Binns Track Off-Road Guide | Everything You Need To Know

Are you tired of taking your daily commute and want to tackle more challenging roads? Or do you feel like another boring day at the office will make you go crazy? If one of those statements struck a chord with you, you should take an epic journey on the Northern Territory’s newest four-wheel drive route, the Binns Track.

So, why should I drive to Binns Track? The Binns Track is an epic four-wheel drive adventure that takes you through spectacular scenery and the lesser known sights of NT. The track is 2,230 km long and is named after Bill Binns, a ranger for 32 years. Bill’s dream was to create a track that allowed tourists to explore a region bursting with colours, native wildlife and mighty rock formations.

Are you ready to start your adventure? Read more to find out!

How Do I Get to Binns Track?

From Darwin, you’ll need to drive around 21 hours to reach Mt. Dare. The fastest route to the area is through this route:

  • Head north on McMinn St toward Tiger Brennan Dr
  • Turn right onto Tiger Brennan Dr
  • After 800 m, turn right onto Garramilla Rd
  • Continue onto Tiger Brennan Dr
  • Merge onto National Highway 1
  • Keep right to stay on National Highway 1
  • Continue onto National Highway 87
  • After 910 km, take the 3rd exit at the roundabout to stay on National Highway 87
  • Turn right to stay on National Highway 87 after 8 km
  • Turn left onto Kulgera Cres after 263 km
  • After 200 m, turn left onto Finke Rd
  • Turn right after 146 km to stay on the same road
  • After 31.1 km, turn right onto Abminga
  • Continue straight to stay on the same road
  • After 13.5 km, turn right to stay on Abminga
  • Turn left onto Track after 14.4 km
  • After 2.9 km, merge onto Mt. Dare
  • Continue onto Mt. Dare Rd

What Should I Know About Binns Track?

Binns Track is a very scenic 4×4 journey through some of Australia’s most diverse terrain and spectacular scenery. It’s known for its diverse terrain as it courses though mountains, deserts and vast plains. It’s one of the Australia’s best 4WD tracks.

The epic four-wheel drive is 2.191km long running from Mt.Dare Hotel on the South Australian border, through Alice Springs, up to Timber Creek, in the Northern Territory. Only 4WD vehicles. The track was named after Bill Binns, a NT park ranger who served for 32 years.

The ride is rather remote, so you need to be prepared. Keep weather conditions in mind before you travel. Road conditions are always changing. Access is often limited from December through May. In case of a breakdown, there is very little in the way of passing traffic or inhabitants around, and no cell phone service in parts. The track is challenging with sandy slopes, soft riverbeds, jagged rock, bogs, bitumen and bulldust.

How Are the 4WD Tracks at Binns Track?

Day 1: Mt Dare to Alice Springs

Watch sunrise at Mount Dare in South Australia and set off early for the 421 kms journey along Old Andado Track to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Flanking the western fringe of the Simpson Desert, the track passes sand ridges five to eight metres high and meanders through the Finke River flood-out. Enjoy a picnic lunch at Molly Clark’s Old Andado Homestead and unwind in its old-world charm.

Then, travel a further 40 kms to the Mac Clark Conservation Reserve and explore its acres of rare Acacia Peuce trees, found in only two other locations in the world. Continue your journey northbound via Santa Teresa, an Aboriginal community renowned for its vibrant artworks.

By appointment only, from Monday to Thursday, you can watch artists tell their stories on canvas. Drive to Anzac Hill in Alice Springs and watch the sun descend beyond the MacDonnell Ranges. Camp, backpack or stay overnight in the town’s many accommodation options.

Day 2: Alice Springs to Ruby Gap

Drive to N’Dhala Gorge via Numery Road, where more than 6000 ancient rock carvings, known as petroglyphs, trace the Arrente Aboriginal history of the land. The 97 kms route crosses the Ross River several times and is impassable after heavy rain. Then, relive the heyday of Central Australia’s 1980s gold rush fever at Arltunga Historical Reserve.

Located 51 kms from the gorge, here you can explore the mine ruins, pan for gold and cook a barbeque lunch. Camp overnight at the Arltunga Bush Hotel or drive east to Ruby Gap Nature Park and camp on the banks of the Hale River. Although just 38 kms from Arltunga, the drive is slow going and may take up to 2.5 hours.

Day 3: Ruby Gap to Gemtree

The adventure picks up pace along the Pinnacles Track, which connects Gardens Road to the Plenty Highway and offers breathtaking views of the rugged Harts Ranges.

Travel 6 kms west along the highway to Gemtree Caravan Park – your campsite for the evening – and fossick for semi-precious stones in the creek beds of Gemtree and Mud Tank.

Here, garnets and zircons are usually found only a few centimetres below the surface. This is a 95 kms drive from Arltunga Historical Reserve.

Day 4: Gemtree to Davenport Ranges

This section of the track is predominantly off-road and travels through several outback cattle stations to link to the Davenport Ranges – the boundary between the traditional lands of the Warumungu, Alyawarre and Kaytetye Aboriginal people. Wake early and drive 94 kms east along the Plenty Highway.

Gemtree to Davenport Ranges This section of the track is predominantly off-road and travels through several outback cattle stations to link to the Davenport Ranges – the boundary between the traditional lands of the Warumungu, Alyawarre and Kaytetye Aboriginal people. Wake early and drive 94 kms east along the Plenty Highway.

Here, the track travels along 100 kms of station farm roads, which surround the Ampilatwatji and Elkedra communities. The Binns Track intersects the Davenport Murchinson Road 14 kms south east of Murray Downs in the Davenport Ranges. Drive north to Old Police Station Waterhole via Hatches Creek and the Frew River Loop, an alternative to the main access road.

Here, the track travels along 100 kms of station farm roads, which surround the Ampilatwatji and Elkedra communities. The Binns Track intersects the Davenport Murchinson Road 14 kms south east of Murray Downs in the Davenport Ranges. Drive north to Old Police Station Waterhole via Hatches Creek and the Frew River Loop, an alternative to the main access road.

Day 5: Davenport Ranges to Devils Marbles

Explore the quiet and understated beauty of the Davenports on one of the many walking tracks within the park. Then, load the four-wheel- drive and continue along the Frew River Loop to the main access road. This is a 9 kms journey that will take one hour to complete. Follow the main access road to Epenarra and drive 81 kms west to Whistleduck Creek.

Like Old Police Station Waterhole, this is an ideal place to relax. After your vigour is restored, the track continues 90 kms west to incept the Stuart Highway just north of the Devils Marbles. Drive south to this cultural wonder and explore the precariously placed boulders that sit atop one another. Later, set up camp at the Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve and watch the sun set behind these massive terracotta icons.

Day 6: Devils Marbles to Tennant Creek

Keen photographers should wake early to capture the marbles illuminated in soft beams of honey-coloured light. After, drive approximately 90 kms north to the Territory’s ‘heart of gold’, Tennant Creek. Strike a beat with local Aboriginal musicians at Winanjjikari Music Centre. Spearheaded by Jeff O’Laughlin, who has previously worked with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and the Corrs, visitors are encouraged to join a jam.

The centre is open Monday to Thursday, 8-12am. In the afternoon, visit Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre to learn more about the Warumungu peoples’ connection to the land. Immerse yourself in their story and vibrant artwork, before enjoying a barbeque lunch and cool swim at Lake Mary Ann. Choose to camp, backpack or stay overnight in accommodation within the town.

Day 7: Tennant Creek to Dunmarra

Set off early for an underground experience at the Battery Hill Mining Centre – a tribute to Tennant Creek’s gold rush era. Pan for gold and explore various artefacts from the 1930s. Then, drive to the Pink Palace on the northern fringe of town and watch the Julalikari women paint their stories onto canvas.

Enjoy a cold drink and bite to eat at the family run Threeways Roadhouse, located 25 kms north of Tennant Creek on the Stuart Highway. Continue your journey north to Newcastle Waters, 255 kms from Threeways. Now a deserted ghost town, after rain it’s inhabited by large flocks of water birds.

Travellers can stretch their legs and explore the remains of the 1960s Junction Hotel, museum and the Drover’s Memorial Park. Travel a further 78 kms north to Dunmarra and pull in to the Wayside Inn – your campsite for the evening. On weekends during the dry season, the Inn serves mouth-watering spit fire roasts for dinner and hosts snake demonstrations.

Day 8: Dunmarra to Humbert River Track

Load the four-wheel-drive and set of on a 290 kms journey to the Victoria River Downs – one of the largest cattle stations in the Territory. Here, you can get your heart pumping on a scenic chopper flight over Nitmiluk and Kakadu National Parks. Continue 55 kms west along the highway to the Humbert River Ranger Station via Yarralin. Fuel and basic supplies are available at this small Aboriginal community if required.

Lock the hubs and engage four-wheel-drive to tackle the Humbert River Track at the entrance of Gregory National Park. Originally a packhorse trail that connected Bullita Homestead to the Humbert River, the track is slow going in sections with several river crossings and jump-ups. Set up camp at the Top Humbert Yard site, just north of the Wickham Track turnoff.

Day 9: Humbert River Track to Bullita Homestead

The northern section of the Humbert Track is jam packed with more four-wheel driving thrills en route to Bullita Homestead. Slow going in sections, it can take up to 4 hours to complete this 48 kms drive. Located on the banks of the East Baines River, the quaint homestead is a reminder of Gregory National Park’s pastoral history.

Wander through the original timber stockyards – believed to be one of the oldest in the Territory – and get lost in the stories of yesteryear that don the homestead walls. Stay overnight at Bullita Campground and enjoy a night of tall tales by a campfire.

Day 10: Bullita Homestead to Timber Creek

Make the most of your last day and wake early for an adventure at Limestone Gorge – a picture perfect swimming hole engulfed by soaring gorge walls. Explore the dolomite and crater formations in the ravine and cool off, before driving north to Timber Creek, located on the Victoria Highway. Once in town, enjoy a cold drink and counter meal at one of the local pubs.

Later, visit Gregory’s Tree on the banks of the Victoria River – an old boab tree that is inscribed with the arrival and departure dates of explorer Augustus Gregory and his party in 1855. Keen anglers should wet their line in the Victoria River and prepare for a battle against the almighty barramundi, while art lovers should visit the rock art paintings at Joe Creek picnic area, east of Timber Creek on the Victoria Highway. Camp or stay in accommodation overnight.

What Are the Other Things That I Can Do at Binns Track?

When you’re exploring the Binns Track, you should:

  1. Visit the Alice Springs Desert Park for your chance to get up close and personal with Central Australia’s flora and fauna
  2. Explore abandoned gold mines at Arltunga and pan for your own gold
  3. Fossick for semi-precious stones in the creek beds of Gemtree
  4. Visit the large domes of Karlu Karlu, also known as Devils Marbles near Tennant Creek
  5. Take a scenic chopper flight over Judbarra / Gregory National Park from Victoria River Downs, once the world’s largest pastoral station

What Do Other Off-road Enthusiasts Say About Binns Track?

“Did the whole length Mt Dare to Darwin (although the track through Litchfield NP is not classed as part of Binns) about 14 months ago. We towed a camper trailer all the way and had no problems. We diverted along a 4WD track to Ruby Gap. It was slow going but I reckon your vehicle could do it all. With standard suspension you would take it a bit slower over the corrugations and rough stuff. Make sure you have top notch tyres, at least all tererains as there are a lot of stony areas which can punish tyres.

Our FJ Cruiser has 159 lts capacity and we had no problems with fuel. Filled Mt Dare – Alice Springs – via Ruby Gap to Gemtree and filled – via Old Police Station Water Hole to Tennant Creek and filled.

As others have said, Cattlewater Pass is permanently closed.” -4x4galore (4x4Earth)

Where Should I Stay at Binns Track?

Since driving through the Binns Track will inevitably be a multi-day trip, you can stay at these spots:

  • Anzac Hills hotels and inns
  • Arltunga Bush Hotel
  • Ruby Gap Nature Park campgrounds
  • Gemtree Caravan Park
  • Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve
  • Wayside Inn
  • Top Humbert Yard site
  • Bullita Campground
  • Timber Creek campgrounds, inns, and hotels

Related Questions

How Far Is Uluru From Darwin?

The major route between Darwin and Uluru in the Northern Territory is via the sealed Stuart and Lasseter Highways which can be travelled direct in 23 hrs over the 1956 km, 1215 mi distance.

How Long Is The Drive From Darwin To Alice Springs?

The distance from Alice Springs to Darwin is a bigger trip than most people realise. The journey itself is just under 1500 kilometres, which will take around 16 hours to complete. Make sure you’ve got plenty of water, fuel and somewhere to rest along the way.M

Can You Go To Arnhem Land?

You can access Arnhem Land by road via Katherine or Darwin. Tours also depart from Darwin regularly between May and October. Daily flights with Air North land in many communities across Arnhem Land, although be sure to have ground transport organised if you fly in.

Do You Need A 4wd To Drive To Birdsville?

It is accessible by 2WD, however if you want to venture into the desert itself at some stage you will require a 4WD vehicle. Most people coming to Birdsville usually do so in a 4wd. So, you can make a bee line to Birdsville or alternatively you can take your time and do some outback touring and sightseeing on the way!

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