Darwin to Uluru Road Trip – Things to See Along the Way

Darwin to Uluru Road Trip
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The city of Darwin in Australia is well-known for the high biodiversity that lives both in and around it. Darwin is an explorer’s dream, from its dazzling coastline and aboriginal history to its Asian-influenced cuisine and tropical recreational culture.

You may arrange a Darwin to Uluru road trip if you have six days and want to see everything from Asian food markets and crocodile sightings to sunset sails.

The cheapest method to get from Darwin to Uluru National Park is to drive there, which will cost you between $240 and $360 and take around 18 hours and 34 minutes.

Travelling by car allows you to stop at several stunning locations between major urban hubs. Destinations such as Daly Waters, Corroboree, Ubirr, Litchfield National Park, Kakadu National Park, Katherine, and many others await you in the Northern Territory.

Come with me as I explore the wonders of Australia’s outback.

Darwin to Uluru Road Trip: Itinerary, Distance, Drive Time, and Attractions

Bus Distance  30 hours 34 minutes
Car Distance18 hours 34 minutes
Train+Bus31 hours 48 minutes
Nearest AirportAyers Rock Airport

Getting from Darwin to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a direct 2033-kilometer journey that should take 22 hours and 59 minutes under ideal conditions. Counting both ends (Darwin and Uluru), there are 32 sights to see along the way.

However, if you only have a week, you may still see some of the world’s best cities. Listed are some of the best visitor temptations you won’t slip into amid Darwin and Uluru.

You can read also: Adelaide to Coober Pedy Road Trip

Darwin to Daly Waters

Daly Waters Historic Pub 700 03
Famous Daly Waters Historic Pub for sale – Expedition Australia

The Darwin to Uluru road trip begins with a stop in Daly Waters, located about 600 kilometres (km) along the highway. The drive from Darwin to Daly Waters takes around 6 hours.

Some of these locations will genuinely transport you to the outback of Australia. There is not much here save a bar, a highway inn, and a convenience shop. Still, it is just what you need to unwind, replenish your energy, and get ready for the long trip ahead. 

The Daly Waters Pub is also a motel, caravan park, and campground, making it the most incredible place to stay in town. A place where you can go is the largest settlement you will encounter for some time. Katherine is a beautiful place to refuel and stock up on snacks and supplies.

Mataranka Thermal Springs are naturally heated pools that stay at a comfortable 34 degrees year-round. Flanked by beautiful trees, these pools are the ideal spot to kick back. Hikers who wish to reach the top of Edith Falls also flock to this area.

Planning will allow you to see some of the local parks near Darwin. Let’s explore the national parks in the area of Darwin.

Daly Waters to Elsey National Park

MTV Travel | Elsey National Park, Mataranka

Elsey National Park, located about 428 kilometres and 4 hours and 20 minutes further on the road from Katherine, is renowned for its abundance of thermal springs. Mataranka Homestead has its own Rainbow Springs, and there are many others.

This city offers public pools at no cost in a tranquil, natural location surrounded by palm trees and riverbanks. Travel downstream in a raft until you reach the end of the stream, at which point you can hop out and hike back upstream to the launch point. Stevie’s Hole is perfect for a refreshing swim, and the Roper River is ideal for canoeing, fishing, or simply exploring.

Elsey National Park to Alice Springs

Alice Springs Desert Park
Alice Springs Desert Park.JPG – Wikimedia Commons

To spend the night in Alice Springs, you must drive for 9 hours and 900 kilometres. The mid-range hotels offer guests contemporary double rooms with a patio or balcony and a casino, spa, and wellness centre.

Mountain riding, stunning scenery, swimming holes, and a lively downtown area have made this area famous. One of the most incredible activities in Alice Springs is to take a flight in a hot air balloon at sunrise to get a bird’s-eye view of the outback metropolis.

The Kangaroo Sanctuary tour is one of the most desired wishlists in Alice Springs, so make sure to book your spot in advance. Tour groups pick you up in the evening so you may see the sanctuary where kangaroos and Joeys are cared for after being stabbed.

Alice Springs to Uluru

Uluru helicopter view cropped
Uluru, helicopter view, cropped.jpg – Wikimedia Commons

Finally, after a 5-hour, 470-kilometre drive from Alice Springs, you will arrive at the spectacular Uluru. Before heading to Uluru, you can drive to the top of Anzac Hill and enjoy views over the city.

Additionally, you can go to the Reptile Centre or explore the Olive Pink Botanic Garden, all of which feature native plant and animal species. If you want to be close to Uluru, your only option is to stay at the Ayers Rock Resort. Fortunately, there is a wide selection of places to stay, from cheap motels to high-end apartments.

Uluru’s cultural and natural significance can be better understood by taking the 10-kilometre journey around its base. You can stroll in the hollow of the Winds at Kata Tjuta. You may avoid the crowds at the standard sunrise and sunset vantage points around Uluru by scheduling a camel ride alternatively.

Some Other Stops Along the Drive from Darwin to Uluru Road Trip

Pink Panther Roadhouse 

Since it opened in the 1930s, the Larrimah Hotel has been affectionately referred to by locals and visitors as “the pink panther roadhouse”. Gratitudes to its many giant statues of pink panthers, three perched atop tandem bicycles.

You can stay in one of their motel rooms, pitch a tent on their campground, or enjoy some food and drinks at their bar.

 Tennant Creek

You can learn about the final gold rush in Australia in Tennant Creek, which occurred there in the 1930s, by visiting the Battery Hill mining museum.

Devils Marbles (Karlu Karlu)

Karlu Karlu, also known as the Devil’s Marbles, is located in the Tennant Creek region. Because of its significance to the Aboriginal people, you cannot climb or photograph some parts of Karlu Karlu.

Australia’s UFO Capital

Wycliffe Well Holiday Park is the epic centre of the UFO phenomenon in Australia. It is considered one of the most out-of-the-way and peculiar destinations between Darwin and Uluru. You can stay at the camp, eat in the cafe or stop in the roadhouse and check out the alien and UFO statues, articles and trinkets.

Barrow Creek Hotel

As the first hotel built between Alice Springs and Tennant Creek, Barrow Creek Hotel is another well-known outback accommodation along the Stuart Highway.

Why is Uluru So Well-Known?

Ayers Rock

Distance from Uluru is 20 kilometres. Seeing the rock change colour before your eyes at sunrise or sunset at Uluru will leave you in awe and amazement.

Kata Tjuta

About 30 kilometres west of Uluru is a remarkable group of rock domes known as Kata Tjuta.

Kings Canyon

Popular among visitors to Kings Canyon is the 6-kilometre Canyon Rim Walk, which begins with a 500-foot ascent to the rim. The trail follows the canyon rim, taking hikers to the Garden of Eden and the Lost City.

Where is the Best Place to Get Food and Drink in Uluru?

Lobby Bar of the Walpa:

The Walpa Lobby Bar at Sails in the Desert is a relaxing and inviting setting for a morning cup of coffee, an afternoon snack, or an evening cocktail. Various burgers, sandwiches, salads, and other dishes are available. This drinking bar welcomes patrons from dawn until far beyond midnight.

Ilkari Restaurant:

Sails in the Desert’s on-site restaurant, Ilkari, is known for its excellent global cuisine. The breakfast is a buffet, while the dinner includes seafood, roasts, spaghetti, Asian meals, and grilled delights. For sweets, there is even a chocolate fountain to enjoy.

Pira Pool Bar:

You can relax with a poolside cocktail and a selection of sharing dishes, light dinners, burgers, and desserts at Sails in the Desert’s Pira Pool Bar.

Arnguli Grill & Restaurant:

There is a restaurant called Arnguli Grill & Restaurant, which is open only for dinner. The menu’s trademark grilled offerings utilise many regionally-appropriate herbs, spices, cereals, and seeds. The wine list is excellent as well. It is located in Desert Gardens Hotel.

Outback Pioneer Kitchen

At the Outback Pioneer Hotel & Lodge’s Outback Pioneer Kitchen, you can get delicious burgers, pizza, salads, sandwiches, and wraps without breaking the bank. This restaurant serves both lunch and dinner throughout the week.

Ayers Wok Noodle Bar:

The Ayers Wok Noodle Bar, located in the centre of town, serves deliciously spicy noodles and stir-fried dishes. Open daily for dinner and throughout the warmer months for lunch as well. They will prepare your order only for takeout.


If you’re planning a road trip from Darwin to Uluru, you’ll find all the information you need here. Please find below some supplementary material for your review.

How distant is it from Darwin to Uluru?

When travelling from Uluru to Darwin, you will find yourself almost due north of the iconic rock formation. Both locations are located in the Australian continent.

Put another way, and if you were to leave Darwin and fly directly to Uluru, it would take you about 1434 kilometres.

Since the road between Uluru and Darwin does not run in a straight line, the distance travelled by car may be greater than or different from the stated value.

There are a total of 1958 kilometres and 908 metres to cover from the Darwin to Uluru road trip. 

In what area of Uluru should I stay?

The Ayers Rock Resort, which contains all of the hotels near Uluru, is owned by Aboriginal people. There is a wide variety of places to stay in this area.

Hotels, hostels, cabins for campers, and tent sites are all available, as are fully equipped apartments, a remote bush lodge, and a 5-star luxury resort. If you plan to visit Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the Ayers Rock Resort is a convenient home base.

In Uluru, is it possible to stay overnight in a vehicle?

Visitors are not permitted to enter or camp within the National Park. Under no circumstances are you allowed to sleep in your vehicle while visiting the park. 


Darwin to Uluru road trip is best done in the Northern Territory between May and October when weather conditions are lenient, and rainfall is minimal.

Travelling from Darwin to Uluru by car is the most convenient option. It is time to finish your preparations and head out into the wild.

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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.

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