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{{Infobox zone

Revision as of 01:00, August 2, 2010

Tanaris (aka The Tanaris Desert)[1] is a desert located in Southern Kalimdor, east of Un'Goro Crater and south of Thousand Needles. It is an arid land, covered in sand dunes and frequently exposed to dangerous sandstorms. The Steamwheedle Cartel has its main base of operations here — Steamwheedle Port and Gadgetzan have been founded by the goblins of Undermine since this desert is as close to home as they can get on the continents. The dock in Steamwheedle Port is presumably used for transport to the outer islands, but so far, the goblins have proved unwilling to share the ships with the other races.


The Tanaris Desert has been an endless sea of sand for aeons. Nozdormu, the great dragon of time, was said to make this land his home since time immemorial, thriving in the solitude of oppressive heat and miles of sand.[2]

Tanaris is the ancestral home of the bronze dragonflight based out of the Caverns of Time. The titans also have a holding here in form of an entrance to the ancient land of Uldum, found in the southern parts of the desert. It was here that Anachronos first discovered the full threat of the silithid, who had been making hives in the remote regions of Tanaris. The War of the Shifting Sands was consequently unleashed upon the western land of Silithus.

Getting there

There are portals in Dalaran (The Violet Citadel) and Shattrath (World's End Tavern, by talking to Zephyr - requires Revered with Keepers of Time) which take you to the entry of the Caverns of Time.

Alliance 15Alliance: From Thalanaar, head east through Thousand Needles and south through the Shimmering Flats. Through the mountain pass to the south of the flats lies Gadgetzan.
Horde 15Horde: From Freewind Post travel east into the Shimmering Flats, then head south through the mountain pass to Gadgetzan.


Uldum entrance

Uldum entrance

The Tanaris Desert covers a vast expanse of Southern Kalimdor, just south of Thousand Needles. It is a blazing hot expanse of rolling sand dunes under a cloudless sky. The southern region is more mountainous, with large cavern networks - some extending deep beneath the surface. A vast realm, the Tanaris Desert holds many secrets. The land is mostly desert, and below the ground are gigantic tunnel networks. They remain largely unexplored, for few have the fortitude to venture into such a harsh landscape. Still, rumors tell of all manner of creatures that hide within the tunnels and slaughter trespassers without hesitation. Although the sea of dunes does not look as if it would support a variety of wildlife, humans, Sandfury trolls, hyenas, scorpids, basilisks, and silithid bugs are quite common. Occasionally, drakes are also seen soaring on the thermals that swirl over the great desert.[2]

Tanaris contains quite a few instances, including all the Caverns of Time instances, as well as Zul'Farrak. In addition, there are several micro dungeons in this zone, but no battlegrounds.

Maps and subregions


Map of Tanaris

Abyssal SandsBroken PillarCaverns of TimeDunemaul Compound
Eastmoon RuinsGadgetzanThe Gaping ChasmLand's End Beach
Lost Rigger CoveNoonshade RuinsThe Noxious LairSandsorrow Watch
Southbreak ShoreSouthmoon RuinsSteamwheedle PortThistleshrub Valley
UldumValley of the WatchersWaterspring FieldWavestrider Beach
Zalashji's DenZul'Farrak

Warcraft RPG

Northrock (RPG)

Topographic map of Tanaris




Dungeon Name Level Range Group Size Approximate Run Time
Zul'Farrak 43-48 5-man 2-3 Hours
Bc iconCaverns of Time: Escape from Durnholde Keep 66-68 5-man 1hr 15 minutes
Bc iconCaverns of Time: Opening the Dark Portal 70 5-man 45 minutes
Bc iconCaverns of Time: Battle for Mount Hyjal 70 25-man Unknown
Wrath-Logo-SmallCaverns of Time: Culling of Stratholme 80 5-man Unknown

Elite areas

Travel hubs



Noonshade ruins

Noonshade Ruins

Alliance 15Horde 15 Flight paths from Gadgetzan

Regions adjacent to Tanaris

Zone Name Faction Level Range Direction Access
Thousand Needles Horde 15 Alliance 15 25-35 North By foot or Horde flightpath from Gadgetzan to Freewind Post
Un'Goro Crater Horde 15 Alliance 15 48-55 West By foot or flightpaths from Gadgetzan to Marshal's Refuge
Uldum Cataclysm-Logo-Small Horde 15 Alliance 15 84-85 Southwest By foot (access currently blocked by an invisible wall) or by flight path (presumed)

Notable characters

Tanaris Desert scenes01

Travelers from Gadgetzan didn't get far

Main article: Tanaris NPCs

Tanaris is home to several characters of note. At Gadgetzan, Mux Manascrambler seeks aid in obtaining ghostly ectoplasm from undead spirits, and Senior Surveyor Fizzledowser investigates the coming of the silithid. And at Steamwheedle Port, Yeh'kinya attempts to learn more of the essence of an ancient god...


Tanaris Desert scenes02

Not many can survive in the harsh desert

Main article: Tanaris quests


Cataclysm-Logo-Small This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

thumb|300px|right|Tanaris in Cataclysm In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Tanaris is going to be retuned as level 45-50 zone.[3] In addition the Steamwheedle Port has been destroyed although its still inhabited by goblins. This will make Gadgetzan a port.

Bornakk gave the hint that "Some Tanaris goblins wisely invested in desert real estate and reaped the benefits when it became beach-front property."[4]

Areas affected[5]:


Thistleshrub Valley

Thistleshrub Valley

Wild creatures

The Noxious Lair

The Noxious Lair

The Gaping Chasm

The Gaping Chasm


  • Since Alliance players do not have any travel hubs in Thousand Needles, Gadgetzan makes a great alternative to get to Shimmering Flats since it is just a short run over the hill to get there. Even Horde players can benefit from this shortcut as it is even faster than running from Freewind Post.
  • There is an alternative route to get to Tanaris that is much quicker for players in Dustwallow Marsh. By traveling to the Theramore Docks, on the eastern coast of Dustwallow, and swimming south, around the mountains that surround Shimmering Flats, you can easily get to Steamweedle Port, so long as you hug the shoreline; failure to do so will result in death by fatigue. This is made much easier using a Swim Speed Potion, a druid's Aquatic form, a shaman's Water Walking or a similar ability.


External links

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