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Stuart Highway - Adelaide to Alice Springs

by Anonymous

How desolate is the Stuart Highway?

I'm driving with 2 small children on the Stuart Highway from Adelaide to Alice Springs in July for a holiday and returning on the Ghan. Is the road that desolate that nobody would be there to help in case of an emergency?

Thanks for any info.

roadhouse in the outback
Glendambo Roadhouse


Rita's Reply

Hi there,

although distances between towns and roadhouses along the Stuart Highway are up to 250 km (it's not always that much), I would say the Stuart is definitely not desolated.

By Australian Outback standards it is a road with a lot of traffic.
Of course, the scenery is is true Outback, fairly flat most of the times. But the landscapes are changing every so often, it is not boring.

You really don't need to worry. You won't have to wait long for another car to arrive in case of emergency.
In my opinion, the biggest problem while driving along the Stuart Highway is fatigue. However, I reckon the kids will keep you awake, and they will make you stop quite frequently.

Let me give you an overview about the towns and roadhouses along the way. You'll get fuel, drinks, food and accommodation at these places, along with mechanical assistance if needed.

Port Augusta - Pimba 172 km

Pimba to Glendambo 113 km - Don't miss the rest area at Lake Hart about 40 km past Pimba. It is one of the salt lakes that are really close to the highway.

Glendambo to Coober Pedy 252 km - This is the longest part without supplies, so fill up petrol at Glendambo. There are a couple of rest areas along the road, and an emergency phone halfway between.

Coober Pedy to Cadney Homestead 155 km

Cadney Homestead to Marla 84 km

Marla to Kulgera 180 km - Kulgera is already 22 km north of the South Australian/Northern Territory border.

Kulgera to Erldunda 74 km - The Lasseter Highway to Uluru and Yulara turns west from Erldunda.

Erldunda to Stuarts Well 108 km

Stuarts Well to Alice Springs 91 km - and that's it.

All roadhouses along the way have motel-style accommodation and camping facilities. I really liked Erldunda, but Glendambo and Cadney Homestead are also pretty nice.
Of course, Coober Pedy has a good choice of accommodation. Why not sleep underground? This is an unique experience.

Have a wonderful trip.



This is a very useful comment by another Outback Guide reader...


Stuart Hwy In July

by: Amanda

Hi there,

I live in Alice Springs and regularly drive the Stuart Hwy, for both work and holidays.

July is probably the busiest time of year in Central Australia. The highway will be packed with Grey Nomads and other tourists. Should anything befall you (I'm sure it won't) there will be lots of people around to help you. There are emergency phones every so often and there is Telstra Next G mobile reception at Pimba, Coober Pedy, Marla and Erldunda. If you don't have a Next G phone, I recommend getting one.

The road is extremely boring in places - Glendambo to Coober Pedy is my least favourite slice of the journey. I hate this part with a passion. Once you get close to the NT border, the landscape becomes much more interesting to look at. There are low mountain ranges all the way into Alice Springs thereafter (e.g James, Waterhouse).

As Rita has written, there are loads of roadhouses along the way - Cadney is the best. Personally, I find the BIG Glendambo roadhouse too expensive, although it's very clean. The smaller one has more reasonable food.

Marla's outside toilets are often grotty and it will be packed with buses. We avoid stopping at Marla at all. Erldunda Roadhouse is always ridiculously busy because it's the turn off to Uluru - but it's clean and the accommodation is good.

Kulgera is nice and quiet and clean, and so is Stuart's Well (but if you're at Stuart's Well, you've got less than an hour to Alice Springs so you might as well keep going).

I'm not sure how small your children are, but there are a many things to stop and see along the way (like the OUtback Botanical gardens, lookouts, salt lakes, Coober Pedy, the NT/SA border, the dingo fence. I also recommend audiobooks - get something like Harry Potter to keep them captivated (get the ones narrated by Jim Dale). Also there are GEOCACHES all along this road. Geocaching is a fun hide-and-seek treasure hunt played with a GPS. Check it out at www.geocaching.com It's great for kids and long trips.

Hope this is helpful,

enjoy your trip to Central Australia.

Amanda


Hi Amanda,

thank you for your comment and great advice.

We saw lots of wedge tailed eagles between Marla and Glendambo, that outweighed the boring stretch of the road. :)

Rita

Comments for Stuart Highway - Adelaide to Alice Springs

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Dec 21, 2016
Coober Pedy-Glendambo
by: Rita

Hi Mike,

Sorry for the late reply. Well, the longest part without fuel is from Glendambo to Coober Pedy, about 255km. So using the most economical speed, you might get thru, but I bet it is not a good feeling, right?
You already mentioned the risks of driving at night. I saw a lot of dead animals along the Stuart Highway. On a motorbike you are definitely more vulnerable when you hit a roo than in a car. So I really can't say it is okay to drive at night.

Sorry, I don't have any more advice.
Drive safely,
Rita

Dec 07, 2016
Riding a motorbike from Alice Springs to Melbourne 1st time
by: Mike

Hi all, I am going to ride a motorbike from Alice Springs to Melbourne in late December. My bike has a total fuel range of about 260Kms and I am a bit worried about fuel. I may get a 10Lt jerry can but due to the heat at this time of the year in the open sun, it is not an option I am happy with. I have never driven/ridden this route before and would like and appreciate any advice locals or others can give me.
I would also like advice regarding ridding at night as I am sure the days will be quite warm. My concern is kangaroos and bugs at night. Kangaroos for the obvious reason and bugs for reducing vision from my visor.
I look forward to receiving some useful advice. Thanks in advance.
Mike

Nov 01, 2015
Via Flinders Ranges
by: Rita

Hi Mohamad,

When you come from Broken Hill, leave the Barrier Highway near Peterborough and go via Orroroo and Carrieton to Hawker.

Depending on the time you have, you can travel through the Flinders Ranges and spend a few days there, or go straight north on the main road to Leigh Creek, Lyndhurt and to Marree.

Here is more info about the Oodnadatta Track and the Flinders Ranges.

Rita

Nov 01, 2015
Sydney - Uluru
by: Mohamad

Hi Guys,

Travelled from Sydney to Uluru last Christmas, and fell in love with the place. So am planning another trip mid -2016.

We travelled up the Stuart highway last Christmas, however we are thinking of going up the Oodnadatta track this time. Crossing over from NSW through broken hill should I continue towards port Augusta and meet up with the Oodnadatta track at woomera? Or is there an easier/shorter route. Also is there a way I can incorporate visiting maree?

Thanks
Mohamad

Oct 25, 2015
Don't worry. Check thecar and go.
by: Warin

Check the car ... tyres, radiator hoses, fan belts.

But take water! Something warm to ware at night, sun shade for the day (and sun screen, bug repellent, toilet paper and matches).

Fuel stops are frequent enough you don't need added fuel.

Road trains used to travel at 120 kmh in the unrestricted zones. Grey Nomads do 80 kmh (reduces fuel consumption, tyre and vehicle ware - they are to in a hurry). You should travel between these two speeds. 120 and you won't be overtaken nor over take a road train, but you will consume fuel. At 80 keep an eye on the rear vision mirror for anything large. I usually pick a place to pull over ... a fly speck on the rear vision mirror has me looking for a tree in the distance to pull under.

Take your time. Don't rush your holiday, better to relax and enjoy a smaller bit of Australia than flash past all of it, 5 minutes to see a bit that you really need at least a day to get d=some idea of it. Be flexible with your time - you will enjoy it more.

Jul 13, 2015
Don't worry
by: Rita

Hi Mabel,

To answer your questions...

1. There are roadhouses and small towns along the Stuart Highway to get fuel and supplies. You'll get fuel every 250 to 300km, often at shorter distances.

2. The highway is fully sealed, so a 2 WD is fine. Just check that the car has no obvious problems before you go.

3. I've never used GPS in the Outback, the tracks I've travelled so far were all sign-posted.
No problems on a major hwy like the Stuart.
It is at first labelled A1 which changes to A87 a few hundred km south of Darwin.

4. There are emergency phones between the roadhouses along the highway. The road is also well travelled, so it won't take long until another car passes by if you need help.

Don't worry, in my opinion fatigue is the real danger on such a long road trip. Take frequent rests, and have a safe trip.

Rita

Jul 13, 2015
driving from darwin to alice spring
by: mabel

Hi Rita,

Can I just enquire a few things for the drive from darwin to alice springs.

1. Are there stop stations along the route if we were to drive from darwin to alice spring. We are setting off this friday and am not sure if we need extra fuel.

2. We are driving on a 2 wheel toyota corolla and wonder if this is safe?


3. Also we are not using gps but relying on offline maps such as maps.me.Do you think it's safe?

4. In the event if we need to make emergency calls is there a way we can get connection ?


Thanks rita

Feb 17, 2015
derelict car
by: kathy

Hi Rita,
Did anyone notice a derelict car with some aboriginal people who were waving for people to stop on the south bound lane of the Stuart Highway just north of Glendambo?

Jan 29, 2015
Mereenie Loop
by: Rita

Hi Richard,

It's been many years since I travelled this road with a Landcruiser bush camper, and I thought the road was okay.

But even if you ask someone who was there last week, there sure won't be the same conditions in March. That's why you always get different views.

Fact is that the road is corrugated most of the time, unless it was just graded. The 4WD recommendation relates to high ground clearance and more travel comfort rather than to the necessity to drive in 4WD mode.

I definitely would follow the common advice to tow only 4WD trailer/caravans.

So ask for current conditions and advice when you are at Kings Canyon. After heavy rain the road might be closed.

You need a permit to travel the Mereenie Road which you can get at the resort.

Rita

Dec 31, 2014
Thankyou
by: PeterB

Thankyou for your answer to my question earlier. It was a great help. Just thought I would let you know we had a great trip and did end up staying at Curtain Springs. This site was really good - easy trip to Uluru the following morning. Also had a very good trip into Kings Canyon, which is an area we really lied. Very nice country in there. If we had more tie we would have stayed a few more nights.
Thanks again for your advice.
Peter

Dec 29, 2014
Kings Canyon to Glen Helen
by: Richard

Hi

Im leaving Melb on a 5 week road trip and will be going through Ayres rock to kings Canyon and then Glen Helen. I have a 4wd Jeep Cherokee (not the big one) and towing a regular 6 by 4 trailer,and have read a number of contradictory articles on the mereenie loop road, the portion between Kings canyon and glen Helen and how rough it is. Will be through there about 1st March. Im contemplating giving it a miss and taking the long way round and going from Kings to Alice and then to Glen Helen that way, but am worried I might miss out on some great scenery. Any comments.

Oct 02, 2014
Camping Stuart Highway
by: Rita

Hi Peter,

You'll find all fuel stops along the Stuart Highway between Port Augusta and Alice Springs listed on the Stuart Highway main page (link is above).

The fuel stops all have camping areas, usually for a fee. Cadney Park had a free camping spot outside their main camping area.

There are a few rest areas between those roadhouses where you can stay for one night. Depending on the electric devices you have in your campervan (light, fridge etc) you might also need power supply so your batteries won't run low overnight. You won't find power at free camp sites, of course.

You cannot camp anywhere in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. You have to stay at the camp ground at the Ayers Rock resort, which is not cheap.
Alternatively, you can stay at Curtin Springs Station which is about 85 km away from the Ayers Rock resort.

Have fun and a safe trip.

Sep 26, 2014
Alice Springs to Adelaide
by: Peter

Hi, We are considering driving from Alice Springs to Adelaide in a campervan shortly and as we are not familiar with the route (we are from NZ), would like to know if there are spots where we could stop for the night along the way.
We anticipate flying into Alice Springs and driving down to Adelaide. We would like to use a self contained campervan, so will not need any facilities other than fuel stops.
Do you recommend any particular spots to stop in if allowed? Ideally we would like to go via Uluru - anywhere there to freedom camp? Is there fuel available in many places between Alice Springs and Adelaide?
What driving times are likely each day?
Is there scenic spots in particular that you would recommend along the way.
Thanks, Peter

Jul 17, 2014
Adelaide to Alice
by: Anonymous

We did this trip, Adelaide to Alice, in April 2013, with 3 kids, aged 7,8 & 11. Brilliant trip but you need to have a couple of overnight stops. We went through to Coober on the first day which was a long way with kids because you need to take breaks. Port August and Woomera were the longest stops but we had frequent short stops otherwise the kids would have gone crazy, even with the books, music, laptops, etc. We stayed at Coober for 2 nights in order to look around and lose the feeling of just driving. We then made it a slow trip up to Alice with an overnight at Erldunda so that we could enjoy things before Alice such as the Henbury Craters and Rainbow Valley (that would have been a brilliant place to stay if we'd been in an off-road camper). I did post my travel diary on Trip Advisor for someone earlier this year if you want to track it down!
Have fun!

Jul 17, 2014
How many days?
by: Rita

First of all, great suggestions, Sunil. Thank you for posting.

Oakleigh Guy, I also use Google maps to calculate distances for road trips, much easier than doing it manually with a map.

So you have the choice of 2 routes to Port Augusta from Oakley. One of them by-passes Adelaide if don't want to drive through this city.

Oakleigh - Adelaide (via Western Hwy) - Port Augusta - Alice Springs = 2270 km

Oakleigh - Mildura (via Calder Hwy)) - Port Augusta - Alice = 2320 km.

Driving time for both suggestions without stops is 25 hours.

To make this trip safe and enjoyable for the kids, my suggestion is to have 2 overnight stops or 3 travel days.

Driving 8 hours per day with a 30 minutes stop every 2 hours means that you are 10 hours on the road per day. In my opinion this is more than enough for kids.

Especially north of Port Augusta driving is monotonous at times, so fatigue will be also a problem for the driver.

If time is not a problem, I would even suggest 4 travel days / 3 overnight stops, so you have time to enjoy some sights along the way.

See the Stuart Highway main page for a step by step guide from Port Augusta to Alice.

Have a safe trip.

Rita

Jul 17, 2014
Re: Oakleigh Guy
by: Sunil

Hi Oakleigh Guy

I saw that you are travelling from Melbourne.

I am unsure of the driving between Melbourne and Adelaide since I haven’t done so myself.

From Adelaide though till you reach Port Augusta it’s a pretty smooth ride with heaps of rest stops and small towns along the route for you to take breaks.

After Port Augusta is when you need to stock up on water and fuel big time and also baby amenities and DVDs for the kids to be entertained.

There are rest stops along the way but very few are equipped with amenities.

The distance between fuel stops also is longer so keep an eye on the fuel gauge.

Lastly, if I may suggest then decide on the drive and break time that you would like and use an excel file and Google maps to map out the spots along the route at the desired time gaps (keep a buffer of 15-20 min for driving variations).

This way you can also find out what local attractions you can see when you stop.

All the best and Good Luck for the trip.

Be Safe.

Cheers

Sunil

Jul 17, 2014
Nissan Cube to Alice Spring
by: Oakleigh Guy

Hi Rita,
I'm planning a trip to Alice spring from Oakleigh Victoria. This is my 1st long drive on my Nissan Cube. I'm travelling with my 4 kids aged 11,9,6 and 3. My action plan is to make several stops with each not more than 30min. I need to know what's the best time to depart from my victoria? Really appreciate if there is any suggestion or comment...good or bad, I'm up for it.
Just want this trip to be a safe and enjoyable one. Thank you!

Jul 10, 2013
Geelong to Alice
by: Liana

Hi Rita

We are traveling from Geelong to Alice Springs next Monday and I have searched for roadside stops and free camping along the way - can you give me some information eg where we can stop on or just off the highway. We don't need amenities our camper van has these. Thank you Rita - regards Liana

Mar 23, 2013
Tenting in Caravan Parks in 2013
by: Optimistic

I'm planning on a trip from Adelaide to Alice (and Kings Canyon/Uluru) along the Stuart Highway. We will be tenting it with 3 kids. I've read the previous posts but I know how much things can change in a year or 3. I would appreciate it if anyone can provide up-to-date recommendations (or not) for caravan parks along the way. Given it's been nearly 20 years since I did the trip and then it bucketed down the whole time, I'm completely out of touch. Thinking about Port Augusta, Coober, Cadney Park, Kulgera, Erldunda as well as Kings Canyon & Alice. Any advice would be welcome!

Aug 07, 2012
Is 2WD Good for Stuart Highway
by: G

Hello everybody! Me and my girlfriend are planning to drive to Alice springs and then to Ayers rock this mind-September. We have decided to go through Stuart Highway (One of the reason is not having a 4WD thus avoiding tracks).

We will be driving a Holden Commodore 2WD. I have done a bit of research and found out that the road is sealed all the way.

I would like to know has anybody traveled on 2WD all the way? Any suggestions and advise is highly appreciated :)

Thank you once again :)

Jun 20, 2012
Adelaide to Darwin camping
by: Rita

Hi Rose,

Thanks for the compliments, I am glad you found the website helpful.

With a campervan you are fairly independant, so you can just look for a spot you like. I don't think you will run into problems getting a place for an overnight camp.

Enjoy your trip and take heaps of photos, they make great memories.


Melissa, glad you made it (I never had doubts) and good to hear the job is okay. Thanks for the feedback -:).

Rita

Jun 18, 2012
i made it
by: melissa

Hi Rita, thank you I had a great trip to Darwin on my own with no dramas, I stayed at Kulgera roadhouse the first night and camped out, it was freezing. I had dinner and few beers there, even got to chatting with a few of the grey nomads they were really nice, great roadhouse though fuel was pretty dear. Lucky I had a 20lt jerry can.
Had a quick look at Wycliff well caravan park on the way it was really nice, pity I couldn't of stayed the night, maybe another time.
Also stopped at a place called Dunnmara i think it is spelt as I didn't like the look of Elliot. Got a room for the night and had dinner and a beer great place to stop for the night.
But I made it to Darwin by Fri and my job is doing great very layed back and people are very helpful and friendly.

Jun 18, 2012
Another Stuart Highway traveller
by: Rambling Rose

Hi Rita,

Just wanted to say a huge thanks for your website. My husband and I and two children are departing for Darwin from central Victoria on July 12. Not really knowing what to expect but being very excited at the prospect, I am pleased to have come across your website with such fantastic practical information.

We are driving a hired campervan and flying back. We have our cameras ready. I have booked our site at Darwin. and Erldunda but thought we might just wing it on getting spots on the other nights. Is this a silly thing to do in July? I see lots of national parks listed on the maps with camping facilities, would you recommend staying at these?

Thanks again to you and your contributors for a great site!

Rose.

Jun 04, 2012
Not scary
by: Rita

Hi Melissa,

you don't need to be scared, use common sense, take a rest every now and then, and you'll be fine.

You'll probably meet the same people a couple of times along the trip, that is part of the fun.

All the best with the new job.

Rita

Jun 04, 2012
TRAVELLING TO DARWIN
by: melissa

I myself am taking a job in darwin and leaving vic tomorrow , I will be travelling on my own up the stuart so i hope i meet some nice people on my stop overs I have been told everyone looks out for each other . Pretty exciting and scarey ( :

Mar 04, 2012
You'll be right
by: Rita

Hi Denise,

Sure you can make that trip on your own.
As I said in the original post, fatigue is the biggest danger along the Stuart Highway, so stop frequently to avoid falling asleep.

I would only buy a sat phone if it really makes you feel better. They are still rather expensive. We haven't used ours so far, and we drove thousands of kilometres off the beaten track.

You don't need to report to the police, but let your relatives or friends know when you arrived safe and sound in Alice.

There is also no need to carry extra fuel, just fill up frequently along the way. Don't forget it can take 200 km to the next fuel stop. But with a full tank you will manage that.

Taking water is reasonable, and you should drink a lot, especially if it is hot. Oh well, I always drive my hubby crazy with my "drink more water" advice. For me it would be a nightmare to run out of water. But then you can buy it on every roadhouse along the way.

Have a great trip.

Rita

Mar 03, 2012
Working in Alice Springs
by: Denise T

I start work in Alice Springs in a few weeks and very excited about it.
Your website has given me confidence to make this trip on my own. I am thinking of buying a satellite phone as well as coverage through my network is almost non-existent. What are your thoughts? Should I stock up on extra fuel? I won't be going off the beaten track. I will take extra water as well. Should I let the local police know of my whereabouts and forward travels? Anything else?
Thank you in anticipation.

Oct 25, 2011
Adelaide to Darwin
by: Rita

Hi Sunil,

Thanks for the comment. I am glad you found my guide helpful. That's what the site is for :).

Rita

Oct 25, 2011
Thanks
by: Sunil

Hi Rita

I am thankful to you for publishing this information and helping travelers.

I went on a 7 day road trip from Adelaide to Darwin and back and your website was extremely helpful.

I could not have managed to do this 7day-7000km trip without the maps/guidelines/tips from here.

Thanks once again.

Cheers

Sunil

Jul 22, 2011
travel north
by: chevman

hi my wife and i are planning to travel to darwin, i have built a camp trailer, its like a trademans traler with side opening doors, we hope to get to darwin in 10 or so days, and if its not to muggy up there plan to do a bit of work there, i lived in darwin between 1996 and 2001, so i know what the weather is like, if it gets to sweety we may go to kununurana in west australia and look for work there, i have lived there to many years ago, we love to travel and see the sights of australia, it is a beautiful country, why would you want to go over seas if you havent seen out of your own back door,
thanks paul

Jun 02, 2011
Great report
by: Rita

Thanks Robyn for your detailed report, it is much appreciated.

Good to hear you enjoyed your journey. :)

Rita

May 30, 2011
Grey nomads
by: Robyn

Arrived home yesterday after 7000 kilometres of driving from Bathurst to Alice Springs.
The Stuart Highway is an excellent highway.
Road trains no problem but the convoys of grey nomads travelling at 80kph make overtaking very difficult. When you have 4 huge caravans being towed by underpowered vehicles all travelling close together it is becomes quite dangerous and frustrating for drivers wanting to travel over 100 kph. The speed limit is 130 for most of the way. That was the only problem we encountered in 3 weeks.
Fabulous weather and so many wonderful attractions to see.
Erldunda was an excellent place to stay with the caravan. Very clean shower blocks and laundry. Green grass was very welcome.
Kings Canyon Resort was a rip off with a powered campsite $42.00 per night. Poor maintenance on the amenities block and cleaning was minimal. The supermarket was very expensive. $1.50 for an apple and over 2 dollars for an orange. Petrol was $2.90 per litre. However Kings Canyon rim walk (6 kilometres) is fabulous.
Ayres Rock Resort at Yulara is fabulous and worth the $41.00 per night for a powered site. Amenities very clean, big laundry and a free shuttle bus from the resort to the shops every 10 - 15 minutes. great base for visting Ayres Rock and the Olgas. Petrol at Yulara also reasonable as were the prices in the supermarket.
Wintersun Caravan Park in Alice Springs was very good although quite crowded. Advisable to book ahead during May to ensure a powered site.
In Coober Pedy can recommend the Stuart Range Caravan Park just off the the highway. Amenities very good but no water connected to the sites. Need to buy water or bring it with you. A fabulous pizza place attached to the reception area. Josephine's gallery in Coober Pedy an excellent place to buy art works.

All in all a wonderful experience.

Jan 27, 2011
Glendambo roadhouse
by: Anonymous

Try to avoid Glendambo Roadhouse unless it is an emergency or if you need fuel. The place is a shit hole run by goats who have no idea of service and hospitality. The food is terrible and the rooms are awful. Keep going to Coober Pedy.

Dec 06, 2010
Ta
by: Andrew

Thanks for the comments Rita. Great website, by the way!

Dec 06, 2010
Holidays can be busy
by: Rita

Hi Andrew,

It can get busy during holidays, and distances between stops are be quite long on the Stuart Highway. It is a good idea to ring places a day before your arrival, so you know where to stay. It is easier to plan your day then.

road train
Photo license ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)


Well, road trains are not all that long, but they can be up to 50m. You can imagine that it is hard to stop such a thing.

So, who's the one doing the overtaking depends on the situation. If you see a road train coming closer in your rear mirror (driving faster than you), don't force the truck to slow down. You should slow down and move off the road and let the truck pass.

If you want to overtake a road train, be sure that you have a long stretch of clear road ahead before you begin overtaking.

If you approach a truck on an unsealed road, it is a good idea to slow down and move to the left. This can save your windscreen. Also, you won't see much in the dust cloud the truck leaves behind, so be careful and don't run into another car.

Always remember, it takes a long time for a road train to stop, and they are stronger. So don't do stupid things around them.

Have a good trip.

Rita

Dec 02, 2010
Adelaide to Alice
by: Andrew

Hi,

I am planning on driving from Adelaide to Alice in December school hols, but not sure exactly where we will be stopping yet. Does anyone know if it is necessary to book at a roadhouse beforehand in Dec (thinking Kulgera or Erldunda particularly)?

Also, any advice on road trains? Never even seen one, so I'm not sure what to expect. I've heard I should pull over to allow then to overtake but I thought I would be doing the overtaking!

Nov 09, 2010
Adelaide to Alice in two days
by: Peta

Hi Everyone,
I know this may sound a little crazy - but I have three days to get to adelaide from alice, pick up a 4wd and drive it back to Alice. I have not done the trip before and will be travelling by myself (am a 29yr old female). I have sort of a day and a half to do the trip and was thinking adelaide to maybe the Glendambo roadhouse on first day and then all the way to Alice the next day.
I need to keep costs down so was going to take my swag and camp somewhere around glendambo - but have heard the campground isn't all that great? Any recent reviews would be great!
Also wondering if there are any points of interest along the way that won't take me off the highway more than 5 or 10kms?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Oct 29, 2010
RE: Car Overheating in high temperatures
by: Rob

Just a comment on the car overheating, on our way back last January (it would have been over 40 degrees C)- our car blew a hose - there are parts of the highway in NT that are 130km/h speed limit. We found out the hard way and broke down sitting on 135 or so. We later found driving at around 120km/h kept the temperature gauge in the middle - but certainly keep an eye on the temperature gauge in high temperatures

Oct 18, 2010
Thanks to Bundy
by: Vince

I just want to thanks to a bloke named Bundy who about 12 years ago on New Year's Eve gave me a hand when I broke down out of Glendambo on my way to Adelaide. I never did thank him, but I think he was well known at Spuds Road House at that time.

Oct 09, 2010
travelling in December
by: Raj

I am planning to drive from Sydney to Alice Springs this December.
Just wondering how the climate will be. Will it be too hot? Will that affect the engine of the car?

I have full roadside assistance with NRMA but bit scared if the climate will be too hot and the car might break down.

Please give some tips. Or am i just too scared?

thanks

Raj

Sep 16, 2010
thank you
by: Steffi

Hi Rita
Thank you for your quick feedback. Yep we would do Adelaide to Alice springs in 10 days. Amazing I am excited!!!!
Thanks
Steffi

Sep 16, 2010
From Port Augusta to Darwin?
by: Rita

Hi Steffi,

do you plan to do the entire Stuart Highway, from Port Augusta to Darwin? Then even the ten days would be too short, especially if you want to explore things away from the highway like Uluru, stay two nights in some places etc.

There are so many places worth a visit, Coober Pedy, the painted desert, Uluru/Kata Tjuta National Park, the MacDonnell Ranges east and west of Alice Springs to name a few.

So depending on how much you want to drive each day, I would suggest ten days from Adelaide or Port Augusta to Alice Springs.

Always carry (and drink) lots of water, it will be hot in the centre around Christmas.

Rita

Sep 15, 2010
days
by: Steffi

Hello everyone,
great information in here! We are planning to do the stuart highway drive around christmas - we would love to explore the area. Do you think 7 days planning are enough for the distance or rather ten?
thanks
steffi

Nov 15, 2009
Fuel Prices
by: Rita

Hi Rob,

I'm glad you found some helpful information here.

I am sorry, I can't say anything about prices between Port Augusta and the NT, but maybe someone else can help.

Have a great trip.

Rita

Nov 15, 2009
Excellent information
by: Rob

A wealth of information for us too - thanks very much Rita and friends.

We are heading up to Uluru / Alice Springs for December also and we were wondering where would be good to stop and eat etc along the Stuart Highway.

One question I have is what would we be expecting to pay for petrol up there and where are the "cheaper" places to fill up the tank ??

Nov 14, 2009
Stuart Highway conditions
by: Rita

Hi Stuart,

the Stuart Highway is a sealed road all the way from Port Augusta to Alice Springs and further north to Darwin.

If you plan to go to Uluru, the Lasseter Highway to Ayers Rocks Resort is also a sealed road.

Rita

Nov 13, 2009
Also driving the thru the centre.
by: Stuart

I am also planning to do this drive in December.
Can someone please tell me if the road is sealed all the way thru?

Oct 05, 2009
Pink Roadhouse
by: Joe

Thanks Rita,
Unfortunately, the Pink Roadhouse, although with a 'new' shower block, does not really live up to many peoples expectations, it really is quite dilapidated.
The 'burger is not bad, luckily the kitchen remained open while we were there. we had to have food orders in by 6pm, but were able to go set up camp then return and eat at the tables.
The museum is well worth a visit,it was a bit of an eye opener for the kids to see how people used to live in the outback.
we found the road pretty good all the way from Marla to Maree, although we could see where it would turn bad if wet.
Cheers
Joe

Oct 05, 2009
Thanks for the update
by: Rita

Hi Joe,

well yes, the caravan park facilities at the pink roadhouse were very basic, my visit was 8 years ago. However, they just had added a few new shower blocks, so I thought things would have improved.
My disappointment was that the roadhouse closed the kitchen at 5 pm on the day of our arrival, no "Oodnaburger" for me!

Yes, Marree is a beautiful place, even after the third visit, I still love this town.

Rita

Oct 04, 2009
Oodnadatta Roadhouse
by: Joe

Hi All,
Anyone planning to head to the fabled Pink Roadhouse should expect just that. We were extremely disappointed upon a recent visit, the place was in such poor repair and it was obvious not much had been spent on the place for years. Everyone at the campground behind the roadhouse seemed to be of the same opinion. The girls in the shop were friendly, can't say the same about the older woman who seemed to run the show.
In all, we were very disappointed about the condition and poor value for money. Everywhere else along the track was as anticipated and we had an interesting experience, even at Maree where our powered site had not power from the outlet, still an interesting place

Aug 31, 2009
Erldunda
by: Dave

I have just returned to Perth from travelling with the West Australian Variety Bash and we stayed at Erldunda for one night, I found this a great spot and it looks like there are a number of 4 x 4 tracks in the area. I have just purchased a caravan and told my wife that we will be going back to that area again and base our self at the road house for a few days. Lover the Northern Territory even though we did not have a lot of time to look around.

Aug 09, 2009
Thanks for the update
by: Rita

Hi rojomusa,

Thanks for the update! This really proves that things can change.

My stay at Erldunda was a few years ago, 2001, and we didn't have any problems. One thing I remember is that the shower block attracted all kind of insects at night, and the basins were covered with little flies in the morning.

We usually take a shower in the afternoon when we arrive at a place. Shower blocks are freshly cleaned and not so busy at this time of the day.

We stopped at Glendambo November 2008 and enjoyed the stay, and a delicious meal in the hotel.

Rita

Aug 09, 2009
Cold showers and great bacon and egg sandwiches
by: rojomusa

Hi
My experience in August 2009. Stopped at Erldunda caravan park on way to Darwin and on the way back and there was only cold water in the showers both times. Wouldn't stay there again.
Showers at Marla are fabulous.
Glendambo Mobil Roadhouse has great food, is very clean and well managed. The BP is exactly the opposite.
We travel this road frequently and have worked out where and where not to stop. Marla gets the best vote for the caravan park there, and Glendambo MOBIL only, for food and service.
Cadney is also a good caravan park, and a relaxed atmosphere. great stop off point for Painted Desert which way too many people miss

Jun 28, 2009
Have a great trip
by: Rita

Thank you for your kind words about the Outback Guide.
It is fun to work on the site and I am adding more content all the time. If travellers like you find it helpful, is a big reward. :)

There is another reader's submission with info about the Stuart Hwy. Check out Epic trip to Uluru

Have fun, and a safe trip. Let us know how it was, would love to hear about your journey.

Rita

Jun 28, 2009
thanks
by: Anonymous

Fantastic info thank you both! I had this vision we would be on our own most of the way on a long and lonely road.

We are so excited and leave on Saturday, downloading harry potter audio book sounds a great idea for my two boys, they're 8 and 6.

We are camping and are well equipped I hope, got a little heater for the tent in case of a night that's too cool!

This website is probably the best I've seen on here, great job Rita for setting it up!

Thanks

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