Outback Highway (or Outback Way) is one of Australia’s great four wheel drive odysseys: an adventure track you will never forget. It’s said to be Australia's longest shortcut.
How long is the Outback Highway?
The epic drive is 2.800 km (1,740 mi) running from Laverton, Western Australia to Winton, Queensland via central Australia. The track cuts through the middle of Australia travelling through 3 different states: Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Travelers can enjoy some of Australia’s most remote, interesting and picturesque desert areas.
How much of the Outback highway is sealed?
The drive has around 1750kms of unsealed road that requires upgrading to an all-weather gravel surface. You will need a 4WD to complete this track as you mainly travel along unsealed roads, allowing you to see some of Australia’s untouched areas. There is a maximum of 300 kilometers between food, fuel and sleep stops. The Outback Way passes through remote regions with limited communications, repair services and supplies. Travelers should be well prepared.
How long does it take to drive the Outback highway?
This journey passes through remote areas, so you need to be prepared. The trip itself is home to an impressive collection of sites and places of interest for travelers. These include iconic scenery such as Ayers Rock, the Olga’s, Peterman and MacDonnell Ranges. Seven interconnecting roads and highways make up the Outback Way route including the: Great Central Road, Gunbarrel Highway, Lasseter Highway, Stuart Highway, Plenty Highway, Donohue Highway and Kennedy Development Road. To travel the entire Outback Way requires no less than 3 to 4 days of daytime travel (travelling at night is not recommended), although typically 6 to 7 days of daytime travel is required to stop and enjoy a majority of the highlights of central Australia.
When is the best time to drive the Outback highway?
Check weather forecasts before leaving home, and remember that along this trail you will pass through many different types of climates, landscapes and Australian scenery from the tropical climate in Cairns through to the heart of Australia, Alice Springs and then on to the outback desert in Western Australia. The best time to travel the Outback Way is during the cooler months: March to November. Extreme high temperatures or torrential rain during November to March can sometimes make travelling uncomfortable or roads impassable.