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Crossing the Australian Tanami Desert in a Wheelchair

  • Synopsis: Published: 2011-05-27 (Revised/Updated 2013-03-23) - C4 tetraplegic Rob Cook is attempting to cross the Australian Tanami Desert in his powered 4 wheel drive wheelchair for charity. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Disabled World.

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Quote: "The Tanami was the Northern Territory's final frontier and wasn't fully explored until well into the twentieth century."

C4 tetraplegic Rob Cook is attempting to cross the Australian Tanami Desert in his powered 4 wheel drive wheelchair for charity.

The Australian Tanami Track starts just north of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory and winds it's way 1000km along the Western side of the Tanami Desert, ending at Hall's Creek in Western Australia.

Rob Cook, 28, was left a C4 tetraplegic after a helicopter crash at Suplejack Station in 2008.

He is now attempting to cross the Australian Tanami Desert in his wheelchair for charity. The 730 km trip is expected to take 24 days - or 130 wheelchair hours.

The trek will lead Rob, his carers, and family and friends past the Tanami and Granites goldmines, several outback cattle stations, aboriginal communities and some of the cleanest air Australia has to offer.

His estimated traveling speed is 6 km an hour and Rob plans on being in the saddle for 6 hours a day averaging 36 km a day.

The Tanami Desert is described in Wikipedia as one of the most isolated and arid places on Earth. The Tanami was the Northern Territory's final frontier and wasn't fully explored until well into the twentieth century.

The Tanami track is a graded, dirt road and although navigable by two-wheel drive vehicles, a four-wheel drive is recommended. Some parts of the road are prone to severe corrugations, making for an uncomfortable and slow drive at times.

The Tanami Desert Challenge is aimed at raising awareness of disabled Australians who live and work on farms.

Tetraplegia, also known as quadriplegia, is paralysis caused by illness or injury to a human that results in the partial or total loss of use of all their limbs and torso; Paraplegia is similar but does not affect the arms.





Information from our Disability News: Northern Territory Australia section - (Full List).


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