After reading the post about the Canning Stock Route (31st March, 2012), reader Damien raised a question about the Talawana Track, which runs for some 650 kms from Newman in Western Australia’s Pilbara region through the Little Sandy Desert, intersecting the Canning near Well 24, then continuing east to meet the Gary Highway at Windy Corner.
I read somewhere that it was the last track built by Len Beadell (in about 1963). I’ve put a question about this on the Talk page of the Wikipedia article about Len, so hope to get clarification in due course.
Damien’s question was about the meaning of “Talawana”. I failed to find an answer, but Damien had some success, being told that it was very likely an aboriginal word meaning “across, around or along the sandhills”. Given that the Track runs through a lot of sandhill country (mainly parallel to the sandhills), this seems plausible. Len Beadell usually gave his roads English rather than aboriginal names (often after members of his family), so one wonders why this might have been the exception.
Can any reader throw further light on these matters? [See the author’s additional notes in the comment below.]