|Alice Springs - Darwin|
Traversing the Red Centre from Alice Springs to Darwin, the extensive Stuart Highway provides one of the world’s great drives. You’ll cross an ancient rugged landscape and see some truly remarkable sights!
The lively Red Centre township of Alice Springs is home to around 25,000 people. ‘The Alice’ and its surrounds offer a host of things to see - the Royal Flying Doctor Service Base, Museum of Central Australia, Aboriginal Art & Culture Centre, the old Alice Springs Telegraph Station and a variety of museums. Other attractions include Lasseters Casino and some great restaurants, a winery, hot air ballooning, scenic flights and the Frontier Camel Farm. Don’t miss the Alice Springs Desert Park and a tour into West MacDonnell National Park, where wildlife, deep-red rock formations, gorges and waterholes are the drawcards.
The trip to the world-famous Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) is an absolute must! From here you can also travel to magnificent Kings Canyon and back to Alice Springs, via the partly unsealed Meerenie Loop. On the Stuart Highway stop off to see the Henbury Meteorite Craters, formed by a meteorite plunging to earth.
North of Alice Springs, call in at historic Barrow Creek then stop off to view the strange ‘Devils Marbles’ before reaching the old goldrush town of Tennant Creek, where you can visit the 1874 Overland Telegraph Station and the Mining Hall of Fame museum.
Mataranka is the location of Elsey National Park, where the Roper River, a thermal pool and lush rainforest provide welcome resting spots, then your next destination is the major town of Katherine - famous for its Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park. Attractions here include the Katherine Museum and School of the Air, but most visitors come to see the dramatic gorges of the national park.
Beyond Katherine, you’ll pass through the 1870s gold mining town of Pine Creek before arriving in Darwin, the vibrant Northern Territory capital.
DRIVING IN THE OUTBACK
Special precautions and provisions must be taken while driving in this very rugged and remote region - contact your local motoring organisation for advice. Although the Stuart Highway is entirely sealed (as is the Lasseter Highway from Erldunda to Ayers Rock Resort) a four-wheel drive vehicle is essential for any off-highway excursions.
Where to Stay
Time required: 7 - 10 days at least