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Explorer's Way - Australia Touring Routes - Tourism Drives
South Australia
Clare / Clare Valley
Coober Pedy
Port Augusta
Northern Territory
Alice Springs
Aileron Roadhouse
Daly Waters
Tennant Creek

Monument marking the Tropic of CapricornConnecting Adelaide to Darwin, crossing the state/territory border of South Australia and the Northern Territory, is one of the great drives through the heart of Australia.

In essence, the Explorer's Way is the Stuart Highway, a sealed highway, that follows the route of the intrepid explorer John McDouall Stuart who in 1862 became the first person to traverse the continent from south to north.

Whilst the tourism drive starts in Adelaide, the Stuart Highway actually starts in Port Augusta. From Adelaide, the Main North Road is the more scenic route, allowing you to explore the Clare Valley and the country towns of Gladstone, Melrose and Wilmington, among others.

The quicker route from Adelaide is the Port Wakefield Road, as it bypasses most of the country towns.

Today, this the Explorer's Way is followed by many travellers, from young back packers to grey nomads. Whilst the route can be done in seven days, more pleasure can be derived by taking at least two weeks, doing overnight stays or longer at some of the destinations and side detours along the route.

Whilst cyclist, campervans, caravans, 4 wheel drives all make this route, another unique holiday experience, is on board The Legendary Ghan, as it travels through the heart of Australia on one of Australia's and the world's great train journeys.


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Explorer's Way Distance

Distance to the Explorer's Way
• Following are some approximate distances by road along the Explorer's Way:
Adelaide, SA to Clare 139
Clare to Melrose 130
Melrose to Port Augusta 66
Port Augusta to Woomera 181
  • Port Augusta to Pimba 171
  • Pimba to Glendambo 113
  • Glendambo to Coober Pedy 252
Woomera to Coober Pedy 375
Coober Pedy to Marla 234
Marla to Kulgera, NT 192
Kulgera to Alice Springs 286
Alice Springs to Aileron Roadhouse 134
Aileron Roadhouse to Tennant Creek 374
Tennant Creek to Elliott 253
• Elliot to Daly Waters 152
Daly Waters to Larrimah 90
• Larrimah to Mataranka 76
Mataranka to Katherine 106
Katherine to Pine Creek 90
• Pine Creek to Hayes Creek 61
• Hayes Creek to Adelaide River 52
• Adelaide River to Darwin 114
Total: (these distances can vary depending on stopovers and detours) 3,105
Distances given are only approximation, they should be verified with the appropriate maps.
The Australian Automotive Motoring Associations also offer select access to travel trip planners.

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Explorer's Way Maps
Bing Maps - Adelaide to Darwin
Google Maps - Adelaide to Darwin


Cairn marks the highest point on the main route between Adelaide and Darwin
This cairn marks the highest point on the main route between Adelaide and Darwin
as determined by the Lands and Survey Branch Northern Territory Administration.
A.R. Miller Surveyor General N.T. Erected 1962 by A.M. Sahariv
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