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Anne Beadell Highway
The Anne Beadell Highway is an awe-inspiring route that passes through extremely remote desert areas. Stretching 1,350 kilometres from Laverton in Western Australia through to Coober Pedy in South Australia, the scenery is breathtaking as the terrain slowly changes from clay pans and salt lakes to red sand dunes. Four wheel drive enthusiasts will appreciate the vastness of the landscape on this route, as well as the dense scrub and challenges of the sandy track. Be sure to stop by and experience the old Yeo Homestead, Yamarna Station and Ilkulka along the way.
The road was constructed to provide access for a series of surveys adding to the overall geodetic survey of unexplored parts of Australia. The information was required for rocket range projects at Woomera. Construction was completed in five stages, spanning nine years from 1953 to 1962. The first stage from Mabel Creek station near Coober Pedy, west towards Emu, was built in February and March 1953 to provide access for British atomic tests at Emu. The second stage was begun in July 1957 in the reverse direction, from Anne's Corner towards Emu, after Len Beadell had completed the Mount Davies Road from Mt. Davies to Anne's Corner connecting the Gunbarrel Highway to the south. The third stage was commenced in August 1961, running westward from Anne's Corner to Vokes Hill. The fourth stage proceeded west from Vokes Hill in April 1962, beyond Serpentine Lakes to the present Neale Junction. At Neale Junction in July 1962 the north-south Connie Sue Highway was constructed prior to the last stage of the Anne Beadell Highway, which was completed at Laverton on 17 November 1962.
Parts of the track are only suitable for high clearance four wheel drive vehicles and should only be attempted by confident drivers. Supplies and services are limited and road conditions can vary, so plan ahead, stock up on food, water and fuel and contact the local visitor centre for up-to-date track information.
Before heading off into the remote desert areas of Australia, you will need to obtain permits, enabling you to travel through private and Aboriginal Lands.