The Stuart Highway, located between Adelaide and Uluru is one of the most travelled highways in the country, but also one of the most isolated. It’s on this very road that travellers truly begin to understand how untouched and big Australia is. There are a number of tiny towns, stunning sights and perfect photo opportunities along the way, so here are our top eight!
Image thanks to Trails SA
Alligator Gorge can be found just 297 km outside of Adelaide and is an incredible bush walk where you’ll see amazing red rock formations, tiny creeks, wonderful waterfalls and an abundance of Australian bush. Alligator Gorge is definitely not one to miss on your journey to the Red Centre. You probably won’t find any alligators here, but you’ll definitely find some stunning scenery.
Port Augusta, located 300 kms outside of South Australia’s capital, Adelaide, is the first recommended stop on your journey to the Red Centre. Whilst in Port Augusta we recommend stopping by the Matthew Flinders Lookout and Red Cliff Walk, located on the Flinders Ranges. This stunning view showcases the amazing fertile red soil meeting the cyan waters of the Spencer Gulf. This is truly an experience not to be missed, with the most popular time to visit being sunset where the place comes alive with a rich orange glow.
Image thanks to Australian Geographic
Woomera and Pimba are another 180 km north of Adelaide. These two small towns have abandoned areas that were actually used for rocket testing (both nuclear, and non-nuclear) during the 1940s. Here you will see that they launched real life rockets into the middle of nowhere, although you probably won’t be able to find the rockets because the place they were tested is both for authorised personnel only and also radioactive. Pimba is right off the Stuart Highway, and gives drivers a chance to refuel, and Woomera is only 6 kms east.
Image thanks to Alex Wise
Another major attraction to Pimba is the number of amazing salt lakes, where you can get up close and personal and walk on the lakes. These salt lakes are beautiful and look as though they last for miles. You will also find many emus within this area, so don’t forget to snap a picture of Australia’s famous bird.
Image thanks to Smithsonian Mag
Coober Pedy is probably one of the most interesting towns you will pass on your journey! Another 366 km will bring you into the town famous for their opal mining. Spend some time at the Old Timer’s Mine to understand the process of opal mining, and how it has made this tiny town famous. If spending the night here, we recommend staying in an underground hotel. Due to Coober Pedy insane heat temperatures, it is common to see the locals living underground to escape the heat!
Image thanks to Mitchell’s Front Page
On your way between these two states it’s worth your while taking a stop at the border line. Once you reach the sign that separates South Australia and the Northern Territory, take a break from travelling and place one leg on each side of the border to allow yourself to be in two places at once! (It’s also a pretty good opportunity to add to your insta story)
Image thanks to Heritage Caravan Park
Now although a slight detour from Uluru, Alice Springs and surrounds is well worth the visit. Whilst here, take a visit to the Alice Springs Desert Park, a mix between a botanical garden and a wildlife park. During your visit you will get up close and personal with native flora and fauna of the Australian outback. If you’re lucky and travelling during July you might be able to catch the Camel Cup where skilled jockeys race camels around a circuit of desert sands.
Image thanks to Northern Territory Government
Now you’re almost there. Head west from Alice Springs and you’ll come to Watarrka National Park, where you can stop to admire the amazing sandstone walls of Kings Canyon. There are also beautiful gorges and arid canyons to see whilst you are here. We recommend embarking on the Canyon Rim Walk for the best views!
After visiting the incredible Kings Canyon, you’re on the home stretch. It's time for you to head onto the main attraction, Uluru. It’s just a 3 hour drive between Watarrka National Park and Uluru and soon enough you’ll be sipping champagne, with the sun setting as you admire the beauty of this mighty rock in no time! This is a road trip of a lifetime that you truly won’t forget, so what are you waiting for?