Stuart Highway is an iconic Aussie Trip
Stuart Highway is an iconic Aussie Trip, a very long drive through the different climate zones of Australia. It’s one of the Australian longest roads.
How long is Stuart Highway?
The road is 2,834 km (1,761 mi) long and links Darwin (Northern Territory) and Port Augusta (South Australia), via Tennant Creek and Alice Springs. The road is fully paved. It spans a vast magnificent country of arid lands in the south via Central Australia to the tropical Top End. The highway, known as "the Explorer's Way" is one of Australia's major highways, running north to south through the middle of Australia.
Who is the Stuart Highway named after?
It’s named after Scottish explorer John McDouall Stuart who, in 1862, became the first man to successfully cross Australia from south to north and make it back alive, but the modern track doesn't follow Stuart's original route in its southern parts.
How long does it take to drive the Stuart Highway?
Plan a minimum of 7 days to complete the remarkable drive. Then, budget additional days for stops along the way. It’s one of the major Australian tourist attractions, an epic journey of almost 3.000 kms. It intersects interesting towns like Woomera, Coober Pedy, Alice Springs and Katherine. The cities Adelaide and Darwin at either end of Highway provide lots to see and do. The Royal Flying Doctor Service uses the highway as an emergency landing strip and sections of the highway are signed to that effect. These sections of highway have been specially selected and prepared for the landing of aircraft which only takes place after the piece of road has been closed by the police.
Is the Stuart Highway dangerous?
The drive is pretty remote in parts, so a careful preparation is necessary. Check weather forecasts before leaving home. There are services around every 200km along the highway, but not all are open 24hours. In many cases you will have to plan your trip so arrive at fueling stops when they are open. A good idea is to get fuel at every truck stop you see - this will ensure that you have enough to get to your next stop. The highway sees regular traffic at all hours, however it pays to make sure you have some food and drinking water if you happen to get stranded. Extreme temperatures are possible in summer, and temperatures overnight can also drop to near freezing. Between Darwin and Pine Creek it is said to be the most dangerous stretch of highway in the nation.