The Great Central Road Camping Spots. Where Can You Camp?

The Great Central Road has plenty of places to camp, some better than others. We’ll run you through the places we camped and a couple we know of, but didn’t camp at.

We’ve travelled this road twice now. The first time was east to west, last time west to east. So we’ve included camping spots from both trips. 

Note: You need a permit to travel through Aboriginal lands on the Northern Territory side. Go here for details on Great Central Road Permits.

We’ve listed the campgrounds as you travel from west to east in this article.

 

Lake Throssell, WA

About 70km east of the Cosmo Newbery turnoff, you’ll see glimpses of Lake Throssell on your left (going west to east). It’s a loose chain of salt lakes and salt pans. There are a few bush camping spots off the road. One is on a salt pan. Be careful if rain has fallen recently.

Our campsite at Lake Throssell. Great Central Road Camping.
Our campsite at Lake Throssell.
Spinifex rings at Lake Throssell. Great Central Road Camping.
Spinifex rings at Lake Throssell.

We drove on a few hundred metres past the salt pan to a small rise, then turned in. This spot was excellent. Some shade, protection from the wind and super-peaceful.

You will need to be completely self-contained and take your rubbish with you.

 

Tjukayirla Campground

We stayed here overnight the last time we drove the Great Central Road. The campground is in beside the roadhouse.

Tjukayirla campground. Great Central Road Camping.
Tjukayirla campground is in the background.

There’s showers and toilets and an excellent common area for campers. You can also buy basic provisions from the roadhouse.

Camp sites are basic. Like most places out here, you find a spot and set up. A friendly place with all the basics.

 




Yarla-Kutjarra Bush Camping, WA

About 100km east of Warburton is an excellent campground, constructed by the people of Warburton. It’s tucked in among a small range of breakaways, so you can get protection from the wind if need be.

Yarla-Kutjarra has plenty of informal camping spots, a drop toilet, shelter and an interesting infographic explaining what bush tucker is in the area.

Interpretive sign at Yarla-Kutjarra campground. Great Central Road Camping.
Interpretive sign at Yarla-Kutjarra campground.

An old tractor has come to rest at the campground. It was once used to maintain the Great Central Road.

The old tractor at Yarla-Kutjarra campground. Great Central Road Camping.
The old tractor at Yarla-Kutjarra campground.

There’s not a lot of shade, however we managed to find a shady spot.

Highly recommend this campsite if you’re looking for solitude.

Our campsite at Yarla-Kutjarra campground. Great Central Road Camping.
Our campsite at Yarla-Kutjarra campground.
Sunset at Yarla-Kutjarra campground. Great Central Road Camping.
Sunset at Yarla-Kutjarra campground.

There’s a drop toilet. Otherwise, you will need to be completely self-contained and take your rubbish with you.

 

Warakurna Campground, WA

As with Tjukayirla campground, we stayed here last time we drove the Great Central Road.

There’s showers and toilets plus basic campsites. There’s not much shade, but then you don’t really expect to find much shade out here.

A friendly community with a good feel to it.

 




Rest Stop 60km West Of Kata Tjuta, NT – Bush Camping

Note: Camping is not permitted between the WA/NT border and Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park. We were caught out, as Docker River campground was inaccessible due to roadworks. (It looked run down and derelict from what we saw from the road). So we kept going until we’d had enough of the horrendous road and had to stop short of Yulara.

 

We camped at a rest stop, a little way off the road. Since the weather had turned cold we weren’t looking for shade. However, it would have been rather exposed if the day was hot.

This spot is in amongst the spinifex and sparse scrub. It was definitely basic bush camping.

We enjoyed this spot because of the solitude and an extraordinary desert sunset.

Sunset at our campsite about 60km west of Kata Tjuta. Great Central Road Camping.
Sunset at our campsite about 60km west of Kata Tjuta.
Dark skies at our campsite about 60km west of Kata Tjuta. Great Central Road Camping.
Dark skies at our campsite about 60km west of Kata Tjuta.

 

Other Campsites

There’s plenty of campsites along The Great Central Road. Here’s a few more suggestions, as well as one section where you can’t camp.

We didn’t stay at these, so we can’t vouch for them. They may however be helpful when you’re planning your trip. Again we’ve listed them west to east.

  • Laverton. Caravan park in the township.
  • Laverton to WA/NT border. Numerous rest stops and places to pull off the road to camp overnight.
  • WA/NT border to Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park. Camping is not allowed, apart from Docker River. We had to camp at the rest stop about 60km from Uluru – Kata-Tjuta National Park, as the Docker River campground was inaccessible due to roadworks. Due to the state of the road, there was no way we were going to make it to Yulara.
  • Yulara. Caravan park within the resort complex.

 




Supplies, Fuel And Permits

For more information on supplies, fuel and permits, go here.

 

Road Conditions

For more information on the Great Central Road Conditions, go here.

 

In Summary

You’re spoilt for choices along the Great Central Road. Camping spots are numerous and each one is special.

Be respectful of the country. Take all your rubbish with you and don’t just camp anywhere along the road. And remember, camping isn’t allowed on the Northern Territory side.

The Great Central Road passes through Tjalkanti, Ngaanyatjarra, Ngaanyatjarra, Mandjindja, Ngatatjara and Pitjantjatjara Country.

 


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