Stuart Highway with conventional car

by Mandy Kruger
(Enschede, NL)

Is it possible to drive Stuart Highway with a conventional car, like a station wagon, or do I need a 4wd?

I mean it's paved so as long as I don't leave the road I guess there should be no problem, right?

How about for example Daly Waters - I read the road leading up there would for example not be paved?


outback fuel station
Daily Waters Pub Fuel Station

Rita's Reply

Hi Mandy,

you are right, the Stuart Highway is fully paved, or sealed, as Australians often say. You definitely don't need a 4 WD for this highway.

Car rental contracts prohibit to drive on unsealed roads and tracks, but you can drive on an unsealed road for a short distance if it leads to a well-known tourist attraction, or your place of accommodation.

This short road to the Daly Waters Pub is certainly in good condition as it is used by coach tours to visit the famous pub.
Just drive slowly, leave enough room when you follow other cars, and you'll be fine.

There's the Highway Inn on the Stuart Highway just 7 km south of Daly Waters. You can ask for road conditions if you feel unsure. But as long as the road is dry, there shouldn't be any problems.

The Daly Waters Pub is an Australian Outback icon, a great place to meet other travellers and interesting Outback folks.

Daly Waters is an area rich in history. John McDouall Stuart named the springs on his successful attempt crossing Australia from the south to north. The springs have been an important source of water in the early days of European exploration, used by drovers and the men who built the Overland Telegraph line.

Are you going to drive the entire Stuart Highway? That's a great adventure. :)

Feel free to use the comments to ask more questions.


Comments for Stuart Highway with conventional car

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Aug 02, 2009
by: Anonymous

Hey guys!

thanks so much for the feedback! I really appreciate it!

Yeah, first I didn't plan to go down Stuart Highway, just go around OZ counter clockwise, but well... as u can see due to some literature and recommendations I can't help myself^^


Aug 01, 2009
Re Stuart Highway
by: Terry Everson

Hi Mandy , as Rita says you will have no problems driving this road and there are also detours you could take without any problems such as Douglas Hot Springs and Umbrawarra Gorge.

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