Camping In The Tanami Desert
Camping In The Desert
I read conflicting info about camping in the Tanami Desert. Your site seems to be better balanced and sensible. Our family will be driving across the Tanami in July. I already did the Tanami Track years and years ago with school, so the drive doesn't bother me, neither does bush camping.
But some of the 4wd sites say that you really need to camp at grounds because of the Aboriginals - the wayward ones I suppose - and animals... They say to avoid waterholes. Sensible I suppose.
My question is, is there anywhere that you can't camp and how do you find this out? Is there anywhere that you wouldn't recommend or alternatively would suggest for the stopover night?
Also, do you know of a good bush camping guide for NT and WA? We have one for Victoria but I haven't been able to find one for up north and I'm sure there is one.
Camping In The Tanami Desert Response
Thanks! I like to think of myself as balanced and sensible, too :-).
Most people are (needlessly) concerned about driving when it comes to the Tanami Desert
. Concerns about camping are new to me. I never heard any warnings regarding camping, never heard of any bad experiences. It sounds weird to me, and a bit paranoid.
I crossed the Tanami in May 2007, bush camping two nights on the way, and met only lovely people at the Aboriginal communities we visited (at the Alice Springs end) and on the road.Bush camping:
If you plan to bush camp you have to make sure you don't end up in some of the restricted mining areas or on Aboriginal land where you aren't supposed to be. Call into the Alice Springs Tourist Information before you leave. They have a couple of brochures and leaflets with up to date info and all the details about access restrictions. (Plus lots of other useful info for Tanami travellers.)Aboriginal communities:
If you plan to take two days for the crossing you'll likely camp somewhere about half way, I imagine. The Aboriginal communities are located more towards both ends of the track, so you would camp well away from them (in case you are still concerned). I'd probably avoid camping near Balgo, but that's not near the main road anyway. Waterholes:
The way I see it you should avoid waterholes because you may disturb animals. It's not dangerous for you, it's dangerous for the animals. They need access to water or they die, and if your smell hangs around there it might keep them away.Campgrounds:
If you prefer a campground I recommend Rabbit Flat. It's a lovely place, has nice owners, and is about half way. Despite what most info says they are open 7 days a week. (New as of this year, 2007).Camping Guide Book:
Camping Guide? Absolutely. You can't go past Jan Holland's camping guide books.
I own both, the Northern Territory and the North of Western Australia guide, and I can't recommend them enough. The best investment you'll make for the whole trip. It's like knowing one of the locals and getting all the local tips wherever you go.
Hope that helps!
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