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HomeRoad TripsOceaniaAustraliaNorthern TerritoryStuart Highway
Outback

Stuart Highway Road Trip

Alice Springs - Tennant Creek - Elliott - Mataranka - Pine Creek - Jabiru - Darwin

Expect on your itinerary

Security Security
Landscape Landscape
Comfort Comfort
Road conditions Road conditions
Benefit-stress ratio Benefit-stress ratio
Wildlife Wildlife
Urban life Urban life
Culture Culture
Stuart Highway Road Trip ACTIVATE MAP Stages6 km1,758 h/stage3.1

Best months to drive

I II III IV V VI
VII VIII IX X XI XII

Road Trip Costs

How much does it cost to go on a Stuart Highway Road Trip in Northern Territory?

Economy
Low budget options by car rental, accommodation and catering. In- and Out-bound travel expenses are not included.
rent & more 432EUR drive & more 238EUR sleep & more 583EUR eat & more 768EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) 1,589EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) incl. rented car 2,021EUR
Standard
Mid budget options by car rental, accommodation and catering. In- and Out-bound travel expenses are not included.
rent & more 576EUR drive & more 313EUR sleep & more 1,056EUR eat & more 1,152EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) 2,521EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) incl. rented car 3,097EUR
Premium
High budget options by car rental, accommodation and catering. In- and Out-bound travel expenses are not included.
rent & more 1,008EUR drive & more 425EUR sleep & more 1,848EUR eat & more 1,536EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) 3,809EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) incl. rented car 4,817EUR
Camper
On the road in RV, overnight at camp grounds with self-catering. In- and Out-bound travel expenses are not included.
rent & more 1,800EUR drive & more 475EUR sleep & more 440EUR eat & more 768EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) 1,683EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) incl. rented car 3,483EUR
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Stuart Highway Road Trip Itinerary

The Stuart Highway Road Trip is an exciting journey through the beautiful and diverse landscapes of Australia. Starting in Alice Springs and ending in Darwin, the 1092 mile journey takes around 8 days to complete, with the best time of year to drive being from May to September. Along the way, visitors will be able to experience the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park and Katherine Gorge, as well as the charming outback towns of Tennant Creek, Mataranka, Pine Creek and Jabiru. The road conditions are generally good, making it suitable for drivers of all levels of experience, and the trip can be managed on a moderate budget. This is a must-see journey for anyone looking to explore Australia's unique outback.
number of days 8 number of days
route length 1,758 km route length
budget fair budget
good for explorer good for
traffic direction on the left traffic direction
accident level moderate accident level

START Alice Springs

Distance 1,758 km Driving time 18.7 h Pace: fast 527.3 kWh Airports ASP
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Alice Springs is the ideal starting point for the Stuart Highway Road Trip. Located in Australia's Northern Territory, Alice Springs is a hub of adventure and exploration. With its wide open spaces, stunning desert scenery and rich Aboriginal culture, Alice Springs is an ideal destination for those looking to experience Australia's Outback. At Alice Springs, visitors can explore the MacDonnell Ranges, which offer an array of activities such as bushwalking, camping, and horse riding. For a unique experience, visitors can go on a camel ride in the desert, or view the stunning sunrise and sunset from Anzac Hill. Those looking for a cultural experience can visit the Aboriginal Art Galleries and learn about the history and culture of the local Arrernte people. The closest international airport to Alice Springs is Alice Springs Airport (ASP). There are car rental companies available at the airport, making it easy for visitors to start their road trip. For those looking to explore the area, there are a number of attractions to visit in Alice Springs. The Royal Flying Doctor Service and School of the Air, offer a fascinating insight into life in the Outback. The Alice Springs Reptile Centre offers visitors the chance to learn about Australia's unique wildlife. The Alice Springs Desert Park is the ideal spot to explore the local flora and fauna, and the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve provides visitors with a glimpse into the history of the region. Alice Springs is the perfect starting point for the Stuart Highway Road Trip, offering visitors a unique and unforgettable experience. With its stunning landscape, vibrant culture and vast array of attractions, Alice Springs is sure to leave a lasting impression.

1 Alice Springs - Tennant Creek

Distance 523 km Driving time 4.7 h Pace: fast 156.8 kWh View map Itinerary
junction of road trips interesting  historic site accommodation options
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Embark on a road trip from Alice Springs to Tennant Creek and you will be rewarded with some of the most stunning landscapes in Australia! This 325 mi journey will take you fewer than 5 hours, passing through some of the most interesting places in the Northern Territory. Starting from Alice Springs, you can visit the Alice Springs Desert Park, a great way to learn about the flora and fauna of the region. You can also visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the first of its kind in the world, and the historic Telegraph Station. As you drive to Tennant Creek, you will pass through some of the most iconic outback towns, such as Elliott and Renner Springs. You can also visit the Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve, a series of large granite boulders that are sacred to the Aboriginal people. Finally, you will reach Tennant Creek, a town with a rich gold mining history. You can explore its many historical sites, such as the Battery Hill Mining Centre, and the Nyinkka Nyunyu Culture Centre. This is just a small glimpse of the many attractions you can find on this road trip. For more information on attractions, accommodation options, recommended restaurants, and campsites along the route, please consult the "Itinerary" of this stage. So, get ready for an unforgettable journey from Alice Springs to Tennant Creek!

2 Tennant Creek - Elliott

Distance 255 km Driving time 2.7 h Pace: fast 76.6 kWh View map Itinerary
accommodation options
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Start your journey in Tennant Creek, Australia, and embark on a 159mi road trip that will take you through Lake Woods and end in Elliott. Along this route, you will find plenty of interesting places to explore. In Tennant Creek, you can visit the Telegraph Station Historical Reserve, a fascinating museum that tells the story of the first settlers in the region. You can also take a stroll around the town’s charming streets and admire the beautiful art galleries and craft shops. As you drive through Lake Woods, you can visit the spectacular Lake Woods Nature Reserve, a great spot for bird watching and picnics. Finally, you will arrive in Elliott, where you can explore the local Aboriginal culture at the Elliott Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Here, you can learn about the region’s history and culture, and even take part in traditional Aboriginal activities. This road trip should take you fewer than 3 hours to complete, so don’t forget to take your time and enjoy the journey. For more information on attractions, accommodation options, recommended restaurants, and campsites along the route, please consult the “Itinerary” of this stage.

3 Elliott - Mataranka

Distance 315 km Driving time 3.1 h Pace: fast 94.4 kWh View map Itinerary
junction of road trips
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Welcome road-trippers! This stage of your journey will take you from Elliott to Mataranka, a distance of 195 miles (313 km) that can be covered in less than 3 hours. Starting in Elliott, you’ll drive through the stunning landscapes of the Northern Territory, and have the chance to visit some of the most interesting places in the area. On the way, make sure to stop by the historic town of Pine Creek, where you can explore the historic mining town and take a walk along the Pine Creek Railway. Continue your journey to Mataranka and take a dip in the thermal pools at Elsey National Park. Here, you can also explore the tropical rainforest, take a boat ride on the Roper River, or visit the Mataranka Homestead. For more information regarding attractions, accommodation options, recommended restaurants, and campsites along the route, please refer to the "Itinerary" of this stage. Have a safe and enjoyable ride!

4 Mataranka - Pine Creek

Distance 199 km Driving time 1.9 h Pace: fast 59.6 kWh View map Itinerary
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Start your road trip in Mataranka, Australia, and explore the beauty of Elsey and Pine Creek. This 123mi journey will take you less than 2 hours to complete. Your first stop is Elsey, known for its breathtaking views of the Roper River. Here you can take a refreshing dip in the thermal springs, or explore the National Park. Afterwards, head to Pine Creek, the gateway to the Litchfield National Park. Here you can visit the historic gold mine, or take a stroll along the walking trails. Make sure to check out the local markets, where you can find unique handmade goods and local delicacies. For more information about attractions, accommodation options, restaurants, and campsites along the route, please check the “Itinerary” of this stage. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and embark on this amazing road trip through Mataranka, Elsey, and Pine Creek!

5 Pine Creek - Jabiru

Distance 212 km Driving time 3.5 h Pace: fast 63.6 kWh View map Itinerary
junction of road trips accommodation options UNESCO World Heritage Site attractive landscape
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Embark on an amazing road trip that starts in Pine Creek and takes you through Kakadu National Park until you reach Jabiru. The 132mi journey will take you less than 4 hours, and you can expect to see some of the most picturesque landscapes Australia has to offer. Along the way you will also pass some UNESCO Heritage sites, so don't forget to bring your camera! As you travel, you will be able to explore the many attractions Kakadu has to offer, such as the Twin Falls, the Jim Jim Falls, the Yellow Water Billabong, and the Nourlangie Rock. You can also take a break and enjoy some of the local Aboriginal culture and art. At the end of the journey, Jabiru is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the sunset. For more information about attractions, accommodation options, recommended restaurants, and campsites along the route, please consult the "Itinerary" of this stage. So don't wait, start your adventure today!

6 Jabiru - Darwin

Distance 255 km Driving time 2.7 h Pace: fast 76.4 kWh View map Itinerary
junction of road trips accommodation options interesting  historic site
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Embark on an unforgettable road trip from Jabiru to Darwin, through Kakadu National Park! This 158 mile journey, which usually takes fewer than 3 hours, will take you through some of the most beautiful and interesting sites in Australia. Start your journey in Jabiru and take in the unique sights of this charming town. Then, as you enter Kakadu National Park, be sure to visit the breathtaking Nourlangie Rock, a sandstone outcrop with Aboriginal rock art. You'll also want to make a stop at Ubirr, another outcrop with stunning views of the surrounding wetlands. Continue your journey and you'll soon reach the final destination of Darwin. Here, you can explore the city's unique history, culture, and attractions. Be sure to visit the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, and take a stroll along the Esplanade for some incredible views of the harbor. When on the road, be sure to pay attention to the many historical sites along the way. For more information about attractions, accommodation options, recommended restaurants, and campsites along the route, check the Itinerary for this stage of your road trip!

  Darwin

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The city of Darwin in Australia is the perfect place to end the Stuart Highway Road Trip. Located on the Timor Sea, Darwin is a tropical destination where culture, nature, and adventure come together. The waterfront area is a great place to begin exploring the city. Here you can take a stroll around the markets, enjoy the stunning views of the harbor, and sample some of the region’s best seafood. To get a real taste of the culture, make sure to visit the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, which showcases the area’s rich history and art. For those looking for a more active experience, Darwin has plenty of adventure to offer. A visit to the Kakadu National Park is a must-see, where you will find stunning natural scenery and an abundance of wildlife. There are also plenty of hiking and cycling trails to explore, as well as a variety of water sports to enjoy in the area’s crystal clear waters. No trip to Darwin would be complete without a visit to the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. Here you will find an array of food stalls, handicrafts, and live entertainment. Finally, for those traveling by air, Darwin International Airport (DRW) is the closest international airport. Darwin is a vibrant city with something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for culture, adventure, or just a place to relax, Darwin is the perfect place to end the Stuart Highway Road Trip.

Stuart Highway Road Trip at a glance

Hopefully, our Stuart Highway Road Trip has become a superb inspiration for your future holidays.
The plan we’ve prepared can be used as a template that you can recreate in its entirety or only partially and that can be enriched with diverse highlights of your choice.
If travelling by car is your plan when exploring highlights around Northern Territory, there are a number of important road rules to follow and a list of elements to be mindful of to make your journey smooth. These tips will surely become useful for tourists who are considering renting a car or camper hire in Northern Territory.
When you’re on a tour around Northern Territory, you should be mindful of the local road rules. In Northern Territory, if you are planning to drive, try to stay away from alcohol at all. Tourists should remember that the amount of alcohol that can be consumed is not that high and is only 0.5‰. In order to avoid a speeding ticket, it is best to never exceed 60km/h, which is the maximum permissible speed when travelling around the build-up areas. Never exceed the maximum allowed speed of 110km/h when travelling around non-build-up-areas. When travelling on motorways, you can drive at the permissible speed of 110km/h. In order to stay safe, we recommend equipping your car with a first aid kit and fire extinguisher and driving with your headlights on at daytime.
One of the decisive factors when scheduling an itinerary is costs. Of course, depending on the needs of the holidaymakers, the money that you have to pay may vary. A wide range of budget possibilities is described below.
We estimate that the budget option when it comes to fuel to cover the planned 1,758km across Northern Territory will amount to 238 EUR. Holidaymakers will have to pay the average of up to 583 EUR for budget overnight stays. Tourists should also remember about the fact that they will spend about 768 EUR for food and restaurants in this option. If your aim is also the budget car rental option, you will pay around 432 EUR. Thus, going for car rental will increase the expenses of the road trip from roughly 1,589 EUR to more or less 2,021 EUR.
Travellers who seek greater comfort and the standard option will pay approximately 313 EUR for the fuel needed to cover the itinerary. Cost amounting to 1,056 EUR can be expected by all travellers who are looking for standard hotels. Travellers can expect that the standard option in terms of food and restaurants will cost around 1,152 EUR. Travellers who want to cover the trip in a standard hire car can expect a cost of about 576 EUR. Drivers who would like to rent a car will pay more or less 3,097 EUR for the whole itinerary, whereas those who are not interested in vehicle hire will spend approximately 2,521 EUR.
The most demanding drivers will be surely pleased with the premium option. Drivers who would like to rent a car will pay more or less 4,817 EUR for the whole tour, whereas those who are not interested in car hire will spend approximately 3,809 EUR. Travellers who want to cover the trip in a premium rental car can expect a cost of more or less 1,008 EUR. In the premium version of the road trip, you have to spend the maximum of 425 EUR on the gasoline needed to cover the itinerary. Drivers should expect to pay roughly 1,536 EUR for restaurants and food and approximately 1,848 EUR for hotels if they opt for the exclusive standard of services.
Stuart Highway Road Trip is also an exciting opportunity for all camper lovers. If you choose this transport option, the expenses are roughly 1,800 EUR. Camper fans will spend roughly 475 EUR on gasoline allowing to cover all stages of the road trip. Drivers who choose camper rental should expect to pay around 440 EUR for accommodation and about 768 EUR for expenses connected with food.
The section Road Trip Costs presents all the above details in a straightforward way.
The period between May and September is great to visit the part of Northern Territory described in our adventure idea. There are countless picturesque road trips and scenic drives that we offer on our website if Stuart Highway Road Trip has sparked your creativity. Even the most demanding of travellers will definitely be surprised by the great versatility of travel opportunities available on our website.

Facts for safer driving in Northern Territory

drink drive limit drink drive limit 0.5
max speed urban max speed urban 60 km/h
max speed rural max speed rural 110 km/h
max speed highway max speed highway 110 km/h
headlights at daytime headlights at daytime on
fire extinguisher fire extinguisher yes
tolls tolls yes
seat belts seat belts yes

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