TCWA commenced in November 1996 when a group (Nick Underwood, Ian Elliott, Doug McKenzie, Scott Kinninment, Wayne Schmidt, Graham Higgins, Eric Gard, Ronele Gard, Kim Barker, Jan Scudamore and Ivan Scudamore) met to discuss forming a volunteer organisation to ensure access to 4WD tracks into the future.
Initially the focus was on the Canning Stock Route (CSR). The CSR is a premier four wheel drive destination for both Australian and international tourists. Its increasing popularity has led to a marked increase in numbers of tourists travelling the CSR, and with it, environmental damage caused by a lack of appropriate facilities. They wanted to ensure there was economically sustainable tourism along the CSR through the restoration and enhancement of facilities (campsites, toilets, good potable water and information). Projects were developed and completed in conjunction with the Wiluna Shire, the East Pilbara Shire, the Indigenous communities of Birriliburu, Billiluna, Kunawaritji, Jigalong and Purrngurr, and the leaseholders on Cunyu, Glen Ayle and Granite Peak Stations. The support and involvement of these groups continue to this day, including the involvement of Aboriginal people to assist in the projects in terms of training and real work experience.
The facilities installed include:
- Install information shelters concerning the CSR at Wiluna and Newman town sites Wakunpu (Well 3) – restore well, construct campsite and toilet, replace well top with recycled plastic sleepers
- Windich Springs – construct campsite, toilet, Indigenous and European history information shelter, fencing to protect the springs, an interpretive walk trail and install interpretive signs
- Well 4b – construct a 6km electric fence to control feral animals around a billabong and erect erosion control structures
- Milyinirri (Pierre Springs or Well 6) – restore well, construct campsite, toilet (significant work undertaken by Geraldton Four Wheel Drive Club with assistance from the Subaru Four
Wheel Drive Club) and install interpretive signs
- Katjarra (Carnarvon Ranges) – construct two campsites, two toilets and two water collection shelters (significant work undertaken and funded by Telstra at one site)
- Palatji (Weld Springs or Well 9) – construct Indigenous and European history information shelter and install interpretive signs
Well 12 – restore well, construct campsite, toilet and in 2015 replaced all well timbers with recycled plastic sleepers
- Durba Springs – construct campsite and 2 toilets
- Georgia Bore – construct campsite and toilet
- Tiwa (Well 26) – restore well, construct campsite and toilet
- Mungkalu – construct a campsite, toilet and a water collection shelter
The work of TCWA has expanded to include working with the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) to maintain public access to 4WD tracks and other DPaW estate such as ex-Pastoral Stations in the Kimberley, Gascoyne, Midwest, Goldfields-Esperance and Great Southern regions. TCWA has restored (with on-going maintenance) Warriedar Station homestead and shearers quarters, Woolgorong Outcamp building and Narloo homestead. Facilities also include a toilet and hand water pump. TCWA also works with DPaW and affiliated 4WD clubs to ‘adopt’ 4WD tracks to ensure the heritage and environment is preserved, and the tracks remain accessible into the future.
In addition, TCWA has worked with DPaW to install a hand pump at Geraldton Bore (Gunbarrel Highway), tank, shelter, toilet and BBQ at Neale Junction (junction of Connie Sue & Anne Beadell Hwy’s), and repaired the Wool Shed and installed a new toilet at Wanjarri Nature Reserve (near Mt Keith) in the Goldfields.