At approximately 1850 kilometres long, this four-wheel drive touring route is legendary in the off-roading community. Why? Read on to find out.
In the beginning, the Canning Stock Route was made by a gentleman called Albert Canning in 1906. Its purpose? For Kimberley cattlemen to take their stock to southern markets.
One of the most remote travel experiences you could ever have in Australia, the route spans approximately 1850 kilometres from Halls Creek in the Kimberley region to Wiluna in the mid-west (or vice versa, depending on where you want to start!). The track hasn’t changed much in the past century. Despite the appeal, this route is one of the more challenging tracks not only in the country, but also in the entire world. As a result, we only recommend that experienced four-wheel drivers tackle this one.
This track ranks so high on the list due to the pure challenge of the route. The track’s terrain is extremely harsh and wild, and there are multiple sand dunes to be discovered. The landscape is always changing, too, which makes it unique, meaning you’ll come across different types of dunes.
What you’ll need
Outback travel experience is absolutely essential for this adventure, along with a very reliable and capable vehicle that has been prepared for extensive desert travel. Permits are also necessary to travel on this route, and even with that permit, access is limited to a lot of the sites on the way.
Also ensure that you pack enough fuel for your journey. There’s only one place to stop for fuel along the route (at Kunawarritji, 1000 kilometres from Wiluna), so make sure you’re prepared and have enough fuel to get you through this trek. Yet, extra jerry cans will add a considerable amount of weight, so make sure you pack light, and pack right – only bring the essentials with you.
Don’t forget to pack your recovery gear and make sure your rig is up for the challenged. Travelling in such a remote part of the country means if something goes wrong (heaven forbid!), there is little to no help to be found along the way.
When to travel
The best time to tackle this off-roading adventure is between April and September, when the days are mild but the nights are cold (often dropping below zero degrees). Make sure that you don’t try to tackle this trek in summer, when the days reach over 50 degrees Celsius! Wildflower enthusiasts should look at travelling between August and September when the state’s spectacular wildflowers are in bloom.
Despite the restrictions and sheer challenge of this adventure, it’s incredibly worth it. Not only will you see some breathtaking outback sights along the way, but you will also encounter Australian wildlife in their truest forms – take pictures, but make sure you don’t disturb them!