skip to main content

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 Explorers 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.

Download the Explorers Way itinerary

Suggested itinerary




Days 1-4

Adelaide to Coober Pedy


Day 5

Coober Pedy to Uluru


Day 6

Uluru to Kings Canyon


Day 7

Kings Canyon to Alice Springs


Day 8

West MacDonnell Ranges


Day 9

Alice Springs to Tennant Creek


Day 10

Tennant Creek to Daly Waters


Day 11

Daly Waters to Mataranka


Day 12

Mataranka to Katherine


Day 13

Katherine to Litchfield National Park


Day 14

Litchfield to Darwin


Explore by map

What's nearby

What's nearby

Explore the NT
Driving routes Flight paths

Explorers Way highlights

Search & book

Find accommodation, tours, activities and events in the NT

Drive routes in the NT

Drive deals & offers


Sign up to receive the latest news, deals and travel information about the Northern Territory. Data privacy statement