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Explorers Way Drive Adelaide to Darwin

Visit the Territory's star attractions, including Uluru and Kata Tjuta, Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk National Park), and the misty waterfalls of Litchfield.

Follow the trail blazed in the 1860s for the Overland Telegraph and drive past striking natural attractions, historic outback pubs and towns brimming with culture and activity. Named after John McDouall Stuart, the first explorer to successfully cross Australia from south to north and return, the Explorer’s Way extends from Adelaide to Darwin. On your travels you’ll hit the Territory’s star attractions, including World Heritage-listed Uluru and Kata Tjuta, spectacular Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk National Park), and the waterfalls and waterholes of Litchfield National Park.

Backpacking in the NT

Backpack the Outback

A well-known rock

Make your way north from Adelaide through the subterranean mining town of Coober Pedy to the world’s most famous monolith, Uluru. Catch a sunset over the mighty red rock and take a walk through Kata Tjuta. Hit the highway the next day for sandstone wonder Kings Canyon and enjoy spectacular views across the desert.

Territory towns

Stay a while in Alice Springs, the NT’s second largest city and the Aboriginal art capital of Australia, before losing yourself in the chasms and gorges of the West MacDonnell Ranges.

Stop in at Tennant Creek to brush up on gold rush history, see the Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles, and learn about local Aboriginal cultures. Visit the town of Katherine and use it as a base to explore the nearby gorge country of Nitmiluk National Park. Join a cruise downstream, take a helicopter flight or hit the water in a canoe.

End of the line

Camp out under starry skies and sink into the popular waterholes of Litchfield National Park before pushing north one last time to the multicultural metropolis of Darwin for a swim in the wave pool and a trip to the markets.

Suggested itinerary

Day Destination Distance
Days 1-4 Adelaide to Coober Pedy 846km
Day 5 Coober Pedy to Uluru 734km
Day 6 Uluru to Kings Canyon 300km
Day 7 Kings Canyon to Alice Springs 474km
Day 8 West MacDonnell Ranges 130km
Day 9 Alice Springs to Tennant Creek 510km
Day 10 Tennant Creek to Daly Waters 400km
Day 11 Daly Waters to Mataranka 167km
Day 12 Mataranka to Katherine 106km
Day 13 Katherine to Litchfield National Park 265km
Day 14 Litchfield to Darwin 130km

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    Free entry


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