Pioneer and adventurer John McDouall Stuart created an ideal pathway for you to travel along the Explorers Highway from Adelaide to Darwin. Along the road you will enjoy wine tasting and explore the rugged wilderness. Experience life in an underground town and learn more about indigenous history and culture. Embrace the ever changing landscapes from outback to tropics of this unique part of the country. You can rent a car with Hertz in Adelaide which has a couple of rental locations in the city. Choose from a variety of cars from economy to luxury, hatchbacks to SUVs and get on with your journey.
Day 1 – Adelaide to Port Augusta
Only an hour after you set off from South Australia’s capital, you will find yourself at the Barossa Valley. With a selection of over 60 cellar doors and fine dining, this is the perfect food and wine trail. Port Augusta is certainly the next stop. Relish your stay at the entrance to the Flinders Range and witness a glorious sunset over the hills.
Day 2 – Port Augusta to Coober Pedy
The mountains, gorges, and creeks of the Flinders Ranges National Park are yours to explore today. The next stop on the drive is Coober Pedy, the mining town. Visit the homes, churches, hotels, and shops situated below the ground. You can also enjoy the grassless golf course, opal mining demonstrations and see sites where the filming of Mad Max 3 took place.
Day 3 – Coober Pedy to Alice Springs
Your drive will be filled with colour and mystique as you make your way through the hills of the Painted Desert. Over 80 million years of corrosion has created spellbinding colours of ochre yellow, oxide red, and rich brown. Your journey then continues through the grasslands, and over the River Finke to Alice Springs.
Day 4 – Alice Springs to Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park
The wonders of nature come alive as the sun rises, or sets over Uluru. Park your car close to the rock and enjoy the breathtaking spectacle. Take a walk around the base of Uluru with a native attendant and get to learn more of the Dreamtime history. The russet domes of Kata Tjuta are yours to explore next.
Day 5 – Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park to Kings Canyon
The Watarrka National Park is home to Kings Canyon. Prepare yourself for the hike up the canyon. Catch your breath as you overlook the views of the sandstone cliffs, palm-filled crevices and valley floors. Visit the Garden of Eden, swim in its tropical pools, and discover the weather-beaten domes of the city.
Day 6 – Kings Canyon to Alice Springs
To see all of Alice Springs, hike to the highest level of Anzac Hill. The Central Australian Desert has a plethora of plants, animals and habitats to witness. For a true outback experience, order some emu, kangaroo, crocodile, camel, or barramundi at an Alice Springs restaurant.
Day 7 – Alice Springs to Tennant Creek
Along the road you’ll head past Devil’s Marbles which are well worth a visit. According to the indigenous culture, they are the eggs of the Rainbow Serpent, along with being a geographical marvel. Stop off at Ti Tree for some table grapes and sparkling mango before exploring the aboriginal and gold rush settler’s history of Tennant Creek.
Day 8 – Tennant Creek to Daly Waters
A scenic road of networks takes you to cattle stations, World War II landmarks, and some outback pubs. The Elliot and Newcastle Waters Discovery Trail is an overwhelming way to get to Daly Waters. This is a small settlement put up round the territory’s first pub.
Day 9 – Daly Waters to Katherine
The thermal springs of Daly Waters are the perfect way to relax your muscles after all this driving. Afterwards, check out the historic settlement town of Katherine. The Nitmiluk National Park features stunning waterfalls and white sandy beaches.
Day 10 – Katherine to Adelaide River
The Kakadu National Park is the place for barramundi fishing, bushwalking, or crocodile spotting. Ancient crevices and local culture and artwork are embedded into the walls at Nourlangie Rock. World War II history and the indigenous past come together in this World Heritage-listed site.
Day 11 – Adelaide River to Darwin
For sparkling swimming spots and stunning waterfalls, Litchfield National Park is a haven. For the last stop on the road trip, enjoy a picnic beneath the Florence Falls and listen to the fruit bats. Continue up the Stuart Highway and catch sight of the Timor Sea as your drive into Darwin.