In one of the most desolate lands of the planet can be found rare specimens of wild creatures, breathtaking scenery and wonderful artifacts of the Warlpiri Aboriginals. This is Tanami Road.


Despite its name, the Tanami road is actually a highway unpaved but well kept, crossing one of the driest and most isolated places on Earth, the Tanami Desert. Like most roads that cross Australia, the road was originally one of the routes where herds of cattle were herded, linking Alice Springs, Northern Territory and Halls Creek, Western Australia. At the north of Alice Springs, the road finishes along mountain slopes Macdonnell, offering breathtaking sight a mountain scenery with rocks and dried up riverbeds. Beyond the mountains lie plains with reddish sandy, on whose surface is growing spinifex, grasses and bushes, you can see the hills and groves, isolated landscapes framed by the Australian blue sky. Along the way, you can visit Warlpiri Aboriginal communities, Yuendumu and Balgo (Wirimanu), artistic and cultural centers where you can meet artists working with traditional and modern means. Isolated cattle farms and prosperous gold mines are the only signs of human presence in the area.

The best time to travel is between April and October, as there is a risk that in the wet season, the Sturt Valley, located at the end of this route, be flooded. The distance is about 1050 km and lasts two days, you need to sleep in a tent overnight. You have to drive slowly, the unpaved roads do not allow a high speed.

You can participate in a tour with a four-wheel drive vehicle or rent one for personal use from Alice Springs. Before you leave, make sure you have obtained permission from the Central Territorial Council (Aboriginal council in this area) to visit Tanami Desert Animal Reserve. To enhance and explore Yuendumu Aboriginal and territories, you need a permit. If you plan to stop in Balgo, call in advance and artists will organize a tour.

Besides the campanar equipment, make sure you have water for the two trips. Water from wells and dams on the road is not drinking. Take reserve, fuel supply points are few and for a large distances from each other. In the Aboriginal lands, around Yuendumu community, the consumption of alcohol is prohibited.


The granite quarry is located north-west of Alice Springs, you can enjoy the atmosphere of times past and the buildings of the 1930s.

The Newhaven Reserve, 263,045 ha of dunes, salt lakes and white clay, it lies at 364 km north-west of Alice Springs. It houses many species of birds, rare birds (nocturnal parrot).

Newhaven  is a private conservation reserve located in the Tanami Desert.

Newhaven is a private conservation reserve located in the Tanami Desert.

Yuendumu and Balgo, visiting their artistic centers: Warlukurlangu Association of Yuendumu Aboriginal Artists and Warlayirti arts and cultural centers in Balgo.



Photo 5 camels  (Medium)