Outback Way

The Outback Way extends 2,800km from Laverton, Western Australia to Winton, Queensland via central Australia. As a self-drive route it passes through central Australia’s deserts, Uluru, The Olgas, Alice Springs and a host of fascinating places of interest.

The Outback Way is made up of seven inter-connecting roads including The Great Central Road (WA); Tjukaruru Road, Lasseter Highway, Stuart Highway and Plenty Highway (NT); and Donohue Highway and Min Min Byway (QLD). Collectively these are The Outback Way.

Travellers intending to travel The Outback Way are recommended to obtain a copy of the Outback Way Atlas and Guidebook. The Guidebook includes detailed maps, commentary, pre-trip planning tools and enroute information that helps travellers experience the very best of the Outback Way. A good travelling companion It is written in a style that older children can read en-route. Traveller’s can purchase the Atlas from visitor-discovery centres along the Outback Way as well as map shops, book stores and outdoor-lifestyle stores or wherever Hema Maps are sold.

Travelling the outback raises as many questions as it answers. Explorers have been fascinated by its appeal for centuries. The Outback Way has thirty-one interpretive panels at places of interest, roadhouses and major stopovers to enlighten travellers as their journey unfolds. Each panel provides a unique insight to a local, natural, cultural or scientific story that might otherwise have gone untold. The panels also provide travellers with an opportunity to stop, revive and survive and to help ensure they arrive safely and enlightened! Large approach signs will be installed adjacent to each interpetive site so that travellers can safely slow down and pull over to view each site.

The Outback Way is best travelled during April to October, when warm, dry, sunny days are common and nights can be cold. Travelling the Outback Way during November to March the days are hot, nights are warm, bursts of moderate-heavy rain are possible, and daytime conditions can be harsh (i.e. extremely hot). During the hot summer months exposure to the elements can quickly lead to dehydration and exhaustion. The variation in temperatures along the Outback Way can require clothing for ‘all seasons’. Accessories such as hats, light-loose clothing, rain-spray jacket, thermal underwear and warm outerwear can be appreciated as the day-night conditions change.

Corrugations along unsealed roads can increase the wear and tear upon vehicles, contributing to breakdowns. Vehicle repair services are limited along the Outback Way and should not be relied upon except in emergencies. It is essential that your 4WD or car is in good working order before departing. This may require booking it in for a service and/or making repairs. Best to leave nothing to chance.

What You Will See

The Outback Way is home to an impressive collection of sites and places of interest that every traveller should aim to visit including:

Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)
MacDonnell Ranges (east & west)
Tjulyuru Art Gallery, Warburton
Petermann Ranges & Schwerin Mural Crescent
Central Australia gemfields

Mt Conner (enjoy views from the lookout)
Gnamma holes along the Great Central Road
Harts Range & Mt Palmer
Lilyvale (and the Cawnpore lookout)
Lark Quarry (and the world’s only known dinosaur stampede!)


The distances given are for the whole journey from the west coast (perth) to the east coast (Cairns).

Perth - Kalgoorlie: 593 km (7 hrs)

Kalgoorle - Warburton: 913 km (22 hrs)

Warnburton - Docker River, NT: 320 km (13 hrs)

Docker River - Curtin Springs: 315 km (9 hrs)

Curtin Springs - Alice Springs: 363 km (5 hrs)

Alice Springs - Jervois Station: 307 km (6 hrs)

Jervois Station - Winton: 1,010 km (18 hrs)

Winton - Hughenden: 216 km (2 1/2 hrs)

Hughenden - Cairns: 729 km (8 1/2 hrs)

Total distance: 4,766 km

Total travelling time: 91 hours

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