Wiluna to Well 6 (Pierre Springs)
Today we embark on the Canning Stock Route, one of the most isolated and remote public tracks in the world.
It extends 1850 kilometres from Halls Creek in the Kimberley to Wiluna and was established as a stock route in 1910 as a way to allow the east Kimberley cattlemen to compete on even ground with the west Kimberley cattlemen who were monopolising the beef trade at the beginning of the 20th century.
The Canning Stock Route is the longest historic stock route in the world traversing three deserts – The Great Sandy, Little and Gibson. It is primarily a bush track and in parts is wildly beautiful with fresh water springs creating astonishing oases in literally the middle of nowhere.
Depending on time we might pop in and see the family from Granite Peak station then make our way to Well 6, also known as Pierre Springs and spend the night at one of the camp sites.
Well 6 (Pierre Springs) to Well 12
We continue along the Canning Stock Route today to Well 12, which in recent years has been fully restored.
Well 12 to Well 16 (Durba Springs)
Today will be one of your most memorable days with open tracks and some challenging sand sections. Stopping at Well 13, Well 14 and Well 15, we make our way to Well 16, the beautiful Durba Springs.
Durba Springs was always a popular spot for drovers to rest up for a few days while driving cattle down from the east Kimberley. The area, traditionally called ‘Jilikuru’ by the Martu people, is also home to a number of distinctive Western Desert Aboriginal rock art sites.
Day 4: Well 16 (Durba Springs) to Georgia Bore
After departing Well 16, we make our way to Well 17, most commonly known by its historical name of Killagurra Spring.
Killagurra Springs is a sacred site which contains many sacred rock art galleries
We continue our adventure past Well 17 and Well 18 and stop on the edge of Lake Disappointment. It was named in 1897 by Frank Hann, who after following the direction of a number of creek beds was expecting to find a large fresh water lake.
We continue to Well 20, Well 21 and Well 22 before arriving at our campsite, Georgia Bore for the night.
Georgia Bore is not one of the traditional Wells sunk by Canning but a bore drilled and equipped well by CRA for use by their survey crews in the 1970’s.
Day 5: Georgia Bore
Today is purely a day to relax and take in the sites and sound of the Georgia Bore while we do some maintenance. This is flexible and sometimes we save the free day for later.
Day 6: Georgia Bore to Well 29
We traverse over a number of sand dunes today, which makes for a fantastic ride. We make our way to Well 29 stopping at Well 25 where there are a number of Desert Oak Trees, before continuing to Well 26, the first Well in recent times to be fully reconstructed,
We will enjoy lunch at Well 27 before riding further down the stock route to Well 29. Towering above sand and gibber, Thring Rock lies just off the Canning Stock Route near Well 29 and is a sight to behold.
Thring Rock, was named by Larry Wells in 1896. It is an impressive sandstone outcrop and a short climb to the lookout provides exceptional views of the surrounding countryside, especially late in the afternoon.
Day 7: Well 29 to Well 33
We ride over more sand dunes and rocky ground today and pass through Well 30 ‘Duna Jinnda’, Well 31 ‘Wullowla’, Well 32 ‘Mallowa’ and Well 33.
We stop at Kunawarritji Community, a thriving modern aboriginal community for lunch. We visit the community store to take on fresh supplies and refuel our bikes.
We continue our adventure and arrive at Well 33, located on the outskirts of the remote Kunawarritji Aboriginal Community, to set up camp for the night.
Day 8: Well 33 to Well 40
We make our way across the sand dunes and our first stop is Well 35 referred to as ‘Jarntu’. Well 35 is situated at the home of the ancestral mother dingo, after which the site is named.
This site is so sacred that younger people refrain from saying its true name (kinyu) more than is necessary. Because of this, both Well 35 and the ancestral mother dingo are referred to as ‘Jarntu’, the Martu word for dingo.
We will also stop at Well 37, an area which has a fascinating history which began in 1911 with the first cattle drive down the Stock Route.
The 150 or so bullocks were being driven by George Shoesmith, James Thompson, Fred Terone and a half cast Aborigine called ‘Chinaman’. After Fred Terone headed back to Halls Creek due to illness, the remaining men pushed on to Well 37 where they were later found dead under mysterious circumstances. Their graves have been preserved and are in close proximity to Well 37.
We continue our adventure along the narrow tracks to cross Lake Tobin, a dry playa or salt lake to arrive at Well 39, home to hundreds of budgerigars that thrive on the surface water provided by the well now in ruins.
It is then to Well 40 where we will spend the night. Well 40 has some fascinating history and about a kilometre or so behind the well is the grave of Michael Tobin, a member of Canning 1907 Survey Party who was speared by natives.
We have another spare day up our sleeve and if all going well i love this area and we might have a lazy day.
Day 9: Well 40 to Well 46
We depart camp after breakfast and stop at Well 41, also called ‘Tiru’ by traditional owners.
We are in the heart of the big dune country and the track winds its way down to Well 42 at the southern end of Lake Guli, a shallow playa mostly covered in brightly coloured samphire.
Over every sand hill, an entirely new landscape presents itself. We will find ourselves in a sea of spinifex with its blond heads waving in the breeze like a vast wheat field, other times we are in a forest of holly grevillea with its red inflorescence hanging like Chinese lanterns.
We arrive at Well 46 ‘Kuduarra’, which was fully restored a few years ago and set up camp for the night.
Day 10: Well 46 to Well 49
After packing up camp we depart and we tackle more large sand dunes before stopping briefly at Well 47 and Well 48. We continue our ride north to Well 49, commonly known as Breaden’s Pool and Godfrey’s Tank.
Both areas gained their names from two members of David Carnegie’s exploration party in 1896. As Carnegie’s party searched the landscape for water, one of the party members, Godfrey Massie, found a huge natural stone catchment that was full with water. The catchment was named ‘Godfrey’s tank’ by Carnegie.
Joe Breaden, another member of the Carnegie party, also found water in a lower area and it was called ‘Breaden’s Pool’.
Day 11: Well 49 to Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater
We depart Well 49 today and make our way to Bloodwore Bore, Well 50 and Well 51 continuing on to the small Aboriginal Community of Billiluna, which is actually the official starting point of the Canning Stock Route if travelling from the north.
We continue our adventure and set up camp at the Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater, the second largest carter in the world.
Day 12: Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater to Halls Creek
We depart Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater and ride to Fitzroy crossing on the Great Northern Highway for lunch.
We head a little further up the highway and turn towards the Gibb river road heading for Halls Creek. This is a must do trip for anyone with good dirt bike experience and for many in 2015 it was a personal achievement.
- Motorcycle Rental Honda CRF450L
- All fuel
- All meals on tour dates
- Flights included Wiluna- Perth &
- Halls Creek – Broome
- Accommodation in Broome.
- Sweep Rider/staff
- Difficulty 4.5 Toes
- Satellite phone for emergency only
- National Park fees
- All camping gear
- Well 6 first nights camp
- Canning Stock Route ( Over 1,800 KM in distance) & it’s past history
- Wells on the Canning Stock Route
- Durba Springs on The Canning Stock Route
- Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater
- Difficulty 4.5 Toes