Made it to Halls Creek, via the Wolfe Creek Meteor Crater!
We left Alice Springs early this morning at 6 am and arrived just on dusk after travelling 1,097 kms. About 900 kms of that was driven on the dirt. That’s like driving from the Gold Coast to Sydney on a dirt track! Now imagine driving that distance on the dirt, plus another 200 kms on the bitumen in about 14 hours!
We passed a few road trains on the dirt in the first couple of hours, but did not see another vehicle approaching from the other direction for 500 kms! In fact, we saw a total of 5 cars and one road train approach us from the opposite direction, and not one vehicle overtook us the whole day.
As you enter the Tanami Track, the sign warns you that the last fuel stop is only 270 kms away, and then it’s 740 kms to the next one in Halls Creek! This is definitely not the sort of road you would want to break down on. Before leaving home, the guys at my local ARB 4×4 Accessories fitted a long range diesel tank to the Landcruiser. So we were fully prepared for the long trip with enough fuel to travel at least 1,100 kms in the tank, and backup jerry cans on the roof.
It’s pretty obvious that there has been some rain in recent times out here. The roads and tracks were lined with beautiful green grasses, and for most of the journey, the expansive flat plains were covered with low lying shrubs and small trees and bushes. There are many amazing rock formations scattered around the landscape.
For the most part, the road feels as though it’s completely straight, and there is not much undulation on the surface, apart from the potholes and corrugates that is! Every so often, when you approach a small crest of a hill, there is a sense of excitement about what might be on the other side. Out here, you can see for miles in every direction, apart from the occasional hill which blocks your view. Even though there is little variation along the way, the expanse is breathtaking and you can’t help but imagine what it would be like to live in one of the remote Indigenous communities along the Tanami Track.
When we left Alice, we were a little concerned that the recent heavy rains might have degraded the road, or softened the surface. Luckily, there were no road closures at all, and we survived the stretch that was rain affected throughout the afternoon. It certainly was a bit of fun to drive through the puddles covering the road, spraying water everywhere along along the way. Although it was a little hairy also when the car slipped and slid in all directions as the traction control struggled to keep us on course.
Luckily, the clouds disappeared just before we turned off the main road and headed about 20 kms away to the Wolfe Creek Meteor Crater. This crater is apparently more than 2 million years old, and was made famous by the movie named after it. We could not wait to take a look at it for ourselves. Luckily, we didn’t come across any axe murdering torturers out there!
Tomorrow, we are headed for Broome, before starting the trip up to Darwin.