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Adelaide to Darwin by camper van

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Adelaide to Darwin by camper van

1. Posted by Matt_Owens (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!


Has anyone here driven from Adelaide to Darwin? If so, can i ask a few questions:

How long did it take - rough drive time?
Were there many stop off points along the way?
We're a bit concerned about the condition of the roads, should we be?
Any other tips or pointers, we've budgeted for 3 weeks to get all the way up, maybe 4, is this enough?

Thanks in advance, reeeeeally looking forward to down under

2. Posted by nichuie2 (Budding Member 59 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hey dude, I havent done it, but myself and my mates were thinkin of the same thing, or maybe just Adelaide to Alice Springs / Uluru. But would appreciate if you could let me know if you get any useful info! Cheers!!!

3. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5655 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hey Matt,

Did that last year, well actually from Melbourne.
But pure driving time from Adelaide to Darwin is about 4 days.

The drive is just great and not as boring as many people (might) think or even find! The Australian Outback is just perfect and gives a good idea of how big this country really is...and how empty.

Many points of interest along the way, the first one will be Coober Pedy (check this underground camping) and from there it's on towards Uluru-Kata Tjuta NP (Ayers Rock and the Olgas in non-abo language) and Kings Canyon. That's a branch of the main Stuart Highway to the west.
For visiting both places, I really can suggest Curtin Springs. It's a big cattle station with possibilities to stay in cabins if you like, but also free camping! It's a good place to base yourself for 3-5 nights, with cheap food and much more outback experience that Yulara near Uluru which is horrible...don't go there! From Curtin Springs it's about an hour to Uluru and 2 hours to Kings Canyon, so if you don't mind driving even the last one is doable as a day trip.

Back on the mainroad go to Alice but better to spend your nights both east or west from Alice and the East or West MacDonell Ranges. Great landscapes and walks over there.
From Alice it's north to Tennant Creek (Devil's Marbles are just before that, don't miss that one, it's pretty nice) and further north to Daly Waters and Katherine (Katherine Gorge) and on to Kakadu and Litchfield NP and Darwin. Darwin is really boooorrrring by the way.

O, and roads are very very good, really don't be worried about that. It's all tarred along the routes I described.

Have fun and cheers!

4. Posted by Matt_Owens (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

That was a reply of legendary proportions. Thankyou very much Michael.

5. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Once upon a time (when I was young, poor and silly ) I hitchhiked from Alice Springs to Darwin and I'm extremely happy that I can now tell the tale. We left Alice in the evening in a campervan and kept on driving the whole way with three 20 minute-breaks in 15 hours (the distance is roughly 2100 km!!). As it was pitchblack I couldn't see much of the scenery, therefore I would advise you to drive at night, more importantly because there's too many roadtrains (massive trucks) and stupid kangaroos that might jump in front of your car. Definitely make sure you bring a jerrycan for petrol too, since there's some streches of the road without a petrol station for hours.
Apart from that I agree with Michael that the drive can be a pleasant experience (went back another time) and Devil's Marbles, Katherine Gorge are great places. I also liked Darwin. Fair enough, it maybe is not a cosmopolitan city like Sydney or Melbourne, but the Museum is interesting and Mindil Beach market which is on during dry season is really cool.
Have fun in Australia!