Travelling to Uluru was part of a road trip from Adelaide to Darwin. A distance of around 3200km with only one ‘city’ in between, Alice springs. It was a large amount of driving but there were many highlights along the way. Some of these I have covered in other posts but here are a few other reasons the drive is a must.
In south Australia there is very little to see along the drive and its not until Coober Pedy, a small town that grew out of Opal mining but now resembles the last place on earth, that you meet any signs of civilisation. Most of the town is built underground out of the rock so when you go to the local viewing point there is very little to see. The town has also become famous for being the location for many films, including Mad Max.
Heading from Adelaide you have to turn off the highway to reach Uluru National Park but it is well worth the visit. It can be expensive in petrol but also park entrance fees and higher camping costs. Before heading back to the highway I would recommend another detour and stopping at Kings Canyon and using a few hours for the larger walking route which offers amazing views.
Alice Springs is almost exactly halfway between Adelaide and Darwin. The town is one of the only major towns to be named after an Australian woman. The Todd river runs through Alice Springs but is usually always dry.
National Parks in the Northern Territories
Once you arrive in the Northern Territories the scenery really changes with an abundance of National Parks. I stopped in both Litchfield and Kakadu, they were both absolutely spectacular. The sites in Litchfield are much closer together and a good majority of them can be seen in one day, where as Kakadu requires a lot more driving but again is well worth it. If you are staying in Darwin a weekend trip can be made to visit this National Parks and can be a very busy time.
This route does seem very long and there are other cheaper and quicker alternatives if you are looking to visit Uluru National Park but if you are looking to take in the National Parks in the north I would drive. There are many other sites along the way including the Devils Marbles, Australia’s UFO capital and of course the natural beauty of the Australian Outback.