Melbourne to Uluru Road Trip – The Ultimate Stops to See

Melbourne to Uluru Road Trip
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Driving from Melbourne to Uluru, Petermann NT is a direct route that covers 1441 miles (2368 kilometres) and should take around one day and two hours under typical conditions of heavy or light traffic.

The road trip from Melbourne to Uluru is a genuine get-back-to-nature experience that will transport you to the emotional core of Ayres Rock. This journey will take you through some of the greatest cities, small villages, magnificent beaches, and amazing national parks in Australia.

Along this path which is 2,368 kilometres long, you will travel through rocky mountain landscapes, verdant native forests, and desolate wasteland areas. All of this takes place before the land itself begins to progressively turn into the distinctive reddish-gold colour that is so characteristic of the Australian outback.

It is possible to drive from Melbourne to Uluru in 25 hours, but only if you are really pressed for time (like, really, really pressed for time), or if you are completely insane. Imagine, however, that you are speeding through the waters of Dimboola, which have a pinkish reflection—or skipping a visit to the opal mines in Coober Pedy altogether. Nah, we’re not about speed; in our group, we’re all about taking the scenic route, taking our time, and taking detours—just because. If you’re coming along on the ride, keep reading for an itinerary that’ll blow your mind more than any Game of Thrones episode. 

This fascinating road journey will take you to some of Australia’s most beautiful cities, parks, and coastlines, as well as travel a significant distance across this beautiful continent. Keep on reading to learn about the best routes to take between Melbourne and Uluru, as well as our favourite things to see along the way, where you can stop for the night, and where you can spend the night.

Melbourne to Uluru Road Trip: Itinerary, Places, Distance & Attractions

Total Distance1441 mi (2368 km)
Car Drive Time1 day and 2 hours in normal traffic
Bus Time42h 19m
Stops40 Stops
Nearest AirportAyers Rock Airport (AYQ)

Taking a road trip from Melbourne to Uluru is the ideal way to get a taste of the Australian outback.

Along the journey, you will have the opportunity to explore the Mighty Murray in a paddle steamer and take in the spectacular views that can be seen from the top of the Grampians. You will make your bed for the night in an underground tent, and in the morning, you will emerge to see the sun rise over the vibrant Painted Desert. The natural beauties of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and the Red Centre will leave you in amazement as you reach the conclusion of your road journey and bring it to a close.

It is well worth it to spend three days on the journey only to admire the native trees and jagged mountains outside your window before approaching the dusky red-gold of the Australian outback.

This journey, which can be completed in 25 hours on perfectly sealed roads, does not need a four-wheel-drive vehicle and may be accomplished by anybody.

On the other hand, if you have a four-wheel drive vehicle and a thirst for adventure, there are plenty of rugged roads that are reserved just for you.

Depending on the specifications of your car, you should budget anywhere from around $200 to $400 for the cost of the gasoline for each leg of the journey. You must also add the expense of spending the night in a hotel, caravan park, or motel to your total budget.

By following our comprehensive advice for a road trip from Melbourne to Uluru, you can ensure that nothing important will be overlooked on your journey.

Now, let’s take a look at the total distance of this road trip and how much time it will take: 

Melbourne to Ballarat

Driving TimeDistance
1 hr 27 min 115 km

Your journey from Melbourne to Uluru road trip will begin by leaving for the Ballarat city area. The driving time from Melbourne to Ballarat is about 1 hr 27 mins which distance of about 115 km. 

In the Central Highlands of Victoria, Australia, you’ll find a city by the name of Ballarat. Ballarat has a populace of 116,201 according to the Census conducted in 2021, which placed it in third place among the cities located in the state of Victoria.

Even though there are no national parks in the vicinity of Ballarat, the city is surrounded on all sides by expansive bushland, including to the north, south, and southwest, as well as to the east, where there are sensitive wetland areas. The 130-hectare Victoria Park, which has an abundance of ovals and fields, playgrounds, walking tracks, and peaceful lanes, is the municipal park that is located closest to the city centre. 

There are a number of big reserves and state parks in the surrounding area, including Lake Burrumbeet park, Mount Buninyong Reserve, Mount Warrenheip Flora Reserve, and Creswick Regional Park. Other parks in the area include Enfield State Park and Creswick Regional Park. There are also a number of smaller parks, including Black Hill, Victoria Park, Pioneer Park, and Yarowee Reserve, all of which are situated within a short walking distance of the central business district.

Top Attractions in Ballarat: 

  • Lake Wendouree
  • Sovereign Hill
  • Ballarat Botanical Gardens
  • Art Gallery of Ballarat
  • Ballarat Wildlife Park
  • Ballarat Tramway Museum
  • Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial
  • Arch of Victory
  • Lydiard Street

Accommodation in Ballarat: 

  • Sovereign Park Motor Inn
  • Ballarat Premier Apartments
  • Best Western Plus Ballarat Suites
  • The Provincial Ballarat
  • Quest Ballarat Station
  • Seymours on Lydiard
  • Craig’s Royal Hotel
  • Oscar’s Hotel & Cafe Bar

Restaurants in Ballarat:

  • Carboni’s Italian Kitchen
  • Cafe Merkama
  • Meigas
  • Cafe Lekker
  • Harry Limes
  • Mitchell Harris Wine Bar
  • L’Espresso
  • Japanese restaurant kami
  • The Red Lion
  • Hop Temple

Ballarat to Horsham

Driving TimeDistance
2 hr 8 min 187 km

Even if you haven’t been behind the wheel for a particularly long period of time, this is the ideal opportunity to get out of the car and stretch your legs. Who could possibly turn down the opportunity to explore rough sandstone mountains that are home to a diverse population of animals, both large and small?

In the western part of the Australian state of Victoria, there is a city called Horsham that is considered to be a regional centre. Horsham is roughly 300 kilometres (190 miles) to the northwest of Melbourne, the capital of the state of Victoria, and it is situated on a bend in the Wimmera River. Horsham has a total population of 20,429 people as per the census conducted in the year 2021. It is the most populated city in the Wimmera region and serves as the primary administrative centre for the Rural City of Horsham local government area. 

The city serves as an important stop-over station for travellers travelling between Adelaide and Melbourne and is home to about a dozen different hotels. Mount Arapiles is located to the west of Horsham, the Grampians National Park is located to the south of Horsham, the Little Desert National Park is located to the northwest of Horsham, and the Silo Art Trail starts in Brim, which is located to the north of Horsham. The Wimmera River and the Fishing Competition that takes place on it every year are two of the most famous characteristics of the city.

Top Attractions in Horsham: 

  • Weir Park
  • Horsham Botanical Gardens
  • Green Lake
  • Horsham Weir to Baillie Street River Walk
  • Wimmera River
  • Taylors Lake
  • Sawyer Park
  • Horsham Riverside Caravan Park
  • May Park
  • West Wail Flora and Fauna Reserve

Accommodation in Horsham: 

  • Horsham Riverside Caravan Park
  • Comfort Inn Capital Horsham
  • Townhouse Motor Inn
  • Comfort Inn May Park
  • Smerdon Lodge Motel
  • Horsham Country City Motor Inn

Restaurants in Horsham:

  • Horsham Sports & Community Club
  • Thipatiy Coffee Lounge
  • Waack’s Roberts Ave Bakery
  • Nourish’d Eatery
  • Conways
  • Ginger Chilli-modern Asian cuisine
  • Cheeky Fox Cafe
  • Horsham Masala Indian Restaurant
  • Moe’s Mexican Bar & Grill

Horsham to Mildura

Driving TimeDistance
3 hr 24 min310 km

In the lively provincial city of Mildura, tourists of any age will have no trouble finding activities that are appropriate for them. Those with a passion for food may sate their hunger with some of the freshest and most flavorful locally farmed vegetables that Australia has to offer. While you shop at the Sunraysia Farmers Market, you may snack on freshly picked grapes, pistachios, melons, almonds, and a wide variety of other fruits and nuts (held every first and third Saturday of the month). After all of that driving, do you feel like doing something active to break up the monotony of it? You may take things to a more leisurely pace by paddling a paddle steamer down the Murray River, or you can go paddle boarding down the river.

Top Attractions in Mildura: 

  • Chaffey House
  • Apex Beach
  • Mildura Water Play Park
  • Nowingi Place
  • Lock 11
  • Mildura Riverfront
  • Merbein Common
  • All Seasons Holiday Park Mildura
  • Jaycee Park
  • BIG4 Mildura Crossroads Holiday Park

Accommodation in Mildura: 

  • ‘It’s On Walnut’
  • The Stable on Olive
  • Ditto Daddys
  • Lemon Cottage – Pet Friendly
  • Green Patch Mildura Villa One
  • Hydrangea Cottage Mildura

Restaurants in Mildura:

  • Thai-Riffic
  • Andy’s Kitchen
  • blk. MLK specialty coffee
  • Trentham Estate Winery Restaurant
  • Botanica Cuisine By Dag Demarkow & Co
  • Stefano’s Cafe
  • Pizza Cafe at the Grand

Mildura to Morgan

Driving TimeDistance
2 hr 41 min250 km

From Mildura to Morgan, it will take about 2 hr and 41 mins which distance of about 250 km. 

Morgan is a town in South Australia that is located on the right bank of the Murray River, approximately downstream of the point where the river changes its flow direction from flowing roughly westwards to flowing roughly southwards. It is about 315 kilometres (196 miles) upstream of the Murray Mouth and 161 kilometres (100 miles) northeast of Adelaide. Morgan had a total population of 426 individuals as of the time of the census in 2006.

Presently, Morgan is well-known for the number of houseboat anchors and services that it provides, and a houseboat marina is presently in the process of being constructed. River crossings are made easier by the availability of a free road transport ferry service that runs around the clock. Brenda Park is a riverbank development that has grown since World War II. It was initially comprised of crude shacks, but it has now evolved into upscale waterfront vacation houses. Brenda Park is located just south of Morgan, which is downstream from the town.

Top Attractions in Morgan: 

  • Murray River
  • Houseboat anchors

Accommodation in Morgan: 

  • Nikalapko Homestay – River Retreat
  • Riverfront Brenda Park, Morgan, SA, Murraylands Riverland
  • Sandalmere Rural Cottage
  • Eco-house with Murray River views

Restaurants in Morgan:

  • Morgan Roadhouse
  • Morgan Cafe
  • Marr’s Bakery
  • Commercial Hotel Restaurant

Morgan to Port Augusta

Driving TimeDistance
3 hr 3 min 284 km

The next day, make your way to Port Augusta, which is home to the Wadlata Outback Centre. This centre is well-known for its ‘Tunnel of Time,’ which is an absolute need to see before venturing into the true outback of Port Augusta. Walking through the ‘Tunnel of Time’ may be completed in as little as ten minutes or as much as four to five hours, depending on how much you want to learn along the way. 

In contrast to the majority of other botanical gardens that you have probably visited in the past, the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden in Port Augusta is an additional destination that is one of a kind. It focuses less on the mesmerizing colours and more on the traditional flora of South Australia that is adapted to flourish in drier environments. The whole garden is designed based on average rainfall and what the plants truly need to develop. It is an excellent approach to getting familiar with Australian native flora.

There are both powered and unpowered sites available at the world-class vacation park managed by Discovery Parks in Port Augusta. In addition, the park offers wireless internet access, a fitness centre, a swimming pool, and a sauna.

Top Attractions in Port Augusta: 

  • Homestead Gardens
  • Shoreline Caravan Park
  • Port Augusta Train Park
  • Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden
  • Discovery Parks – Port Augusta
  • Spear Creek Caravan Park
  • Port Augusta Caravan Park Cabins
  • Nuttbush Retreat

Accommodation in Port Augusta: 

  • Crossroads Ecomotel
  • Majestic Oasis Apartments
  • Discovery Parks – Port Augusta
  • Standpipe Golf Motor Inn
  • Comfort Inn & Suites Augusta Westside
  • Augusta Courtyard Motel
  • Motel Pampas
  • Acacia Ridge Motor Inn
  • Poinsettia Motel

Restaurants in Port Augusta:

  • Standpipe Golf Motor Inn
  • Indian Indulgences
  • Mamma Lous
  • Cena on Chapel
  • Golden Pearl Chinese Restaurant Pty Ltd
  • Arid Lands Botanic Garden Cafe
  • Archers’ Table
  • Ozzie’s Coffee Lounge
  • Pastoral Hotel Motel Bistro
  • Hannaville Hotel

Port Augusta to Woomera

Driving TimeDistance
1 hr 57 min181 km

Woomera, sometimes known informally as Woomera town, is the name given to the residential sector of Royal Australian Air Force Base Woomera. Woomera village has never been anything other than a facility that is owned and controlled by the Defense. The settlement is situated on the native lands of the Kokatha family in the Far North region of South Australia. However, the property on which the community is situated is held by the Commonwealth, and the area in which the village is situated is referred to as the “Woomera Prohibited Area” (WPA). A distance of roughly 446 kilometres or 277 miles separates the city of Adelaide from the settlement.

The Woomera National Aerospace and Missile Park can be found in the middle of the hamlet, and it is one of Woomera’s most popular tourist destinations. This park is home to a number of aircraft that were used in tests conducted at Woomera, in addition to a variety of missiles and rockets that were produced and tested there over the course of the last sixty years.

Top Attractions in Woomera: 

  • Woomera Museum
  • Lake Hart
  • Woomera Heritage and Visitor Information Centre
  • Woomera Missile Park
  • Woomera Baker Observatory

Accommodation in Woomera: 

  • ELDO Hotel
  • Woomera Traveller’s Village & Caravan Park

Restaurants in Woomera:

  • Eldo hotel

Woomera to Coober Pedy

Driving TimeDistance
3 hr 55 min374 km

The journey to Coober Pedy, known as the diamond capital of the world, has so far been the most difficult and lengthy of the whole journey. To break up the journey, stop for lunch in Woomera and stretch your legs while exploring the town’s many displays of memorabilia from the Royal Australian Air Force. Woomera is a great place to break up the journey. When you first go to Coober Pedy, the Old Timers Mine is a fantastic location to go check out and look about.

In addition to being a museum, the opal mine has an underground house built into the rock formations. It’s an unusual sight that you won’t see in many other areas across the globe, so don’t miss out on your chance to see it! Riba’s Subterranean Camping & Caravan Park is a fantastic place to stay when in Coober Pedy. This park has underground camping spaces, which are ideal for avoiding the city’s intense heat. Above ground, you have access to both unpowered and powered sites, which is great since you have a motorhome, but you should also make sure to walk below ground and check out some of the amenities that they offer beneath.

Top Attractions in Coober Pedy: 

  • St Peter & Pauls underground Catholic Church
  • Umoona Opal Mine & Museum
  • Serbian Orthodox Church
  • Faye’s Underground Home
  • Spaceship from Pitch Black
  • Catacomb Church
  • Old Timers Mine
  • The Big Miner
  • Big Winch 360
  • Dog Fence

Accommodation in Coober Pedy: 

  • Venushill Underground B+B
  • JAM B&B
  • Stunning Underground Home – short walk to restaurants. cafes, shops & galleries
  • Stunning LIGHT FILLED UNDERGROUND Retreat 
  • Underground Bed & Breakfast
  • Stunning Dugout/Cave

Restaurants in Coober Pedy:

  • Outback Bar & Grill
  • Downunder Gallery and Cafe
  • Big Winch 360 Cafe & Wine Bar
  • Umbertos
  • Waffles & Gems
  • Nostima Pizza
  • Opal City Chinese Restaurant
  • Italo Australian Miners Club
  • John’s Pizza Bar & Restaurant

Coober Pedy to Marla

Driving TimeDistance
2 hr 25 min 235 km

Marla is a city and locality in the state of South Australia, Australia. It is situated in the state’s northwest, approximately 970 kilometres (600 miles) northwest of the capital city of Adelaide, and approximately 402 kilometres (250 miles) south of the city of Alice Springs, which is in the land of the Northern Territory.

A privately run complex known as the Marla Travellers Rest is located in the town of Marla. It is described as having a “roadhouse, guesthouse and motel, cafe, petrol station, grocery store, caravan park, and a lot more.” The Marla Clinic, which is located in the town, is run by the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia on behalf of the state government. A regional police station is also located in the town. In addition to that, it acts as an agent for Australia Post LPO.

Top Attractions in Marla: 

  • The Marla Clinic

Accommodation in Marla: 

  • Marla Travellers Rest

Restaurants in Marla:

  • Marla Travellers Rest

Marla to Uluru

Driving TimeDistance
5 hr 21 min522 km

The ultimate destination, Uluru, can be reached by travelling a little distance along the road from Marla. One of the greatest ways to make the most of your time in Uluru, depending on when you get there, is to take a camel ride tour either at dawn or at sunset. While you are taking a trip on the camel train, your tour guide will regale you with tales of the outback and Uluru. These tales will be told against the breathtaking backdrop of either the dawn or the sunset. 

In the presence of the rock that dominates the whole planet in terms of size, this is an experience that cannot be forgotten. After exploring Ayers Rock and its breathtakingly gorgeous and mind-boggling surroundings, the Ayers Rock Campground is the spot where you’ll want to rest your head for the night.

After you have arrived in Uluru, it is highly advised that you remain there for at least a couple of days so that you may explore the surrounding region. After that, you can either travel back to Melbourne or continue on to the next stop on your journey.

Top Attractions in Uluru: 

  • Maruku Art Centre
  • Mala Walk
  • Kuniya Walk
  • Mutitjulu Waterhole
  • Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre
  • Maruku Arts
  • Field of Light
  • Walkatjara Art Uluru
  • Lungkata Walk

Accommodation in Uluru: 

  • Outback Pioneer Hotel

Restaurants in Uluru:

  • Kulata Academy Cafe
  • Sounds of Silence
  • Arnguli Grill & Restaurant
  • Ilkari Restaurant
  • Walpa Lobby Bar
  • Ininti Cafe & Souvenirs
  • Gecko’s Cafe
  • Mangata Bistro & Bar
  • Bough House Restaurant

Best Time To Go On A Road Trip From Melbourne to Uluru

While it is possible to go to Uluru at any time of the year, the ideal time to go will very much be determined by the kinds of temperatures you are able to handle as well as the kinds of activities you would want to partake in while travelling there.

For instance, during the summer (December, January, and February), the temperature at Uluru may reach up to 40 degrees Celsius, while the surrounding desert can reach up to 45 degrees. In the meanwhile, it is not uncommon for the temperature in the park to reach 30 degrees or more, and during the summer it may even reach 40 degrees. The majority of people are going to find this to be an intolerably heated situation.

In contrast, during the winter months, temperatures may drop too far below 0 degrees (June, July, and August). However, despite the fact that the evenings are chilly, this is the ideal time of year to see the stars, so be sure to bundle up and bring a blanket.

The months of September through November and March through May are the two finest times to visit Uluru because of the pleasant weather and reasonable prices. The air temperature is in the nice range (between 25 and 30 degrees), and the evenings are also comfortable in temperature.

Hiking, swimming, gazing at the stars, or catching a sunset or two along the road are all wonderful activities that you may enjoy at this time of year. Additionally, these are the best months to visit the park if you want to watch the wildflowers blossom.

You may always organize your trip around an exciting event if you don’t mind the possibility of being surrounded by a large number of other people. The springtime is home to a number of significant activities that take place in Uluru. These include the Tjungu festival, which lasts for four days and takes place in April, and the Uluru Camel Cup, which takes place in May.

There are other famous summer events, such as the Australian Outback Marathon, which takes place in July against the breathtaking background of Ayers Rock, and the Uluru Astronomy Weekend, which takes place in August and draws astronomers from all over the globe.

FAQs

Is it safe to drive from Melbourne to Uluru?

The main roads and highways that connect Melbourne and Uluru are in excellent condition thanks to recent sealing efforts. This road journey is manageable by any camper vehicle, regardless of whether it has two or four-wheel drive.

Where can I stop between Melbourne and Uluru?

You can stop at several stops between Melbourne and Uluru such as Ballarat, Horsham, Mildura, Port Augusta, Coober Pedy, and so on. 

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

You should budget between $200 and $400 for the cost of gasoline in one trip, depending on the specifications of your car. You must also factor in the expense of spending the night at a campground, hotel, or motel while on your trip.

Is it worth driving to Uluru?

The trip by car from Melbourne to Uluru is one that should not be missed; in fact, it is preferable to drive straight there. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to stop, stretch your legs, and take in the numerous sites along the route, as well as some incredible road trip spots to visit along the way.

Conclusion 

Your amazing road trip itinerary from Melbourne to Uluru has finally ended here. We included some of the best places where you can stop along the route. If you have the time and are not in a rush, you should take various breaks along the way to take in the breathtaking scenery that Uluru city has to offer.

We really hope that you were able to focus on the best travel strategy with the aid of this guidebook. Right, it’s time to pack everything up and get ready to travel.

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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