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!
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.
|Destination||Distance||Driving time||Must do Activities||Accommodation|
|Adelaide||Walking tour in Adelaide CBD||Tequila Sunrise hostel or Hilton Adelaide|
|Mount Remarkable||311 km||3h50||Gorge Circuit Hike|
|National park campground or Airbnb in Melrose|
|Port Augusta||62 km||1h15||Water Tower Lookout|
|Comfort Inn Suites|
|Flinders Ranges||173 km||2h||Scenic Drive|
St Mary Peak Hike
|Wilpena Pound Resort|
|Coober Pedy||712 km||7h20||Opal Mine Museum|
|Desert Dwellers Underground B&B|
|Breakaways||32 km||26min||Scenic Drive|
Tour from Coober Pedy
|Desert Dwellers Underground B&B|
|Uluru||742 km||7h45||Uluru Base Walk|
Uluru Guided Tour
Field of Lights
|The Lost Camel or Ayers Rock Resort|
|Kata Tjuta||57 km||45 min||Valley of Winds walk|
Kata Tjuta Guided tour
|The Lost Camel or Ayers Rock Resort|
|Kings Canyon||350 km||3h40||Kings Canyon Rim Walk|
|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.
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!
WHERE TO STAY IN ADELAIDE: The most convenient place to stay in Adelaide is the CBD.
For mid-range to luxury accommodation, the Hilton Adelaide is ideal. Click here to see the prices.
Another great option would be to book an Airbnb in Adelaide CBD.
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.
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)
It’s also a great place to go biking.
You can stop by the visitor centre and get more information from the park rangers.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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 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.
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).
Here are some awesome attractions and man-made landmarks to check out during your time in Coober Pedy:
- Umoona Opal Mine & Museum
- Old Timers Mine & Museum
- Crocodile Harry’s
- Kangaroo Sanctuary
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!)
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.
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.
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.
It’s 348m high and can be seen from far away. You can walk around it. The Uluru Base Walk is about 10km long.
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!
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.
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.
Not only the views are incredible but it’s also such an amazing experience to have in the red centre.
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.
The field of light is one of the best things 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.
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.
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!
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!
Located in Watarrka National Park, Kings Canyon is one of the most spectacular natural landmarks in Australia.
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.
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!
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!
If you are staying at Ayers Rock Resort and would rather go on an organised day trip from there, that’s also possible.
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!
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.
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:
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!
– Jumper (with hood)
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.
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
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!)
– SD card
– Drone (DJI Mavic Mini is a great option)
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!
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