Melbourne to Darwin Road Trip – Guide to a Wonderful Adventure

Melbourne To Darwin Road Trip
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Are you ready for the ultimate Australian adventure? Take a Melbourne to Darwin road trip and experience the incredible sights, sounds, and wildlife this vast country offers. 

Melbourne to Darwin road trip is an ultimate quest of conquering a distance of over 3,800 km between these two iconic Australian destinations. This journey should be quick and offers an enthralling adventure with breathtaking panoramas accompanying the 41-hour drive along the Stuart Highway. 

From rugged coastlines on the Great Ocean Road to sunsets in Alice Springs, this epic journey will inspire any traveller. Pack your bags and grab a map – it’s time to embark upon an unforgettable journey through one of Earth’s most picturesque landscapes!

Whether exploring by yourself or with friends and family, this Melbourne to Darwin Road Trip: Ultimate Guide provides important things to consider when planning your itinerary.

From which landmarks and attractions you’ll come across, along with the supplies needed for a safe trip, this guide promises to provide you with all the necessary information before embarking on your Melbourne-to-Darwin voyage. 

So, take your time reading this blog step by step.

Melbourne To Darwin Road Trip: Itinerary, Places, Distance & Attractions

Bus Distance2 Days 10 hours   (283 $ to 500)
Car Distance1 Day  13  hours  (500 $ to 1000$)
StopsMelbourneGreat Ocean RdGrampians National ParkAdelaidePort AugustaCoober PedyAlice Springs Desert ParkNitmiluk (Katherine) GorgeDenmark
Nearest AirportMelbourne Airport

Planning a road trip from Melbourne to Darwin? You’ll get to experience everything from the Outback to the beaches on this amazing journey. Make sure you check out all the best spots on your way – there are plenty of things to see and do, and you won’t want to miss a thing.

This epic journey covers 4,750 km of stunning landscapes and a variety of unique attractions. 

Starting in Melbourne, make sure to take time to explore the impressive street art as you stroll along its alleyways. Follow the route across Victoria, where you’ll come across diverse landscapes from rugged coastlines thru vast open plains and the eternal red rocks of Uluru.

And don’t forget to stop in Adelaide for some delicious seafood cuisine! 

From here, continue until the warm water vibes at Darwin with nearby waterfalls and national parks. With so much diversity and iconic landmarks, Melbourne to Darwin is a must-do for any traveller wanting an electrifying Aussie adventure.

Here, We provide information on accommodations, activities, restaurants, and transportation for a 10-day 2WD Melbourne To Darwin Road Trip.

Melbourne To Great Ocean Rd

The total distance is approx 210 km. Driving Approx 2 hours 42 minutes.

We start our Melbourne To Darwin Road Trip from Melbourne, and our first stop is Great Ocean Road. Melbourne to the Great Ocean Road road trip is popular among Australians and visitors. 

The journey starts in Melbourne and weaves through spectacular coastal views and lush forests; it is 375 miles long, with numerous attractions for the traveller. 

Amongst some of the highlights include exploring the Great Otway National Park, Beech Forest, and Otway Forest Park with waterfalls like Hopetoun Falls; taking in panoramic views from a helicopter tour; experiencing Australia’s unique beach culture at Torquay; or visiting Port Campbell National Park

With its varied landscapes, beautiful scenery, and plenty of opportunities for adventure, Melbourne to the Great Ocean Road will be a holiday you’ll never forget!

We recommend spending one to two days on this road if you want to get a full experience.

Top attractions in Great Ocean Rd

  • Visit Port Campbell National Park · 
  • Take a Helicopter Tour 
  • Hopetoun Falls· 
  • Soak Up Aussie Beach Culture at Torquay 

Accommodation in Great Ocean Rd

Restaurants on Great Ocean Rd

  • The Birdhouse Apollo Bay
  • Great Ocean Road Brewhouse

Great Ocean Rd To Grampians National Park

The total distance is approx 210 km. Driving Approx 2 hours 40 minutes.

A road trip from the Great Ocean Road to the Grampians National Park would be an excellent way to discover Victoria’s natural beauty. The drive would take around 2-4 hours, depending on your route and how many stops you make along the way. You could also extend your trip to include other nearby attractions, such as the Halls Gap Zoo and the Brambuk Cultural Centre.

The Grampians National Park is a conservation region in Victorias known for its stunning sandstone mountain ranges, waterfalls, and native flora and fauna. It’s located approximately 260 kilometres (162 miles) west of Melbourne and can be easily accessed from the Great Ocean Road. 

The park offers a range of activities, including bushwalking, rock climbing, and wildlife spotting. There are also several campgrounds and accommodation options available within the park.

Top attractions in Grampians National Park

  • The Pinnacle · 
  • Halls Gap Zoo · 
  • Boroka Lookout ·  

Accommodation in Grampians National Park

  • NRMA Halls Gap Holiday Park
  • The Mountain Grand Halls Gap
  • Grampians Motel

Restaurants in Grampians National Park

  • Grampians National Park
  • Flame Brothers Restaurant & Bar
  • The Views Restaurant

Grampians National Park To Adelaide

The total distance is approx 334 km. Driving Approx 3 hours 30 minutes.

The road trip from Grampians National Park to Adelaide takes you through some of Australia’s most beautiful and varied landscapes. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to visit various interesting and popular attractions. 

You’ll have the opportunity to visit various interesting and popular attractions. These include the stunning Grampians National Park, known for its sandstone mountain ranges, waterfalls, and native wildlife. 

You may also wish to consider visiting The Coorong National Park for birdwatching and fishing activities or enjoy the historic bridge and nearby wineries at Murray Bridge.

Finally, don’t forget about The Barossa Valley, renowned for its world-class wines, galleries, and farmers’ markets – it’s an attraction you won’t want to miss!

Top attractions in Adelaide

  • Adelaide Central Market
  • Adelaide Botanic Garden
  • Art Gallery of South Australia

Accommodation in Adelaide

  • The Hotel Metropolitan
  • YHA Adelaide Central
  • Adelaide Travellers Inn Backpackers Hostel

Restaurants in Adelaide

  • Samui Thai Restaurant
  • Peel St

Adelaide To Port Augusta

The total distance is approx 310 km. Driving Approx 3 hours 30 minutes.

An Adelaide to Port Augusta road trip is an amazing journey that promises an adventure like no other. 

Along with taking in the stunning Adelaide Hills, quaint Hahndorf, and historic Martindale Hall, there are plenty of exciting activities you can take part in as well. 

Wine lovers will definitely want to make a stop at the Adelaide Hills vineyard. At the same time, they can see some of Australia’s interesting past firsthand by visiting the National Trust Museum in Port Pirie. 

Another must-see is Sevenhill Cellars – Adelaide’s own winery built in 1851, featuring a beautiful 1873 underground cellar and breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside.

Top attractions in Port Augusta

  • Matthew Flinders Red Cliff Lookout
  • Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden
  • Wadlata Outback Centre
  • Water Tower Lookout

Accommodation in Port Augusta

  • Discovery Parks – Port Augusta
  • Majestic Oasis Apartments
  • Augusta Budget Motel

Restaurants in Port Augusta

  • Golden Pearl Chinese Restaurant and Takeaway
  • Yummy Noodle
  • Standpipe Restaurant

Port Augusta To Coober Pedy

The total distance is approx 540 km. Driving Approx 5 hours and 50 minutes.

Port Augusta to Coober Pedy is an Explorers Way road trip deep into Australia’s desert. On this journey, you will discover the true spirit of outback living and discover a taste of Australiana at every turn. 

Take time to explore the Flinders Ranges and Outback with its unique events, attractions, activities, and accommodation. Marvel at the landscapes and see the shades of red stretching across the horizon.

Explore some of Port Augusta’s unique attractions, such as the Pichi Richi Railway Museum or the Umoona Opal Mine and Museum. Make sure to take advantage of Port Augusta’s coach parking facilities when visiting these attractions.

After Port Augusta, check out all that Coober Pedy has to offer, too – especially its underground dwellings! End your Port Augusta To Coober Pedy road trip with an understanding of how vast this land can be – truly an exploration like no other!

Top attractions in Coober Pedy

  • Faye’s Underground Home · 
  • Old Timers Mine · 
  • Umoona Opal Mine & Museum 

Accommodation in Coober Pedy

  • The Underground Motel
  • Comfort Inn Coober Pedy Experience
  • Desert Cave Hotel

Restaurants in Coober Pedy

  • Outback Bar And Grill
  • Oliver’s Bar & Restaurant
  • SunsetViewDiner

Coober Pedy  To Alice Springs

The total distance is approx 688 km. Driving Approx 7 hours 1 minute.

The Australian Outback holds some incredible sights for travellers on a road trip from Coober Pedy to Alice Springs. Hermannsburg and Finke Gorge are two such stops of interest. 

Finke Gorge National Park lies between the two locations, and it is one of the oldest wilderness reserves, estimated to be around 350 million years old! Red Cabbage Palms also can be found within these ancient walls that date back even further.

However, the only way to get there is via a strenuous Mereenie Loop field track, so before embarking, it’s important to check with local professionals (like the staff at Kings Canyon Resort) for updated road conditions, as 4WD vehicles are strongly recommended. 

Top attractions in Alice Springs

  •  Alice Springs Desert Park · 
  • The Kangaroo Sanctuary · 
  • The Larapinta Trail ·

Accommodation in Alice Springs

  • Desert Palms Alice Springs
  • Alice’s Secret Travellers Inn
  • YHA Alice Springs

Restaurants in Alice Springs

  • Sporties Restaurant
  • Confucius Palace Dumpling Restaurant
  • Barra on Todd Restaurant and Bar

Alice Springs To Daly Waters

The total distance is approx 914 km. Driving Approx 9 hours 30 minutes.

Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime road trip from Alice Springs to Daly Waters and explore some of Australia’s most awe-inspiring landscapes. 

The Finke Gorge National Park boasts a dramatic yet peaceful landscape with native palm trees, waterholes, and hiking trails for people of all fitness levels. Afterward, visit Simpsons Gap, Ellery Creek Big Hole, Standley Chasm, Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen Gorge, or Redbank Gorge in Tjarutja or West MacDonnell National Park. 

All of these sites are unique and provide something special – whether you’re looking to see sparkling rock faces, rolling streams, or ancient gorges – so make sure you visit them all!

Top attractions in Daly Waters

  • Lytwelepenty
  • The Pebbles
  • Battery Hill Mining Centre

Accommodation in Daly Waters

  • Daly Waters Pub
  • Daly Waters Hi-Way Inn

Restaurants in Daly Waters

  • Daly Waters Pub
  • Daly Waters Hi-Way Inn
  • Stuart Tree Historic Site

Daly Waters To Kakadu National Park

The total distance is approx 424 km. Driving Approx 4 hours 30 minutes.

Daly Waters to Kakadu National Park road trip offers the breathtaking beauty of Australia’s Northern Territory. Stops such as Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, Katherine Outback Experience, and Pine Creek are perfect for a fun day out exploring nature.

Detours can also be taken to Mataranka Bitter Springs and Window on the Wetlands, both special spots with stunning scenery. Don’t forget to also make time for some incredible sights found in places like Territory Wildlife Park and Waterfall Creek Falls. 

Top attractions in Kakadu National Park

  • Gunlom Waterfall Creek
  • Cahills Crossing
  • Maguk Gorge
  • Jim Jim Falls

Accommodation in Kakadu National Park

  • Anbinik Kakadu Resort.
  • Aurora Kakadu Lodge Caravan and Camping Park.
  • Cooinda Lodge.
  • Hawk Dreaming Wilderness Lodge.

Restaurants in Kakadu National Park

  • Kakadu National Park
  • Mimi Restaurant
  • Cooinda Lodge Kakadu

Kakadu National Park To Darwin

The total distance is approx 334 km. Driving Approx 3 hours 30 minutes.

We will arrive at our final destination Darwin soon. We start our journey to the Kakadu national park of Darwin after visiting our final destination, the Kakadu national park.

The road trip to Australia’s iconic Kakadu National Park To Darwin is like a journey through time, passing through landscapes that have changed little over millions of years. 

With lush marshlands and winding rivers, spotted with crocs and other wildlife, it’s an amazing experience. There are some favorite stops along the way for travelers looking for a few extra attractions. 

The Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve is only 22 km from the Stuart Highway exit. You can also visit Crocosaurus Cove and Darwin Waterfront Precinct for some waterfront fun, Ubirr for ancient rock art, Nourlangie Creek for breathtaking views, and Territory Wildlife Park for close encounters with the native animal. You can also spend the day at Darwin Wave Pool.

Top attractions in Darwin

  • George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens
  • Crocosaurus Cove
  • Litchfield National Park

Accommodation in Darwin

  • Palms City Resort
  • Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront
  • Anka Bar

Restaurants in Darwin

  • PepperBerry Restaurant
  • Pee Wee’s at the Point
  • Kurt’s Cakes


In what season should I plan the trip from Melbourne to Darwin?

The best time of year to make the road trip from Melbourne to Darwin varies depending on individual preferences and travel plans. Generally, the most comfortable time for travelling is during spring (September-November) or autumn (March-May).

What are the must-see attractions along the way?

There are plenty of must-see attractions along the drive from Melbourne to Darwin. The iconic Uluru is a must-see, as well as Kings Canyon in the Northern Territory and Kata Tjuta National Park.

How much does it cost to drive from Melbourne to Darwin?

The cost of driving from Melbourne to Darwin varies depending on fuel costs, vehicle type, and how often you stop for meals and accommodation. Generally, the trip will cost anywhere between $300-$1000.

What is the best route to take?

The best route from Melbourne to Darwin is via Stuart Hwy. This two-lane sealed highway stretches across Australia through South Australia, Northern Territory, and Western Australia.

Are there any dangers to be aware of?

There are a few dangers to be aware of when driving from Melbourne to Darwin. These include the heat, which can be extreme during summer, wildlife on the road, and tiredness due to long hours of driving.

Final Words

Overall, Melbourne to Darwin road trip is a truly unique and unforgettable experience that offers a diverse range of landscapes, cultures, and activities. Whether you’re interested in exploring the outdoors, visiting cultural landmarks, or simply relaxing in beautiful surroundings, this road trip has something for everyone.

This ultimate guide will help you plan your journey, including all the must-see sights and attractions along the way. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your road trip today!

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

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