An outback adventure awaits those ready to brave northern Australia weather conditions, with opportunities for camping, hiking, and swimming in some of Australia’s most treasured national parks and attractions. With so much to explore along the way, you are sure to enjoy getting off the beaten path and making countless unforgettable memories. From the vast flatlands of the Outback to lush tropical rainforests, there is something for every kind of traveller along the path north.

Brisbane to Darwin Distance

Spanning a wide and varied landscape, a 3,478 km road trip from the bustling city of Brisbane to the tropical northern tip of Darwin is an ideal way to discover the beautiful Australian environment. From Brisbane, you’ll follow roads that meander up through Toowoomba on your way to Longreach before passing through Tennant Creek and onto your second final destination, Katherine in the Northern Territory. Here it won’t take much convincing from family members or adventurers alike before you make the final push towards Darwin, a 37-hour drive from one incredible ocean view to another distant thundering horizon in the north.

Quick stats

3478km trip distance

14 day roadtrip

Campervan recommended

road trip map

Day 1-2: Brisbane to Toowoomba

Travel Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Brisbane skyline, Australia

Travellers embarking on a 14-day Brisbane to Darwin road trip will find beauty and culture along the way. Starting in Brisbane, drive inland to Toowoomba, the largest inland city in Queensland. With its country charm, growing urban coffee culture and impressive street art scene, Toowoomba is an ideal spot for travellers to get their trip off to a great start. The city is also known for its colourful parks and gardens and hosts the internationally renowned Carnival of Flowers spring event each year. A stay of one or two days exploring all that Toowoomba has to offer is sure to be a memorable start to any road trip adventure.

Sightseeing #1: Queens Park

Located close to Toowoomba’s Central Business District, Queens Park is the ideal spot for picturesque sightseeing. Adored by locals, the park is a classic meeting place or a relaxed respite from exploring the city. The north-eastern section hosts a formal botanic garden and well-groomed floral displays which peak in bloom during spring and summer, especially in September. The south-eastern and north-western portions boast large patches of grass perfect for leisurely sports activities with added accessibility amenities such as a special swing for disabled children.

Sightseeing #2: Cobb+Co Museum

The Cobb+Co Museum in Toowoomba is one of the city’s most incredible sights to behold. As part of the Queensland Museum Network, it is home to the National Carriage Collection – comprised of 47 horsedrawn vehicles – and offers a variety of interactive displays, exhibits, heritage trade workshops and other activities that allow visitors to immerse themselves in Australia’s transport era. In addition, guests can explore how their body uses and stores energy at their Energy for Life Discovery Centre, and young ones will enjoy stepping back in time to play at The Coach Stop. With so much to see and do, Cobb+Co Museum stands as an essential part of any tourist’s itinerary when visiting beautiful Toowoomba!

Day 3-4: Toowoomba to Morven

Travel Time: 5 hours 45 minutes
Campervan in Forest in Australia

On days 3 and 4 of your Brisbane to Darwin road trip, make a stop at Morven for an unforgettable experience. Don’t be put off by its small population of only 250 people, this lesser-known Queensland town is home to an array of interesting attractions, including the widely acclaimed Morven Historical Museum, the picturesque Tregole National Park and Sadlier’s Waterhole. Be sure to visit the local Morven Friendly Grocer for all of your supplies, as well as Chesterton Range National Park for some time in nature. And don’t miss out on some of the best picnic spots in Australia!

Sightseeing #1: Morven Historical Museum

The Morven Historical Museum is a great place to visit for travellers looking for an insight into the area’s rich past. Comprised of five separate buildings, it provides a comprehensive overview of Morven’s social history. Visitors to the museum will be able to discover a range of artefacts, photos and memorabilia that have been painstakingly collected by museum curators over many years. The combination of these items captures what life was like when Morven first settled and is an important reminder of the town’s cultural roots.

Sightseeing #2: Tregole National Park

Tregole National Park is a unique sightseeing destination for those visiting Morven. Here, an almost pure stand of ooline Cadellia pentastylis can be found – an ancient dry rainforest tree dating back to the Ice Ages. Ooline has been so extensively cleared that its population is now considered vulnerable to extinction, however the ooline forest in Tregole National Park survives the less than ideal semi-arid conditions of the region. There are few chances left to witness such a rare sight and close-up view of this vast forest, so why not make sure to include it on your itinerary when visiting Morven?

Day 5-6: Morven to Longreach

Travel Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Campervan under starry sky in Outback Australia

A visit to Longreach, the heart of outback Queensland, will provide an opportunity for history lovers to become immersed in the stories of generations of brave Australians. From learning about the culture, traditions and incredible journey of local Aboriginal people to discovering tales from the early struggles of pioneering families who settled along the area, there is much to discover. Visit Qantas Founders Museum, celebrating the airline’s place as a pioneer of commercial flight and explore a range of exhibits such as original planes and interactive displays; be sure to leave time for a picture with replica-sized figures who tell the story of Australia’s aviators. Spend your evenings under starry skies, listening to entertaining talks from locals and watching a spectacular night show which celebrates outback life at the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre.

Sightseeing #1: Qantas Founders Museum

Situated in the outback town of Longreach, the Qantas Founders Museum is a fascinating and educational experience. This museum houses something for all types of travellers, from artifacts that date back to the founding of Qantas, interactive exhibits, replicas of aircraft and more. Guided tours are available to provide knowledge about aviation history as well as interesting stories about Qantas’ beginning. Conveniently located with accommodation and other attractions nearby, this museum provides an opportunity to become immersed in aviation history while also allowing guests to explore this unique small Outback town.

Sightseeing #2: Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame

The Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame in Longreach is a truly unique and enriching travel experience. Here, visitors gain a newfound appreciation of outback life at the turn of the twentieth century, with extensive exhibits detailing each aspect, from shearing to cooking. There is also an immersive display covering how the families overcame their daily struggles, adapted to their surroundings, used locally-sourced materials for transportation and communication, and ultimately created successful family lives – which makes it an exhilarating source of knowledge for history buffs.

Day 7-8: Longreach to Mount Isa

Travel Time: 7 hours
Campervan near mine in Australian Outback

On the 7th and 8th of your road trip, you’ll explore Mount Isa’s incredible mining culture. Mining is central to this town, most famous for Mount Isa Mines, one of the most productive single mines on the continent. Celebrate the history with a Hard Times Mining Tour, where you’ll dress up in orange overalls, gumboots, and hard hats and learn about day-to-day operations in the working mine. This is an experience you won’t soon forget.

Sightseeing #1: Hard Times Mine

An experience unlike any other is a tour of the Hard Times Mine in Mount Isa. You’ll get to delve deep into the history of mining within this remote town and witness first-hand the amazing advancements the industry has made since. On this special tour, you can view some of the old equipment that has been replaced with modern mining techniques, as well as learning about the past and future of mining within the region. It’s a truly unique opportunity to peek into what life was like as an outback miner before all this handy technology came along!

Sightseeing #2: Mount Isa Underground Hospital & Museum

A unique attraction in Mount Isa, the Underground Hospital and Museum is a must-see for those seeking to explore the history of World War II Australia. Built during 1942 following the bombing of Darwin, the hospital was used throughout the war and today serves as a reminder of the resilient spirit that defined this era. Run by a dedicated team of volunteers, the site sees thousands of visitors each year who come to learn about its important role in Australian history. The passion and commitment from these volunteers is inspirational in their efforts to preserve and share its story with generations to come.

Day 9-10: Mount Isa to Tennant Creek

Travel Time: 6 hours 45 minutes
Campervan on road heading towards Stuart Highway, Northern Territory, Australia

Tennant Creek is located after Mount Isa, near the halfway point of a 14-day Brisbane to Darwin road trip. It’s an important stop along the Stuart Highway, and the first major town northbound travellers encounter on the Barkly Highway. Although much smaller in comparison to its counterparts, Tennant Creek houses a population of approximately three thousand inhabitants. As such, it provides both necessary amenities and attractions for stopping by, such as the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre, making it an ideal point of rest on a long journey through Australia’s Northern Territory.

Sightseeing #1: Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre

Located in Tennant Creek, the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art & Culture Centre allows visitors to experience and learn about Warumungu culture in a unique setting. At the centre, visitors have the opportunity to explore displays of traditional and contemporary art works, material culture collections and live cultural performances. Additionally, onsite guides are available for those wanting to learn more about Aboriginal life, history and land in its authentic setting. Making a visit to the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art & Culture Centre is a must for anyone interested in acquiring greater knowledge of this region’s beautiful indigenous cultures.

Sightseeing #2: Battery Hill Gold Mining Heritage Centre

Situated high above the town with breathtaking views of the countryside, it is the site of the No 3 Government Gold Stamp Battery, the place that marked the beginning of the 1930’s gold rush in the outback region. Here museum-goers get an insight into the history and culture of this part of Australia. An interactive display featuring a life-size replica of a mining camp provides an even more immersive experience as you explore this unique part of Australia’s history and heritage.

Day 11-12: Tennant Creek to Katherine

Travel Time: 7 hours
Katherine Gorge National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

A visit to Katherine is a must during any road trip through the Northern Territory. Home to Nitmiluk National Park, Edith Falls and Katherine Hot Springs, this small town is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Not only does it offer a bounty of breathtaking natural landscapes and thrilling outdoor recreational activities, but Katherine also provides modern facilities for you to enjoy. Tourists can explore Cutta Cutta Caves Nature Park, take advantage of shopping opportunities or dine in one of the area’s many cafes. As one of the most prominent crossroads in the region, a stop in Katherine is essential for fully experiencing all that the Northern Territory has to offer.

Sightseeing #1: Katherine Hot Springs

Visiting the Katherine Hot Springs is a great way to enjoy the splendor of Australian nature, as the waters offer stunning views and relaxing thermal qualities. Visitors can picnic on the river banks and take advantage of many of the naturally occurring conditions. The soothing temperatures, which usually range from 25-30 degrees Celsius, make it ideal for winter travelers who want to experience warm water without needing to travel overseas. Whether visiting solo or with a group, anyone can take in the serenity and beauty of the Katherine Hot Springs – a memorable experience that won’t soon be forgotten.

Sightseeing #2: Nitmiluk National Park

The beauty of its sandstone cliffs, thirteen gorges and dramatic waterfalls spanning over 290 kilometres will fascinate any visitor. It is an important cultural landscape for the Jawoyn Aboriginal people, who have lived here for thousands of years and are custodians of the area to this day – the region’s very name (“place of the cicada dreaming”) inspired by their culture. Visitors can learn more about their culture on guided tours or boat cruises, while also appreciating some of the area’s abundant wildlife, including red kangaroos, freshwater crocodiles and snakes. Alternatively, take a rest from sightseeing to enjoy some outdoor recreational activities such as kayaking or cycling – no matter what you choose, Nitmiluk National Park makes for an extraordinary travel experience.

Day 13-14: Katherine to Darwin

Travel Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Rock Pool in Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

For the final leg of your 14-day road trip from Brisbane to Darwin, you’ll find an abundance of activities in and around Darwin. The city offers a fascinating array of Australian wildlife encounters – including being able to spot wild crocodiles at Fogg Dam conservation park or hand-feed wallabies at Berry Springs Nature Park. Bushwalking at Kakadu National Park is also a great way to discover all the local species of flora and fauna while dipping into the stunning outdoor swimming holes. Spend the last two days of your road trip soaking up the alluring environment and the surrounding exotic wildlife that Darwin has to offer before heading home.

Sightseeing #1: Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

Visitors to Darwin can enjoy a unique experience-browsing the different artifacts and exhibits that MAGNT holds. From historical documents, paintings and prints to instruments, clothing and photographs, visitors can appreciate the diverse cultural experiences embodied in MAGNT’s collections. Even more special are its Aboriginal collections that reflect the long and colourful history of indigenous peoples in the region. With its natural bounty, warm climate and now this illuminating cultural centre, Darwin is truly a must-visit destination for any traveller.

Sightseeing #2: Mindil Beach Sunset Market

If you’re looking for an authentic insight into Darwin’s unique multiculturalism, Mindil Beach Sunset Market is a must visit. Offering more than 200 different stalls of delicacies and entertainment, this is your one-stop destination for the best of local and international cuisine, handcrafted artworks and so much more. With incredible prices that make exploring this cultural hotspot accessible to all, the Mindil Beach Sunset Market can be enjoyed by pocket-watchers and thrill seekers alike.

Happy Exploring!

Campervan on road in Northern Territory, Australia

For more information on hiring a campervan in Brisbane or Darwin, speak to the Travellers Autobarn Team or get a free online quote today!

If you want to read more of our Brisbane adventures, come and explore the dedicated Brisbane Road Trips. Happy Exploring!

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