Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens
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The breathtaking scenery of the outback is beautifully entwined with the history of our state, set against dramatic Australian scenery along the Explorers Way. The 3000 kilometre journey from Adelaide to Darwin takes you through the Clare Valley, one of South Australia’s famous wine regions, before making its way to the spectacular Flinders Ranges and into the outback.
See walking trails blanketed with native orchids and wildflowers, abundant wildlife from kangaroos, emus and eagles, dramatic natural rock formations and old railway lines that journey back into important Australian history. The vast open space, open skies and vibrant sunsets are unlike any other place in the world. Download Explorers Way road trip map with suggested stops and read on for the Explorers Way highlights.
Adelaide to Clare Valley - 2 hours.
Stop for lunch in Auburn. Visit some of the many wineries and cellar doors including Skillogalee and Sevenhill. Step back in time at the gorgeous Georgian mansion Martindale Hall and unlock the region's history. Visit the copper mining town of Burra with a Burra Heritage Passport and enjoy a gourmet pizza at Le Pecora Nora.
Walk into Wilpena Pound or take a scenic flight to truly appreciate its magnitude and beauty. Other highlights include Rawnsley Bluff, Razorback Lookout in Bunyeroo Gorge and Stokes Hill Lookout. The best chance at sighting the illusive Yellow-footed rock wallabies is at Brachina Gorge.
Flinders Ranges to Port Augusta - 1 hour 40 minutes.
North of Wilpena is the historic mining town of Blinman. Pass through Parachilna Gorge towards the Prairie Hotel in Parachilna: an oasis in the desert. Travel to Port Augusta via Hawker, Quorn and the Pichi Richi Pass. The Wadlata Outback Centre is a major attraction and an accredited visitor information centre. Activities include the G’day Mate Theatre and Tunnel of Time.
Port Augusta to Coober Pedy - 6 hours.The Woomera Heritage Centre and Interactive Rocket Range Museum is fascinating. Travel along the Stuart Highway to see the huge inland salt lakes such as Lake Gairdner. Take-in the unique mining landscapes on the drive to Coober Pedy.
Coober Pedy. Journey to the underground town of Coober Pedy – Australia’s opal capital, boasting a sun-baked lunar landscape. Descend beneath the earth to discover a labyrinth of underground houses called dug-outs, hotels and even shops. Above-ground, visit the eccentric underground home of Crocodile Harry – a colourful figure who was a fair dinkum croc hunter before settling-down in town. Watch Coober Pedy change colour as the sun drenches the land at The Breakaways; sleep under the stars and take a flight over Lake Eyre and the impressive Painted Desert. Tee-off on a gigantic, grassless golf course, fossick for your own opals and explore underground art galleries, churches and mines.
Coober Pedy to Uluru - 9 hours; or Alice Springs - 8 hours.
Last stop in South Australia is Marla, population 70, give or take. It’s primarily a service town and is visited twice a week by The Ghan passenger train. Border crossing into the Northern Territory, stop at Erldunda Roadhouse before travelling west to Uluru or north to Alice Springs and Darwin.
Check out our Top 10 Flinders Ranges and Outback experiences for more information and highlights.
Please note that all driving times and approximate and do not include breaks which are a necessity. Plan ahead before you set off with our outback driving safety tips.