top of page
Cradle Mountain Tasmania

The Great Central Road

Australia's longest (and bumpiest?) shortcut. 1200kms of dirt road for 3 days of shakes rattles and rolls along with some pretty cool scenery. Loved it.

After our wanderings about Olga Rocks we headed west. There are some rules you need to follow in order to travel through these communities but they're not hard to follow. We applied online for a permit to travel and it came through in a couple of days, then we had 3 days to move through which wasn't difficult.

Not far into our journey we came across a local pair on their way to get to a meeting in Yulara trying to fix a flat tire, so we stopped and lent a hand. In return we were treated to a history lesson on Lasseter and what happened to him when his camels all ran away. And I quote "He found the naked people, you know... no trousers". He was a crackup, very friendly and grateful for the help, once we saw them on their way we headed along to have a look at Lasseter's cave which had it's own story page.

We spent a night at Camel Last Resort campground, arrived a bit late and left very early so we could make it to the Giles weather station in time to see the weather balloon go up. Timing was a bit odd given we'd crossed the border but the town was running on NT time due to the proximity. The staff member onsite at Giles was very informative and interesting to talk to, had spent a few months living in the community and was having a great time. Afterward we went up the road to the museum which was absolutely worth the visit, a lot of history retained and some really cool artworks from Phil Bradley painted in the 50's. Lets not forget the very photogenic camel we saw on the way in, he was very relaxed and managed to show his 'good' side. The dingo is a local who visits everyone and gets into places he probably shouldn't.

Another interesting day on the road, we kept stopping to pick up Geocaches as we found them on the map which made for some interesting discoveries. We pulled in at Mummine Well free camp to stretch our legs and grab a cache located at the windmill. The area was well populated by Zebra Finches which we were told by Uncle and Aunty at Walga Rock were who you follow if you need water in the outback. Further up the road we pulled in at the Yarla Kutjarra campground, again just for a look and well worth the stop. The campground is decorated with stories and paintings from the local people about foods in the desert and their history. Absolutely worth a look and not a bad overnight spot if needed. Our stopping point for the night was Desert Surf Central, if you are travelling along here this is an awesome stopping point. Very quiet and goes quite a way back from the road where there are some beautiful breakaways to look around.

Our last day on the road, we stopped early for fuel in Warburton, fuel was an interesting experience out here, aside from the prices which we expected all the bowsers were locked in heavy steel cages and had attendants come out to fill people up. Given how many places we stopped to check out, it's amazing this trip only took us 3 days! Another interesting stopping point was a large white cross erected on the top of a breakaway. There was an information plaque about food and water here, the waterholes of course were a very important part of life for the locals. The cross was erected by Christian Aboriginals in 1991 as a reminder of Christs sacrifice bringing forgiveness, healing, hope and everlasting life. To quote the plaque "With shade, water and an abundant food source this area has given life and spiritual sustenance to humans for thousands of years. Today it remains a symbol of hope for humanity into the future. We spent our last night before Leonora at Giles Breakaway, another amazing campsite with beautiful views and the usual stunning sunsets. There are plans to seal the Great Central Road in the next few years but we're really happy we did it now, the dust, potholes and corrugations just added to the experience. An amazing area to travel through with some lessons along the way, well worth it!


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page