One of the most remote tracks in Australia, the Connie Sue Highway meanders through the Great Victoria Desert and its pristine arid landscapes from Warburton to Rawlinna.
|Grading||May need high clearance|
Three to five days
|Distance||634km, Warburton to Rawlinna|
|1010km, Warburton to Kalgoorlie|
|Best time of year||May to October - avoid summer months|
|Warnings||Contact the Ngaanyatjarra Council to find out current restrictions before setting off.|
|Permits and fees||Permits are required for the area around Warburton and to travel through Yapuparra Lands. Contact the WA Department of Aboriginal Affairs. www.daa.wa.gov.au/land/entry-permits/apply-for-a-permit/|
|Camping||Neale Junction, Bush camping along route|
Ngaanyatjarra Council Ph (08) 8950 1711
Warburton Office Ph (08) 8956 7656
Kalgoorlie Visitor Centre Ph 1800 004 653
The Connie Sue Highway was named by none other than Len Beadell, a world famous surveyor, who branded the road with the name of his own daughter. This is a particularly remote trail that will guide travellers through harsh desert landscapes while ensuring that they are connected to some of the most popular outback tracks in the country.
The track is unsealed and connects Warburton, an Aboriginal community, with Rawlinna, which is situated on the Trans-Australian Railway. The trail is about 650 km’s long and lies in the heart of Western Australia.
What to Expect
The Connie Sue Highway connects with another famous outback road about 172 km’s from Ilkurlka, at a point called Neale Junction. This road is none other than the Anne Beadell Highway, named after Len’s wife, Anne. The road is “highway” in name only and because it is so isolated, travellers are required to be self sufficient. This track is currently the longest stretch between fuel pumps in Australia, with the nearest pump in Warburton. It is also worth noting that a permit is needed for those who are travelling through Warburton.
Most of the route consists of gravel track that takes visitors across flat country. Along the way, visitors will come across rocky outcrops and scrub that can take its toll on vehicles. With no water on the trail, not even in the wetter seasons, it’s important that 4WDers come well prepared. Due to a lack of maintenance on the roads, much of the track is corrugated and so travel is very slow.
The Point Lilian is situated at the edge of a gorge and is an historical, aboriginal art site. Within these caves is displayed a variety of artworks, many of which remain in good condition today. Many of the caves still show signs that they have been visited and it is believed that this is because of cultural ceremonies taking place.
The Neale Junction Marker
Those arriving at Neale Junction will find a marker by Len Beadell, as well as a visitor’s book, where visitors can leave their remarks about their trip. This is an important step for anyone completing the trip across the Connie Sue Highway.
Point Sandercock is a point of interest for those traversing the Connie Sue Highway and makes for a worthwhile stop. The mountain is 446 meters above sea level and is almost completely uninhabited.
Camping on the Connie Sue Highway
The Neale Junction Camping area is situated about 200 m to the west of the Connie Sue and Anne Beadell highways and offers 4WDers some respite from the lengthy trail. The camping site boasts vehicle-based camping, a wood fireplace and picnic area.
Those who are searching for sturdier accommodations will find a couple of roadhouses along the highway, including the Warburton Roadhouse and Cocklebiddy Roadhouse.
The Connie Sue Highway, while not littered with fascinating points of interest, poses an exciting challenge for those looking to cross a remote and arid region of Western Australia. These conditions make it a very alluring destination for 4WDers and will remain so as long as travellers are seeking out the space and quiet to really get their motors running.