Tanami Road

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Tanami Road

Tanami Track / McGuire Track

Western Australia
Tanami Road route map.png
Map of the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia with Tanami Road highlighted in red
General information
Type Road
Length1,035 km (643 mi)
Route number(s) Australian state route 5.svg State Route 5 (Northern Territory)
Major junctions
South-east endAustralian national highway 87.svg Stuart Highway (National Highway 87), Burt Plain
North-west endAustralian national highway 1.svg Great Northern Highway (National Highway 1), Mueller Ranges
Location(s)
Region Alice Springs Region
Restrictions
Fuel supplyTilmouth Well

The Tanami Road, also known as the Tanami Track, Tanami Highway, [1] and the McGuire Track, is a road in Australia that runs between the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory and the Great Northern Highway in Western Australia. It is also known as State Route 5 in the Northern Territory. Its southern junction is 19 kilometres (12 mi) north of Alice Springs and the northern junction is 17 kilometres (11 mi) south-west of Halls Creek. It follows a cattle droving route northwest from the MacDonnell Ranges area of central Australia to Halls Creek in the Kimberley. [2]

Contents

The Tanami Road is the most direct route from Alice Springs to the Kimberley, passing through the Tanami Desert. Along its route are Yuendumu, [3] the tiny community of Yuelamu, [1] and The Granites gold mine owned by Newmont Mining. In the Northern Territory it passes through land owned by the Aboriginal Warlpiri people, and in Western Australia it passes through pastoral land.

Gravel section of the track TanamiTrack.jpg
Gravel section of the track

About 20% of the road is bitumen, the remainder is dirt and gravel and, although it is navigable by two-wheel drive vehicles, a four-wheel drive is recommended. Some parts of the road are prone to severe corrugations, making for an uncomfortable and slow drive at times. [4] In January 2020, the federal government committed $235 million to upgrade and seal the road. [5]

Road train on Tanami Road Road train Tanami track.jpg
Road train on Tanami Road

The mid-way point, Rabbit Flat, formerly a public roadhouse, was closed indefinitely at the end of 2010, so planning for this journey must take the lack of fuel and supplies into account. [6] Tilmouth Well, located 186 km (116 mi) from Alice Springs between Alice Springs and Rabbit Flat, [7] provides fuel service seven days a week. [6] Carrying adequate fuel and water supplies is essential.

See also

Australia road sign W5-29.svg   Australian roadsportal

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Yuendumu Town in the Northern Territory, Australia

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Balgo, Western Australia Community in Western Australia

Balgo, previously Balgo Hills and Balgo Mission, is a small community in Western Australia that is linked with both the Great Sandy Desert and the Tanami Desert. The community is in the Shire of Halls Creek, off the Tanami Road. Established by German missionaries in 1939, Balgo's population numbered 359 in the 2016 census.

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Yuelamu Town in the Northern Territory, Australia

Yuelamu, also known as Mount Allan, Mount Allen, Alpirakina, and Alpirakinga, is a small town in the Northern Territory, Australia, located 298 kilometres (185 mi) north-west of Alice Springs, Its altitude is 687.1 metres (2,254 ft).

References

  1. 1 2 "Yuelamu". Central Desert Regional Council. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  2. Hema, Maps (2006). Australia's Great Desert Tracks NC Sheet (Map). Eight Mile Plains Queensland: Hema Maps. ISBN   978-1-86500-163-0.
  3. Yuendumu Mining Company N.L (1980). In The Tanami road : the Aboriginal-owned Yuendumu Mining Company N.L. submission to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works. Yuendumu Mining Company N.L, Darwin
  4. Cathy Van Extel (28 May 2013). "Is the Tanami Road the worst highway in Australia?". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  5. Bamford, Matt (4 January 2020). "Outback adventure track Tanami Road on a $235 million path to being sealed". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  6. 1 2 "The Tanami Desert, Australia". Outback Australia Travel Guide. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  7. Tilmouth Well

Further reading