One of the world’s most challenging and remote four wheel drive adventures.
The Canning Stock Route is a must-do for experienced Australian adventurers. It’s the longest stock route in the world, stretching over 1,700 kilometres through the vast open spaces of the Gibson, Great Sandy and Tanami deserts between Halls Creek in the north and Wiluna in the south.
The track was created in 1910 to connect a string of 51 wells located a day’s walk apart for watering stock on route to the markets. It was only used a short while for droving stock before the Port of Wyndham provided an easier option for transporting cattle south, but it remains one of the greatest pioneering feats of the 19th century.
Those who tackle the Canning Stock Route by four wheel drive can expect to encounter unforgiving terrain, with long stretches of sandy track, short rocky sections and over 900 dunes to traverse. You’ll need to allow at least 21 days for this extreme outback drive adventure.
How to get there
You can access the Canning Stock Route via the Tanami Road, taking the Bililuna turnoff approximately 42 kilometres south of the Wolfe Creek Crater turnoff.
Planning your drive
Grab a copy of the Shire of Halls Creek Tourism and Travel Guide , published by the Halls Creek Visitor Centre. It contains maps and comprehensive details on attractions along Duncan Road, the Great Northern Highway, Tanami Road and Canning Stock Route. Other four wheel driving guides and maps are also available online, or in specialist bookshops.
The Canning Stock Route traverses extremely harsh arid terrain and sand dunes. Do not attempt this track unless you have extensive outback driving experience and a very reliable vehicle that is specifically prepared for long distance desert travel.
Travel permits are required for some parts of the route. For the sections between wells 5 to 15 and 40 to 51, you can obtain permits online via the Canning Stock Route Visitor Permit System . And for permits to travel between wells 16 to 39, see the Australian National Four Wheel Drive Council website . Depending on your intended route of travel, additional permits may also be required.
Best time to drive
Travel on the Canning Stock Route should only be undertaken during the cooler months, between April and September, and in a well organised convoy.