Adelaide to Darwin: 14-Day Campervan Itinerary

Red Dirt and Waterfalls Through the heart of Australia

Australia offers an extraordinary blend of landscapes, from its colourful coral reefs to its towering red gorges and idiosyncratic mining towns. The iconic Explorer's Way provides the ultimate road trip, spanning 3000 kilometres from Adelaide, South Australia's capital, to Darwin, the Northern Territory's capital. To ensure you experience the best of this incredible adventure, we've crafted a 14-day itinerary for your campervan journey, enabling you to uncover scenic camping spots, delve into the heart of Australia at your leisure, and learn fascinating facts about the regions you visit.

Explore the beauty of Adelaide with a rental campervan from Camper Champ. Alternatively, you can pick up a motorhome in Darwin and drop it off in Adelaide.

Day 1: Adelaide Awaits!

Adelaide is a vibrant city renowned for its pristine beaches, fashionable cafes, and flourishing arts scene. Spend your day meandering along the shore or exploring the Adelaide Botanic Garden, which houses over 50,000 plants, including the stunning Amazonica Waterlily Pavilion. When evening falls, head to Rundle Street for a taste of the city's finest eateries and bars.

Day 2: Journey to Port Augusta

Departing Adelaide, venture north toward Port Augusta, a charming town perched atop the Spencer Gulf, often called the gateway to Australia's southern regions. En route, pause at the picturesque Port Germein Gorge for a refreshing swim in its natural pool. On this leg of the journey, we highly recommend visiting the renowned Clare Valley wine region, celebrated for its exquisite Riesling wines and idyllic vineyard settings. Next, stroll along Port Augusta's foreshore and explore the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, featuring over 2000 species of desert plants, including rare and endangered species.

Day 3: The Unusual Coober Pedy

Coober Pedy, the next destination, is a one-of-a-kind mining town where most residents dwell underground to escape the scorching heat. Discover the town's subterranean churches, homes, and shops. As the "opal capital of the world," a guided tour of Coober Pedy's opal mines is a must. Learn about the mining process and even try your hand at "noodling" for opals. Don't miss the chance to stargaze under the crystal-clear Outback skies, a spectacular sight free from light pollution.

Day 4: Kata Tjuta National Park Beckons

Heading northward, you will reach Kata Tjuta National Park, home to the awe-inspiring Olgas rock formations. These impressive domes, composed of conglomerate rock, are of great cultural and spiritual significance to the local Anangu people. Hike through the enchanting Valley of the Winds and watch as the rocks transform colours with the setting sun.

Day 5: The Iconic Uluru

Uluru, one of Australia's most emblematic natural wonders, awaits. This colossal sandstone monolith is sacred to the local Anangu people, and its mesmerising colours at sunrise and sunset are a sight to behold. Take the opportunity while here to learn about Aboriginal culture and history at the Cultural Centre, where you can participate in traditional workshops and view intricate Indigenous art.

Day 6: Kings Canyon

Continuing the journey, you’ll arrive at Kings Canyon, a breathtaking sandstone gorge in Watarrka National Park. The canyon walls rise 100 meters high, and the scenic Rim Walk takes you around the canyon's edge for spectacular views. Take a hike through the Canyon Rim Walk and see the Garden of Eden, a natural oasis with lush vegetation, a permanent waterhole, and towering walls that create a serene, secluded atmosphere.

Day 7: Outback Splendour in Alice Springs

On your way to Alice Springs, stop at the West MacDonnell Ranges to explore stunning gorges and swim in clear lagoons. Witnessing a sunset here should not be missed. Welcome to Alice Springs, a town surrounded by the Outback's spectacular scenery. Visit the Alice Springs Desert Park to learn about the unique flora and fauna of the region. You can also engage with the Flying Doctor Service's interactive museum, which tells the story of this vital medical service in the remote Australian Outback.

Day 8: Tennant Creek's Golden History

The next stop is Tennant Creek, the halfway point between Alice Springs and Darwin. It’s a town that's rich in history and culture. Visit the Battery Hill Mining Centre, and learn about the town's gold rush days. Don't miss the fascinating Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre, where you can explore the local Warumungu people's art, stories, and connection to the land.

Day 9: A Thermal Oasis in Katherine

As you head north, you’ll arrive at Katherine, a town famous for the Katherine Hot Springs, also known as the Katherine Thermal Pool, a series of natural hot springs. The hot springs are fed by the Katherine River and are surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, offering a tranquil setting to unwind and soak in the natural beauty. The water temperature in the pools ranges from 25-30 degrees Celsius, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind after a long day of exploring the nearby attractions.

Day 10: Dramatic Gorges in Nitmiluk National Park

Spend the day exploring Nitmiluk National Park, home to the stunning Katherine Gorge. Take a hike through the gorge, and witness the breathtaking waterfalls and rock formations along the way. For a unique perspective, consider taking a helicopter ride or a guided canoe trip to further explore the park's hidden gems.

Day 11: Delving into Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is truly a treasure trove of Aboriginal culture and striking natural beauty. When exploring this park, travellers often opt for a boat cruise along the Yellow Water Billabong, where they can observe an abundance of wildlife, such as crocodiles, birds, and fish. Additionally, the ancient Aboriginal rock art sites of Ubirr and Nourlangie offer a captivating glimpse into the region's deep Indigenous history.

Day 12: The Wilderness of Mary River National Park

The journey through the Northern Territory leads to Mary River National Park, an isolated wilderness area teeming with iconic Australian wildlife. Adventurers who embark on a 4WD tour can expect to spot saltwater crocodiles, water buffalo, and various bird species. For fishing enthusiasts, trying to catch the region's famed barramundi is a must-do activity.

Day 13 : The Marvels of Litchfield National Park

Litchfield National Park is a remarkable natural paradise, well-known for its cascading waterfalls and inviting swimming holes. Visitors can take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of Florence Falls or Buley Rockhole, and marvel at the towering termite mounds that reach heights of up to 6 meters. The park is a testament to the Northern Territory's diverse landscape and natural wonders.

Day 14: Darwin's Tropical Charm

Finally, the journey leads to Darwin, the tropical capital of the Northern Territory. Explorers often find themselves drawn to the Darwin Waterfront, a vibrant hub brimming with restaurants, bars, and shops. A visit to the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory is highly recommended, as it showcases the region's unique history and culture, including the devastating impact of Cyclone Tracy on the city in 1974.

As the two-week adventure comes to an end, it's evident that the Australian Outback and Northern Territory boast a wealth of beauty and diversity. From the awe-inspiring red rocks of Uluru to the lush waterfalls of Litchfield National Park, the Northern Territory captivates and amazes all who explore it. With memories to last a lifetime, adventurers can bid farewell to this enchanting journey, leaving with a deeper appreciation of Australia's wonders. Safe travels!

Campervan Itineraries