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Driving and campervanning through Western Australia and the Northern Territory is a magnificent way to discover Australia’s remote yet spectacular outback plains.
Driving from Perth to Darwin can take anywhere from 40 to 60 hours, depending on which route you choose to take. It’s best if you split your campervan drive up into a few days or weeks, which means the drive will be much safer and you’ll have enough time to make the most of the destinations and attractions along the way.
Alternatively, if you prefer to travel through the outback rather than along the coast, you can take your driving journey further inland towards Kalgoorlie (a great place to stop) along the National Highway and the Great Northern Highway.
On this route, you’ll pass through dazzling lake areas and red terrains, as well as amazing parks, like Collier Range National Park. Simply follow the highway all the way north until you reach Port Hedland and then Broome. This route will generally take less time than driving along the coast, however, it can be much more remote.
Once you reach Port Hedland or Broome (from whichever route you choose), the best way to get to Darwin is to continue along the highways (Great Northern, Victoria, Stuart), which will take you across the state border and straight into Darwin.
Of course, you can stop off anywhere you like along the way, with memorable destinations like Derby, the Bungle Bungle ranges, Lake Argyle, Katherine Gorge and the Kakadu National Park on offer.
Driving east from Perth to Port Augusta in South Australia and then heading straight north (along the Stuart Highway) through the centre of the country is also a fantastic way to get to Darwin.
Here, you’ll get to see central South Australia, with towns like Cooper Pedy to explore, before crossing into the Northern Territory, where you’ll be able to stop at Alice Springs and its surrounds. This drive can be a life-changing adventure, particularly if you’re keen to make the most of Australia’s red centre.
Depending on which roads you choose, the Perth to Darwin drive can be very remote, so be sure to prepare well, get to know the driving times/distances and plan where you will stop/stay in advance
Make sure you have enough fuel in your campervan to get you from A to B, since petrol stations can be few and far between, and be sure your campervan is able to survive the drive
Stocking up on supplies is also a good idea, as shops and facilities can also be scarce, particularly in remote regions
Be wary of venturing off the main roads and avoid driving after dark; if you choose a remote route, tell someone where you are going and if you get stuck, stay with your campervan!
A checklist on important facts before heading off on your self-drive holiday.
Source: Google Maps