The Explorers Way 14 day itinerary

13 places · 11 days
Visit NT ·2 months ago
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A trek down Explorers Way, one of Australia's classic road adventures, is unbeatable for adventure seekers. Uluru and Kata Tjuta, Watarrka/ Kings Canyon, the MacDonnell Ranges, Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles, Nitmiluk National Park, and the waterfalls of Litchfield National Park are among the highlights of the Explorers Way. The Explorers Way journey should be completed in at least 14 days on a sealed highway, following the itinerary of explorer John McDouall Stuart in 1862.

Days 1-4: Adelaide to Coober Pedy (846kms)
Along the journey from South Australia to Coober Pedy, why not stop into Port Augusta, a great base to explore the Southern and Central Flinders Ranges.

Coober Pedy

Coober Pedy SA, Australia
Day 5: Coober Pedy to Uluru (734km)
Discover the spiritual core of the Australian Outback once you've arrived in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. This desert region is blessed with natural wonders, world-class eating experiences, and rugged beauty, and is home to the renowned icons of Uluru and Kata Tjuta.


Uluru, Petermann NT, Australia
Day 6: Uluru to Kings Canyon (300km)
Leave the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and return 300 kilometers to Watarrka/Kings Canyon via the Lasseter and Luritja routes. This magnificent location boasts 100-meter-high sandstone walls, strolling pathways, and breathtaking vistas.

Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon, Petermann NT, Australia
Day 7: Kings Canyon to Alice Springs (474km)
Rise before sunrise and walk the 6km trek around the canyon's rim for a spectacular vista. Return to Alice Springs, the NT's second largest city, once you've gotten back on the road. If you're driving a four-wheel-drive vehicle, take Mereenie Loop or the sealed Luritja and Lasseter highways before heading north onto the Stuart Highway.

Alice Springs

Alice Springs NT, Australia
Day 8: West Macs, Alice & Glen Helen (130km)
A sealed road connects Alice Springs to the West MacDonnell Ranges, making for an easy day trip. There are plenty places to stop and enjoy along the journey. Stand between the towering walls of Standley Chasm or go down the trail at Simpsons Gap. Swim in Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen Gorge, or Redbank Gorge to cool off.

Ormiston Gorge

Ormiston Gorge, Mount Zeil NT, Australia

Simpsons Gap

Simpsons Gap, Burt Plain NT, Australia

Macdonnell Ranges

Macdonnell Ranges, West MacDonnell National P...
Day 9: Alice Springs to Tennant Creek (510km)
Why not stop at the Devils Marbles, a sacred location known to the Warumungu people as Karlu Karlu, on your way from Alice to Tennant? These gigantic ancient granite stones are strewn across a large shallow valley, cracking and changing as they age.

Tennant Creek

Tennant Creek NT, Australia
Day 10: Tennant Creek to Daly Waters (400km)
The Daly Waters Historic Pub, which offers backpacker, hotel, and motel rooms, is a popular site to stay overnight. The pub and grounds are brimming with artifacts from the institution's illustrious past and the people who have passed through its doors. Set a camp for the night because this place is worth it.

Daly Waters Historic Pub

Daly Waters Historic Pub, Stuart Street, Daly...
Day 11: Daly Waters to Mataranka (167km)
Enjoy a relaxing soak in the Mataranka Thermal Pool after a long day of driving. It is encircled by a palm forest and its waters are a constant 34 degrees Celsius. It is fed by spring water from the Daly and Georgina basins.

Mataranka Thermal Pool and Rainbow Springs

Mataranka Thermal Pool and Rainbow Springs, H...
Day 12: Mataranka to Katherine (106km)
Katherine is the fourth largest town in the Northern Territory and a great place to start exploring the neighboring gorge country. Why not take a helicopter joy ride, a canoe trip, or a guided cruise through the thirteen gorges of Nitmiluk National Park? Leliyn Falls (Edith Falls) is a fantastic site for a refreshing swim around 40 kilometers north of Katherine.


Katherine NT, Australia
Day 13: Katherine to Litchfield (265km)
Because of its proximity to Darwin and unspoilt beauty, Litchfield National Park is a favorite day-tripper destination for those looking to take a dip in the Florence Falls plunge pool, Buley Rockhole, or Wangi Falls. There are walking trails, camping facilities, and 2WD and 4WD accessible tracks, so there is something for everyone.

Litchfield National Park

Litchfield National Park, Litchfield Park Roa...
Day 14: Litchfield to Darwin (130km)
Follow the Explorers Way into Darwin, Australia's northernmost capital city, for your first glimpse of the Timor Sea. You'll be in a modern cosmopolitan metropolis with open-air markets, festivals, Asian-influenced cuisine, and an active outdoor lifestyle.
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