Guide to the Binns Track

The Binns Track is a track that runs from Mt. Dare Hotel, which can be found in South Australia, and all the way through to Timber Creek, a location in the Northern Territory. The track is extremely long and goes through some of the most diverse terrain that Australia has to offer. Many adventurous drivers have taken to 4 wheelers and braved the Binns Track over the years, and they encounter a wide variety of types of terrain, going throughtownships, National Parks, hills, and desert, encountering obstacles such as water crossings, rocks, bitumen, and deep bull dust.

Mt_Dare hotel

Due to the fact that the Binns Track has a vast array of terrain for travellers to navigate, it is important for those who take to the track to be prepared. If you decide to go on the Binns Track, you are going to encounter bush camps and something new around every corner. You will experience the contrast offered between the desert country, the mountain ranges, and the open plains—all of the highlights that the Outback has to offer in just one track. Those who decide to venture onto the Binns Track are advised to have 4WD experience and skills beforehand.

With all its variety of terrain and adventure opportunities, the track spans a distance of 2,191 kilometres and has been named for Bill Binns. Bill had been a ranger with NT Parks and Wildlife for 32 years, and he had a dream to one day create a track that would give tourists the opportunity to explore the Outback and themagnificent rock formations, native wildlife, and bountiful colours that it features. His dream was accomplished and named after him in the Binns Track, and it certainly achieved its goal, as tourists can now take in all of the most remarkable aspects of the Outback during their trek from Mt. Dare to Timber Creek.

Binns Tracks

On such a large and adventure filled track, there are bound to be a lot of sights that are incredible for tourists to have the opportunity to take in, as well as a lot of things that they ought to experience during their venture along the winding roads that the track has to offer. Some of the most important highlights of the track that anyone venturing along it must make sure to experience are as follows:

  • Alice Springs Desert: While you are on the Binns Track, the Alice Springs Desert is a great opportunity to do some sightseeing. It gives tourists their chance to experience the flora and fauna that Central Australia has to offer, completely up close and personal.
  • Arltunga: Home to some abandoned gold mines, a visit Arltunga gives tourists an opportunity to explore these mines and even pan for their own gold if they wish.
  • Gemtree: The creek beds of Gemtree are home to some semi-precious stones if you look hard enough. Stop by and rummage around to see if you are lucky enough to find one to bring home with you as a souvenir!

 

The Famous Finke Desert Race

Encompassing about 229 km each way, requiring skilled driving over varying terrains in one of the most remote places in the world, few would question whether Finke’s Desert Race is worthy of the title “the fastest and greatest race in Australia”.

Its victors earn their title as well, as only the most talented and skilled riders compete each year to be crowned King of the Desert. Well, it’s actually Kings, because the first car and motorbike across the finish line are each victors of their vehicle class, but the winner of each may be competing with hundreds of others within their class. The Finke has an interesting history, full of competition and resulting in a kind of growth that no one who participated in the first run may have anticipated.

When the Finke was first done in 1976, it was a “there and back” challenge for a local motorbike group. Attracting more and more competitors every year after to race over the Queen’s birthday long weekend, it was and is a huge success, but until 1988 it was still only bikes running the distance. The inception of cars and road buggies created a fierce competition between those on two and four wheels, though the bikes were just too quick for over a decade. Finally in 1999, a buggy made it back first and claimed the title of King of the Desert.

Finke Desert Race

The rivalry continued on fiercely, the title shifting between buggies and bikes for the next years, until the categories were created in 2005 and two Kings of the Desert were named, each receiving $10,000 for their skill and effort. This doesn’t mean that they don’t do their best to outrun each other simply for the pleasure, though! It’s easy to see why competitors choose to run the Finke, with the fierce competition, prize money, and an environment that truly tests a driver’s skill.

For those who want to witness this great race, many people visit the Northern Territory to camp along the course of the race yearly. There are of course regulations and safety concerns, as well as the fact that the area is private property, and it’s best to know about these details before you plan the trip.

Finke Desert Race

Most of the area is private cattle land, and so the spot you choose to camp in may have a camping fee associated. The land’s owner is always clearly marked, so you’re welcome to reach out and enquire before you settle down, but regardless of where you stay please be conscientious about not leaving rubbish behind. Camping too close to the track could be dangerous for obvious reasons, but there is a large police presence during the event to help ensure that spectators and racers alike and upholding safe practices. If you simply want to see the race, a spot at the start/finish line will run you $10 per person per day, children under fifteen being free. There are other things to do, such as attending presentation night or scrutineering both bikes and cars, with their own associated fees.

Photo Credits:
Finke Desert Race Prologue Gallery
Toby Price King of the Desert at Finke 2015
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