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 environment. 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.

In Cataclysm Edit

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

Tanaris in Cataclysm

In Cataclysm-Logo-Small Cataclysm, Tanaris changed to a level 45-50 zone.[2] In addition the Steamwheedle Port was destroyed although it's 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."[3]

Areas affected[4]:

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.[5]

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, Whch was once guarded by elite Stone giants. 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.

Flooding Edit

With Cataclysm-Logo-Small Cataclysm, Steamwheedle Port and many parts of Tanaris were flooded making Gadgetzan a port. Some Tanaris goblins wisely invested in desert real estate and reaped the benefits when it became beach-front property.

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.

Geography Edit

Uldum entrance

Uldum entrance

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. Ocasionally, drakes are also seen soaring on the thermals that swirl over the great desert.[5]

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.

In Cataclysm-Logo-Small Cataclysm, massive flooding created permanent incursions all the way to Gadgetzan that re-shaped the coastline and destroyed Steamwheedle Port, but the damage was limited to mostly the northeast. Gadgetzan is now a port, but with less capability.

Maps and subregions Edit


Map of Tanaris

WoW Icon 16x16 In-game

Warcraft RPG

Northrock (RPG)

Topographic map of Tanaris

Dungeons Edit



Dungeon Name Level Range Group Size Approximate Run Time
Instance portal blue Zul'Farrak 43-48 5-man 1 hour
Bc iconIcon-heroic-22x22Instance portal purple Caverns of Time: Escape from Durnholde Keep 66-68 5-man 1 hour 15 minutes
Bc iconIcon-heroic-22x22Instance portal purple Caverns of Time: Opening the Dark Portal 70 5-man 45 minutes
Bc iconInstance portal green Caverns of Time: Battle for Mount Hyjal 70 25-man 1-2 Hours
Wrath-Logo-SmallIcon-heroic-22x22Instance portal purple Caverns of Time: Culling of Stratholme 80 5-man 1 hour
Icon Cataclysm 18x18Icon-heroic-22x22Instance portal purple Caverns of Time: End Time 85 5-Man 30 Mins
Icon Cataclysm 18x18Icon-heroic-22x22Instance portal purple Caverns of Time: Well of Eternity 85 5-man 45 Mins
Icon Cataclysm 18x18Icon-heroic-22x22Instance portal purple Caverns of Time: Hour of Twilight 85 5-man 30 Mins
Icon Cataclysm 18x18Icon-heroic-22x22Instance portal purple Caverns of Time: Dragon Soul 85 10/25-man 2-3 Hours

Elite areas Edit

Questionmark-medium This section concerns content that is potentially inaccurate.

Flight Master Locations Edit



Noonshade ruins

Noonshade Ruins

Neutral 15 Bootlegger Outpost
Neutral 15 Gadgetzan
Alliance 15 Gunstan's Dig
Horde 15 Dawnrise Expedition

Regions adjacent to Tanaris Edit

Zone Name Faction Level Range Direction Alliance 15 Access Horde 15 Access
Thousand Needles Horde 15 Neutral 15 40-45 North By foot north; MiniIcon FlightMaster from Gadgetzan to Fizzle and Pozzik's Speedbarge By foot north; MiniIcon FlightMaster from Gadgetzan to Fizzle and Pozzik's Speedbarge or Westreach Summit
Uldum Cataclysm-Logo-Small Horde 15 Alliance 15 83-84 Southwest By foot to the southwest By foot to the southwest
Un'Goro Crater Neutral 15 50-55 West By foot west; MiniIcon FlightMaster from Gadgetzan to Marshal's Stand or Mossy Pile By foot west; MiniIcon FlightMaster from Gadgetzan to Marshal's Stand or Mossy Pile

Notable characters Edit

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.

Quests Edit

Main article: Tanaris quests

Resources Edit

Thistleshrub Valley

Thistleshrub Valley

Wild creatures Edit

The Noxious Lair

The Noxious Lair

The Gaping Chasm

The Gaping Chasm

Drowned goblin in Tanaris flood waters

The Steamwheedle victim?

Media Edit

Images Edit

Videos Edit

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.

Trivia Edit

  • There are a number of easter eggs hidden around Tanaris. Extending from Gadgetzan are a number of footprint trails of varying sizes, most of which terminate with the bones of their creators among the wavering dunes. One of these trails-- the one that arcs south/southeast towards the ocean-- ends in the shallows with the floating corpse of a goblin called the "Steamwheedle Victim."

References Edit

External links Edit

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