A campervan rental selfdrive 14 day Adelaide to Darwin itinerary in a selfdrive Australia

  • Devils Marbles

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    Northern Territory selfdrive tourist guide
    Kakdau National Park, Litchfield National Park, Katherine Gorge, Tropical Darwin City

    14 Day Selfdrive Route Explorers Way Adelaide to Darwin

    • Access: 2 Wheel Drive on sealed and unsealed roads access
    • Start: From Adelaide
    • Finish: To Darwin in Northern Territory Australia
    • Highlights: Coober Pedy, Alice Springs, (Detour to Uluru - Ayers Rock) Devils Marbles, Tennant Creek, Katherine, Pine Creek, (Detour Litchfield National Park), Darwin.

    The Explorer's Way follows the route of John McDouall Stuart, a famous Australian explorer who was the first to traverse the continent in 1862. This drive connects Australia's south and north, from Adelaide in South Australia to Darwin in the Northern Territory, and takes in many of Australia's best-known icons, including the Flinders Ranges, Alice Springs, Uluru (Ayers Rock) (as a detour), Kakadu National Park (detour) and Darwin.

    South Australian vineyard

    Day 1 to Day 6: Adelaide to Coober Pedy

    Set off from Adelaide, through South Australia's winegrowing and picturesque farming country, to Coober Pedy, just south of the Northern Territory border.

    Air Vents in the side of the  Hill at Coober Pedy (Collection of Jim )

    Day 7: Coober Pedy to Alice Springs

    Coober Pedy to Alice Springs, 690 kms.

    Depart Coober Pedy and travel over the state / territory border to Alice Springs. At Cadney Park take the detour east to the stunning Painted Desert (allow at least three hours for this side trip). From Marla, the highway heads north through grasslands, granite country and over the Finke River and on to Alice Springs, the heart of the Red Centre of Australia.

    Uluru Sidetrip: Detour 3-5 days to Uluru
    You might also consider a detour of traveling to Uluru-Kata Tjuta (Ayers Rock) National Park and Kings Canyon via the Red Centre Way tourist drive, which branches off the Explorer's Way at Erldunda.
    Wycliffe Wells

    Day 8: Alice Springs to Wycliffe

    Well Alice Springs to Wycliffe Well, 375 kms.

    Heading north from Alice Springs, visit the Alice Springs School of the Air and hear a lesson being broadcast to students in a 1.3 million square-km classroom. Stop off at Ti Tree and sample fine table grapes and sparkling mango wine produced in the outback by visionary farmers. Enjoy the rich colours of the desert traveling north to Wycliffe Well - reputed to be Australia's UFO capital -accommodation ranges from pitching a tent to three-star rooms.

    Devils Marbles

    Day 9: Wycliffe Well to Tennant Creek

    Wycliffe Well to Tennant Creek, 130 kms.

    Marvel at the extraordinary Devils Marbles, finely balanced piles of huge boulders believed by Aboriginal people to be the eggs of the Rainbow Serpent (it's explained at the Nyinkka Nyunyu Culture Centre). Explore the friendly town of Tennant Creek in the afternoon. The site of Australia's last major gold rush in the 1930s, the town offers many opportunities to experience gold fever - with tours, heritage sites, fossicking and panning for gold. Cool off with a dip in nearby Mary Ann Dam.

    Daly Waters Pub

    Day 10: Tennant Creek to Daly Waters

    Tennant Creek to Daly Waters, 400 kms.

    Explore the scenic Elliott and Newcastle Waters Discovery Trail, a network of roads (some are four-wheel-drive only) branching off the main highway to huge cattle stations, character-filled outback pubs and landmarks of World War II. Spend the night at a wayside inn, at the junction of the Stuart and Carpentaria highways, the gateway to the fishing paradise of the Gulf region, or continue on to Daly Waters, a tiny hamlet built around the Territory's oldest pub.

    Bitter Springs Mataranka

    Day 11: Daly Waters to Mataranka

    Daly Waters to Mataranka, 165 kms.

    Call in at the historic Larrimah Wayside Inn for a cool drink - and make time for a visit to the Larrimah Museum for a fascinating look at the area's World War II heritage.

    Continue to Mataranka for a pleasant dip in the warm thermal springs.

    Stay at a motel or campsite at Mataranka, or camp overnight in Elsey National Park.

    Litchfield National Park

    Day 12: Mataranka to Katherine

    Mataranka to Katherine, 105 kms.

    Explore the Katherine region, especially spectacular Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge). Boat cruises and canoeing are great ways to experience the grandeur of this special place, or go bushwalking in the area. A short drive from Katherine is Springvale Homestead, built from sandstone by explorer and pastoralist Alfred Giles in 1878. Enjoy a Devonshire tea while learning more about the area's history.

    Litchfield National Park

    Day 13: Katherine to Lake Bennett

    Katherine to Lake Bennett, 260 kms. You might also chose to head to Kakadu National Park on the Nature's Way Tourist Drive, which branches off the Explorer's Way at Pine Creek. Meet some local characters at wayside inns on the way to the historic World War II township of Adelaide River.

    Cullen Bay in Darwin

    Day 14: Litchfield to Darwin

    Litchfield to Darwin, 130 kms. Visit nearby Litchfield National Park and see stunning waterfalls and amazing termite mounds - and swim safely in crystal-clear swimming holes. (Though heed all warnings).

    Enjoy the first glimpse of the Timor Sea by following the Explorer's Way right into the heart of Darwin.

    Notes:
    • Fatigue causes many crashes in Australia.
    • When driving long distances, stop and rest every 1-2 hours.
    • Try to have someone sit beside you to keep you company driving as our NT roads can be long and straight.
    • Alcohol and driving don’t mix.
    • For experienced drivers the blood alcohol level is 0.05.
    • Provisional drivers and young drivers may not have any alcohol before driving.
    • Seat belts and child restraints must be worn by all vehicle occupants.
    • Always carry a copy of your driver’s license in English.

    • Take plenty of water on all Outback trips;
    • check distances and driving conditions;
    • and ensure you have adequate petrol at all times.
    • Remember, rule ‘Number 1’ in the Outback: if your car breaks down you MUST stay with your vehicle for safety reasons.
    • Don’t drive after dark.
    • Parks & Wildlife Commission Northern Territory provides information on camping, National Parks, and permits.
    • Ensure you are informed re the safety of swimming in the ‘Top End’ – many areas are not safe to swim due to crocodiles.
    • Call 08 8999 4401

     

    Notes:
    • Fatigue causes many crashes in Australia.
    • When driving long distances, stop and rest every 1-2 hours.
    • Try to have someone sit beside you to keep you company driving as our NT roads can be long and straight.
    • Alcohol and driving don’t mix.
    • For experienced drivers the blood alcohol level is 0.05.
    • Provisional drivers and young drivers may not have any alcohol before driving.
    • Seat belts and child restraints must be worn by all vehicle occupants.
    • Always carry a copy of your driver’s license in English.

    • Take plenty of water on all Outback trips;
    • check distances and driving conditions;
    • and ensure you have adequate petrol at all times.
    • Remember, rule ‘Number 1’ in the Outback: if your car breaks down you MUST stay with your vehicle for safety reasons.
    • Don’t drive after dark.
    • Parks & Wildlife Commission Northern Territory provides information on camping, National Parks, and permits.
    • Ensure you are informed re the safety of swimming in the ‘Top End’ – many areas are not safe to swim due to crocodiles.
    • Call +61 (0) 8 8999 4401 for information.

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    The naming of Binns Track with Mr. Binns the man it's named after.

    Naming of Binns Tracks - Courtesy of NTTC Tourism

    The naming of Binns Track with Mr. Binns the man it's named after.

    • Tropical Darwin in Australia - Over 500 photo's and 150 pages of great free useful travel guide tourist information
    • Kakadu National Park in Australia - Over 350 photo's and 125 pages of great free useful travel guide tourist information
    • Litchfield National Park in Australia - Over 300 photo's and 100 pages of great free useful travel guide tourist information

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