EXPEDITION ONE ROAD (CANNING STOCK ROUTE)
Yiwarra Kuju: One Road (Canning Stock Route)
Join Waypoint on the once in a lifetime 4WD remote tag along expedition – the CANNING STOCK ROUTE (Yiwarra Kuju – One Road). There is nothing quite like it on the planet. The fabled and remote 4WD track weaves and winds its way through 1800 km of WA’s spiritual heartland; taking in the Little Sandy, Gibson, Great Sandy and Tanami deserts. For some, it’s the wide open spaces, for others, it’s the history seeping from the hills like the grains of sand. For many it’s the challenge of travelling to remote places, or just the joy of getting over the dunes successfully. Whatever the motivation, the Canning Stock Route (CSR) continues to lure modern 4WD adventurers.
2019 Expedition | Jul 17 – Aug 7
2020 Expedition | Jul 17 – Aug 7
2021 Expedition | Jul 16 – Aug 6
Track Class Difficult
Group Size Small4
“When I travel up the Canning I am sure to be alone,
With my camel and thoughts of yesterday
They’ll take me slowly northward til at last the trip is done,
I might even find contentment when I stow the packs away”
– Peter Muir Abandoned Stock Route
It is Australia’s top 4WD Track, they don’t come bigger or better than the CSR. It follows the trail blazed by Alfred Canning back in 1906 from Billiluna/Halls Creek in the Kimberley region to Wiluna in Mid-West Western Australia.
It is a place of great natural beauty, with land systems ranging from spinifex plains to wetlands, dune systems, desert oak forests, spectacular ranges and escarpments and salt lakes. It is also the longest heritage trail in Australia, containing Aboriginal rock art galleries, lonely graves of stockmen and explorers, and the series of wells that punctuate the route. Some of these have been restored, and good water can be obtained. Others lie in ruins.
Contemporary explorers with extensive outback and survival experience will enjoy the exhilarating challenges of the Canning Stock Route, crossing sand dunes, stony outcrops and corrugations. Sightseeing highlights include the Gibson Desert, Great Sandy Desert, ancient Indigenous rock art, historic grave sites and the 51 wells that were originally constructed for the watering of stock.
Creating the Canning Stock Route was the answer to a host of challenges presented by the Australian outback. Pastoralists raising beef cattle in the Kimberley region of northern Western Australia needed to bring their cattle to markets in the south, where tens of thousands of people lived on the goldfields near Kalgoorlie.
In between lay a vast, harsh, arid landscape of sand dunes, spinifex grass and salt pans.
The Canning Stock Route story revolves around water. To the surveyors and drovers the water was an essential resource for a commercial enterprise. To the people of the desert countries surrounding the stock route, the water defined their social, spiritual and economic existence. The wells built by Alfred Canning became sites of conflict between two cultures.
The Canning is host to some of the best 4×4 driving in Australia. An endless horizon, rolling sand dunes and challenging desert four wheel drive tracks all contribute to an ultimate frontier experience. Travelling through this desert region means exploring territory very few people have seen.
Waypoint Expeditions supplies a support vehicle fully equipped with recovery equipment, satellite phone, GPS tracking equipment, emergency locator beacon and remote area first aid equipment to support its tag along tours.
Each Waypoint Expedition is a carefully thought out, planned, and researched route to provide you with a unique experience where you not just “tag along” but participate in culture of place. We hope, by the time you have finished your tag along with us, you will have a new appreciation of the cultural and historical significance of the Canning as well as its importance as one of Australia’s great wilderness areas.
Travel with Waypoint – experts in outback adventuring for over 20 years.
ALTERNATE BOOKING OPTIONS:
If you don’t want to use the online booking system there is an offline form below and a downloadable PDF form in the FAQ section.
- 21 days of intermediate to advanced 4WDing
- Invaluable tips and tricks to combat Australia’s desert regions
- Local expert and touring guide
- Knowledge about indigenous and European history of the area
- Knowledge about flora and fauna native to the area
- 20 nights of million star camping
- Canning Permit fees
- Paruku Permit Fees
- Private land owner fees
- Welcome (Wiluna) and farewell dinners with complimentary drink.
- Satellite comms & tracking
- Remote Area Qualified and Outback 1st Aid Kit
- 4WD Recovery costs
- Alcoholic beverages
- UHF Radios (can be hired)
- Camping equipment
The Canning Stock Route (CSR) continues to lure well-equipped modern adventurers to the golden aura of its 1800 km of sandy track from central to north-western WA, through the Little Sandy, Gibson, Great Sandy and Tanami deserts.
Due to the nature and the length of this track there is no a day by day itinerary within which to confine this amazing adventure. The expedition is planned over the course of 21 days and broken up into sections.
A more detailed breakdown of the sections is available upon booking.
Wiluna - W9
This track crosses mostly pastoral land and and some amazing country and rocky outcrops including tracking along an old creek bed. We visit Windich Springs, Pierre Springs, Ingebong Hills and Lake Talbot. Well 9, Weld Spring is now part of a historic reserve, and it also at this juncture the track from Carnegie via Glen-Ayle Station joins the CSR. This section of track can take 2-3 days.
Weld Spring - Durba Springs
After leaving Well 9 the pastoral country ends and the dunes begin. This is where the real adventure begins. The first sand hills are on the way to Well 11 and north of Well 16 the CSR skirts the Durba Hills. At the north end lies the oasis of Durba Springs. Durba Springs is very beautiful and we will have a lay complete free here to explore. This section of track can take 3-5 days.
Durba Springs - Well 23
North of Durba Springs is some of the toughest country on the Canning. Further on is the western edge of the vast Lake Disappointment and Canning’s Cairn which is a bit of climb but a great view! Beyond is Well 22 and the Talawana Track (West to Newman) and Well 23 is the site of the Capricorn Roadhouse fuel dump – those these days most vehicles make the run to Kunawarritji. This section takes 2-4 days.
W23 - W33
A lot of variety through this section of the CSR and some major sand driving. The major junction of the Desert Road aka Gary Junction Rd, Wapet Rd, Kidson Track crosses the CSR 17kms north of Well 32 and just south of Well 33. To the east is Alice Springs, to west Newman and Broome. 4kms west is the community of Kunawarritji (fuel, mechanic, basic supplies, accommodation). We visit Helen Hill, Slate Range, The Hill, Lake George and Thring Rock. This section takes 2-3 days.
Through this section remains some of the most historic and poignant places on the CSR. Sections of the track get quite narrow through here and rocky. The going can become very slow. There some good rock holes and caves through this area, a section where we track along sand dune ridges and some small escarpments providing great views. This section takes 2-3 days to traverse.
W39 - Breaden Hills
The changing desert landscape are quite beautiful through here and there are a choice of routes to follow though most stick to the original, but Mt Ford/Crescent Ridge is a alternate route for the more adventurous. We visit Lake Tobin, Gravity Lakes and the amazing Breaden Pool and Godfrey tanks in the Breaden Hills. This section takes 3-4 days to traverse.
Breaden Hills - Billiluna
Once north of the Breaden Hills the end of the stock route looms and you’re back in remote pastoral county. Well 49 has some of the best water on the CSR and Well 52 is the last well on the route. We visit Castpaw Hills, Guldiva Soak, and Lake Gregory (Paruku). Billiluna’s Kururrungku store has fuel and supplies and it’s a further 180kms to the town of Halls Creek. This section takes 2-3 days.
- Download Itinerary Expedition One Road (CSR)
Expedition One Road traverses through the Canning Stock Route and is very remote. It is a bush camping expeditionary experience – and takes in a wonderful cross section of the Little Sandy, Great Sandy, Gibson and Tanami Desert environments.
- Windich Springs
- Pierre Springs
- Ingebong Hills
- Lake Talbot
- Government Well
- Goodwin Soak
- Killagurra Springs
- Durba Springs
- Diebel Hills
- Lake Disappointment
- Georgia Bore
- Slate Range
- Helen Hill
- Thring Rock
- Bungabinni Soak
- Wardurba Rock Hole
- Lake Tobin
- Tobin’s Cave
- Guli Lake
- Gravity Lakes
- Breanden Hills
- Lake Gregory
Please make best efforts to minimise impact on the desert environment
- Keep to well-defined access routes across the desert to avoid damaging the vegetation and fragile landscape
- Rubbish comes out – place in strong plastic bags (do not bury, it will be dug up)
- Keep the camp clean and tidy
- Burn or bury toilet paper
- Keep dirty/soapy water away from natural water supplies
- Conserve firewood
- Use of firearms and chainsaws is not permitted
- Abide by fireban regulations
- Do not feed animals
- Every animal, plant and rock is protected
- Aboriginal and European artefacts/sites are protected
The Canning Stock Route from Wiluna is 1685km (Billiluna) 1855km (Halls Creek)
With side trips you need to allow for an extra 350km
Wiluna [725km] Well 23 Capricorn Roadhouse Refuel
Well 23 [271km] Kunawarritji Community
Wiluna [994km] Kunawarritji Community
Kunawarritji [691km] Billiluna
Billiluna [185km] Halls Creek
Kunawarritji [880km] Halls Creek
Yes – the longest distance between fuel stops is 990km through mostly 4WD terrain. Recommend 3 x 20lt jerries of additional fuel for most vehicles.
This question is about preference and capacity but recommended you carry at least 70lt of drinking water and 70lt of general usage water. There may opportunity to refill general usage but the longest time between drinking water refills is 9 days.
No. Unfortunately due the difficult nature of some of the tracks, the fragility of the environment and other considerations, camper trailers and caravans are not allowed.
4WDs that have medium to high clearance and a high/low transfer case, with a quality set of springs and shock absorbers as well as All Terrain / Mud Terrain tyres with at least 70% tread. UHF Radio either hand held or fitted is a must as well. These expeditions are not suitable for AWDs.
WayPoint will assist and guide you in the basic skills of 4WD driving and sustainable 4WD driving to suit the terrain in which we will travel however consider doing a 4WD course prior to the trip as some advanced off road techniques will be required.
No more than 200km per day. Most days are between 50-80km. We discuss the following day’s events around the campfire at night, or at our morning briefing sessions before departure. We are normally on the road at 9.30am each morning and stop for lunch between 12pm-1pm. We stop at all points of interest throughout the day and try to set up camp around 3.30-4pm each day.
We will do our best to get you going again but if we can’t, we will discuss the options of getting your vehicle recovered and to where it can be repaired. We strongly recommend you have cover with a nationwide motoring association and also take out travel insurance.
Absolutely! You will get plenty of time to explore, bushwalk, fish, photograph, stargaze and take in the beauty and grandeur of the places we visit.
EXPEDITION ONE ROAD is available once a season. Bookings can be made online via the payment gateway or an offline booking form.
The most important thing to pack is a sense of adventure. Don’t worry if you have misplaced yours as you will soon find it on the tour! Once your place has been confirmed a briefing kit with all the information you will need will be sent to you. It will contain list of suggestions, spare parts, maps, camping requirements, etc.
If you become sick on the trip all efforts will be made to maintain your comfort and enjoyment. Our Expedition Leaders are first aid trained (Remote Area First Aid) and experienced in emergency management. In the event of an emergency the tour leader carries a Spot Tracker emergency beacon for emergency assistance and a Sat phone. Vehicles are also fitted with UHF radios for local radio contact and satellite tracking.