Re-thinking the Tanami

Submitted: Saturday, Jul 19, 2008 at 07:47
ThreadID: 124890 Views:3564 Replies:4 FollowUps:6
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Last report on Tanami was not good. Although our trip has been planned around exiting the Kimberley via Wolfe Creek Crater, and following the Tanami road to Alice Springs, we don't want to look for trouble. Any other recent reports?

Motherhen
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Reply By: Flying high - Saturday, Jul 19, 2008 at 07:50

Saturday, Jul 19, 2008 at 07:50
Sorry cant help directly but just did Wolfe Creek to Halls Creek two days ago and it was fantastic. Even saw some basic vans along the route coming from Alice !!!

Regards Kurt
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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Saturday, Jul 19, 2008 at 08:27

Saturday, Jul 19, 2008 at 08:27
Thanks Kurt - if they got through intact, we should. Where did you come in from and where are you now?

Mh
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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2008 at 09:04

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2008 at 09:04
You've got to love this live forum - Kurt replied with a knock on my door and replied to the question "Here".

Happy travels; beaut meeting you both.

Mh
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Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jul 19, 2008 at 13:03

Saturday, Jul 19, 2008 at 13:03
Did the Tanami(wet) a month or two back....Halls Creeks to the Alice. Make sure you do the Meteorite Crater diversion. Lower your tyre pressures to at least 30psi all round and more if you feel like it. Plan on two nights bush camping. There are very few places to pull off so if you see one, take it. We camped in road road quarry areas. Be prepared to wander all over the road looking for a better track. Some parts have a new home made track off the main road. I have never seen more dead motor vehicles as on this road. Take it easy and you will have no problems and don't be complacent and "go faster" on the good parts as you can be assured there will be a gotcha waiting somewhere. I carried extra fuel for the whole distance. Rabbit Flat is about 5ks off the main road. Nice road house at the Alice end.

ps The road is not suitable for a conventional caravan.

Ern
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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2008 at 09:02

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2008 at 09:02
Hi Ern

Do you mean Wolfe Creek Crater? That is certainly on our agenda, as is at this stage going via the Tanami. We ran tyres on 25/26 cold all round on the GRR and had no problems (other than those caused by the dodgy solar panels). On a road like that, I think 3 hours driving is enough - pretty tiring for the driver (and it won't be me). From memory - do you recall approx locations of good quarries? We are usually pretty good at sniffing them out.

Motherhen
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Follow Up By:- Wednesday, Jul 23, 2008 at 14:43

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2008 at 14:43
Yep MH that's the one. 25km off the main track and rough as a cane toads backside but well worth it. There is a camping site. If we ever get there again we will hike it into he centre of the impact zone....just for the hell of it.

I think the first overnighter was not far east of the crater turnoff on top of a small rise on the northern side. The next one I can't remember but was on the northern side also.
Wisely nobody travels at night.

Be careful at the Alice end on the one lane sealed section. We got a chipped windscreen from a car full of impatient locals who overtook us outside of the guide posts and showered us with gibbers only to find them 5ks down the road piddling in the bushes. If you strike this be prepared to get to the left and give them the road but don't expect them to stay on the bitumen. I guess they believe they own the country and they can do as they like..........and yes I'm still p.....offed

Ern
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Reply By: The Hob - Saturday, Jul 19, 2008 at 21:45

Saturday, Jul 19, 2008 at 21:45
Motherhen

Look at post 59884 on ExploreOz.

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Willie broke springs on the Tanami

Travel safe

Alan
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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Sunday, Jul 20, 2008 at 04:47

Sunday, Jul 20, 2008 at 04:47
Hi Alan

Willie's misfortune is the main reason for my thread. He says "don't do it". He is a well experienced real off road traveller, and he says it is the worst road he has ever encouncountered (and he had done the Tanami before too). The springs were possibly a long time happening, as he too purchased an older van. The problem with the brakes is apparently very common from travelling on dusty roads, and someone in the trade here suggested we check ours while we are waiting here.

Another member having their holiday curt short by a misfortune on the Tanami added to my re-think.

Friends of ours broke springs in their Phoenix on the Tanami a couple of years ago - but to them it was just par for the course. They were carrying a spare, and used a good leave from the one they replaced in the other one which only fractured one leaf. They then waited at near Halls Creek until another spare arrived before even heading along the highway to Broome. They are careful and well prepared travellers.

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Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, Jul 20, 2008 at 16:27

Sunday, Jul 20, 2008 at 16:27
It would appear the original poster is suggesting a Bushtracker caravan is not capable of traversing the Tanami Road. I strongly beg to differ and would have no hesitation in doing it again. I have been on worse roads and a properly maintained BT will do it easily. If a BT can't do it no van could. Caravans travel this road regularly and not only BTs.

The most important hardware on an off-road van are the wheels and suspension. Without them you go nowhere. I replace my springs every few years when they sag a bit. They are not expensive and it is a simple job. I carry a spare main leaf and a 100mm angle grinder with a metal cutting disc. The ends can be cut off if needed. Spares should include a brake magnet and a pivot block. In a previous post I mentioned I had a pivot block failure which held us up for a while. On contemplation and further research I think the problem occurred when we became airborn at one stage(well it felt like it). In this situation the spring pack can move backwards which will break the pivot block. I am going to fit the spring keeper modification which prevents this from happening.

Ern
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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Sunday, Jul 20, 2008 at 21:11

Sunday, Jul 20, 2008 at 21:11
Hi Ern

He is not suggesting that a BT can't do it - but that was in the worst condition he had ever found it - and worse than any other back road or track he had taken. Like ours, his van was pre-loved, so the breakage could have been some time coming. As Kurt said - he saw vans of all sorts coming in from the Tanami just a day or two ago. Another Bushtracker member choose not to go that way after a BT rollover in June. Either route is new to us - just more places to see will take us longer going via the highway - and i do like to get away from the highways and traffic!

Thanks for you advice

Mh
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