The Gunbarrel Highway is one of Australia's most famous and challenging four wheel drive tracks. It has a length of 1,350 km (840 mi) and it links the Carnegie Station (central Western Australia) with the Meteorological Station at Giles (west of the Northern Territory border).
If you dare to take the risk and travel along this dusty and bumpy route, then make sure to be driven by someone who has experience of the road. The track varies from stony to sandy with corrugations, ruts, washaways and sometimes mud. Parts of the track are only suitable for high clearance four wheel drive vehicles and should only be attempted by confident drivers.
A traveler on this road must be experienced and completely devoted to safe, slow and obstacle-conscious driving to deter danger. The Gunbarrel Highway has important historical significance. It was completed in 1958. Many of the roads are gravel or natural earth. It receives very little attention and in fact some sections have not been graded since the original days of construction. Supplies and services are limited and road conditions can vary, so plan ahead, stock up on food, water and fuel and contact the local visitor centre for up-to-date track information.
This trail passes through remote areas, so you need to be prepared. 4 wheeling is an inherently dangerous activity and shouldn’t be attempted without the appropriate training and equipment. By any standard, this is a long and tough haul through very remote territory. Its isolation requires travellers to be totally self-sufficient with water, food and fuel (the longest distance between fuel outlets is 489 km, between Warburton and Carnegie Station.)
Proper preparation is essential to having a safe, enjoyable trip on this road. Due to the remoteness of the area, take special care to ensure that your vehicle is ready for the trip. The road travels through a very isolated and unpopulated part of the Australian outback, with towns and fuel stops far and few between. Travellers on the route should be aware of road and weather conditions at all times and travel prepared.
Pic: David Rowley