Tackle the Tanami

The great rocky Tanami Desert remained an unexplored frontier well into the twentieth century. Today adventurers traverse it by the Tanami Track; an exceptionally isolated route which follows a cattle droving route from the MacDonnell Ranges. Plans are under way to pave the dusty old track, but for this adventure we’ll need the 4x4 coach, extra supplies and prior preparation. Despite stretches of over 500km between fuel stops and inhospitable environments, the Tanami will get you to some of Australia’s most incredible sights. The Bungle Bungles, Ord River, Kununurra, Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater, the MacDonnell Ranges and dozens of gorges and native reserves.

Tour Highlights

  • Ord River day tour with riverside lunch  
  • Scenic Duncan Road from Kununurra to Halls Creek
  • Tanami Road – Halls Creek to Alice Springs
  • Wolf Creek Meteorite Crater
  • Alice Springs Sightseeing Tour
  • Eastern MacDonald Ranges
  • Emily & Jesse Gaps
  • Trephina Gorge & N'Dhala Gorge
  • Artlunga Historical Reserve 
  • Optional 2 hour Bungle Bungle Scenic Flight
Departing
29/07/2018
Duration
8 Days
Physical Rating
Moderate Fitness. Some walking, stairs, walking on uneven ground.
Transport
4x4 Coach

Brochure Downloads

Tackle the Tanami (Tackle_the_Tanami_SML.pdf, 3,036 Kb) [Download]

Day 1: Sunday 29 July 2018
Toowoomba-Brisbane-Broome-Kununurra

Board a direct flight to Broome with breakfast included in flight. Arrive in Broome at lunch time boarding the connecting flight to Kununurra. Upon arrival in Kununurra meet the coach crew and depart for the first sightseeing tour of the trip, around the Ord River Irrigation area and the town centre. Finish the day with a stunning Kimberley sunset from Kelly’s Knob which looks out over the town, Lake Kununurra and the surrounding mountains. Meals:BD

Day 2: Monday 30 July 2018
Ord River Day Tour & Optional Bungle Bungle Flight

Pass the Argyle Diamond Mine and awesome panorama views of the irrigated farmlands before a late breakfast. Take an Ord River day cruise featuring a special riverside lunch. Cruise the spectacular waterway and marvel at the stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, unique flowering plantlife and maybe even spot a crocodile! Stop at the Riverside Camp for a sumptuous buffet lunch, before cruising up to the Ord Top Dam. Board the coach for a drive across the Ord Top Dam and a stop at a scenic lookout, then leave the Lake Argyle Township and travel to the historic Durack Homestead Museum. In the late 1800s, the pioneering Durack family successfully created their large station near Kununurra. The family shipped cattle from Wyndham Port and were the original "kings in grass castles". This museum was constructed as a replica of the original family Homestead and uses the original Homestead stone. Re-board the coach, return to the accommodation in Kununurra through Durack country, arriving mid-afternoon. The remainder of the afternoon is free to relax or explore at leisure until dinner. Meals: BLD

This morning there is the option to take an early morning, 2 hour scenic flight over the Bungle Bungle Ranges heading south over Lake Kununurra and the upper Ord River, Lake Argyle, Purnululu National Park and the Bungle Bungle Ranges. Fly a circular pattern around the spectacular beehives and deep gorges of this unique landform. 

Day 3: Tuesday 31 July 2018
Duncan Road – Kununurra to Halls Creek

The bitumen runs out today and the real 4x4 tour begins! Depart Kununurra and travel east along the Great North Highway to the Northern Territory border. From here, Duncan Road passes through the beautiful and hilly country below Lake Argyle. Constructed specifically to service the remote cattle stations in this area, the road was originally called the Duncan Highway until decommissioned in 1976. The road is said to be one of the most scenic in the Kimberley Region with several rivers and creeks to cross and crossing the Northern Territory and Western Australia border 4 times as it follows the eastern section of Purnululu National Park. This afternoon head west through the Ord River Regeneration Reserve to Halls Creek. Meals: BD

Day 4: Wednesday 1 August 2018
Halls Creek – Wolf Creek Crater – Tanami Road

The Tamani Road awaits this morning after departing Halls Creek. Travel a short distance along the sealed Great Northern Highway before committing to the unsealed Tanami Road for the 1000km trek to Alice Springs. Today's first visit will be Wolfe Creek Crater National Park to see the second largest meteorite crater in the world. The crater is 880 meters across and almost circular – keep an eye out whilst there you might find some meteorite fragments. Dating has shown that the meteorite crashed to Earth around 300,000 years ago. It would have weighed more than 50,000 tonnes and is thought to have been travelling at 15 kilometres a second, a speed that would have taken it across Australia in five minutes. This is a great place for photography and observing nature so enjoy the climb to the top of the crater rim for a picnic lunch. Rejoin the Tanami Road and travel as far as the remainder of the day allows until you find a suitable spot to set up bush camp for the night. The harsh and unforgiving Tanami certainly isn't all Hiltons and silver service, but we promise that a night in our bush camp and a delicious dinner under the stars will be an unforgettable experience. No showers will be available tonight, however there will be a portable toilet for use and fresh water to freshen up with. Meals: BLD

Day 5: Thursday 2 August 2018
Tanami Road – Tilmouth Wells

After a hearty bush breakfast, pack up the camp and hit the Tamami once again. The Tanami Desert tends to be very flat and often appears quite barren with just a few whisps of spinifex and saltbush, but this sort of lifeless isolationis precisely what travellers come here to experience! When the coach stops, stand silently for a moment and take in the stillness of the outback, completely devoid of the sounds of humanity, just as it was centuries before we arrived. The Tanami Road (also known as the Tanami Track) was built as a short-cut between the Kimberley Region and Central Australia and plans are afoot to upgrade and fully seal the road meaning that this may be one of the last chances to experience this great offroad adventure. Late afternoon arrive at the outback oasis, Tilmouth Well, located on Napperby Station. Enjoy dinner in Clayton’s Restaurant before a good night sleep in your own cabin; a refreshing contrast to last nights’ accommodation. Meals: BLD     

Day 6: Friday 3 August 2018
Tilmouth Wells – Alice Springs – Ross River

Today there are only 200 kilomenters left to travel until the tour reaches Alice Springs. Enjoy a small celebration as the bitument reappears before arriving in ‘The Alice’ in time for morning tea. Take a sightseeing tour of Alice Springs and see the town from Anzac Hill lookout. Travel along the Todd River, past Lasseters Casino and the town centre and Todd Mall. Take lunch today at The Gap Tavern before heading to the Eastern MacDonnell Ranges, an area away for the main tourist crowds. Not far from Alice Springs, visit Emily Gap which is an Aboriginal sacred site and includes sacred ochre paintings. Just up the road is Jessie gap and a short walk will reveal a shady creek with indigenous paintings. From here travel to Ross River Resort. Settle in and explore before dinner. Meals: BLD

Day 7: Saturday 4 August 2018   Eastern MacDonald Ranges

Today, explore the "East Macs" as the locals call them beginning with a visit to N’Dhala Gorge, this shady gorge contains a wide range of rock carvings and paintings. There are well over 6,000 individual petroglyphs (prehistoric carvings) as well as art sites and shelter sites. From here, visit Trephina Gorge noted for its sheer quartzite cliffs and River Red Gum lined watercourses.Choose between a short 20 minute return stroll into the gorge or the 1 hour Trephina Gorge Walk. Lunch today will be at Arltunga Historical Reserve, officially Central Australia’s first town, born out of a gold rush when in 1887 alluvial gold was discovered in a dry creek bed at Paddys Rockhole. Fortune seekers had to travel 600km from Oodnadatta railhead, often on foot and the area once supported up to 300 people. Call in to the visitors centre which provides an overall introduction to the reserve, then explore the Government Battery and Cyanide Works, Police Station, old mine workings and residential area. On our return trip to Ross River learn about another close by mining rush at Ruby Gap. Meals: BLD

Day 8: Sunday 5 August 2018
Alice Springs-Brisbane-Toowoomba

This morning, return to Alice Spring for some last minute shopping at Todd Mall. Then transfer to Alice Spring Airport for the flight back to Brisbane. On arrival in Brisbane, Stonestreets will return you to Toowoomba. Meals:B

Linked Tour: Looking to extend your holiday? Stay with us a bit longer and join our 8 day Centralia Tour which explores Alice Springs, the Western MacDonnell Ranges, Kings Canyon, Ayers Rock and the Olgas. Alternatively you may like one of our Kimberley tours ranging from 8 to 15 days. Ask us for a package to include more than one tour.

Meals: 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners

Transport: 4x4 Coach

Flights:

  • Brisbane /  Broome
  • Broome / Kununurra
  • Alice Springs / Brisbane

Accommodation: 

  • 6 Nights in Motel Accommodation
  • 1 Night in Bus Camp Accommodation

Activities:

  • Ord River day tour with riverside lunch
  • Scenic Duncan Road from Kununurra to Halls Creek
  • Alice Springs Sightseeing Tour

Optional Extras:

  • Optional 2 hour Bungle Bungle Scenic Flight
Departing
29/07/2018
Duration
8 Days
Physical Rating
Moderate Fitness. Some walking, stairs, walking on uneven ground.
Transport
4x4 Coach
Price
AUD $4,495
Tackle the Tanami
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