The Ernest Giles Road in Central Australia is accessed from the Stuart Highway (a right hand turn, off the highway if you are travelling from Alice Springs). The road stretches just over 100 km before it joins the Luritja Road / State Route 3 to Kings Creek Station.

Considered a shortcut, for those wanting to get to Kings Creek Station or Kings Canyon, this route does shave some kilometres off your travel and time. You do however need to take into account the state of the road, as part of this route is considered a “dirt road”, that can get heavily corrugated, especially after wet weather.

Ernest Giles Road, Central Australia © Toni Ryland
Ernest Giles Road, Central Australia © Toni Ryland

Some 11.3 kilometres along the road there is the detour to Henbury Meteorite Conservation Reserve. Further along the Ernest Giles Road there are some small caves/shelters (on the right side of the road) although they are hard to find.

About 48 kilometres further, the road crosses the Palmer River (which will flow during wet weather in the region). Here you will find the turnoff for the Finke River Track that passes the Boggy Hole and onto Hermannsburg.

Locality map of Watarrka National Park, Finke Gorge National Park and Owen Springs Reserve and surrounds
Locality map: Watarrka National Park, Finke Gorge National Park, Owen Springs Reserve & surrounds. Source: Parks & Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory, NT Government

Along the same track as you head to Finke Gorge and through the Finke Gorge National Park, is Illamurta Springs Conservation Reserve. Ernest Giles Road ends some 52 km further west where it joins Luritja Road. About 13 Kilometres before Ernest Giles Road ends, is the turnoff to Tempe Downs.

At the western end of Ernest Giles Road, you come to the T-road intersecting with Luritja Road. This is the road that connects Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and Watarrka National Park (home to Kings Canyon).

More information coming…

Footnote & References

  1. Watarrka National Park Fact Sheet, Parks & Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory, NT Government,

Northern TerritoryCentral Australia Aileron Alice Springs Binns Track Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve Ernest Giles Road Finke Gorge National Park Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve Hermannsburg Historic Precinct Ilparpa Claypans Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve MacDonnell Ranges Mount Connor Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary Owen Springs Reserve Red Centre Way Drive Standley Chasm Tnorala (Gosse Bluff) Conservation Reserve Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Watarrka National Park & Kings Canyon Wurre / Rainbow Valley