Australia So Much to See


Want to know more? Ask us
Home > Tips and Hints > Trip planning and safety > Passes and Permits > Other Permits

Mining road between Tom Price and Karratha.


One route for travel between Tom Price and Karratha is the mining access road. This is a dirt road, and a permit is required.  Permits can be obtained in person only from the Tom Price and Karratha visitor centres and the Pannawonnica Library, where a safety video must first be watched.  Lights must be turned on while on this road.  In addition the permit can be applied for on line at Rio Tinto with viewing the safety requirements being part of the application process.  See map of this route, which is about 318 kilometres distance between Tom Price and Karratha. 


Rules of travel on the Rio Tinto roads include:


Persons travelling on the access roads need to be aware of the following:
1. The road is part of a mining lease, consequently no alcohol may be taken onto the road at any time.
2. Driver/s must be prepared to meet heavy railway maintenance vehicles at all times.
3. Rio Tinto may request you to stop and submit to a random breath test at any times whilst travelling along the Access Road.
4. Sections of the road have steep grades and sharp curves. SLOW speed is strongly advised.
5. In heavy rain, many sections of this maintenance road are dangerous or impassable due to flash flooding or washouts. Check that the road is open prior to commencing journey, particularly after rains.
6. User/s of the road are required to slow down when passing men or equipment anywhere along the road or railway line.
7. Where the road crosses the railway line, vehicles are required to stop to check that the line is clear and give way to all rail traffic.
8. Vehicles with an overall length greater than 8 metres are not permitted on this road between 259 km and 279 km. Rock barriers to prevent passage of such vehicles are in place at 273 km and 278 km.
9. For heavy and over gauge loads, piloting is required.
10. Headlights must be switched on whilst travelling on the Access Road.


An alterative public road between Karratha and Tom Price is being constructed and at present is open from Karratha to Millstream, with much of it being a sealed road.  The are no dates given for the long term plans to extend this road toward Tom Price. 


To travel between Tom Price and Karratha avoiding the mining access road, heading north to the Wittenoom-Roebourne Road and west to Chichester-Millstream Natoinal Park to meet the new road to Karratha covers approximately 380 kilometres of which some is stony, and there is a cutting on the way to the Wittenoom Road on which trailers are not permitted. 


For those not wanting to travel on dirt roads, there is a longer and still scenic bitumised road from Tom Price to the North West Coastal Highway near Nanutarra Roadhouse over 300 kilometres south of Karratha and this route totals 559 kilometres.  See details in our travelogue of our trip from the South West to Wickham via Newman, Karijini National Park, Tom Price and Paraburdoo.   


Alternatively, via the Great Northern Highway to meet the North West Coastal Highway near Port Hedland is 573 kilometres to reach Karratha, and more suited to those visiting Karijini National Park without going to Tom Price. 

Other permits

To find out how to apply for a permit to travel on the Canning Stock Route in Western Australia, click here. The access fee will cost $100.  
See press release about changes taking place to the permit application process from 30 September 2012here
Permits for Maralinga Tjarutja Lands and Woomera Prohibited Area
Canning Stock Route

Most people travelling around Australia will not be taking four wheel drive treks such as the Anne Beadell Highway, which requires a number of permits.  Remote inland routes such as this require pre planning and early application for a number of permits as these may take several weeks.  These include permits to travel through Aboriginal lands, a desert parks pass, a pass to travel through the Mamungari Conservation Park (formerly known as Unnamed Conservation Park) and a defence force permit to go through Emu Junction area. 


Permits are required to travel through the following areas:

See hereunder for details.
You will required to obtain a permit if you intend to travel through the Woomera Prohibited Area which includes the Emu Junction area.


You can now apply on line at Woomera Prohibited Area Tourist Access Permit


Or contact:


Defence Support Centre

P.O. Box 157, WOOMERA, SA 5720

Phone: (08) 8674 3370

Fax: (08) 8674 3308



To apply for a permit for Maralinga Tjarutja Lands contact


Administrator Maralinga Tjaruta Lands

PO Box 435 Ceduna SA 5690

Phone (08) 8625 2946 or fax (08) 8625 3076

or email


Fees apply and can be seen on Maralinga Tjarutja Lands Permit Application form, currently $25 per vehicle.

Allow four to six weeks for this permit to be processed.


Maralinga is now open for visits by the general public by arrangement with


Caretaker of Maralinga, Mr Robin Matthews

Phone: (08) 8670 4089



To apply for a permit to travel through  Mamungari Conservation Park (formerly known as Unnamed Conservation Park) visit Mamungari Conservation Park.  There is no cost for the permit, but camping fees of $12 per night apply.  Check on line for price changes.





Next article >

Back to Trip Planning Index ^

Back to Trip Planning Index ^

Fishing licences and permits 
For licensing requirements for recreational fishing in each state and other fishing rules and regulations see here
Copyright (C) 2013 All rights reserved

The opportunity to travel to Katjarra (Carnarvon Ranges) is provided through a Trial Permit during the month of July 2014.  The ranges, to the west of Well 6 on the Canning Stock Route, have remained closed to the public since 2008. 

Nyangumarta Highway (formerly known as Kidson Track WAPET Road)
Four Wheel Drive Australia on behalf of the Nyangumarta Warrarn Aboriginal Corporation is now issuing permits for travel through the Nyangumarta native title lands along what was formally called the Kidson Track now renamed as the Nyangumarta Highway. The Permits allowed access through the Nyangumarta native title lands for tourism related activities.

The permit fee for this is $55 including GST for each Four Wheel Drive Vehicle and associated trailer. Revenue from these fees funds covers the administration of the permit system and protection of environmental, cultural and heritage values of the Nyangumarta native title lands on behalf of the Traditional Owners.
Apply for Permit.
< Previous
Next page >
Tips and Hints
Lists and Links
Q & A
< Previous
Next page >
Tips and Hints
Lists and Links
Q & A