West MacDonnell Ranges, Northern Territory © Tourism NT/Sean Scott
The best outback road trips in Australia
There’s no adventure quite like one through the Australian outback.
By Leah Dobihal
Big skies, incredible landscapes and absolute freedom – that’s what an outback road trip in Australia is all about. On these remarkable routes, you’ll witness some of the world’s most powerful nature; it’s exhilarating, unforgettable and even spiritual. Find out why Australia’s outback is your ultimate adventure on these incredible road trips.
The Nullarbor is a true outback adventure, extending across Australia’s southern edge from Western Australia to the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. Wild, windy coastlines and red-sand deserts will show you just how vast Australia’s outback really is, and wildlife like kangaroos and emus bring the scrubby plains to life. Plus, with quirky country pubs and even a 1,365km (848mi) long golf course, you’re sure to get a taste of Aussie life in the outback.
Explore the endless Nullarbor
Gibb River Road
One of the world’s great 4WD adventures begins on Western Australia’s Gibb River Road. It’s a trek into the Kimberley – a wilderness frontier where waterfalls, ancient gorges, mountain ranges and natural thermal pools may be commonplace, but they are anything but common. There’s also an unexpected level of luxury along this drive, should you need a little rest and relaxation. Scenic helicopter flights, chic homesteads and private wilderness parks are all on offer.
Take on the epic Gibb River Road
Red Centre Way
When you imagine the outback, you might think of red sand, the mighty Uluru monolith and auburn kangaroos hopping across the desert. You’ll get all of that and more on the Red Centre Way, which begins in Alice Springs. The Red Centre is a uniquely spiritual place, and the freedom of the open road only further ignites this deep connection with the earth. Time will slow down as you watch the sun sink behind a fiery Uluru, walk along the ridge of Kings Canyon and hear Dreamtime stories passed down through generations.
Spend seven days on the Red Centre Way
The Savannah Way
The northern regions of Australia are rich with natural wonders, so a road trip that links Cairns in Queensland with Broome in Western Australia is sure to be an epic adventure. You’ll pass through diverse landscapes – from rainforests to mountain ranges – and each day will bring new experiences. You won’t soon forget having a secret fishing spot to yourself and diving into an outback waterhole.
Rich in both culture and rugged nature, the Nature’s Way road trip in the Northern Territory takes in some of Australia’s most beautiful national parks. Begin in Darwin before exploring Kakadu National Park – home to pounding waterfalls and ancient Aboriginal rock art – and Litchfield National Park, where fern-lined swimming holes and bizarre termite mounds await. There’s a new memory around every turn.
Plan your Nature’s Way road trip
The Explorer’s Way cuts straight through the heart of Australia’s outback. It’s perhaps Australia’s most diverse road trip, beginning with the green vineyards of South Australia before winding around the red domes of Uluru and Kata Tjuta and ending with pastel sunsets in Darwin. It may be a long journey, but the sense of awe will stay with you forever.
Explore the itinerary