Re-tread the footsteps of one of the most intrepid souls ever to set foot in the Australian interior by following the Stuart Highway. Affectionately known as the Explorer’s Highway, this 2,834km long road splits the country neatly in two, and roughly traces the route taken by Scottish explorer John McDouall Stuart back in the 1860s.
The highway begins in the centre of Darwin in Northern Territory and strikes southwards, passing the beautiful tropical habitat of the Lichfield National Park and heading on to Kakadu, where some stunning examples of indigenous cave art can be found. From here it’s on down to historic Katherine and Daly Waters, for a frosty beer in the oldest pub in Northern Territory.
Before leaving Darwin explore the regions fascinating history – from WW2 air raids to Cyclone Tracey in the museums.
Witness the landscape changing around you as the lush north becomes dreamlike desert, before heading down into the famous Alice Springs. Explore the East and West Macdonnell Ranges a detour to the indescribably captivating and mystical Uluru, follow the highway southwards once again to Coober Pedy, then beyond to the majestic Flinders Ranges before paying homage to Stuart himself at the explorer’s former home in Port Augusta.
- The Devil’s Marbles rock formation. 105 miles south of Tennant Creek
- Nitmiluk National Park
- Kings Canyon
- Uluru – of Course!
- Detour to the Painted Desert
- Cooper Pedy the underground opal capital
- Flinders Rangers