Contested{{#set:Faction=Contested}} Tanaris
Level Level range::45-50
RacesGoblinGoblin Goblin (1,200)

HumanHuman Human (750)
Sand trollSand troll Sand troll (450)
OgreOgreOgre Ogre, Dunemaul (300)
GnomeGnome Gnome (300)

Sea giant Sea giant
RulersChief Engineer Bilgewhizzle of the Gadgetzan Waterworks Company

Andre Firebeard, leader of the Southsea Pirates

Caliph Scorpidsting, leader of the Wastewander Bandits
Major settlementsGadgetzan (1,500)
Steamwheedle Port (500)
Lost Rigger Cove (400)
Minor settlementsDunemaul Compound (300)
Zul'Farrak (450)
LanguagesCommon, Gnome, Goblin, Low Common, Zandali
ResourcesArtifacts, technology, water
LocationSouth of Thousand Needles
Sources: Lands of Mystery, 56-59

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 goblins have established Steamwheedle Port and Gadgetzan as their main centers of operation. The dock in Steamwheedle Port is presumably used for transport to the outer islands of the Undermine, the goblin capital, but so far the goblins have proved unwilling to share the ships with the other races.

Tanaris is one of the easiest regions to travel around, being mostly flat sands with a few rocky outcrops, but it is also monotonus, being sparsely populated due to its harsh enviroment. There are also no roads (or even well-trodden paths) and heavy reliance is placed on the guiding system.

While mostly populated by Horde factions, the region is so barren that it is fairly safe for Alliance members too.

History Edit

Tanaris 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 the 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 Edit

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.

In Thousand Needles head directly south of Fizzle and Pozzik's Speedbarge to a small inlet on the south edge of Thousand Needles. There is a white sand/salt beach with a path that leads to the pass into Tanaris and Gadgetzan.
From Freewind Post travel east into the Shimmering Flats, then head south through the mountain pass to Gadgetzan.

Geography Edit

Pilt:Uldum entrance.jpg

Tanaris 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, with some extending deep beneath the surface. A vast realm, Tanaris holds many secrets. The land is mostly desert, and below 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 subregionsEdit

Pilt:WoW Icon 16x16.gif In-game

Warcraft RPG

Northrock (RPG)

Topographic map of Tanaris

Dungeons Edit

Dungeon Name Level Range Group Size Approximate Run Time
Instance portal Zul'Farrak 43-48 5-man 1 hour
TBCInstance portal Caverns of Time: Escape from Durnholde Keep 66-68 5-man 1 hour 15 minutes
TBCInstance portal Caverns of Time: Opening the Dark Portal 70 5-man 45 minutes
TBCInstance portal Caverns of Time: Battle for Mount Hyjal 70 25-man 1-2 Hours
WotLKInstance portal Caverns of Time: Culling of Stratholme 80 5-man 1 hour
Pilt:Icon Cataclysm 18x18.gifInstance portal Caverns of Time: End Time 85 5-Man 30 Mins
Pilt:Icon Cataclysm 18x18.gifInstance portal Caverns of Time: Well of Eternity 85 5-man 45 Mins
Pilt:Icon Cataclysm 18x18.gifInstance portal Caverns of Time: Hour of Twilight 85 5-man 30 Mins
Pilt:Icon Cataclysm 18x18.gifInstance portal Caverns of Time: Dragon Soul 85 10/25-man 2-3 Hours

Elite areasEdit

Flight Master Locations Edit

Pilt:Noonshade ruins.jpg
Neutral Bootlegger Outpost
Neutral Gadgetzan
Alliance Gunstan's Dig
Horde Dawnrise Expedition

Regions adjacent to TanarisEdit

Zone Name Faction Level Range Direction Alliance Access Horde Access
Thousand Needles Horde Neutral 40-45 North By foot north; Pilt:MiniIcon FlightMaster.png from Gadgetzan to Fizzle and Pozzik's Speedbarge By foot north; Pilt:MiniIcon FlightMaster.png from Gadgetzan to Fizzle and Pozzik's Speedbarge or Westreach Summit
UldumCataclysm Horde Alliance 83-84 Southwest By foot to the southwest By foot to the southwest
Un'Goro Crater Neutral 50-55 West By foot west; Pilt:MiniIcon FlightMaster.png from Gadgetzan to Marshal's Stand or Mossy Pile By foot west; Pilt:MiniIcon FlightMaster.png from Gadgetzan to Marshal's Stand or Mossy Pile

Notable characters Edit

Pilt:Tanaris Desert scenes01.jpg
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.

Quests Edit

Pilt:Tanaris Desert scenes02.jpg
Main article: Tanaris quests


Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to 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]:



425px 425px 425px


Pilt:Thistleshrub Valley.jpg

Wild creatures Edit

Pilt:The Noxious Lair.jpg
Pilt:The Gaping Chasm.jpg

Notes Edit

  • 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 the 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 Edit