Our Family Adventure Travel Holiday On The Stuart Highway Australia

Travel with us on our exciting family adventure travel holiday driving on the Stuart Highway Australia.

From Port Augusta though Central Australia to Darwin.

The Stuart Highway is also called The 'Explorers Way' it is a very interesting and well used adventure road trip from Adelaide in South Australia to Darwin in the Northern Territory.

Which travels through the 'Red Centre' or Central Australia so you can visit towns like Coober Pedy and Alice Springs.

The road trip is over 3000 kilometres plus extra drives to the Flinders Ranges and Uluru Ayers Rock etc.

If you really want to experience the beautiful views of the Outback or the Kimberley you will need several weeks or months extra. to visit unique destinations like Coober Pedy, Broome, the Bungle Bungles, El Questro Station in the Northern Territory.

Our Stuart Highway family adventure travel self drive tour started from Port Augusta as we had driven from Country Victoria the previous day. All excited we left Port Augusta early in the morning and arrived in Coober Pedy mid afternoon.

driving stuart highway

Driving on the Stuart Highway towards Alice Springs

"After visiting Coober Pedy we travelled towards Alice Springs going north up the Stuart Highway. Before going to Alice Springs we turned off the Stuart Highway at Erldunda and went west to the Ayers Rock Resort campground which is about a 250 kilometre drive.
The next day we visited the famous 'red rock' Uluru. Loved it!"

Coober Pedy to the Olgas

Coober Pedy is such a unique town, we stayed 2 nights and explored the many tourist attractions and visited the many opal shops which is what Coober Pedy is famous for and sold all over the world.

Ayers Rock - Uluru/Olgas area was our next destination which is about 250km west of Erldunda on the Stuart Highway. To get to Alice Springs from Ayers Rock - Uluru/Olgas area you can travel back to Erldunda on the Stuart Highway and drive north to Alice Springs or take the 4WD scenic route along the Mereenie Loop.

Looking forward to our next family adventure travel day we drove to the Ayers Rock Resort and booked in for 2 nights. We visited Uluru - Ayers Rock Australia the next day - what an amazing day! To actually see and touch that huge rock was so special. We did the climb then walked around the base.

Next morning we packed up and then we visited the Olgas - Kata Tjuta and walked around the 'Valley of the Winds'. The Olgas are quite different with clusters of massive domes.


Close Up of the Olgas domes

"The Olgas or Kata Tjuta are an interesting cluster of about thirty huge rock domes. In an interesting way it feels more special than Uluru and it is much quieter.

There are 2 walks the short one is for one hour or the longer one for three hours. Well worth the effort to go there, it is about fifty kilometres from the resort. The Olgas were one of our favourite family adventure travel holiday highlights."

Alice Springs to Daly Waters Hotel

Then we travelled towards Alice Springs on the 'Mereenie Loop' road and stayed 2 nights at Kings Canyon Resort campground and in Palm Valley. We explored Kings Canyon which is in the Watarrka National Park and Palm Valley in the Finke National Park, they are both extremely different but both very scenic.

We returned to the Stuart Highway then drove to Alice Springs and stayed several nights so we could restock, catch up on the laundry. We explored Alice Springs which is a great Outback town, we visited the main shopping centre, the Flying Doctors centre, Alice Springs Desert Park, Panarama Guth and the Telegraph Station.

On the road again driving north up Stuart highway we stopped at 'Devils Marbles' a very popular stop as the Outback roads can be very long, then we stayed at Tennant Creek overnight.

The next day we drove to and stayed at Daly Waters Hotel which is just a few kilometres off the Stuart Highway. Daly Waters is a typical Outback pub which had planned to stay at as part of our family adventure travel self drive holiday. Anyone can drop in for drink or stay the night for a great outback experience.

daly waters pub

The 'Pub' or Daly Waters Hotel

"To get to Daly Waters Pub it is about a 1000 kilometre drive north up the Stuart Highway from Alice Springs. It is well worth the drive to see 'the Pub', it is very well decorated inside from travellers leaving anything they can attach to the wall for a momento of their visit.

'Beef n Barra' is served nightly with entertainment, as well as an extensive menu, there is a pool, a camping area and other accommodation. We have camped there several times and enjoyed the unique experience."

The Top End

Next day we finally had reached the Top End and it was hot!. We stopped for 2 nights at Mataranka. We camped one minute walk away from the very popular Mataranka Thermal Springs and had some very refreshing swims any time of the day. A wonderful highlight of our family adventure travel holiday on the Stuart Highway.

The drive from Mataranka to Katherine was only 100 kilometres so we visited the Cutta Cutta Limestone caves which were fascinating. we kept going to Katherine and camped for 2 nights.

The next day we cruised the beautiful Katherine Gorge, we learnt about the history of the gorge from our cruise guide and saw plenty of wildlife including some freshwater crocs sunbaking!

Litchfield National Park is a must see, Wangi Falls, Florence Falls and Buley Rockholes are absolutely beautiful. You can swim under the falls and be refreshed in natural surroundings. This photo on the right shows the Buley Rockholes in Litchfield National Park.

Instead of staying in Darwin we stayed for five nights at Berry Springs which was about 30 minutes drive from Darwin. There was plenty to do in the Berry Springs area and Darwin.

We visited the Territory Wildlife Park, went to Darwin several times, went on a full day Croc cruise on the Adelaide River, swam at Berry Springs Nature Reserve and Howard Springs.

Darwin is the end of the Stuart Highway, but not the end of our adventure. There is plenty of things to do and see on a family adventure travel holiday in the Darwin area. To keep everyone busy for for a few weeks, a month or several months if you have the time including Kakadu National Park.

For information about Darwin's attractions, accommodation, shopping, fishing, tours activities, restaurants etc visit

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