Rudall River


The Rudall River is about 1.2 millions hectares in area. The park is accessed from the north from the Telfer Road or the south from the Talawana Track. There is a main track running north/south through the park. A number of side tracks extend either east/west to various attractions, but generally require the traveller to return to the main route.

There are a couple of bores with hand pumps that can be used to replenish water, however, this is not a maintained service and travellers need to be cautious about relying on these watering points.

Remember people have died in this area, generally from exposure or dying of thirst.

There is no fuel available in the park and you should expect to use more than normal during travels. Some tracks are well used and corrugated. Others sandy and soft. The country varies from sandy to rocky with changes in vegetation occurring over every hill.


In the Eastern Pilbara region of WA within the great Sandy and Little Sandy Deserts.


The park is named after William Rudall who explored the area in 1897.

Trip Report 

We travelled the park in July 2010. We also experienced a bit of rain whilst in the park. Getting flooded out near Christmas Pool. It was spectacular to see pouring rain in the Western Australian Desert!

Water at the hand pump in the north was good though we didn't need it. The water at the southern pump was also good and allowed us to replenish our supplies.

We travelled the Telfer Road from Marble Bar where we had taken on nearly 240l of fuel per vehicle. The Telfer Road was in excellent condition. It has a speed limit of 80km per hour and we stayed to that. There are heavy haul trucks using the road. The security gate at Telfer has now moved and access to the northern entrance of the park is simply a matter of following the signs.

We visited Christmas Pool and were excited to see HS Trotman's name and 12 12 96 engraved on the rock. 96 meant 1896! After that we visited Trotman's cave. We camped in some hills away from the area, where it rained on our camp.

The next day the track was very wet and we crossed a number of large water pools on the road. The track was muddy but firm underneath, so we carefully crossed each one.

The day took us into the Desert Queen Baths where we explored the pools and enjoyed the beautiful scenery, and talked to the lone duck circling in the water. Though there was a great camp site it was occupied, so we chose to travel away, climb a large hill and view a cave then find some camping at the base. The track to the DQB was good though rough with wet patches and took about 3 hours to travel the 30km or so.

We travelled south the following day and took a detour into Tjingkulatjatjarra pool track. This gave us a great view of the vastly changing scenery of the park. We headed west to hanging rock and had a fantastic drive in. The last few km were very windy and overgrown, so lots of scratches are to be had. We came to two river crossings unexpectedly. There was no water but a dry sandy bed which was easy to cross.

The first sight of Hanging Rock it was spectacular. We camped here for the night, though wood is pretty scarce.

The next day we headed back to the main N/S track. Where we turned south and got water at White Gums Bore. We saw many dead camels, the victims of a national cull. I personally like the camels and I was saddened by so much killing. We did however, see some poor old lonely specimens, and it was saddening to think of their now solitary lives. We saw some dingoes, one that seemed to be a mangy brindle, and another that looked like a black labrador. But these are definitely wild dogs!. We also saw a couple of herds of donkeys. These are truly funny animals and there resemblance to horses makes you feel a little sad for them.

After topping up with water it was onto the CSR along the Talawana Track.

We would do this trek again in a heartbeat, allowing more time to explore other side roads, but organising more fuel to be available within the park.

Places to See

Desert Queen Baths (not a modern name as one might think, but named by William Rudall in 1897), Hanging Rock, Christmas Pool.

Degree of Difficulty 

I rate this as moderate. High ground clearance is needed, remote area experience, low ratio. It is still a dangerous trip without adequate planning and preparation. We planned this trip for nearly 12 months with final preparations taking nearly 3 months.


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