Planning a Melbourne to Darwin road trip is the beginning of your exciting adventure. With over 3,100 kilometres separating them, it’s a trip of a lifetime. You’ll want at least a month if not longer to enjoy all the stops in between. When planning your trip, you’ll also be looking for the best campervan hire in Australia. There are lots of options. Be sure to choose one that has unlimited mileage and other perks.

The first thing is to decide how you’ll get from one end of the country to the other. The route most generally taken for this campervan trip is through the middle of the country. In this guide, you’ll find a list of the best stops you must see along your adventure.

Quick stats

7690km trip distance

30 day roadtrip

Campervan recommended

road trip map

Melbourne to Port Augusta

Stop 1 & 2
Ayers rock

Approx drive time: 11 hours 15 minutes

Distance: 1,020 km

The first stop on your campervan trip out of Melbourne is at the head of the Gulf. Port Augusta is well-known for its beautiful backdrop and has long been a port. Some sites worth seeing during your trip include:

Homestead Park Pioneer Museum: This attraction is a railway and farming museum and park. One of the most unique things to see is the 130-year-old Yudnapinna Homestead which was moved to the site and is the only log cabin in South Australia.

McLennan Lookout: This marks the spot where Matthew Flinders landed in 1802. Enjoy spectacular views of the Gulf here.

Water Tower Lookout: You’ll find this lookout across the bridge. From here, you can see the Gulf and the city centre.

Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden: Where the desert meets the port, you’ll find this lush site. It’s a great representation of the diversity of flora in the desert. You will also find that the spot has scenic vistas of Flinders Ranges.

Port Augusta to Coober Pedy

Stop 3 & 4
Beach blue waters

Approx drive time: 5 hours 30 minutes

Distance: 542 km

Off the Stuart Highway and well into the desert, you’ll find Coober Pedy, the opal capital of the world. This area faces extreme heat most of the time, so much of it is underground. Explore underground houses, churches, cafés, and hotels. Take time to check out the backdrop and its amazing colours.

Coober Pedy to Uluru

Stop 5
Uluru Ayers Rock

Approx drive time: 8 hours 15 minutes

Distance: 755 km

Keep heading north on your campervan trip until you reach Uluru (Ayers Rock). This massive sandstone monolith sits at the heart of the Northern Territory. It’s sacred to indigenous Australians and is thought to be over 550 million years old. You’ll find it and other red-rock domes within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. It’s both a dramatic and humbling experience to see it up close.

Uluru to Kings Canyon

Stop 6
Kings Canyon

Approx drive time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Distance: 321 km

Kings Canyon towers above, and the most breathtaking sunrise you may ever see is watching the sunrise from there. It’s part of the Watarrka National Park, which covers 71,000 hectares. Within this wonderland, there are 600 species of native plants. Sign up for one of the many walks in the park to learn and explore.

Kings Canyon to Alice Springs

Stop 7
Kings Canyon NT view

Approx drive time: 6 hours

Distance: 469 km

Alice Springs, a city surrounded by red dirt and mountain ranges, is a charming place with lots of art and events. It’s the central spot for the Red Centre. You can explore the outback here and see the MacDonnell Ranges of red sands. Be sure to take the time to walk through the Aboriginal art galleries. Beyond the galleries, adventure out to Emily Gap to see ancient rock art.

If you are an animal lover, stop in at the Kangaroo Sanctuary. Orphaned joeys grow up here under the guidance of Kangaroo Dundee.

Alice Springs to Lake Woods

Stop 8
Alice Springs to Lake Woods

Approx drive time: 8 hours 30 minutes

Distance: 681 km

Push northward to Lake Woods on the Stuart Highway. This freshwater lake is ephemeral and an important place for water bird breeding. It’s worth a stop on your way west to Halls Creek.

Lake Woods to Broome

Stop 9
Campervan shower

Approx drive time: 23 hours 30 minutes

Distance: 2,097 km

It’s time to get back to the coast on your Australia campervan road trip. Broome is found on the edge of the continent and has both Aboriginal and Asian influences. It’s a dichotomy with red earth meeting the Coral Sea. Here you can see dinosaur footprints on ancient rocks, learn about the pearls found here, and take a drive through the untamed wilderness of Kimberley. Run around the beaches and enjoy the typically warm days.

Broome to Kununurra

Stop 10
Broome race track

Approx drive time: 11 hours 15 minutes

Distance: 1,044 km

Coming out from the Kimberley, you’ll reach Kununurra, where you’ll find lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. Explore some beautiful, natural attractions including the World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park. Take a guided walking tour with an Aboriginal guide to learn more about the history and traditions of the area.

Kununurra to Kakadu National Park

Stop 11
Kakadu National Park

Approx drive time: 8 hours 15 minutes

Distance: 662 km

At your last stop before Darwin, spend a few days in Australia’s largest national park. You’ll experience a lush rainforest and be able to see rock art galleries from over 20,000 years ago. Learn more about Aboriginal culture and take in the astounding waterfalls. Get your view on with a hike to the rugged escarpments. Then take a cruise of the wetlands where large water lilies are abundant.

Rentals & Sales

Road trip Sydney to Melbourne

Ready to start planning your Melbourne to Darwin road trip? Then it’s time to find the perfect campervan hire in Australia. While you have lots of choices, Travellers Autobarn offers so many choices, extras and benefits. Your Melbourne campervan hire comes with unlimited kilometres, access to free campgrounds, 24/7 roadside assistance, and so much more. Check availability and options today from Melbourne. If you want to start your journey in Darwin, then check out our latest deals & specials on campervan hire in Darwin.

If you would like to read more of our exciting Melbourne Road Trips, come and explore!

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