Person sitting in hammock next to campervan in Australia

Whether you’re an Australian citizen who wants to see everything their homeland has to offer, or you’ve always dreamed of visiting and touring Australia, the Darwin to Adelaide road trip offers some of the most incredible places and amazing sights on the planet.

Below, you’ll find the ultimate guide to the 14 day trip from Darwin to Adelaide. Within this itinerary, you’ll find the best places to stop and see as you reach the final part of each leg, and we’ve also factored in a couple of rest days to give you a break from driving and allow you to get out and really explore!

How Many Days Does It Take to Drive from Darwin to Adelaide?

This Darwin to Adelaide road trip takes 14 days in total and covers 3,030km. While it is possible to power through certain parts of the journey and complete it in a shorter amount of time, we highly recommend taking a little longer to stop and visit the amazing places along the road.

Where Should I Stop Between Darwin and Adelaide?

Within our Darwin to Adelaide road trip itinerary, we’ve included stops and attractions for everyone to enjoy. So, whether you’re a solo traveller, a couple on a romantic trip, or a family taking a well-earned holiday, you’re guaranteed to find something you love.

Are you ready? Let’s hit the road and start exploring!

Quick stats

3030km trip distance

14 day roadtrip

Campervan recommended

road trip map

Day 1: Darwin to Kakadu National Park

Travel time: 1 hour 45 minutes/152km
Darwin to Kakadu National Park

Sightseeing 1: Ubirr

A fantastic place for any art or history lover to stop, Ubirr is a famous Aboriginal rock art gallery situated within Kakadu National Park. Here, you’ll find the famous “Tasmanian Tiger” painting, which dates back between 2,000 and 3,000 years, as well as other incredible cave paintings created within the last 1,500 years.

Sightseeing 2: Nanguluwurr Art Site Walk

As you head into Kakadu National Park, the Nanguluwurr Art Site Walk offers a place to stretch your legs after your drive. This is one of the most beautiful walking trails along the road trip, and you’ll be guided through native woodland and flowers before ending at an Aboriginal rock art site.

Day 2: Kakadu National Park

Travel time: 3 hours/150km
Kakadu National Park

Sightseeing 1: Jim Jim Falls

As you make your way along the Arnhem Highway that crosses through the 150km stretch of Kakadu National Park, you’ll come across Jim Jim Falls. This 200m tall waterfall is taller than all of the waterfalls found in both Litchfield National Park and Nitmiluk National Park, and if you visit in the dry season, you’re able to explore the base of the falls closer as the rush of water quietens.

Sightseeing 2: Twin Falls Gorge

Another awe-inspiring waterfall found within Kakadu National Park, Twin Falls Gorge cascades down 150m of rock into a beautiful pool buzzing with marine life. There are various walking trails to the waterfall, but if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, we’d recommend taking the 6km return hike that offers amazing views across the national park.

Day 3: Kakadu to Katherine

Travel time: 3 hours/221km
Kakadu to Katherine

Sightseeing 1: Katherine Hot Springs

What better way to end the 3 hour journey from Kakadu to Katherine than relaxing in Katherine Hot Springs? These beautiful pools filled with clear water are naturally warmed by thermal vents in the Earth, giving them an average temperature of 25ºC-30ºC all year round. They’re also framed by beautiful native plants, adding to the relaxing atmosphere and really helping you unwind.

Sightseeing 2: Nitmiluk National Park

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Katherine, Nitmiluk National Park is the ideal place for the adventurous road-tripper to stop. Here, you’ll find a variety of walking trails ranging in length and difficulty, as well as gorges to explore by canoe. Even if you aren’t up for these activities, it’s still worth a visit simply to take in the amazing views, get back to nature, and grab a breath of fresh air after a long drive.

Day 4: Katherine to Tennant Creek

Travel time: 7 hours/675km
Katherine to Tennant Creek

Sightseeing 1: Mataranka Hot Springs

Day 4 of the Darwin to Adelaide road trip will see you hit the longest stretch of the journey so far, and the Mataranka Hot Springs offers a welcoming, relaxing place to stop after a day on the road. Located within Elsey National Park, these naturally-heated pools are secluded and fringed by large palm trees. There is also on-site camping available, making it a great place to spend the night ahead of the next day’s driving.

Sightseeing 2: Daly Waters Pub

One of the most popular and iconic stops on the Darwin to Adelaide road trip, Daly Waters Pub offers another great place to unwind after a long day of driving if hot springs aren’t your thing. You’ll find a huge range of beers to sample here, as well as a menu serving Australian delicacies, including kangaroo loin. There’s also a playground for kids to burn off some excess energy, making it a fantastic place for families to visit.

Day 5: Tennant Creek to Alice Springs

Travel time: 5 hours 30 minutes/508km
Tennant Creek to Alice Springs

Sightseeing 1: Wycliffe Well

About halfway along the 508km stretch from Tennant Creek to Alice Springs, you’ll find Wycliffe Well. This was initially a World War II garden market designed to supply troops travelling to and from Darwin, but in recent years, it has become famous for extra-terrestrial sightings and is now considered Australia’s UFO capital. Of course, there’s no guarantee you’ll find any little green men here, but you will get the chance to spot some native wildlife in the Australian outback.

Sightseeing 2: Rainbow Valley

As you make your way into Alice Springs, you’ll find Rainbow Valley, which takes its name from the collection of rocks that seem to display a variety of different colours when illuminated by the setting sun. This area is steeped in Aboriginal history, and through the walking trails, you’ll spot rock art and carvings. You can also stay overnight here, and the wide open skies are particularly good if you want to spend the evening stargazing.

Day 6: Rest Day at Alice Springs

Rest Day at Alice Springs

Sightseeing 1: Devils Marbles

Located within Karlu Karlu Conservation Reserve, Devils Marbles are a collection of granite boulders that seem as though they have appeared from nowhere. There are several walkways to explore this incredible site, each offering a different view and, in turn, providing a plethora of photo opportunities.

Sightseeing 2: Alice Springs Desert Park

A wonderful place for families and nature lovers to visit, along the road from Darwin to Adelaide, Alice Springs Desert Park is a cross between a zoo and an educational facility. Here, you’ll be offered the chance to learn about the Australian outback and desert and the wildlife, flora, and fauna that calls it home. There are also some fantastic events that take place throughout the year, including bird shows, survival talks, and nocturnal animal demonstrations.

Day 7: Alice Springs to Uluru

Travel time: 4 hours 30 minutes/450km
Alice Springs to Uluru

Sightseeing 1: Valley of the Winds Walk

For anyone wanting to get as close as possible to the domes of Kata Tjuta, the Valley of the Winds Walk is an absolute must. It takes around 4 hours to complete in total and is difficult in places, but totally worth it if you’re able for the breathtaking landscape views. There are also two lookout points located along the way, offering a place to grab those Instagram-worthy snaps and document one of the most exhilarating moments of your trip.

Sightseeing 2: Kuniya Walk

Leave your campervan in the Kuniya car park, and you’ll be right at the start of the Kuniya Walk, which takes you along a relatively easy track to the Mutitjulu Waterhole. This is a really tranquil place to sit back, relax, and embrace nature. It’s also a great place to spot wallabies in the wild, and thanks to the lush vegetation surrounding the waterhole, you’re offered plenty of shade to enjoy a picnic!

Day 8: Uluru to Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon)

Travel time: 3 hours 30 minutes/325km
Uluru to Watarrka National Park

Sightseeing 1: Garden of Eden Lagoon

Set within Watarrka National Park, the Garden of Eden Lagoon is one of the most popular attractions on this stretch of the road trip. A permanent waterhole located near Kings Canyon, here you’ll find lush greenery that contrasts magnificently against the red-orange of the surrounding landscape. Getting here requires a 6km walk, but it’s totally worth it to see this amazing, naturally-formed pool in real life.

Sightseeing 2: Kathleen Springs

Those looking for a shorter walking trail to enjoy on Day 8 should definitely consider visiting Kathleen Springs, which takes you across 2.6km and takes around 30 minutes to complete. Along the way, you’re offered views of the rugged landscape, incredible gorges, and loads of wildlife to spot. The entire walking trail here is paved, so it’s a particularly good choice if you have a wheelchair or pram to navigate but still want to go exploring.

Day 9: Watarrka National Park to Kata Tjuta National Park

Travel time: 3 hours/300km
Watarrka National Park to Kata Tjuta National Park

Sightseeing 1: The Olgas

Another of the natural wonders you’ll find during this stretch of your Darwin to Adelaide road trip, The Olgas are huge domes of red rock that are particularly beautiful during sunrise and sunset when they take on an even deeper glow. There are several walking trails you can take to explore The Olgas, with something suited to every skill level.

Sightseeing 2: Walpa Gorge Walk

One of the best walking trails within Kata Tjuta National Park, the Walpa Gorge Walk gives you the opportunity to explore desert-dwelling plant life and wildlife. It’s also one of the best places to spot the Common Wallaroo (also known as Kanyala) while taking in some of the most incredible views the national park has to offer.

Day 10: Rest Day at Kata Tjuta National Park

Rest Day at Kata Tjuta National Park

Sightseeing 1: Lungkata Walk

You’ll have another long drive ahead of you on Day 11, so we recommend spending Day 10 away from the wheel and exploring the beautiful sights of Kata Tjuta National Park. One of the best ways to do this is by following the Lungkata Walk, where you’ll get the opportunity to spot wildlife, including the Panapala bird and its distinctive call.

Sightseeing 2: Field of Light

Installed in 2017, Field of Light is an art exhibition located in Kata Tjuta National Park that covers the desert floor in a dazzling light display once the sun sets. Over 50,000 light spindles make up this exhibition, and as the stems sway in the breeze, it seems as though the whole area is brought to life in tones of blue, violet, and warm white. This really is one of the most incredible things you can see before you head out on the road the next day.

Day 11: Kata Tjuta National Park to Coober Pedy

Travel time: 7 hours 30 minutes/740km
Kata Tjuta National Park to Coober Pedy

Sightseeing 1: Umoona Opal Mine

Once a working mine dating back to the 1920s, Umoona Opal Mine is now one of Coober Pedy’s most popular tourist destinations. Here, you’ll be able to take an underground tour of the mine, learn more about its history, and find out how opal is both formed and mined. This is a great way to end a long day on the road if you’re interested in history or if you have children who have been begging for something fun to do!

Sightseeing 2: Old Timers’ Mine & Museum

Another fantastic museum to visit as you enter Coober Pedy, the Old Timers’ Mine & Museum offers the opportunity to go underground in search of fossils, opal, and more. There are also lots of exhibits that showcase the history of the area and some of the most amazing things found in the mine, as well as an underground gift shop that is perfect for stocking up on souvenirs.

Day 12: Coober Pedy

Coober Pedy

Sightseeing 1: Kanku – Breakaways Conservation Park

There’s so much to see and do in Coober Pedy that we recommend taking another day off the road and exploring the area. Set across 15,000 hectares, Breakaways Conservation Park really allows you to do this and offers the opportunity to get up close and personal with loads of native flowers, as well as spot a variety of wildlife. This is definitely one to visit if you love nature and animals or simply want to take in some fresh air on your rest day.

Sightseeing 2: Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage

For those wanting to spend their day in Coober Pedy taking in something a little more creative, we highly recommend visiting Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage. Here, you’ll be able to see some incredible Aboriginal art, as well as take part in workshops. As you may have guessed by the name, there are also orphan kangaroos and other wildlife here as well, and you’ll get the opportunity to hold and bottle feed them – perfect for any nature lover.

Day 13: Coober Pedy to Port Augusta

Travel time: 5 hours 45 minutes/540km
Coober Pedy to Port Augusta

Sightseeing 1: Clare Valley

Clare Valley is an area with lots to offer. From educational tours where you can learn more about the region’s copper mining past to sampling some of the finest wines in Australia, it’s a wonderful place to pull up and rest as you reach Port Augusta. One of the most popular things to do here is visit the Burra Mine Site, which is also a Nationally Listed Heritage Area.

Sightseeing 2: Matthew Flinders Red Cliff Lookout

Overlooking the Spencer Gulf and the surrounding area, Matthew Flinders Red Cliff Lookout offers both panoramic views and a place to stop to see the sunset against the blue waters. This would be a great place to grab a picnic and bottle of champagne and enjoy a romantic night overlooking the town of Port Augusta and the distinctive red cliffs that form the coastline.

Day 14: Port Augusta to Adelaide

Travel time: 3 hours 15 minutes/309km
Port Augusta to Adelaide

Sightseeing 1: Barossa Valley

As you reach the final destination of your road trip, why not celebrate with a visit to the famous Barossa Valley wine region? Here, you can explore vineyards, take part in wine tastings, and even enjoy a food trail that mixes wine with the finest local produce. This is a great place for any foodie to discover as well as finish off your 14 day trip in a delicious way!

Sightseeing 2: Adelaide Hills

Just because you’ve reached the end of your journey doesn’t mean you’ve run out of things to do, and the Adelaide Hills are here to prove it. There are loads of things to do here, including beautifully scenic walks and boutique shopping. There are also loads of bars and restaurants to enjoy here, making it easy to find a fantastic place to rest and refuel as your road trip comes to an end.

Final Thoughts

Campervan in campsite in Northern Territory

From challenging walks with amazing views to museum tours and wine tastings, there is plenty to enjoy along the road from Darwin to Adelaide. It’s absolutely worth taking some extra time and breaking the road trip up with a few rest days as well, as this is the best way to make the most of your holiday and see everything Australia has to offer along the way.

Without a doubt, the best way to embark on the Darwin to Adelaide road trip is by campervan. Take to our team of experts at Travellers Autobarn about hiring a campervan for your Darwin road trip, get a free online quote, and you’ll be one step closer to hitting the road. Or, for more ideas for your Darwin road trip, take a look here.

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