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Australia is an enormous and amazingly diverse country. In order to explore the vastness of the continent’s interiors, the best way is to embark on an outback journey and drive those rugged roads.

You can stop along the way for a cool swim, and stay on sprawling outback stations. Though there are many routes to the Australian Outback, many entry points, and many destinations.

You could enter along the rugged coastlines or through the western outback. Just make sure that your 4WD vehicle is in as good condition as you.

With your wheels donning all season tyres, make sure that our vehicle is safe and sturdy before entering the heart of Australia and driving remotely.

The following are 4 ideas on possible routes.

4 Road Trip Routes For Exploring the Australian Outback

You can hover over these (or any image) to quickly pin it!

 The Nullarbor

Drive the Eyre Highway from Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth to enter the vast and mesmerizing Nullarbor. Whatever your direction, the treeless scenery has a powerful impact on you as you go through the blue bush-studded plateaus.

Don’t be surprised to see mobs of kangaroos on the roads. You get the chance to see remote railway outposts and historic homesteads. Sleep overnight in one of those roadhouses and campsites.

The Red Centre Way

There is plenty to do and see in this region. You can spot rock wallabies at Simpsons Gap or swim in Glen Helen Gorge both in the West MacDonnell Ranges.

Swim in the tropical pools of the Garden of Eden or climb to the rim of Kings Canyon. You can even opt for a dawn camel trek around Uluṟu.

Explore the steep russet domes of Kata Tjuṯa nearby and make your way through the mulga forest and the red desert sands. Immerse yourself in Aboriginal history and art on this unforgettable adventure through the ancient part of Australia.

Uluru

Adelaide to Darwin

Follow this classic route from the bottom of the country to the capital of the Northern Territory. Watch the scenery change dramatically on this lonely road through the heart of Australia.

The mountainous Flinders Ranges soon give way to the rock of the central desert and later to the huge gorges of the north. Go along the 3,000km of road that will take you right through the core of the Australian outback.

This is the best way to experience the true Aussie spirit, in the wilderness of the coasts and deserts.

Ride through the sunset

Perth to Broome

Take the amazing road between Perth and Broome to enter right through the bush into the wilds of Australia. Play with dolphins in Monkey Mia or feed cheeky quokkas on Rottnest Island as you dive with whale sharks on the Ningaloo Reef.

Unwind on the red beaches of Roebuck Bay once you arrive and explore the untouched outback which is much less visited. It is simply amazing to hop between national parks and laze on those empty beaches.

OUR FAVORITE AUSTRALIA TRAVEL GUIDES: CLICK TO LOOK INSIDE ↓

Australia travel guide Amazon book

Lonely Planet Australia Travel Guide

Australia travel guide Amazon book

Lonely Planet Australia’s Best Trips

Australia travel guide Amazon book

30 Best Tips For Your Trip To Australia

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

If you enjoy getting social, you can follow their journey on FacebookTwitterYouTubePinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Featured header image by Kevin Rheese. Ride through the sunset by Stefan Böhm Fotografie.

    24 Comments

  1. Thanks for these routes. I want to visit Australia maybe next year so this is helpful.
    x

    • You’re welcome Stephanie, I’m glad we could help. Feel free to reach out as you’re planning if you have any questions.

  2. It’s the Red Centre not Red Center.

    • Thanks for catching that – good old American spell check :)

  3. I have a yearning drive the great expanses of Australia and would certainly want to do these four routes. I have much to learn though because I did not even know the name Nullarbor before this article.

    • Glad we could provide some inspiration for you! Feel free to hit us up with any questions you might have as you go to plan your trip X

  4. I so know that hubby will feel ready to pack and go when I’ll show him this post: I never really thought of a 4×4 adventure in Australia but he’d LOVE it so much! I think the part we’d like the most would be the road from Adelaide to Darwin, it’s the kind of landscape we absolutely couldn’t live without!

    • Australia is a great spot to visit if a 4X4 adventure is something your husband would enjoy. Adelaide to Darwin is a great choice too – gives you the best of the outback, cutting through the very center :)

      Hope you have the chance to travel soon!

  5. The Australian Outback is on our travel wish list so I’ve pinned your article for future reference. Sounds like a difficult choice of route to take because these road trips all sound wonderful. I would probably favor the routes that combine historic stops and national parks. Thanks for the tips!

    • It’s definitely one of those countries where the hardest part is choosing where to go! Hope you have the chance to travel soon – feel free to email at any time if you have questions about any of the routes.

  6. I love the outback Australia. When I went to Darwin 2 years back, I didn’t manage to visit Ayer rock. I wanna go back now!

    • Sounds like the perfect excuse to head back and take another road trip through the outback :)

  7. I’ve actually travelled all of these routes – it’s hard to pick a favourite, but the Adelaide to Darwin trip is pretty good because it’s so fascinating to see the countryside change from the dry, arid outback region of South Australia, through the red of the Centre, then to the tropical north. Not to mention the great natural attractions along the way!

    • Nice Marion! Agree on the Adelaide to Darwin route – one of my favorites too. Agree that it’s a great way to see the landscape change, and of course all of the incredible attractions along the way!

  8. Adelaide to Darwin… it’s in my list and I can’t wait. Oh boy… maybe in the next few years:) Thanks for sharing.

    • Awesome choice – happy travels! Let us know if you have any questions in the lead up to it :)

  9. Australia’s natural beauty is best experienced through road trips into the outback, I feel. These 4 routes look really promising with a trip into the wilderness. Getting sightings of Kangaroo mobs and feasting the eyes on the wild beauty of the terrain must indeed be an experience to look forward to and cherish.

    • Totally agree with you – easily the best way to experience the beauty of a landscape for which Australia has become world famous. Glad you enjoyed reading about each route!

  10. Australia certainly is a huge country. My wife has crossed the Nullarbor 3 times when she was much younger. She often talks about how straight and long the trip was. I can only imagine our kids complaining about it lol

    • Haha the kids might definitely need something to keep them entertained after a couple of hours of the landscape staying the same! But it really is an incredible trip :)

  11. I wish you make a picture of 4 routes on the map so that can enhance our imagination about the routes. Among those I find the trip Adelaide to Darwin most excited. Who don’t want to explore the true Aussie spirit?

    • Thanks for the feedback Long, I will look into an app which might let me embed Google maps.

      Adelaide to Darwin is a great choice – definitely a route which captures the Aussie spirit! Hope you have the chance to make the drive soon :)

  12. WE had a wonderful Rotary Friendship Exchange in NSW- from Sheep which was amazing to Port Macquarie – living in the homes of generous Rotarians and sharing their life. We were happy to host them back here in the States. It was a life long dream.

    • Sounds incredible Linda! What a great way to immerse yourserlf into Australian life, and to also develop a wonderful relationship which meant you could host them in return.

      Thanks for sharing!

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