The friendly outback town of Wiluna marks the start of two quintessential Australian bush adventures that are among the most challenging four wheel drive trails in the world – the Gunbarrel Highway and Canning Stock Route.
Located on the edge of the Western Desert, Wiluna is a seven and a half hour drive north of the Goldfields hub of Kalgoorlie.
Founded in the gold rush, after the precious metal was discovered here in the 1890s, Wiluna is now an outback administrative hub. As the gateway to the revered Gunbarrel Highway and Canning Stock Route drives, it’s also a mecca for accomplished four wheel drive enthusiasts looking to test their skill and nerve.
The Gunbarrel Highway is considered one of Australia’s most challenging roads. Extending 1,400 kilometres from Wiluna in Western Australia to Yulura in the Northern Territory, it was the first east-west road to cross the centre of Australia.
Following in the tracks of explorer and surveyor Len Beadell, the Gunbarrel takes in the arid beauty of the remote outback, stopping at spots such as Giles Weather Station, Banjo Creek, Lasseter’s Cave and the Docker River on its way to the Red Centre.
Alternatively, test your off-road skills on the Canning Stock Route to Halls Creek, considered to be one of the longest and most remote stock routes on Earth. Originally surveyed in 1906 by Alfred Canning, the 2,000 kilometre trail traverses the Gibson Desert and Great Sandy Desert.
Join the growing band of contemporary pioneers who tackle this unique outback and survival experience, navigating the route’s sand dunes, stony outcrops and corrugations through a desert landscape that’s dotted with historic sites and Indigenous rock art.
Before you embark on your epic adventure, be sure to stock up on your supplies in Wiluna. You’ll find a supermarket, post office and fuel, along with a caravan park and hotel-motel.