4WD or 2WD for Tanami Road and Kimberley?

by Veronika
(Melbourne)

Looking for reliable current info about the state of the Tanami Track. We are planning on buying a car and heading off in that direction in about 10 days (April '08). Will we be able to make it around in a 2wd or is a 4wd worth the extra money? We currently have our eyes on a big heavy Volvo station wagon...

Re: 4WD or 2WD for Tanami Road and Kimberley?


Hi Veronika,
For current info you need to check the relevant road reports. The southern half of the track (Alice Springs side) is no problem. The road report for the Kimberley is here. You can also ring the road departments or get in touch with the shires at either end of the road. (Alice Springs and Halls Creek. The phone number for Halls Creek is on the bottom of the road report.)

But info on the current state today might not mean much in 10 days time.

This time of the year you may not be able to get through on the Tanami Road at all. It appears to be open at the moment but you never know if and when it will rain again. It often gets cut off during the wet season.

The chances of getting through in a 4WD are obviously better than in a 2WD. If it rains you don't want to be out there in a 2WD. In fact, this time of the year you don't want to be on a road like that at all unless you know what you are doing.

So, 2WD or 4WD, keep a very close eye on the weather forecast.

Overall I would always prefer a 4WD over a 2WD for the NT and the Kimberley. At this time of the year I would definitely prefer a 4WD. It is absolutely worth it in my eyes.

But it all depends on how much time you have and what you want to see. And, of course, what you can afford. Whether it's hiring, buying, or just driving them, 4WDs don't come cheap.

You may want to download and read the free Kimberley guide. That will give you a better idea of what to expect up here at this time of the year.

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