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Canning Stock Route

Traversing the Gibson and Great Sandy Deserts, the Canning Stock Route is known for being the longest stock route in the world and the most challenging 4WD journey in Australia.

Stretching 2,013 kilometres (including side trips), the Canning Stock Route links Halls Creek and Wiluna and is an adventurer's delight as it takes you across a spectacular yet isolated landscape that is rich in pioneering history.

100 years of history

The route was surveyed by Albert Canning in 1906 and 1907, to later develop the route between 1908 and 1910.  A total of 51 wells were constructed along the 1,850 kilometre route, marking a day's travel between each point.  By 1929 a reconstruction team was contracted to make repairs to broken down wells and equipment, however this was not completed and the route was subsequently claimed inapt for its original purpose.

During World War 2, the Stock Route was reconstructed and repaired, awaiting an expected attack on the northern areas of Western Australia.

Today, the route is frequented by 4Wd enthusiasts travelling for the ultimate outback experience rather than the excitement of reaching the destination.

Tips for Canning Stock Route Travellers

Fuel and Other Supplies - Halls Creek, Billiluna Community, Kunawarritju Community (Well 33) and Wiluna

When to Travel - May to October

Water - Take lots of water for drinking purposes and for your vehicle.  Well water is of a poor quality, therefore it is suggested that you carry additional wate supplies with you.

  • Take emergency medications, equipment and communication devices, and ensure that at least one person in your party is able to administer first aid if necessary.
  • Please note that there is an airstrip near the track at Well 33 with regular RFDS nurse support.  There are also other airstrips located at each pastoral lease to the south, at Cotton Creek (100km west of Well 23) and at Billiluna Community.
  • Carry a sand flag for times when travelling across sand dune country, to avoid colliding with other vehicles.
  • Carry, at minimum, an auto-scanning UHF radio.  The recommended station for communication in Channel 40.
  • Travel only in small convoys as larger groups can be slower and too far spread for easy communication.
  • The section between Wells 2 and 5 is closed to all vehicles towing trailers and 'oversize' vehicles such as Okas or Akas.  If travelling in a larger vehicle or towing a trailer, you will need to take an alternative route via Glenayle or Granite Peak Stations.

The Canning Stock Route is one of the most isolated 4WD tracks in the world and as such it is not recommended that you attempt to travel the track without extensive outback travel experience and a very safe and reliable vehicle with sufficient supplies.

Along the Route you will encounter Aboriginal rock art and carvings, waterholes, gorges, natural springs and soaks, and an Aboriginal community.

Permits -  Two permits are required.  Permit 1: Wells 16 through 39. Permit 2: Wells 5 through 15, and 40 through 51.

Purchase map of the Canning Stock Route

Purchase Canning Stock Route Information Pack

Purchase 'Canning Stock Route - A Traveller's Guide'

Purchase 'Crossin' the Canning Stock Route' DVD by The Gall Boys

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