Adelaide to Uluru Drive: Australian Outback Road Trip

Piwee

11 July 2020

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Home » Australia » Adelaide to Uluru Drive: Australian Outback Road Trip

 

Australia is one of the best countries in the world for road trips. Not only the infrastructures are great, but the landscapes themselves are breath-taking!

 

One of the best things you can do in Australia is going on an Adelaide to Uluru Road Trip!

 

Driving from Adelaide to Uluru is a unique experience. You start in South Australia, near the vineyards, go through the desert and mountains, to end up in the red centre.

 

Driving from Adelaide to Uluru (or even up to Darwin) is the best way to enjoy the Australian Outback. That’s how you get the most out of it!

 

In this Adelaide to Uluru Drive Itinerary, you will discover the best things to do and see between Adelaide and Uluru.

 

So, are you ready to hit the Stuart Highway? Let’s get started!

 

road trip adelaide to darwin

 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost for you!

 

Adelaide to Uluru Road Trip Map

 

Here is the map of the route you will take during your road trip from Adelaide to Uluru.

 

 

 

Adelaide to Uluru Drive Itinerary Summary

 

If you are in a rush, you can find below the exact itinerary for the best road trip from Adelaide to Uluru.

 

DestinationDistanceDriving timeMust do ActivitiesAccommodation
AdelaideWalking tour in Adelaide CBDTequila Sunrise hostel or Hilton Adelaide
Mount Remarkable311 km3h50Gorge Circuit Hike
Baroota Hike
National park campground or Airbnb in Melrose
Port Augusta62 km1h15Water Tower Lookout
Botanical Gardens
Comfort Inn Suites
Flinders Ranges173 km2hScenic Drive
St Mary Peak Hike
Walking tour
Scenic Flight
Wilpena Pound Resort
Coober Pedy712 km7h20Opal Mine Museum
Kangaroo Sanctuary
Crocodile's Harry
Desert Dwellers Underground B&B
Breakaways32 km26minScenic Drive
Tour from Coober Pedy
Desert Dwellers Underground B&B
Uluru742 km7h45Uluru Base Walk
Uluru Guided Tour
Field of Lights
Helicopter tour
The Lost Camel or Ayers Rock Resort
Kata Tjuta57 km45 minValley of Winds walk
Kata Tjuta Guided tour
The Lost Camel or Ayers Rock Resort
Kings Canyon350 km3h40Kings Canyon Rim Walk
Scenic Flight
Kings Canyon Resort

 

Where to stop between Adelaide and Uluru

 

1 – Adelaide

 

Adelaide is the capital of South Australia. Often in the shadow of its big sisters, Melbourne and Sydney, it’s still a place you should want to visit.

 

adelaide south australia

 

The city centre is quite small and easily navigable. Rundle Street (and Rundle Mall) is perfect for shopping lovers! You will find everything you need there!

There is also a very good nightlife in Adelaide. If you head to Hindley St you will find plenty of bars, restaurants and clubs! It’s also a good place to listen to live music.

 

ACTIVITIES IN ADELAIDE: If you want to make the best of your time in Adelaide, you can go on a walking tour (by a local!). You will discover plenty about the history of the city and many quirky and fun facts about Adelaide!

For more information and see the latest prices, click here.

 

WHERE TO STAY IN ADELAIDE: The most convenient place to stay in Adelaide is the CBD.

 

If you are on a budget, you can opt for the Tequila Sunrise hostel. Info & prices here.

For mid-range to luxury accommodation, the Hilton Adelaide is ideal. Click here to see the prices.

 

Click here to see the latest prices for accommodation in Adelaide CBD.

 

Another great option would be to book an Airbnb in Adelaide CBD.

 

Click here to see all Airbnbs in Adelaide and the latest prices.

 

2 – Mount Remarkable

 

Mount Remarkable is one of Australia’s best-kept secrets! This beautiful national park offers a lot of hiking options and is the perfect place to stop by before getting to Flinders Ranges.

 

mount remarkable south australia road trip

 

Here are some amazing hikes in Mount Remarkable National Park:

  • Gorge Circuit Hike (2 h, 2km)
  • Mount Remarkable Summit Loop (5h, 12km)
  • Hidden Gorge Hike (7h, 18km)
  • Baroota Hike (2h, 6km)

 

mount remarkable road trip adelaide to darwin

 

It’s also a great place to go biking.

You can stop by the visitor centre and get more information from the park rangers.

 

mount remarkable south australia

 

WHERE TO STAY IN MOUNT REMARKABLE: There are two national park’s campground in Mount Remarkable: Mambray Creek and Baroota Ruins campgrounds.

 

Another option is to book an Airbnb in Melrose, right outside the park.

 

Click here to see the latest prices for Airbnbs near Mount Remarkable.

 

3 – Port Augusta

 

Port Augusta is a small city in South Australia, located about 3 hours drive from Adelaide.

 

While you are there, make sure to check out the Water Tower Lookout. You will get to enjoy beautiful 360-degree views. But that’s not all, there is plenty to do in Port Augusta including the Australian Arid Lands Botanical Gardens and the Port Augusta Heritage Walk.

 

SA port augusta road trip

 

PRO TIP: It will be your last stop before entering the Australian Outback so make sure you go shopping and take loads of water. As you won’t find any drinking water until you reach Coober Pedy or Uluru, it’s recommended to take at least 10L per person of drinking water. Make sure you also have enough non-drinking water to wash up your dishes for a while.

 

WHERE TO STAY IN PORT AUGUSTA: If you are on a budget, Pampas Motel Port Augusta will be perfect for you. It’s located only a few minutes walk from all the cafes and restaurants and is very good value for money.

 

If you are looking for mid-range accommodation, Comfort Inn & Suites Augusta Westside is a great choice of hotel. They even have a pool!

 

For luxury accommodation, Majestic Oasis Apartments offer amazing rentals with private balcony and swimming pool.

 

Click here to see all hotels and rentals in Port Augusta.

 

4 – Ikara – Flinders Ranges National Park

 

This one is perfect for nature lovers! It’s one of the most underrated national parks in Australia but it’s so worth spending time there! It’s definitely one of the most beautiful places in Australia!

 

Flinders ranges in south australia

 

This range of mountains is interesting for various reasons. Firstly, you will find a few scenic drives, perfect to discover beautiful landscapes from the comfort of your car.

 

Flinders ranges in south australia

 

Secondly, it’s a paradise for hikers! From Wilpena Pound, you can find some amazing hikes such as Saint Mary Peak or Mt Ohlssen Bagge.

Other great hikes around the Flinders Ranges would be Rawnsley Bluff hike or Mount Brown Summit.

 

Flinders ranges in south australia

 

If you are into history, you are in luck! There are also some historical walks in Ikara Flinders Ranges:

  • Mound Springs Walk
  • Quorn Heritage Walk
  • Settlement Walk

And plenty more!

 

Flinders ranges in south australia

 

Ikara-Flinders Ranges is sacred for the native-Australian communities. If you wish to learn more about the aboriginal culture in the Flinders Ranges, hop on a Yura Udnyu Culture & Heritage Guided Tour from Wilpena Pound.

 

Please note that a lot of hikes go through sacred sites for the aboriginal communities so make sure to be aware of this.

 

But if you love breath-taking landscapes, the Flinders Ranges will be your paradise!

 

Road trip Flinders ranges in south australia

 

 

ACTIVITIES IN FLINDERS RANGES: The landscapes in Flinders Ranges are truly spectacular and the best way to enjoy them (besides hiking) is going on a scenic flight.

This 30-min flight is such an incredible experience.

 

Click here to see the latest prices for the scenic flight.

 

If you want to go around with a local guide and find the best sunset spots, you can also jump on a sunset tour. It leaves from Wilpena Pound and you will get to discover the park with an Adnyamathanha guide!

 

Click here for more information and see the latest prices.

 

WHERE TO STAY IN FLINDERS RANGES: The best place to stay in the Flinders Ranges is Wilpena Pound Resort.

They offer a variety of options. From camping pitches to luxury tents and glamping options, they have it all.

It’s very pretty. The facilities are great and it’s the best place to start your adventure!

 

Click here to see the latest prices and availability at Wilpena Pound Resort.

 

5 – Coober Pedy

 

Coober Pedy is located in South Australia but will be your first “real” stop in the outback. Once you reach Coober Pedy, everything starts changing around you. You will be in the desert.

 

Entrance of coober pedy

 

This town is known as the opal capital of the world. There are mines everywhere, which is quite interesting. The other thing it’s famous for is its underground houses.

 

Coober pedy in SA

 

Coober Pedy is a very unique place. It kind of feels like if you were on another planet. The landscapes are a bit moon-like. It’s pretty cool, kind of weird as well if I’m honest.

 

Visit coober pedy road trip to uluru

 

Some very famous movies like Star Wars and Mad Max were filmed there (that should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect).

 

Coober Pedy Mad max

 

Here are some awesome attractions to check out during your time in Coober Pedy:

  • Umoona Opal Mine & Museum
  • Old Timers Mine & Museum
  • Crocodile Harry’s
  • Kangaroo Sanctuary

 

crocrodile's harry coober pedy SA

 

PRO TIP: Coober Pedy will be the last city you go through before Alice Springs. As it will take you a while to get there, I highly recommend going shopping and make sure you buy loads of water! You can count 10L of water per person. There is an IGA in town where you can get supplies.

 

ACTIVITIES IN COOBER PEDY: If you want to make the best of your time in Coober Pedy, you can choose to jump on guided tour.

You will get to discover the history of Coober Pedy, explore an opal mine, see the dog fence and breathtaking Breakaways.

 

Click here for more information and see the latest prices.

 

WHERE TO STAY IN COOBER PEDY: Firstly, it’s important to say that there are no free campsites in Coober Pedy. If you see any alternative places to camp on Wikicamp, avoid them. It’s not really safe to camp outside of Coober Pedy. If you are on a budget, you can get a camping pitch in one of the campsites around town.

 

But the best place to stay in Coober Pedy is underground! It’s such a unique experience. You won’t get anything quite like it anywhere else in the world.

 

Desert Dwellers Underground B&B is an amazing option. Great value for the price! You get to enjoy both being underground and the charm of a nice Bed and Breakfast. Prices and availability here.

 

Click here to see the full list of accommodation in Coober Pedy.

 

 

6 – Breakaways

 

Aaaah the Breakaways! Australia’s best-kept secret! If there is one place that blew my mind in Australia that would be it!

 

Located 32 km from Coober Pedy, the Breakaways are a range of mountains in the desert. They are a bit off the beaten path so don’t expect to see too many signs about them but they are worth the detour!

 

Breakaways in south australia

 

You will have to drive on a dirt road for quite a while. You don’t need a 4WD for that (I did it with a Ford Falcon) but you will have to be extremely careful as there are a lot of potholes and nothing around. At some point, you might wonder if you are at the right place as there is literally nothing around but keep going!

 

breakaways coober pedy SA

 

After a bit, you will get to a lookout. Stop there and go towards the edge. And boom! The breakaways will reveal themselves! These random mountains are so pretty!

Your photos will look photoshopped! (even though they are not!)

 

dog fence coober pedy

 

As you are driving, you will also see the dog fence! You can stop there and take photos. The dog fence is meant to protect people from dingos and is longer than the great wall of China! It goes up to Queensland!

 

BREAKAWAYS TOURS: If you don’t feel confident in driving yourself or want to get more out of this experience, you can book a Breakaways tour from Coober Pedy.

 

Click here for more information and see the latest prices.

 

WHERE TO STAY NEAR THE BREAKAWAYS: You will probably stay between 2 and 6 hours in the Breakaways. There is no accommodation on site but you can stay in Coober Pedy (see above).

 

7 – Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park

 

Welcome to Australia’s most iconic landmark! You’ve made it to the ultimate stop: Uluru!

 

Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park is made of two natural landmarks: Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

 

Views of Uluru

 

Uluru is the most famous landmark in Australia. This massive “big red rock” in the centre of Australia is particularly symbolic. Uluru is listed as UNESCO World Heritage and is sacred for the local aboriginal community, the Pitjantjatjara Anangu.

 

uluru base walk NT

 

It’s 348m high and can be seen from far away. You can walk around it. The Uluru Base Walk is about 10km long.

 

uluru base walk

 

You should stop first at the cultural centre. You will find plenty of information about the aboriginal culture in Uluru. You will also discover why you shouldn’t climb it!

 

Besides the walk, one of the best things to do at Uluru is watching the sunset and sunrise. It’s breathtaking!

 

Sunrise Uluru

 

Another great thing to see is the Field of light. This beautiful structure features thousands of tiny lights making the base of Uluru glittery! You will need to book your tickets in advance though. Info and prices available here.

 

But the best part of the park is actually the other landmark: Kata Tjuta (sometimes referred to as the Olgas).

Although it’s less famous, it offers way better views and walks!

 

In the morning, you can head to Kata Tjuta for the sunrise. You will get wonderful views of Uluru from there.

 

sunrise uluru from kata tjuta

 

No matter what, you need to go on the Valley of the Winds walk in Kata Tjuta. This is one of the best hikes in Australia and is respectful of the aboriginal culture. It takes about 4 hours to complete. It can be a bit steep at the beginning until you get to the Karingana Lookout but it’s fine after that.

 

kata tjuta walk

Not only the views are incredible but it’s also such an amazing experience to have in the red centre.

 

valley of winds kata tjuta

 

ACTIVITIES IN ULURU: If you are interested in learning more about the cultural aspect of Uluru, you should definitely go on a guided tour. You will discover so much about Uluru, the aboriginal culture and even get drinks at a wonderful sunset spot.

Click here for more information and see the latest prices.

 

The field of light is one of the best thing to do in Uluru and you should definitely give it a go. That having been said, it’s very popular so it gets sold off very quickly. It’s highly recommended to book in advance if you want to make sure you can see it.

 

Information and prices are available here.

 

Finally, if you want to see Uluru in all its beauty, that would be from the air! You can book a helicopter flight and will see Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Lake Amadeus.

 

For more info and see the latest prices, click here.

 

ACTIVITIES IN KATA TJUTA: Again, if you want to make the best of the walk in the Valley of the winds, you may want to consider going on a guided tour. You will discover so much about the aboriginal culture but also go to the Walpa Gorge. Information and prices available here.

 

WHERE TO STAY AT ULURU: In terms of accommodation at Uluru, you won’t get much choice. Luckily though, the only handful of hotels and campgrounds are all great.

 

If you are on a budget, you can get a camping pitch at Ayers Rock Resort.

 

If you’d rather stay in a hotel, The Lost Camel will be ideal. They even have a pool!

 

Click here to see the latest prices and availability.

 

Bonus: Kings Canyon

 

Now that you made it all this way from Adelaide, it would be a shame to leave without checking our Kings Canyon.

 

Although Uluru is more famous, Kings Canyon has so much more to offer!

 

kings canyon NT walk

 

Located in Watarrka National Park, Kings Canyon is one of the most spectacular natural landmarks in Australia.

 

kings canyon wildlife

 

The best thing to do there is going on hikes in Kings Canyon.

The Kings Canyon Rim Walk is a great option. It’s 6km long and will take you through the best places.

 

kings canyon NT

 

If you want to go up a notch, the Giles Track hike is for you! This 22km long walk will take you all the way in and around the canyon. The views are stunning! It’s such a fun thing to do!

 

ACTIVITIES AT KINGS CANYON: The aboriginal culture is everywhere at King’s Canyon. If you wish to learn more about it and also more about the canyon itself, you should consider going on a guided tour. It’s 3 hours long and the guide will give you so much info!

 

Click here to see the latest prices.

 

If you want to see Kings Canyon from its best angle, a helicopter flight will be such an amazing experience! It’s absolutely stunning. Not the cheapest thing but if you have the budget, you will be amazed!

 

Click here for more information and see the latest prices.

 

If you are staying at Ayers Rock Resort and would rather go on an organised day trip from there, that’s also possible.

 

Click here for more information and prices.

 

WHERE TO STAY AT KINGS CANYON: There is only one hotel in Kings Canyon. Luckily, it’s an amazing one! Kings Canyon resort offers a wide range of rooms (mid-range to luxury). They have amazing features including a swimming pool and bar!

 

Click here to see the latest prices and availability.

 

Alternatively, there are a couple of rest areas on the side of the road between Uluru and Kings Canyon. If you are looking for cheap accommodation, that will be your best bet. You can find them on the Wikicamp app.

 

Tour from Adelaide to Uluru

 

This road trip from Adelaide to Uluru is truly magical and I can’t recommend it enough. However, it is for sure an adventure. If you don’t feel like you have enough time or would prefer to go on a multi-day tour where everything is planned, that’s also possible.

 

You can choose to book this Adelaide to Uluru tour. You will leave from Adelaide and stop at the Flinders Ranges, the salt lakes, Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

 

It lasts 5 days and is quite a good option.

 

Information and prices are available here.

 

Adelaide to Uluru Road Trip Packing List

 

Preparation is important when you drive from Adelaide to Uluru. You will be going through the outback and although it’s not dangerous per se, there are some precautions that need to be taken.

 

More importantly, you won’t find supermarkets everywhere as you are used to.

 

Port Augusta and Coober Pedy are important stops as you will find good-sized supermarkets where you can get food.

 

As a general thing, here are the items you should take on your trip:

 

Clothes

 

The thing in the Outback is that it’s very hot during the day and very cold at night so make sure to get clothes for both!

– Shorts

– T-Shirts

– Shoes: Hiking shoes are a must for this road trip. These hiking shoes are ideal. You should also take more casual shoes such as converse and a pair of flip flops for the evening.

– Jumper (with hood)

– Trousers

 

Accessories

 

There are a lot of flies in the red centre. This is no joke! You should get a fly net. It might seem ridiculous at first but you will need it and it costs a fortune if you get it at Uluru. It’s better to get it beforehand. You can buy one here.

 

As it’s very sunny, make sure you have sunscreen as well.

 

Car equipment

 

It is a pretty long drive and there aren’t many garages on the way. Firstly, I would make sure your car is ok and get it serviced before you go.

As for what you should take with you:

– A spare wheel

– Kit to change the wheel

– Tyre patch kit

– Fluids

 

Electronics

 

You will see amazing landscapes between Adelaide and Uluru so make sure you are taking the following things (you don’t need all of these but if you do have any, take them!)

– Phone

– Camera

– SD card

– Drone (DJI Mavic Mini is a great option)

GoPro

 

Food and drinks

 

This is the most important part. If you are planning on staying in hotels, you might not need all of that as you will be eating out. But if you are planning on cooking yourself, here is what you will need:

– Loads of water (at least 10l per person)

– Dry food (pasta, cans, beans…)

– Biscuits and snacks

 

Avoid fruit and fresh food as much as possible. You won’t be able to keep it for long in the car anyway and will have to get rid of them when you cross the border between South Australia and Northern Territory. There are quarantine bins for fruit there.

 

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

 

It depends on the type of car you are driving. Obviously, you will use up more petrol with a caravan than with a small car.

 

To give you an idea of cost though, this exact road trip with a Ford Falcon Station Wagon costs about $300 for petrol.

 

Then you have to add the accommodation and activity costs to this.

 

As a general thing, it will work out between $500 (on a tight budget) and $2,000 to go on a road trip from Adelaide to Uluru.

 

Now that you know everything about driving from Adelaide to Uluru, jump in the car and enjoy this amazing Australian road trip!

 

You may also be interested in:

Sydney to Melbourne Road Trip Itineraries

Things to do on Kangaroo Island

Places to see in Australia

Australia Travel Guide

 

Pin it for later!

 

adelaide to uluru drive