Tanami Expedition






Broome – Alice Springs



Explore some of the most remote areas in North West Australia and the Northern Territory at a relaxed pace with a small group of like-minded people. We expect the wildlife to be plentiful, and the scenery and sunsets to be spectacular.
The trip is full of highlights however our detour off the Tanami Road to Mulan and Lake Gregory is one of the most exciting. This lake system is recognised as being vitally important for migratory birds traveling to and from Australia. There has been a wide range of bird life recorded around the lake, including the Black Necked Stork, large groups of Brolgas, Black Swans and Spoonbills. Wild horses and dingoes are commonly seen, and the lake is also home to a variety of other mammals.
Our visit to Newhaven Station is again one of the regions must do’s. Newhaven Station is a wildlife sanctuary co- managed by Birds Australia and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy. Situated on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert, the station is home to a diverse array of arid zone plants and birdlife. At least 15 nationally threatened species of plants and birds call the area home.
Newhaven’s location at the junction of three bioregions (the Great Sandy Desert, MacDonnell Ranges and Burt Plain) means the station includes a a variety of landforms and ten vegetation communities. Landforms on the station range from parallel dunes in the south to salt lakes, clay pans, plains country and rocky ranges. The calcareous grasslands, open woodland and open shrublands associated with these land forms support a wide variety of birds, mammals and reptiles.
The station hosts an abundance of bird life, with 138 species of bird recorded in the area. Intriguingly, Newhaven is also the site of one of the latest sightings of a pair of Night Parrots. Habitat suitable for the parrots remains intact due to the unusually conservative stocking rates and careful management of the area over the years. There have also been a number of small to medium-sized mammals recorded on the station.
Surveys to date have recorded 107 plant species on the station, with future surveys expected to reveal more. Eighteen of the recorded species are not represented in any other Northern Territory reserve, and seven are of special conservation significance. These are the Mallee Copper Burr or Small-flower Saltbush Sclerolaena parviflora, Desert Broom-bush Daviesia eremaea, Goodenia refracta, Abutilon lepidum, Spartothamnella puberula, Amaranthus pallidiflorus and Eucalyptus aff. intertexa.

Day                      Activity

1                           Broome to Windjana Gorge

This morning we will leave Broome early and head to Windjana Gorge. Our drive today will have a look at the Fitzroy River at the Willare Bridge the Prison Tree, a quick look at Derby then onto our campsite. After setting up camp, we will start our exploration of Windjana Gorge. The gorge boasts a number of things to see including the majestic Devonian reef walls, freshwater crocodiles and a vast array of birdlife.

Accommodation: National Park campsite at Windjana Gorge          LD

2                           Windjana Gorge to Fitzroy Crossing

This morning we will continue our journey travelling eastwards to Fitzroy Crossing. During the trip we will take time to walk through Tunnel Creek and learn about the history of Jandamarra a local Bunaba resistance fighter who’s story is a massive part of Aboriginal history in this area.

Accommodation: Campsite at Fitzroy Crossing          BLD

3                           Fitzroy Crossing to Halls Creek

There will be time this morning for a cruise at Geikie Gorge. Leaving Fitzroy Crossing mid morning, we will drive to Halls Creek. There should be time this afternoon to catch up on your washing, The crew will restock with fresh supplies and fuel.

Accommodation: Campsite at Halls Creek          BLD

4                         Halls Creek – Wolf Creek Crater – Lake Stretch

An early start this morning as we start our journey down the Tanami Road. Our first visit will be to the Wolf Creek Crater where we will spend time exploring this wonder of nature. Back on the Tanami we head south east to Billiluna and then onto our campsite at Lake Stretch. Lake Stretch is part of Sturt Creek and is alive with birdlife activity. We will camp right on the lake and spend the late afternoon birdwatching.

Accommodation: Bush camp at Lake Stretch          BLD

5                         Lake Stretch to Handover (Lake Gregory)

Today we will head to Handover via the “back track”. to the small community of Mulan then onto our campsite 10 kilometres south of the community at Handover. The back track takes us past many small lakes where we will expect find a diverse array of birdlife.

Accommodation: Bush camp at Handover          BLD

6                         Handover

With the help of a local elder guide we will be spend today exploring Handover. Spectacular sightings of large numbers of Brolgas, Yellow Chats and a variety of waterbirds are but a small sample of the many species that we hope to see here.

Accommodation: Bush camp at Handover          BLD

7                           Handover to Tanami Desert Bush Camp

We will continue South today, however before getting back on the Tanami Road we will visit Balgo Community where there should be time to visit their very well set up and run Art Centre. We will restock here before heading to our campsite in the Tanami Desert.

Accommodation: Bush camp Rabbit Flats area          BLD

8                           Tanami Desert Bush Camp to Mt Doreen Station Area

We will continue south today on the Tanami Road. We will travel through this harsh, isolated area. There are a number of mines that are the only civilisation we will expect to see today. Our Campsite at Mt Doreen’s at an abandoned station.

Accommodation: Bush camp Mt Doreen Station          BLD

9                           Mt Doreen Station Area to Newhaven Station

We will have an early start today as we head to the Birds Australia Newhaven Reserve. We will travel south to the community of Yuendumu before we turn off the Tanami and travel to Newhaven Station.

Accommodation: Campsite at Newhaven Station          BLD

10-11                    Newhaven Station

We will spend the next two days driving and walking the station tracks to see the birds, botany and diverse wildlife that this remote area has to offer.

Accommodation: Campsite at Newhaven Station          BLD

12                    Newhaven Station to Alice Springs

We will continue our exploration today with a visit to the south-east section of the reserve. We will leave Newhaven late this morning and head back to the Tanami Road and onto Alice Springs. We expect to arrive in Alice Springs in the late afternoon, where you will be transferred to your chosen accommodation. BL

NB: The above itinerary may be varied according to conditions and advice.

11 – 22 June 2019

  • 11 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 11 Dinners
  • 2 crew members consisting of a naturalist guide and driver/cook
  • Easy to erect dome tents and camp chairs with arms
  • Two Well maintained 4WD Vehicle
  • A self-inflating air mattress and stretcher bed
  • All eating utensils
  • Morning tea each day
  • Campsite fees
  • All national park entrance fees
  • Travel permits as required


“Having now taken two trips with Coates Wildlife Tours and both having been so successful, yet so different I could do no more than highly recommend them to anyone wishing to see Australia. Travelling with Coates gives maximum return for every dollar spent and leaves impressions of Australia which one will long remember. One golden rule worth remembering is when you are onto a good thing stay with it. When you give them a try I’m sure you will feel the same way about Coates.”
George Bingham

“Congratulations on your business and choice of leaders. The trip was all it was advertised to be and more, plus the knowledgeable and caring leaders made our trip a happy get-together of keen naturalists. Thank you.”
Jean Hooper

“Red & Diana provided a wonderful trip for us. We have traveled with them before and knew them to be excellent tour guides so our expectations were already high. We were not disappointed! We appreciated the opportunity to stop whenever requested. Nothing was too much trouble for either leader. The provision of a variety of reference books in each vehicle was invaluable. The vehicles were spacious and comfortable with room for each person’s day requisites. Overall it was their enthusiasm for the environment and their concern for the well-being and enjoyment of individual participants that make Red & Diana such good team leaders.”
Ivor & Ruth Graney

To make a booking download a booking form and return it to us via email/post or by clicking here to fill out the form online.