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Stuart Highway – Making the Best of your Road Trip

Australia Touring Atlas  - Hema Maps

Australia Touring Atlas – $29.95

Stuart Highway is a journey of around 3,000 km through the Australian Outback, albeit a wonderfully interesting one for a caravan or an RV trip. The highway is a testament to the determination of one man, John McDouall Stuart, the first European to travel overland from South to North Australia and survive the journey. The road route was laid along the path Stuart took.

The highway is stretches across Northern Territory and South Australia, a distance equivalent to Rome to Moscow or New York to Denver.

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory grades from tropical savannah around Darwin and the Top End through to the Central Australian Desert area. You can drive for hundreds of kilometres without finding a town or a city, though there are fuel and rest stops along the way. Set up camp for the night, but make sure you step out of the RV to catch the brilliant sunset, or see the Milky Way shining brightly in the night sky.

Outback Central And South Australia Map

Outback Central And South Australia Map – $9.95

Major towns that dot the Northern Territory are Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs. At Katherine you can explore the spectacular Nitmiluk National Park and go boating or canoeing between the sheer cliffs of Katherine Gorge. Tennant Creek is a service town for the local pastoral and mining industries. The Barkly Highway branches off the Stuart near here and links the Northern Territory to the eastern states of Australia. At Alice Springs, you’ll be able to visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service museum and medical base, which provides emergency medical care to people living in the Outback.

Remember to check your GPS just north of Alice Springs when you hit the Tropic of Capricorn – one of the major latitudes of the Earth.

South Australia

The desert continues on through South Australia to the opal mining town of Coober Pedy. Take a stop here to see (and buy) some precious opal, you can even stay in an underground motel. Further south is the small township of Woomera which was the centre of space rocket and missile research in Australia for many years and still supports defence testing. Make sure you visit the Missile park and heritage museum.

Central Australia - Adelaide to Darwin Lonely Planet Guide

Central Australia – Adelaide to Darwin Lonely Planet Guide – $37.95

From Port Augusta, as the highway progresses towards Adelaide from the North, the country becomes softer and more densely settled until you arrive in, the great city of Adelaide, you may feel relieved to see lots of people, or you might even start missing the Outback.

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