Abstract: The On Track research program aimed to identify how the proper management of four wheel drive (4WD) tourism could contribute to the livelihoods of desert people. The program was initiated as a result of the recommendations of a 2004/05 scoping study commissioned by the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre (DKCRC) that found that research into the 4WD market could contribute to the development of a viable tourism industry in the desert. On Track was led by Dr Dean Carson from Charles Darwin University. A wide range of research institutions, government bodies, private sector companies and consumer interest groups contributed to the research. On Track research was specifically designed to examine four issues: – how to increase the incentives for 4WD visitors to spend money in desert areas and consequently provide greater benefits to desert settlements – how to protect cultural, social and natural values from the impact of 4WD tourism – how to encourage safer and more appropriate driving practices in order to reduce the barriers to consumer participation in 4WD tourism and the costs of its management – how to achieve better coordination of the marketing and management of desert 4WD tourism destinations.