The Trip

The following list gives distances and compass readings between points when travelling between Wiluna and Uluru & the Olgas (everyone has to check these out) with a further 465km to head up to Alice Springs but don’t pass up the chance to check out Mount Connor (Artilla) a huge flat topped mountain containing rock older than Uluru. It is 100km east of Yulara on Curtain Springs Station, and while access to it is limited, the view from the main road can be spectacular at sunset.

  1. Wiluna - Millbillillie 10.32 km E 106°
  2. Millbillillie to Yelma Stockyard Ruins 143.51 km E 86°
  3. Yelma Stockyard Ruins to Banjo Creek, Wongawol Rd 14.83 km NE 46°
  4. Banjo Creek, Wongawol Rd to Mingol Camp 102.64 km NE 43°
  5. Mingol Camp to Carnegie 68.62 km E 79°
  6. Carnegie to Football Oval (G.H.) 123.12 km NE 67°
  7. Football Oval (G.H.) to Mount William Lambert 11.27 km E 81°
  8. Mount William Lambert to G.H.- David Carnegie Rd & Eagle Hwy 15.76 km E 88°
  9. G.H.& David Carnegie Rd & Eagle Hwy to Mangkili Claypan 3.35 km E 108°
  10. Mangkili Claypan to Geraldton Bore 52.52 km NE 58°
  11. Geraldton Bore to G.H. & Hunt Oil Rd 0.25 km NE 67°  
  12. G.H. & Hunt Oil Rd to David Wynford Carnegie 17.57 km E 90°
  13. David Wynford Carnegie to Everard Junction 14.14 km E 90°
  14. Everard Junction to Mount Gordon 7.53 km E 90°
  15. Mount Gordon to Mount Everard 0.71 km E 105°
  16. Mount Everard to Mount Beadell 47.18 km SE 152°
  17. Mount Beadell to Camp Beadell 6.72 km E 104°
  18. Camp Beadell to Notabilis Hill 25.21 km SE 115°
  19. Notabilis Hill to Thryptomene Hill Bore 5.07 km SE 140°
  20. Thryptomene Hill Bore to Len Beadell's Tree & Plaque 24.89 km E 104°
  21. Len Beadell's Tree & Plaque to G.H. & Heather Hwy 11.66 km E 108°
  22. G.H. & Heather Hwy to Mount Samuel 5.81 km E 107°
  23. Mount Samuel to Gnamma Rockholes 0.56 km E 93°
  24. Gnamma Rockholes to Jackie Junction 75.66 km E 85°
  25. Jackie Junction to Mippultjarra Junction 87.75 km N 3°
  26. Mippultjarra Junction to Len Beadell Plaque No. 1 77.46 km E 70°
  27. Len Beadell Plaque No. 1 to Len Beadell Plaque No. 2 12.26 km E 73°
  28. Len Beadell Plaque No. 2 to Old G.H. & Great Central Road 84.15 km E 111°
  29. Old Gunbarrel Hwy & Great Central Road to Giles Weather Station 19.28 km E 77°
  30. Giles Weather Station to Warakurna Roadhouse 0.69 km S 171°
  31. Warakurna Roadhouse to Docker River (Kaltukatjara) Access 97.87 km E 76°
  32. Docker River Aboriginal Community (Kaltukatjara) 3.2 km SE 119°
  33. Kaltukatjara to Lasseters Cave 41.45 km SE 117°
  34. Lasseters Cave to Tjukaruru Rd & Kata Tjuta Rd 142.48 km E 104°
  35. Tjukaruru Rd & Kata Tjuta Rd to Lasseter Hwy/Uluru Rd & Kata Tjuta Rd 39.67 km E 89°
  36. Lasseter Hwy/Uluru Rd & Kata Tjuta Rd to Uluru 7.86 km S 164°
  37. Lasseter Hwy/Uluru Rd & Kata Tjuta Rd to Yulara 8.06 km N 344°

The Gunbarrel Highway

Its isolation requires travellers to be self-sufficient with water, food and fuel (the longest distance between fuel outlets is 489 km, between Warburton and Carnegie Station) permits are also required. The amount of preparation and planning involved is dependant on your chosen route and best season for the trip is July - October.

While referred to as the Gunbarrel Highway, the stretch from Wiluna (WA) to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park (NT) includes part of the Great Central Road, the Heather Highway and the connecting road from Wiluna, west of Carnegie Station. Part of the highway between Warburton and Warakurna Roadhouse (near Giles) is about 350km in length and now known as the Old Gunbarrel Highway (the abandoned section is “travel at your own risk” and sometimes CLOSED it very sandy & rutted) it is no longer maintained due to the construction of the more direct route, the Great Central Road.

This abandoned section runs almost to Warburton, approximately 350 kilometers south west, where it meets the junction from the Heather Highway. Most people today travel from Warakurna to Warburton along the Great Central Road which is unsealed but reasonably well maintained although corrugations can be a problem.

Some of the many things to see include the ever changing panorama of scenery, many camel herds and other flora / fauna,  Giles Weather Station, Mount Beadell, Banjo Creek, Lasseter's Cave, Docker River, Len Beadells Tree and once transformed to the Docker River Road there is the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park with the Olgas (Kata Tjuta) and Ayers Rock (Uluru).

The Gunbarrel Highway; ‘named as some sections were as straight as a gun barrel’ was built as part of the Woomera weapons research (also included Emu Field and Maralinga - atomic bomb testing sites). Construction began in 1955 and was finally completed on 15 November 1958 when the road reached Carnegie. The role of this Highway was to provide a direct route from Woomera to the West Coast that did not travel through any populated areas allowing the testing of long range missiles. This gave the military, ground access to the flight path of missiles under test.

It was surveyed and constructed by the renowned bushman, surveyor, artist, story teller Mr Len Beadell (Dec 1995) and his team, who also constructed a multitude of other roads in the Australian Outback. Mr Beadell was a man of many talents and an important part of our history, his ability to achieve great things under the greatest pressure and still maintain a keen sense of humour is legendary. (See photo page).

Contacts:
Wiluna Police: (08) 9981 7024
Carnegie Homestead, 08 9981 2991.
Cosmo Newbery Roadhouse, 08 9037 5969.
Docker River Store, 08 8956 7373.
Tjukayirla Roadhouse, 08 9037 1108.
Warakurna Roadhouse, 08 8956 7344.
Warburton Roadhouse, 08 8956 7656.