Burtville to Burtville Arch0.1 kmNW307°
Burtville Arch to Burtville Cemetery3.02 kmW292° 9 min
Burtville Cemetery to Laverton30.92 kmNW306° 23 min
Neale Junction to Laverton457.44 km  10 hr 36 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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