Warakurna

Roadhouse

Fuel, Food and Accommodation on The Great Central Road

Warakurna Roadhouse – Frequently Asked Questions

How big are the Ngaanyatjarra Lands?
The Lands are 159,948 square kilometres in size (compare to the size of England, 130,439 square kilometres). While travelling along the Great Central Road from approximately 130 kms east of the Tjukayirla Roadhouse right through to the Northern Territory border, you are in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands and you are subject to the by-laws.

How long will it take me to travel through the Ngaanyatjarra Lands?
That is dependent on a number of factors including road conditions and your luck with your tyres. Warburton is located 1020km west from Alice Springs and 560km from Yulara (Ayers Rock) and 560km east of Laverton and 930km west of Kalgoorlie.
Warburton is located in the centre of Ngaanyatjarra Lands and so makes an idea rest stop along the way.

Is Petrol available at Warakurna Roadhouse?
Standard Unleaded Fuel is not available anywhere on the Great Central Road between Laverton (WA) and Yulara (NT).
BP has developed an alternative low-aromatic fuel called Opal Fuel, which is readily available at all Roadhouses.
Opal Fuel was developed to combat the rising use of petrol as an inhalant in remote indigenous communities, it contains less aromatics or solvents, which are what produces the ‘high’ when sniffed.
For more information on Opal Fuel see the section below.

What is the price of Diesel / Fuel?
Diesel – $ 3.20 per litre
Opal* – $ 3.20 per litre

What are the road conditions?
The Great Central Road is unsealed. 4WD recommended. Changing weather conditions & traffic volumes can adversely affect road surfaces, please drive carefully at all times.

Updated 30/04/2024 Road through from Warakurna to Laverton is now open. Caution is advised as road is still being repaired. Visit the Shire website for updates https://www.ngaanyatjarraku.wa.gov.au/tourist-information/plan-your-trip/road-reports.aspx From Kata Juta towards Docker River the Road is still open. Check NT Road Conditions Web Site for updates. Note that Giles Weather Station and Museum is now open to visitors. Balloon Launches are 8.45am and 8.45pm (NT Time) Daily, 7 Days a Week. TRAVEL THROUGH NGAANYATJARRA LANDS is now PERMITTED as long as a Permit is obtained prior to travel. https://permits.ngaanyatjarra.org.au/form/lands-permit.

Is Alcohol permitted at Warakurna Roadhouse?
No.

What are the cultural protocols I should be aware of when travelling through Ngaanyatjarra Lands?

To enjoy your visit please ensure that you familiarise yourself with some general principles for respectful interaction with local people and land. The Ngaanyatjarra people of the Central Desert are strongly committed to their society and culture. They are pleased to have other persons travel through their Lands (Aboriginal reserve). However they ask that you observe the following rules:

  • All visitors travelling the Great Central Roads require a visiting permit and are advised to respect the Ngaanyatjarra Council by-laws.
  • As a general rule Aboriginal people do not like their photographs taken, unless given permission to do so by the individuals.
  • Bury all camp fires and dispose of your rubbish at one the three roadhouses on the Great Central Road.
  • Please check with Ngaanyatjarraku Shire if the roads are closed after heavy rain – fines apply. Ph 08 8956 7966
  • Always carry extra water, fuel and spare tyres. Mechanical assistance is not always available.

Is Alcohol permitted at Warakurna Roadhouse?
No

Is there an Aboriginal Community at Warakurna ?
Yes.
Warakurna is located at the western end of the majestic Rawlinson Ranges. Warakurna is located at the end (or beginning) of the famous Gunbarrell Highway which was created by Len Beadell as part of his role with the Weapons Research Establishment. The Gunbarrell Highway enabled the establishment of the Giles Weather Station, now one of the most remote manned weather stations in Australia. By 1976, the Warakurna Community was incorporated and quickly grew to the second largest community on the lands (currently Kiwirrkurra is the second largest community). Warakurna is home to Warakurna Artists, which in the last five years has become one of the most notable and highly sought after art groups on the lands.

What days/hours are you open?
Monday to Friday 09:30 – 17:00 (NT Time)
Saturday and Sunday 09:30 – 15:00 (NT Time)
Public Holidays 09:30 – 12:00 (NT Time)
Closed Good Friday, Christmas Day and New Years Day

Important note:
No shop or fuel sales are made outside of trading hours.
(WST) = Western Standard Time.
NOTE that the Ngaanyatjarra Lands crosses three time zones, Central Standard Time (GMT + 9:30), Central Standard Time (Daylight Savings) (GMT + 10:30) and Western Standard Time (GMT + 8)
Daylight saving runs in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and South Australia from the end of October through to the end of March, Tasmania from the beginning of October through to the end of March.

Can I get fuel after hours?
Yes. If fuel is required outside of trading hours the fee of $20 will apply per vehicle.

Can I get water at the roadhouse
Yes, water is available for purchase during open hours.

Is EFTPOS Available
Yes, EFTPOS is Available in the store, however we are not able to offer a cash out facility. 

Are there artwork or souvenirs available to purchase?
Yes. Warakurna Roadhouse is home to the recently completed Yurliya Gallery which exclusively features a range of artworks from Warakurna Artists. The word Yurliya is the name given by Ngaanyatjarra people for the spectacular Rawlinson Ranges and is a fitting name for the new gallery that is an oasis of culture and refinement in the middle of the desert. The gallery offers visitors a unique cultural and artistic experience. The gallery offers paintings, hand woven baskets, sculpture and wooden artefacts for sale.

Is there mobile phone reception at Warburton?
Yes, there is Telstra mobile phone reception (including 3G) in Warakurna. We recommend carrying a Sat phone when travelling along the GCR..

Is there internet available at the Roadhouse?
No.

More about Opal Fuel

(reproduced from the pamphlet “Opal Fuel & Petrol Sniffing”)

Opal Fuel is a variety of low-aromatic petrol developed in 2005 by BP Australia to combat the rising use of petrol as an inhalant in remote indigenous communities.

With Opal fuel, you will receive equivalent performance with your car compared to regular unleaded petrol. The fuel economy variation between a vehicle running on Opal compared to regular unleaded is no less than 0.3 litres per 100km but this can vary depending on vehicle maintenance and driving style.
Opal fuel is less harmful to the environment because it has practically no sulphur, benzene or aromatics.
Police have been working with the government and local communities to reduce the amount of ‘normal’ unleaded fuel that comes into remote communities. We have had great success by ensuring that the only petrol that can be bought in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands is Opal.
If you are travelling with normal unleaded petrol in the tank or you are carrying jerry cans which have unleaded petrol in them, we ask that you take great care to ensure that the petrol is not accessible whilst you are in the Lands.
We especially ask you to make sure that any jerry cans of unleaded are kept extremely secure do not leave them on your trailer or in sight when you are camping. If you are concerned about the security of the jerry cans, roadhouse staff may be able to assist in securing them overnight.
Petty crime in the Lands increases when people who are susceptible to sniff petrol become aware that there are tourists in the area carrying petrol. Whilst you are travelling through the Lands we ask you to treat your fuel supplies like gold. This will help the people who live in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands.
If you require more information on Opal Fuel, you can visit BP Australia

More about Alcohol in Ngaanyatjarra Lands.

The Ngaanyatjarra Council (Aboriginal Corporation) By-Laws, which apply to the whole of the Ngaanyatjarra Lands, prohibit the possession and consumption of alcohol on the Lands. The by-laws allow you to convey any alcohol that you have with you through the Lands, but you cannot consume it.
The Lands are 159,948 square kilometres in size (compare to the size of England, 130,439 square kilometres). While travelling along the Great Central Road from approximately 130 kms east of the Tjukayirla Roadhouse right through to the Northern Territory border, you are in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands and you are subject to the by-laws.
Penalties for breaching the by-laws apply and fines up of to $5,000.00 can be imposed. In addition, any breach of the local by-laws will cause your permit to enter and remain on the Lands to be reviewed. Please enjoy your time on the Lands. Information provided by the Ngaanyatjarra Council.

Trading Hours

Regular Trading Hours

  • Monday to Friday 09:30 - 17:00 (NT Time)
  • Saturday and Sunday 09:30 - 15:00 (NT Time)
  • Public Holidays 09:30 - 12:00 (NT Time)
  • Closed Good Friday, Christmas Day and New Years Day

* Please note that none of the roadhouses across the Great Central Rd are open in the evenings. We advise checking the opening hours of each roadhouse prior to travel, especially if travelling on a public holiday.

 

Public Holiday Hours

  • Good Friday 29/3/2024 – Closed – No After Hours
  • Christmas Day – Closed – No After Hours
  • New Years Day – Closed – No After Hours
  • All Other Public Holidays 9am to Noon – No After Hours

Permit Information

To enter the Ngaanyatjarra Lands visitors require an entry permit. It is also necessary to have a transit permit when travelling through the Lands by road.
The application process is simple and free. You can download a permit information and application pack (PDF format) by clicking on the image below.

Permit Pack for Great Central Road

Current Conditions

Information Updated : 30/04/2024

Road Conditions : Road through from Warakurna to Laverton is now open. Caution is advised as road is still being repaired. Visit the Shire website for updates https://www.ngaanyatjarraku.wa.gov.au/tourist-information/plan-your-trip/road-reports.aspx From Kata Juta towards Docker River the Road is still open. Check NT Road Conditions Web Site for updates. Note that Giles Weather Station and Museum is now open to visitors. Balloon Launches are 8.45am and 8.45pm (NT Time) Daily, 7 Days a Week. TRAVEL THROUGH NGAANYATJARRA LANDS is now PERMITTED as long as a Permit is obtained prior to travel. https://permits.ngaanyatjarra.org.au/form/lands-permit.

Weather Information : Sunny and dry. For current Weather Details please visit http://www.bom.gov.au/wa/forecasts Giles. Note that Giles Weather Station is now open to visitors. Balloon Launches are 8.45am and 8.45pm (NT Time).

Fuel Prices :

Diesel - $ 3.20 per litre

Opal* - $ 3.20 per litre

* Opal is replacement for unleaded petrol. Read more about Opal fuel by clicking here

Map of The Great Central Road

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