Canning Stock Route
need to arrange fuel supplies along the
way and arrangements can be made for a fuel drop at Well 23, but this
has to be
arranged up to two months in advance, and only comes in 200 litre
to Well 23 is just on 700km and there is no fuel along the way. (Please
that the fuel situation may have changed)
Stock Route Track Guide - one of The Outback Travellers Guide
bound in 15 sections with lots of pictures and information and
available in our Maps Shop
The Canning Stock Route is a long trip of a little
under 1900 kilometers. It will take you through harsh and remote desert
country. with very little in the way of fuel and supplies being
must have adequate maps and information for your trip along
the historic Canning
Stock Route - We have the best available.
have recently been introduced and are
required to do this trip They are also required to travel through
some are also needed to travel through private properties along the way.
are contact details at the end of this page for your information.
building a stock route over this very remote and ever changing desert
had been contemplated before it was not until 1908 that Alfred Canning
set out with a party that would endeavor to sink the necessary wells
supply the stock men with water for their cattle.
early 1908 and 1910 Canning had set up a total of 52 wells between
Wiluna and Halls Creek. Once completed the Canning Stock Route was
and started to fall into disrepair. After a few partial attempts to
the route Canning was eventually brought out of retirement in about
complete the task.
the early 1930's until the 1950's the route was used fairly regularly,
with the last cattle passing through in 1958.
it is hard to imagine the first motor vehicle used the Canning Stock
Route in 1925 when a Michael Terry travelled from Billinula to Well 48.
in 1929, two surveyors travelled from Wiluna to Well 11 by Chevrolet.
owner of Carnegie Station was know to have regularly travelled from the
property to Well 10, from where he delivered cattle and picked up
the early 1930's until after World War II.
this vehicle activity it wasn't until 1968 that a vehicle driven by a
surveyor drove the full length of the Canning. From then on more
journey but it wasn't until the fuel drop off point at Well 23 was
in the 80's that the Canning Stock Route gained in popularity amongst
recreational four wheel drivers.
days several hundred vehicles cover the route annually.
trip starts on the edge of the desert area of Western Australia at
which is a modern day gold mining and cattle station region.
regional centre Wiluna is well stocked up with its shops and
start your trip head north out of town and a few kilometers up the road
will see the turn off to Well 1, which is a few kilometers off the
heading north until you find Well 1A where you are able to camp
40 km from Wiluna you need to take a right turn towards Well 2,
you will end up at the Cunya Station.
the distances between wells may not seem very long by just looking at
the kilometers the going can be very slow at times.
you continue on your journey north you will pass the various wells,
which are in a state of disrepair or ruined all together. North
of Well 4A
is the turnoff to Windich Springs, which is just a short distance off
Canning. Depending on the number of cattle that have been
to water this can be a reasonable camping area.
Well 6 you will experience an improvement in the landscapes with the
located in a stand of White Gums. There is a good water supply here and
an excellent area to camp.
here you continue heading north through pastoral country until around
10 where the desert country really begins and you start crossing the
travelled passed the Carnarvon Range to the west you will pass the salt
lakes of White Lake and Lake Aerodrome, also to the west, or to your
Well 12. Whilst it may be tempting to go for a spin on the crusted salt
15 has been restored within the last 10 years and has a good supply of
water and a good camping spot.
Well 16 the track is rockier than before and about 15km past Well 16 is
Canning's Cairn, standing high on a rocky hill. You can drive up to the
the hill but it is walking from there to the top. The views from the
your rewards, besides you probably will feel better for the walk anyway.
have now travelled about 450km from Wiluna and about another 240km to
before you get a fuel top up.
few kilometers north of here, and before Well 17 the track starts
westerly, but straight ahead are the Durba Hills. Here you will find
Creek that runs through the Durba Gorge.
green grass and tall gums in the gorge go towards this being the best
site along the entire Canning Stock Route.
degree to which this can be described as an oasis depends on how
rains fell, but it is a very pleasant spot to stay over for a while as
a bit to do and see around here. It isn't uncommon for people to stop
two or three days or even more.
Well 17, and for some distance passed it, you could find yourself
experiencing some of the toughest sandridges to cross on the whole trip.
of here you will pass the Diebil Springs surrounded by the interesting
Diebil Hills until a few kilometers south of Well 19 where you will
Tropic of Capricorn.
22 is a good camping spot with a good well and fresh water. About 10km
from here is the junction with the Talawana Track. Turn right and head
along the Talawana Track for about 22km and you will arrive at Well 23,
your fuel drop.
continue along the Talawana Track until a little before Well 25 when
again get onto the Canning Stock Route.
will experience some very tough sandridges north of Well 25
vehicles performance through the sand severely hampered by the fact
recently added quite some weight to it with fuel you took on at Well 23.
Well 32 the track improves and north of here you will see the Wapet
turnoff to the left that leads to the Kunawarritji Aboriginal
you can do limited re-fueling and stock replenishments as well as
shower and enjoying the limited camping facilities.
15km north of the turnoff to Well 34 you will come to junction with the
Callowa Track, another of Len Beadell's accomplishments, which
Gary Highway, also
also one of
Len's, to the west.
Callowa Track is now impassable.
can continue straight on towards the Bungabinni Native Well, which has
good supply of water. This way will bring you back onto the Canning a
north of Well 36, or you could turn right onto the Callowa Track and
for a little under 10km, where you again turn left back onto the
Route and head north. About 30 kilometers on and you are at Well 36.
36 is, in fact, a reasonable camping ground in a desert oaks setting.
Water is OK but not the best.
passed Tobin Lake between Wells 39 and 40, Well 41 has been recently
restored and the water drinkable although it is stained and looks
here you are about 90km from Helena Spring along a graded,
little further is the Guli Tank and Lake Guli. This used to be Well 42
not much of it remains.
Well 45 you can take the track of to the left, which leads to Well 46
has also been restored and has a supply of reasonably good water. This
far the most used and popular and shorter route.
you could go off to the right and travel via Mt Ford and brings
you out at Well 47.
the south of Well 47 you will see the Southesk Tablelands with its
From here you will head over dune country to Breaden Hills to your east
is a track leading into these hills and an easy walk from the car park
Breadons Pool and Godfreys Tank. There may not be water in the pool so
get your hopes up of a cool relaxing swim.
the rock wall behind the pool can be found the names of several early
explorers and surveyors, as well as some Aboriginal art.
Well 48 the going becomes easier as the sandridges and countryside
out a little.
49 is about 25km north of the Well 48 turnoff and has the nickname of
Crystal Well. This will give you an indication of the quality of the
can be found at the well.
are a multitude of tracks leading off the Canning Stock Route around
that were used for seismic surveys in the passed. Don't be tempted to
they nearly all end up nowhere and you could be putting your safety at
anything happens to your vehicle on one of these tracks you will be in
kinds of trouble.
is one of these tracks, however, that heads east between Wells 50 and
to Balgo. There are occasions, when Lake Gregory is in flood and
that this route has to be taken. This route brings you back onto the
near the Billilula Aboriginal Community.
Lake Gregory is not in flood, and you continue north, you
arrive at the Mulan Aboriginal Community, where there is camping
should phone through prior to entering on (08) 9168 8900.
the Mulan Aboriginal Community you will head east for about 45km to
which has diesel fuel and other limited supplies available as well as
Once again you must phone before entering on (08) 9168 8900.
Balgo you travel about 40km until you meet up with the Tanami Track,
65km east of Billiluna.
Billiluna it is a relatively easy northerly run along the Tanami Track
until you meet up with the Great Northern Road at Koongie
south of Halls Creek.
information provided on this web page is for use as a guide only. If
you are planning to undertake this trip you must seek out other
authorative advice and information. Desert and Outback travel can be
and should only be undertaken after lengthy and careful planning. The
owners of this website shall not be held responsible for any damage or
injury that you may experience during any conventional vehicle or four
wheel drive trip, desert
or otherwise. Distances between places mentioned on this page are as a
guide only. You must verify these details yourself using professional
maps and/or mapping equipment before you set out on a the trip. Do
not attempt to access the Simson Desert or other remote regions in an
ill-prepared vehicle and
without adequate communications equipment. Do not under estimate the
limited supply of fuel, water and provisions in these areas
as well as the possibility of encountering extremely harsh elements and
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