Expected to open next year (2020) the 140km-long Balgo Tourist Road looks likely to become the country’s next great outback adventure drive.
The township of Balgo sits on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert, a full day’s drive away from Halls Creek or Alice Springs. It’s one of the country’s most isolated townships.
But the opening of the Balgo Tourist Road, an initiative led by the Wirrimanu Corporation (which represents Balgo’s residents) might change all of that. The 140km-long road winds its way through the Balgo Hills, showing off some of the country’s most remote and ancient countryside. Only four-wheel drives will be allowed to attempt the drive and visitors will need to bring a week’s worth of food, spare tyres and plenty of water.
Speaking to the ABC, Wirrimanu Corporation chairman, Nathaniel Stretch said he wanted non-indigenous Australians to learn more about his country. “We want to show visitors how our ancestors survived in the desert,” he said.
The road has been carved and now campsites are being added along the way, and visitors will be able to access local guides who can explain dreamtime stories and educate them on local bush foods.