Adelaide to Alice Springs via the Stuart Highway.
For open spaces and an adventure you’ll never forget, this epic journey from the Southern Ocean to Australia’s red heart and beyond is a must. Australia is big, really big, and the only national transcontinental drive touring routeruns north-south through the heart of Australia and the Flinders Ranges & Outback. Travel past rugged mountain ranges, opal mining towns, rocket ranges and giant Outback cattle stations, meeting plenty of locals along the way.
From Adelaide, take Highway 1 north or go via Crystal Brook. Finish in Marla or keep heading north to the Northern Territory border continuing on the Red Centre Way to Uluru.
Adelaide to Marree via Port Augusta, Parachilna and Arkaroola
Pass mountain ranges that glow purple, pink and orange in the setting sun, eat bush tucker at an authentic Australian pub and travel on a desert plain that stretches as far as the eye can see to the Outback town of Marree.
Start this journey by following the ‘Explorer’s Way’ itinerary from Adelaide to Port Augusta and head to the Northern Flinders Ranges via Stirling North.
Adelaide to Arkaroola via Melrose and Wilpena Pound
Begin in wine country and travel through pastoral lands and wooded hills, marvel at mountain ranges and finish up in the coloured rocky peaks of the Northern Flinders Ranges. Follow the suggested itinerary or, from Gladstone, join up with the ‘Follow the Murray’ itinerary, heading to Jamestown, Peterborough, Orroroo, Carrieton and on to Hawker.
Maree to Marla
The Oodnadatta Track takes you from Marree to Marla, along the red Gibber Plains, and through one of Australia’s smallest towns, William Creek.
The all-dirt track runs for 600 odd kilometres along the western shores of Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre between Marree, at the bottom of the Birdsville Track, and Marla on the Stuart Highway.
For further information about the Oodnadatta Track ask for the String of Springs brochure at an accredited Visitor Information Centre.
The road is best travelled by 4WD but is passable with a 2WD vehicle. Always drive according to the conditions. Check road closures by calling 1300 361 033.
Marree to Birdsville
The Birdsville Track is the stuff of legends. This old stock route from Marree to Birdsville in Queensland is one of Australia’s greatest Outback adventures.
It’s also the turn-off to one of the best desert crossings in the world, the Simpson Desert. A Desert Parks Pass is required and for safety reasons the Simpson Desert is closed throughout summer.
Start this journey by following the ‘Fast Track’ itinerary to Marree before making your way to Birdsville. The track is divided into the commonly used ‘Outside Track’ and the ‘Inside Track’ (4WD vehicles only). Check with locals to find out which one is better at the time.
Lyndhurst to Innamincka
Cattle thief Harry Redford originally blazed the Strzelecki Track, droving cattle from Outback Queensland to Adelaide. Although he was caught, a legend was born along with a new cattle route from the channel country to Farina.
The Strzelecki Track starts at Lyndhurst and travels to Innamincka where you can discover the incredible but tragic adventure of inland explorers Burke and Wills. Today, the Strzelecki is a well-trodden track servicing the Cooper Basin’s Moomba gas field.
Start your journey by following the ‘Fast Track’ itinerary and travel on through the sandy desert to the Cooper Creek and Coongie Lakes where you can stop for a swim before making your way to Outback Queensland, whether it’s Thargomindah in the east or Birdsville in the north-west.
East Coast to Flinders
Sydney to Peterborough via Broken Hill
Wide open spaces await on this journey from Australia’s largest city to one of the nation’s most ancient mountain ranges.
From Sydney, head to Broken Hill before reaching Cockburn just over the border in South Australia. Once at Peterborough, travel along the ‘Follow the Murray’ itinerary, or cross to Laura where you can pick up the ‘Scenic Route’.
Follow the Murray
Lyndhurst to Innamincka
Getting to the Flinders Ranges & Outback from Melbourne is an adventure. Follow the curves of the Murray River via Mildura as it meanders through Renmark and Morgan. Leave the historic waterway behind as you head to Burra, Spalding and further north.
This is a truly picturesque drive to the Flinders Ranges & Outback taking in friendly towns perched at the base of Horseshoe Range. At the end of the route in Hawker, follow the ‘Scenic Route’ itinerary to Arkaroola or the ‘Fast Track’ itinerary.
Nullarbor to the North
Cross a treeless plain, pass giant salt lakes on 4wd tracks or take the bitument through to South Australia’s rugged Outback.
The routes detailed in this guide will take you to Port Augusta or further north on the Stuart Highway. Pick up a copy of the Eyre Peninsula Visitor Guide before you head to Port Augusta on the Eyre Highway, passing through Ceduna, Wudinna, Kimba and Iron Knob.