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A Guide to the Binns Track

This four-wheel-drive, self-drive journey takes you along a route specially created by a long-serving ranger of Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife. Bill Binns wanted people to see and enjoy some of the lesser-known, but just as spectacular, sights across Central Australia and the Top End.

 

Binns Track Route

Mt Dare to Alice Springs (on the Old Andado Track)

Set off on this epic 10-day four-wheel-drive trip from Mt Dare found on the South Australia/Northern Territory border, on the Simpson Desert’s western edge. The towering sand dunes make for exciting driving and provide some stunning outlooks from their crests. Look out for one of Australia’s rarest trees, the Waddy-wood, as you pass through the Mac Clark Conservation Reserve. Finish your first leg in Alice Springs and enjoy a night in civilisation.

Alice Springs to Gemtree (through the East MacDonnell Ranges)

It is essential to book ahead for your stay at Gemtree Caravan Park, but it will not disappoint: choose from powered or unpowered campsites to fully-furnished cabins. Enjoy a garnet or zirconia fossicking tour, before taking in the sunset’s glow from the nearby Harts Ranges. Gemtree Park offers a full-facility stay with a laundry, pool, bathrooms, showers and kitchen. Enjoy takeaway as you rest under the starry night sky.

 

Gemtree to Tennant Creek (up through the Davenport Ranges)

Refuel and hop onto the Plenty Highway heading east to Harts Range before turning north through the Davenport Ranges. Primarily off-road, keep an eye out for the Binns Track signs to keep you heading down the right trails. The Old Police Station Waterhole is perfect for a dip, or simply sit and enjoy some birdwatching. Whistleduck Creek is a permanent water source, so you might even see some fish. Once you are back on the Stuart Highway, stretch your legs at Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles and take in the astonishing sight of its huge boulders balancing perfectly upon each other. 

Tennant Creek to Dunmarra (on the Stuart Highway/sealed)

Tennant Creek is home to the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre. Stop here for a coffee and learn more about the connection of the Warumungu people to their land. Be sure to make use of this stop to refuel and replenish food and water. Tours are also available into the underground Battery Hill Gold Mine. North of Tennant Creek, you’ll find Lake Mary Ann dam and, Kunjarra / The Pebbles. Only open during daylight hours, Kunjarra is an ancient sacred site and relatively unknown granite boulder collection, compared to Karlu Karlu.

 

Dunmarra to Timber Creek (in Gregory National Park)

Dunmarra is best known among regular road users for their to-die-for vanilla slice and home made pies. Arrive too late in the day and the kitchen will be sold out! The ‘home stretch’ of the Binns Track now heads north-west and into croc country. Winding west, the tracks become four-wheel-drive only with plenty of water crossings as you make your way from Humbert River to Bullita Homestead. Spend a night at Bullita Campground taking in the pastoral history before the final day into Timber Creek, situated on the banks of Victoria River. 

Best way to road trip in Central Australia 

  • Check weather and road conditions before and during your trip
  • Take enough water, food and fuel supplies for the isolated days and overnight stops
  • Ensure your vehicle has good tyres (and one or two spares), that the roof rack is mounted well and that the suspension is suitable for off-road and corrugations
  • Some parts of the track will not have mobile phone service, so you may choose to take a satellite phone
  • Depending on the time of year, prepare camping and sleeping gear accordingly if it is going to be hot with warm nights or warm with cold nights
  • It is best to fit your vehicle with a UHF and winch and to carry spares such as fuses, hoses, oil, and tyre plugs
  • Pack four-wheel-driving gear such as snatch straps, dust filters for air intake, a shovel and d-shackles

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