The Ultimate Guide To Driving The Canning Stock Route

Are you wanting to hit the road and get away from civilisation? Is it time to get away from work and go somewhere so remote you won’t get a lick of reception? 

If this is the case, you might be thinking about doing the Canning Stock Route. 

You probably already know this, but it isn’t for the meek – there’s nothing out there but you, the track, and a whole heap of a beautiful red country. If your car fails, you could be in a lot of trouble. 

Preparation is key when having a go at this infamous track. 

What do you need to prepare though? 

Fear not, because in this article we will guide you through everything you need to know in order to have a successful crossing of the Canning Stock Route. 

First thing is first, how long does it take? 

Being the longest 4WD track in the country, completing the Canning Stock Route isn’t exactly the same as just nipping down to the shops for some milk and eggs – it’s a fair bit longer. 

Spanning over 1,900km from Wiluna to Halls Creek with over 900 sand dunes, the Canning Stock Route goes through three deserts and will take you anywhere between two to three and a half weeks.

While driving the Canning Stock Route, you will pass through: 

  • The Gibson Desert
  • The Little Sandy Desert 
  • The Great Sandy Desert 

That’s a long way, how much fuel do you need for the Canning Stock Route? 

Nearly 2,000km is a long way, so what Canning Stock Route fuel stations are there? You might be surprised to find out that there’s only one the entire way, 1,040km from Wiluna in the Kunawarriji community. 

Alternatively, you can organise for the Capricorn Roadhouse at Newman to drop off petrol at well number 23. 

As a rule of thumb, it is said that between your long-range fuel tank and your jerry cans, you need to bring enough petrol with you to drive over 1,000km. 

Tip: When travelling the Canning Stock Route, don’t forget to bring a jiggler so you can syphon petrol out of drums along the way. 

That’s a lot of fuel, can I bring a trailer? 

Though there is no law, it is highly discouraged to bring a trailer on the Canning Stock Route. The traditional owners of the land have asked visitors to leave their trailers at home in order to protect and conserve the trail, as trailers tend to be harsher on the flora and fauna. 

Will I need a permit for the Canning Stock Route? 

The Canning Stock Route is extremely beautiful and belongs to the traditional owners of the land, so in order to protect it you will need to apply for a permit at least six weeks before going. The cost of the permit goes to ensuring the track is maintained so everyone can enjoy this special piece of country for years to come.  

Ritz Carlton or Camping – What is the accommodation? 

To the disbelief of prima donnas everywhere, there is no 5-star glamping on the Canning Stock Route, or any accommodation for that matter. 

Camping in the bush is discouraged on the trail in order to keep people from destroying the flora and fauna, so along the trail there are several camping sites that you can stay at to keep environmental damage to a minimum. 

So get out the swag or finally install that rooftop tent, we’re sleeping outdoors this holiday. 

What things do you need to bring on the Canning Stock Route 

So besides the obvious ones of; food, water, and fuel, what are some of the things you should bring for your adventure? Here’s a list of the essentials: 

  • Sand flag 
  • Recovery gear for 4WDing 
  • First aid kit 
  • Compass
  • UHF radio
  • Epirb
  • Fire extinguisher
  • A lighter
  • Spare parts for your vehicle
  • Service manual for your vehicle 
  • Jack and base plate 
  • A satellite phone 
  • A fly veil 
  • GPS 
  • Physical maps
  • Your permit 
  • Medications 

For a full mechanical check and advice on what else you should bring, contact a 4WD professional. 

What vehicle do you need to cross the Canning Stock Route? 

When travelling the Canning Stock Route, it’s essential to make sure your car is in tip-top shape – so get it completely checked by a professional before you leave. In terms of what type of car you need to complete the Canning Stock Route, make sure you have a 4WD with low range. Some of the common vehicles include: 

  • Toyota Landcruiser 
  • Toyota Hilux 
  • Nissan Patrol 
  • Ford Ranger
  • Isuzu D-Max 

When is the best time to visit the Canning Stock Route? 

No surprises, the North part of Western Australia, particularly inland North-Western Australia can get extremely hot in summer. That being said, we’d recommend staying away from the Canning Stock Route between October to March, where temperatures can reach 50 degrees celsius. Between April to September, the weather is quite pleasant during the day, but can still get close to freezing at night, so make sure you pack accordingly. 

Where should you get your car upgraded for your crossing?

For any of your supplies and upgrades for your upcoming trip on the Canning Stock Route, Total 4×4 is the one-stop shop for all truck, passenger and 4WD accessories with over 30 years of experience in both recreational and commercial. Not only do we have the best brands for you to pick and choose from, we also have the friendly team to put it on your vehicle. We have the products, we have the installers, come give us a visit!

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