This is the Ultimate Australian Desert Experience. If you want to explore somewhere truly remote, The Canning is the place.
Traverse the four deserts of central Western Australia plus the iconic Gunbarrel Highway on this legendary overland tour. 4 weeks travelling the desert gives you time to take in your surroundings and appreciate the ever-changing environment without destroying your vehicle.
You will be on the actual Canning Stock Route for 17 days on this tour, plus another 5 days on the Gunbarrel Highway. Camp among the sand dunes, near the historic wells and under the desert oaks and bloodwood trees. See the unique desert wildlife and plants. You will learn that there's much more to the desert than sand.
Starting in Alice Springs, we make our way West for two days on the Tanami Track. Travelling South on the Canning from Billiluna to Wiluna, we count down the Wells from number 51 all the way to number 1 (including the "extra wells" - track conditions permitting). Travelling the Canning from North to South means we avoid having the sun in our eyes every time we go over each of the 1000+ sand dunes.
Once off the Canning we head East along another legendary track, the Gunbarrel Highway, for 5 days before joining the Great Central Road and our final run to our destination of Yulara, passing Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and Uluru (Ayers Rock). We will show you the best spot to see the sunrise on Uluru the next morning. Yulara is a 450 km drive from Alice Springs on a good sealed road.
This tour is not easy. The desert tracks are rough and hard on people and vehicles. Your vehicle must be well set up and be able to carry enough fuel for 1000 kms. However, the benefits of completing this incredible tour are almost beyond words. Almost. Read tour guide Tony's articles about the first time he travelled the Canning here -
Part 1 & Part 2
Duration: 26 Nights
Start/End: Alice Springs to Yulara (Uluru)
Cost: $4950 per couple Extra passengers $400
Find out what's included below.
For more information or to book your place on this tour, contact Tony directly using the button below, the email form near the bottom of the page or phone him on the number in the menu above.
• All the arrangements and bookings for the tour. Just get yourself, your gear and vehicle to Alice Springs.
• Full-time, professional tour guide/4WD instructor with a Cert IV qualification in 4WD training and current first aid certificate.
• Mechanical assistance and tyre changing.
• Reliable 200 Series Landcruiser lead vehicle with all safety, recovery, communications and emergency equipment - Satphone and Garmin inReach (tracker, emergency beacon & satellite texting), winch, snatch straps, Max Trax etc (meaning you only need to carry minimal recovery gear).
• Cabin/Motel accommodation in Alice Springs and Yulara and all camping fees.
• 2 dinners out (Alice Springs and Yulara).
• "On-tour" training over the 2-way radio. You will be given help and advice throughout the entire trip and warned of oncoming traffic and hazards. Your guide will co-ordinate dune crossings with oncoming vehicles, talking to them on another UHF channel so there's no confusion about what to do. On difficult sections, your guide will be out of their vehicle to help you and instruct you personally.
• Aboriginal Land and Community Access Permits.
• Night spotlighting sessions for animals; bird/animal ID books and apps; photography sessions and tips.
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED?
• 4WD Vehicle, fuel, food (other than stated above), camping gear, insurance.
WHAT ARE THE 4X4 VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS?
• This tour is NOT suitable for off-road camper trailers.
• A high clearance 4X4 vehicle with low range (with the exception of VW Amarok)
• Upgraded, heavy duty suspension - even on a new vehicle. Standard suspension will not cope.
• Second spare tyre - six all-terrain tread pattern LT tyres (Light Truck construction) with over 60% tread remaining (ie. about 7mm min). Second spare without a rim is ok.
• Fuel range of 1000 km is required for the Canning Tour.
• Good quality UHF base set and aerial wired in by a professional.
• Good quality sand flag.
• Good quality compressor - preferably hard wired in the back of your vehicle, or fitted with an Anderson plug (with somewhere to plug it in). You also need a gauge with a trigger so that you can read the pressure quickly.
• Some spares are required to be carried eg. air, oil and fuel filters, fan belt etc. A full list is provided on booking.
• A mechanical checklist is to be completed and returned by a qualified mechanic 2 weeks prior to the start of the tour.
• An online medical form is to be completed and submitted on our "Trekka" system at least 2 weeks prior to departure.
• A camp arrangement that is easy to set up and take down. This should take no longer than 20 mins each time (trust me on this one!).
• Vehicle Insurance - make sure your vehicle insurance company covers you for off-road driving. NRMA/RACQ etc will not recover your vehicle from the desert. Only Club 4X4 Insurance will pay for your vehicle recovery in remote situations. There is an option with Club 4X4 to get up to $15,000 or $30,000 for remote recoveries and to also cover your accessories.
NB: Our Landcruiser is insured with Club 4X4 but we are not sponsored by them.
• Travel Insurance - as with any holiday, you should get travel insurance in case of unforeseen circumstances.
Desert driving fuel consumption is as follows (NB. indicative only):
- Diesel utes eg. D-Max, Ranger, BT-50 use about 15 - 18L/100km,
- Landrover Discovery 4 uses about 18L diesel/100km
- Diesel V8 200 Series Landcruiser uses 21 - 22L/100km
- Petrol 4.6L Nissan Patrol uses close to 28L/100km
WHERE CAN I GET SUPPLIES AND FUEL?
Fuel is available along our route, however, you will need to have a fuel range of 1000 km for the longest stretch with no fuel stops. All care will be taken to check in advance whether fuel is available where we are going. We fill up in Billiluna, Kunawarritji, Parngurr, Wiluna and Warrakurna along the way. Water and food is also available in these locations but fresh food is not always available and variety is limited.
WHEN CAN I SEE THE FULL ITINERARY?
Itineraries can be provided on request (please use the email form below). When you have confirmed that you would like join a tour, you will be sent a link to our online Tour Database "Trekka" which will provides you with all the information, downloadable and online forms, a payment portal and the full itinerary.
The following is a general outline. Please note that the itinerary is subject to change depending on track conditions, weather, vehicle issues, border restrictions etc. We have also factored in some spare days that can be used if necessary for contingencies.
How rough is the track?
The simple answer is "quite rough". It's also very long and very remote. Tour guide Tony describes the Canning as "2000 km of roughness", however, it's still the most amazing place he's been in Australia.
Tony is a full-time tour guide and Cert IV qualified trainer and assessor in four wheel driving. He has led remote tours all over Australia and in New Zealand including the South Island High Country, the Kimberleys, Flinders Ranges, Central Aust, Canning Stock Route, Victorian High Country, Arnhem Land and Cape York. Tony is a keen fisherman and photographer and loves chasing wildlife with the camera. He has a Degree in Tourism and a Masters Degree in Wildlife Management.
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