South of Thousand Needles
Tanaris (aka The Tanaris Desert), pronounced [Tuh-NAYR-ihs], 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 was presumably used for transport to the outer islands of the Undermine, the goblin capital, but it was destroyed in the cataclysm, which also brought the ocean to Gadgetzan, where the goblins built a new dock for their shipping needs.
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.
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.
With the 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.
While questing through Thousand Needles players will be sent from the Fizzle and Pozzik's Speedbarge south through the Shimmering Deep and through the mountain pass to the south. Gadgetzan will be soon after entering.
There are also 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.
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.
Maps and subregions
|Dungeon Name||Level Range||Group Size||Approximate Run Time|
|Caverns of Time: Escape from Durnholde Keep||66-68||5-man||1 hour 15 minutes|
|Caverns of Time: Opening the Dark Portal||70||5-man||45 minutes|
|Caverns of Time: Battle for Mount Hyjal||70||25-man||Unknown|
|Caverns of Time: Culling of Stratholme||80||5-man||Unknown|
|Caverns of Time: Endtime||85||5-man||Unknown|
|Caverns of Time: Well of Eternity||85||5-man||Unknown|
|Caverns of Time: Hour of Twilight||85||5-man||Unknown|
|Caverns of Time: Dragon Soul||85||10/25-man||Unknown|
Regions adjacent to Tanaris
|Zone Name||Faction||Level Range||Direction||Access|
|Thousand Needles||40-45||North||By foot or by flying|
|Un'Goro Crater||50-55||West||By foot or by flying|
|Uldum||83-84||Southwest||By foot or by flying|
- Main article: Tanaris NPCs
- Main article: Tanaris quests
- Air elementals
- Bronze dragons
- Earth elementals
- Skeletal wind serpents
- Stone golems
- Before patch 4.0.1, Alliance players didn't have any travel hubs in Thousand Needles, so Gadgetzan made a great alternative to get to Shimmering Flats since it was just a short run over the hill to get there. Even Horde players could benefit from this shortcut as it was 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 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.
- Currently, Tanaris has the largest amount of dungeons in the game.
- Tanaris is also one of the very few zones in the game to have been modified at least once in every expansion, with Burning Crusade opening the caverns of time, Wrath of the Lich King adding the Culling of Stratholme, and Cataclysm revamping the area, as well as adding it's End-game content at the Caverns of time with patch 4.3.0.
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Reshaped with the Cataclysm as a level 45-50 zone. New quests, new NPCs etc. added.
- Patch 1.1.0 (2004-11-07): Added as a level 40-50 zone.