The Rail Access Roads follow the tracks of the largest private rail network on Earth, carrying some of the longest trains in the world. Some provide a shortcut through the Pilbara, all offer a unique outback driving experience and a big thrill for train buffs.
Over 1,400 kilometres long, the Rail Access Roads connect mine sites at Tom Price, Newman and Pannawonica with the ports at Dampier, Port Hedland and Cape Lambert. To travel on these private roads you must obtain a free permit online at www.pilbararailaccessroad.riotinto.com, or at a local visitor centre.
The Tom Price to Dampier Road cuts the journey by half. Highlights of this journey include the spectacular ancient canyons of Karijini, panoramas from Mount Sheila and the lush oasis of Millstream-Chichester National Park.
The Pannawonica to Cape Lambert Road includes a few diversions on sealed roads, and also gives you the chance to immerse yourself in the tranquil tree-lined pools and lily-filled wetlands of Millstream-Chichester.
Or take the slow drive on the Newman to Port Hedland Road and be one of the privileged few to set eyes on Hickman Crater, first discovered via Google Earth in 2007.