Alice Springs to Darwin Road Trip – The Best Way to Experience the Outback

Alice Springs to Darwin Road Trip
Disclosure: travellye.com is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. (paid link)

You must cross 975 mi (1569 km) on your Alice springs to darwin road trip. For this, shelf driving of approximately 17 hrs 45 mins (or regular traffic) is needed. 31 stops (both cities and prime attractions) come during this trip


A total of 4 options are there to reach Darwin from Alice Springs. You can direct fly or go there by bus, taxi or car. Darwin is a beautiful place, and lots of reasons are there to attract your travel mind here. 

However, If you want to know why I am emphasizing this road trip-don’t go back–scroll back and see the wonder of Darwin, the northern territory of Australia!

Alice Springs to Darwin Road Trip: Itinerary, Places, Distance & Attractions:

Transportation ModeTransportation Mode
Bus22hr 5min
Train23hr 3min
Car13hr50min

31 main stoppages (mentionable) are present on this road. If I include all, you may feel bored. So I am trying to have the most significant only.

You can also read: Adelaide to Gold Coast Road Trip

Alice Springs to Tennant Creek

Travel distance:508km

Travel Time:5hr 3 min through the Stuart Hwy/A87.

Take the first break after 508 km straight driving from Alice Springs. Like other north territory regions of Australia, Tennant Creek also has some glorious natural landscapes and other important visit-worthy places

Tenant Spring also has a precise historical value. Until 1930, this place was the 3rd-largest gold producer town in Australia. This town is just located at an intersection of two other important cities. You can reach this city easily via the bus, train, air or car.

Many renowned supermarkets, motor-ins, hotels and motels, cafes and pubs, and other time-spending places are placed in this city. So people do not have any scope to feel any boredom!

We are suggesting to direct drive towards Tennant Creek from Alice Springs. But in between this 508km road trip, you can also rest on Prowse Gap, Ryans Well, Connors Well, Warburton Memorial, etc.

Though this city has more than 3500 people, it is the most dangerous town in the northern territory. In most areas of this town, crime report is up to the level.

Top Attraction in Tennant Creek:

  • Nyinkka Nyunyu Art & Culture Centre: If you want to explore the Warumungu people, it is a perfect place to learn about their art, history, culture, and other details. This centre is just built to save the Warumungu culture. So visit here and learn about Warumungu.
  • Lake Mary Ann: It’s also a natural wildlife area. Along with visiting the lakeside, you can also enjoy the wildlife. Within 3 hours you can cover the whole area. 
  • Kundjarra (the Pebbles): Within 1 hour, you can cover this fantastic geographical formation. The address is Devil Pebbles, Warumungu NT 0852, Australia. Local people call this place the devil pebbles. It’s a small place; you can walk around the pebbles and enjoy camping with your tourmate. 
  • Battery Hill Mining Centre: You are in Tennant Creek, so you must include this place on your visit list. Once Tennant Creek was also the third largest gold-producing city in Australia. Battery Hill Mining Centre still carries all the heritage history of the gold thrush history of this town. The opening of the centre is from 9 AM to 5 PM. While visiting the underground, see the machinery and feel how glorious the past was!
  • John Flynn Memorial Obelisk: It’s a monument & Statue calling John Flynn with its achievements. 30 minutes is enough to visit this place. 

Residential Hotels in Tennant Creek:

Restaurants in Tennant Creek:

  • Memories bistro
  • Annas restaurant
  • Woks Up
  • Sportis Club
  • Rocky’s Pizza

Tennant Creek to Daly Waters 

Travel Distance: 400.7 km

Travel Time:4 hr 13 min (406.7 km) via Stuart Hwy.

Daly water is also a famous city in the Australian north territory, full of many attractive places and activities. The driving of Daly waters from Tennant Creek forces the travellers to pull the drive at the Lake Woods Conservation Covenant. This place has a beautiful lake with plenty of various species of birds. 

Total Daly region is based on river ground! Therefore the whole Daly water region has a precise impact on the NT economy, environment, and cultural weather. The Daly Waters water is used many where in the NT to improve agricultural and industrial purposes.

So by the name, you can understand how the area would be! Daly Water is the perfect pinch if you want to relax in the river-based NT city.

Not only for bird watching, camping, or fishing destinations, but Daly water could also be an excellent destination to visit the Indigenous arts centre, Local history, and the local copper mine. 

Top Attraction in Tennant Creek:

  • Daly Waters Aviation Complex/Daly River Nature Park: Daly River Nature Park’s barramundi is perfect for fishing and boating. Its 60-hectare larger park-features lots of natural wonders. However, be careful while visiting this place. Also, beware of the river. Do not try to swim here; lots of saltwater crocodiles appear there.
  • Stuart Tree Historic Site: The location of this place is Daly Waters, NT 0852, Australia. Do you know about John McDouall Stuart? He is one of the greatest Australian explorers of the 18th century. However, it is believed that the Stuart tree has an S curve, which this famous explorer curved. 
  • The Daly Waters Pub is a local Daily pub situated on the highway. This palace is famous for travellers’ relaxation after a long trip. You can take a rest here, can enjoy your meal with famous local seafood, and also can shop here. However, you also can enjoy cold food and cold beer at this pub. 

Residential Hotels in Daly Waters:

  • Palms City Resort
  • Oaks Darwin Elan Hotel. 
  • Darwin City Hotel
  • Mindil Beach Casino Resort. 
  • Argus Hotel Darwin
  • Ramada Suites by Wyndham Zen Quarter Darwin
  • Desert Gardens Hotel
  • The Lost Camel

Restaurants in Daly Waters:

  • Daily Waters Pub
  • Daily Waters Hi-Way Inn

Daly Waters to Mataranka

Travel Distance:168.2 km

Travel Time:1 hr 44 min through the Stuart Highway. 

Either by bus or car-this way, you can make the road trip from Daly water to the Mataranka. Mataranka is situated almost 420 km southeast of Darwin. Katherine city also is located only 107km south of here.

Like any other NT region, Mataranka also pulls travellers with its various attractive places. Moreover, this town is full of WWII history, fishing points, camping sites, hiking trails, etc. 

Many travellers come to Matarnka to spend a few days, though staying one night is pretty enough to cover the whole of Mataranka.

Top Attraction in Mataranka:

  • Bitter Springs is one of the beautiful thermal pools in Elsey National Park. If you keep Elsey National Park on your visit list, do not forget to swim in this pool. The crystal clear water of this thermal pool attracts all tourists to swimming over there. Also, this water hole has stairs with handrails down to the ground for more convenience.
  • Elsey National Park: This park is one of the most beautiful nature of the northern territory. However, it is situated 19 km east of Mataranka and 378km southeast of Darwin. The address is Stuart Hwy, Mataranka NT 0852, Australia. Elsey National Park is home to very historical events and thermal water holes. Beside with thermal pool, there also you will find Mataranka falls. Also, you could give e botanic walk in the park. 
  • Elsey Cemetery National Reserve: Did you read the book “we of the never never”? Or watch the same named movie? This place is associated with this book. It is a little bit bushy cemetery, offering you a one-hour tour. The address is Elsey Cemetry, Elsey NT 0852, Australia.

Residential Hotels in Mataranka:

  • Mataranka Homestead
  • Mataranka Hotel Motel
  • Territory Manor Motel & Caravan Park

Restaurants in Mataranka:

  • BP Mataranka Roadhouse & Cabins
  • Territory Manor Motel & Caravan Park
  • Mataranka Pub
  • Yen’s Green Corner
  • Stockyard Gallery
  • Mataranka Roadhouse

Mataranka to Katherine 

Travel Distance:107.9km

Travel Time: 1 hr 9 min via National Highway 1

Katherine–is a wonderland full of lots of secret nature gems. Travellers often stay overnight here to remove their loneliness and boredom. 

Why is this place so visit-worthy? This place has many natural visit palaces, cafes, bars, restaurants, parks, museums, etc. You can canoe here, can fish here, can enjoy the sunset from the world-class river cruise, etc. 

Katherine is a perfect combination of local art and culture; if you want to get the local test in-depth, you can enjoy the famous festival’s scenic flights here.

Though this third largest city (of the NT) is famous for the Katherine Gorge, the misty waterfalls, ancient history, and the thermal water hole are attractive points of this town.

Top Attraction in Katherine:

  • Katherine George (Nitmiluk George): It is a worldwide recognized park, especially for its hidden falls. You can canoe here, enjoy rock art, and can boating. The sandy beaches or the space in between the sheer cliffs offers travellers to enjoy a lot of. However, you will also know about the Jawoyn Aboriginal people once you visit this place.
  • Jatbula Trail: This 58km long bushwalk is famous worldwide. This trail is a connector between Nitmiluk Visitor Centre and Edith Falls. Permissions need to boot into this trail, so collect before the trip.
  • Cutta Cutta Caves: This is only a tropical limestone cave in Australia. You will need a short decor from Katherine to reach here. One hour tour is needed here.
  • Katherine Museum: This museum is in a World War II air terminal! So lots of historical events it is usually bearing. Many artifacts, photographs, and furniture. Memory-bearing items are stacked here. You can easily visit here.
  • Katherine Hot Springs: This hot spring is pretty enough to make you relax after a busy trip. It is situated on  Katherine River, a little far from the main township.

Residential Hotels in Katherine:

  • Contour Hotel Katherine
  • Pine Tree Motel
  • Riverview Tourist Village
  • Cicada Lodge
  • The Stuart Hotel Motel
  • Almost Off-Grid Tranquillity
  • Discovery Parks – Katherine
  • Knotts Crossing Resort
  • K – Town Hotel
  • BIG4 Breeze Holiday Parks – Katherine 

Restaurants in Katherine:

  • Pop Rocket Cafe
  • Marksie’s Stockman’s Camp Tucker Night
  • The Black Russian Caravan Bar
  • The Finch Cafe

Katherine to Darwin 

Travel Distance: 317Km

Travel Time: 3 hr 18 min via National Highway 1

Darwin is the last stoppage. You have to pack your trip finally where! This town is the capital of NT, Australia. Besides other economic and business value-this town also is famous for akadu National Park, Bicentennial Park, and also several waterfront zones. 

Darwin is well-recognized as a green area. Also, this place is famous for the Chironex fleckeri (venomous box jellyfish Species). 

The local culture, multicultural food, hundreds of markets, parks, beach points, museums, art galleries, cafes and bars, and educational institutes are present in this town. 

For almost 3 days, you will need to cover the whole area, including the Kakadu National Park.

Top Attraction in Darwin:

  • Kakadu National Park: With more than 2000 plant species, Kakadu National Park is home to many birds and saltwater crocodiles. It’s the largest natural park in NT. You can enjoy many natural wonders there.
  • Litchfield National Park: Another largest park in NT, almost the second largest. This park is 100km far from Darwin. So 60 minutes driving additionally will need. More than 260,000 visitors every year visit this park. This park features all lush waterholes, misty waterholes, and all wonderful landscapes in the nature womb!
  • Berry Springs: Instead, you can visit Berry Springs, Nature Park. However, Berry Springs is a rural area established on another popular Cox Peninsula Road. Berry Spring is a river that offers a fantastic swimming zone near Darwin. Whether you need to be relaxed or if you want to have a barbeque, camping near the river side-this place is perfect. 
  • Adelaide River: Adelaide river is almost 114 kilometres south of Darwin. There is a village named Adelaide, which is scenic, historical, and a perfect off-point between the Katherine to Darwin road trip. This palace is also linked with Brock’s Creek and Adam Bay (180km far), so it is visit-worthy too!
  • Mary River: Mary River National Park is based on Matty river. You can visit the Top End wildlife, lots of birds and so many species fishes in this beautiful river there.
  • Lake Bennett: Another important attraction in Darwin. This lake is artificially made. However, to reach this freshwater lake, you have to cross 80km far from darwin.
  • The Tiwi Islands: The Tiwi Islands are near the Timor Sea. Before entry into these islands, take a tour permit from the tour operator. 

Residential Hotels in Darwin:

  • H on Smith Hotel
  • Mercure Darwin Airport Resort
  • Darwin City Hotel
  • Oaks Darwin Elan Hotel
  • Argus Hotel Darwin 
  • The Cavenagh
  • Quality Hotel Darwin Airport
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Esplanade Darwin
  • Novotel Darwin Airport

Restaurants in Darwin:

  • Char Restaurant
  • Alfonsino’s
  • Hanuman Restaurant Darwin
  • Ruby Vietnamese Restaurant
  • Phat Mango by Martin the Chef
  • Nirvana Restaurant Darwin
  • Hot Tamale

FAQs

Can I drive from Airlie Spring to Darwin road trip?

Of course, you can! The shelf driving needs a total 13hr and 50min. If you drive in regular traffic and do not take a short or long decor from the main road, the fuel cost will be for your driving in a total of $190 -$275. However, Stuart Highway is the main road connecting Alice Springs and Darwin.

How long does it take to drive from Alice Springs to Darwin?

The total distance is 1500km so shelf driving may need up to 15 hours in regular traffic. Depending on the mode of transportation, the driving time may differ a bit!

Is it worth driving from Alice Springs to Darwin?

Yes, it is worth it! Plenty of sight-breathing things are present on this road trip. So if you shelf drives on here-there is a chance you can visit those!

How much does it cost to drive from Alice Springs to Darwin?

On around $402 (fuel cost is $5.39 per gallon).

What is there to do between Uluru and Darwin?

Kata Tjuta National Park is the prime attraction between Uluru and Darwin’s road trip. However, others attractions are Alice Spring Desert Park, Katherine George, and the King Canyon.

In a Nutshell

Alice spring to darwin road trip almost demands you travel 1500 km on the Stuart highway. Whatever!

When you reach Darwin, one of Australia’s heart portions, the brilliant nature wonder in the meanwhile of Alice spring to darwin will give you a lifetime carriable memory of your travel experience.

So what else? Just prepare to enjoy the natural Australian icons from the northern territory of Australia.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Hi, I'm Md Abid Hasan. The owner & content editor of Travellye.com. Travellye.com is a travel blog that covers road trips, day trips, and destinations guide.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *