Driving from Melbourne to Adelaide

With the most direct route taking just over 8 hours, leave early morning and by evening you could be checked into your Adelaide city hotel and pulling up a seat at one of Australia’s best restaurants. The inland route is the quickest and shortest way to Adelaide from Melbourne and follows the western freeway out of Melbourne. Stop at Ararat and Horsham before crossing into South Australia at Bordertown. Follow the Dukes Highway to Tailem Bend, a town that overlooks the lower reaches of the mighty Murray River. Complete your 728 kilometre road trip by passing through Murray Bridge before arriving into Adelaide. 

All visitors are encouraged to plan ahead to stay up to date on the latest traffic updates including road closures, road works and planned events via the South Australian Government website

Direct Route

If you take the same 'straight up the centre' attitude to your roadtrips as you do your footy, the direct Melbourne to Adelaide route is for you - cruise through towns like Bordertown and Keith where you can stop off for a classic country pie or the local community market (in honour of Gather Round). 

Make a pitstop in Tailem Bend, and if you have time, take a Mustang or kart for a spin around the track at the Bend Motorsport Park; or take small detour to Monarto Safari Park just out of Murray Bridge. 

The bonus of taking the direct route? More time to take in all the events along the way, and all the great things to see and do in Adelaide.


Want to take it slower?

Take the scenic route via the Southern Ocean Drive

Journey through lush wine country, discover crater lakes, roam along postcard-worthy beaches and cast off to an island paradise on the ultimate road trip to Adelaide.

Pack the car, get the road trip playlist ready and set off on an adventure driving from Melbourne to Adelaide. Take your time and discover the scenic route by embarking on the Southern Ocean Drive, spending some time discovering the natural wonders of Mount Gambier, stopping through famous wine regions like Coonawarra and McLaren Vale or stopping for a quick dip in the ocean at gorgeous seaside towns like Robe

Scenic Route

Marvel at South Australia's enchanting natural wonders as you drive through Mount Gambier - home to the magical Umpherston Sinkhole and serene Little Blue Lake. For a well-deserved pit stop, continue on your journey to the Coonawarra wine region and sip and savour your way through world-class wineries. For the adventure seekers or those travelling with families, make your way to the Naracoorte Caves, a sanctuary where the echoes of lions, kangaroos and tasmanian tigers - now preserved as fossils - whisper tales of an ancient South Australia. 

As the countryside fades in your review mirror, embrace the coastal road by navigating your way through Coorong National Park before continuing on to the picturesque vineyards of Langhorne Creek and onto the Fleurieu Peninsula's jaw-dropping beauty. Make a delightful detour at the famous Port Elliot Bakery, where the Donut of the Month awaits to tantalise your taste buds but be sure to leave space for the delicious flavours of McLaren Vale wineries and restaurants. 


Sign up for our newsletter and get top stories, exclusive offers, events and free travel inspiration straight to your inbox!

Newsletter signup