In life, there are some unforgettable experiences and it is undoubtedly the case for my Road Trip Adelaide to Alice Springs. By crossing over 2,600 kilometers through the Northern Territory and South Australia, I was able to live a unique experience in the land of the Kangaroos.
Moreover, the Northern Territory and South Australia are two very different states which are home to some of the must-see places in Australia. Places like Uluru, Coober Pedy, Kings Canyon, etc. You can do the trip by renting a car. However, I believe the ideal way is to join a tour.
It is a good opportunity to meet other backpackers from all around the world and share experiences and tips. Interested in learning more about my Adelaide to Alice Springs Road Trip? If so, I’ll reveal all the secrets in this guide.
Mulgas Adventures Tour
One of the main reasons why I chose Mulgas Adventures Tour out of all the other travel agencies is because they truly care about Aboriginal culture. With the Mulgas Adventures Tour, I was able to do my Road Trip Adelaide to Alice Springs without thinking about every detail.
Thanks to the travel agency, I was able to see Uluru at sunset, learn more about the aboriginal culture, and admire a magnificent starry sky. Additionally, all of Mulgas Adventures Tour guides are extremely kind and helpful.
Furthermore, the travel agency invites you to collect firewood and help prepare meals. These extra activities add a special vibe to the group’s conviviality.
Hostel in Coober Pedy : Radeka Downunder Underground Motel & Backpacker Inn.
If you’re looking to live a unique unforgettable accommodation experience, I highly recommend Radeka Downunder Underground Motel & Backpacker Inn. Why do I recommend it? Well, first and foremost, most of the hotel’s rooms are actually underground accommodation.
They are warm in winter and cool in summer because they are tunneled out of the sandstone surroundings. Another reason why I recommend Radeka Downunder Underground Motel & Backpacker Inn is because of its location. It is surrounded by restaurants, shops, and bars. Additionally, the accommodation is very clean with all the necessary equipment for sleeping underground. I believe even claustrophobic people can try it!
Hostel at Alice Springs: Alice Lodge Backpacker
Another great accommodation I tried is Alice Lodge Backpacker. What’s so unique about this Australian accommodation? Firstly, Alice Lodge Backpacker is located 5 minutes from the Town’s Mall.
Secondly, Alice Lodge Backpacker is a fantastic place to rest while discovering the beautiful town of Alice Springs. Thirdly, all of Alice Lodge Backpackers rooms have comfy beds, individual air-conditioning/heating, desk with office chair, a fridge, and security lockers.
Additionally, you can enjoy a fully equipped shared kitchen, TV lounge, and a barbecue area. Furthermore, it is a good place to meet new friends in Alice Springs.
Campsite: Ayers Rock Campground
Ayers Rock Campground or Uluru Campsite is a special home base located 20km from the city. Uluru Campsite is a massive campground with great facilities and large powered sites. It provides numerous services and facilities including a playground, swimming pool, outdoor kitchen, and bbq facilities.
Additionally, you can watch the sunset over Uluru from the camp and when you wake up, you’ll be surprised by a beautiful egg & bacon breakfast that you won’t soon forget! Furthermore, you’ll find an On-site food van that offers delicious dishes.
What will you need for the Road Trip Adelaide to Alice Springs?
● Walking shoes/boots
● Insect repellent
● Water bottle
● Sleeping bag (can be hired for $30)
● Otherwise, bring all the usual stuff – and, most importantly, a sense of adventure!
In what physical condition do you need to be in to do the Road Trip Adelaide to Alice Springs?
To do the Road Trip Adelaide to Alice, you must know that a reasonable level of fitness is required. You may be required to undertake walking experiences up to 4 hours in challenging conditions. Additionally, in Australia, the weather can be very harsh depending on the region you’re visiting.
You could encounter extremes of heat ( 40C+) or cold (-5C). So, if you have any pre-existing medical conditions &/or Dietary conditions, I recommend you advise the travel agency.
What to expect from the Road Trip Adelaide to Alice Springs?
As far as I’m concerned, there are numerous things to expect from the Road Trip Adelaide to Alice Springs especially if you choose a tour. Concerning the hostels, they range from 4 up to 8-bed dormitories. You can also choose to sleep in Twin or double bedrooms.
Additionally, most of the rooms have bathroom facilities. Also, you can opt for traditional and bush camping. They are campgrounds with tents erected by the guide and group. Some of the campgrounds have hot showers while others don’t have any shower facilities.
Lastly, you can opt for swag, an Australian bedroll. It is a great alternative for a real bed. You only need to put your sleeping bag inside and enjoy your sleep while admiring the stars.
Other than accommodation, you can expect to have a professional guide that will show you around and explain everything to you. Additionally, the tour price includes all meals (5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 5 dinners), camping fees and equipment, and National Parks fees.
Furthermore, numerous activities are available such as helicopter flight, quad bike safari, and camel rides. Lastly, concerning the vehicle, the tour agency offers a mini Coach air-conditioned with 16 up to 24 forward-facing seats.
Road Trip Adelaide to Alice Springs highlights
Day 1: Woomera and Coober Pedy
We started the Road Trip Adelaide to Alice Springs from Adelaide CBD. It is the main shopping area in the town. There you’ll find Topham Mall, Central Market, and Rundle Mall. Additionally, Adelaide CBD is bursting with culture and entertainment events.
In this area, you’ll also find an endless collection of museums, music shows, and award-winning restaurants. In short, Adelaide CBD is a great point of start for your Road Trip in Australia.
After discovering Adelaide CBD, we headed to Woomera, one of the most unique places in Australia and perhaps even in the world. From 1946, Woomera served as a base for the British atomic and space program. Moreover, tests took place near Woomera causing catastrophic radioactive fallout on the Aboriginal tribes. In this Australian town, there are plenty of rockets and military planes.
Furthermore, the army still tests their machines in this prohibited zone. The next stop during the first day was Lake Hart, a salt one accessible from the rest area. The place is extremely photogenic and next to a railway track.
Additionally, Lake Hart is as beautiful by day as it is by night. It is distinguished by a shallow pink color and a high concentration of salt. The lake’s seclusion in the backcountry gives it incredible stargazing, however, it is just as awe-inspiring as the salt shines in the sun.
After taking some amazing pictures that will undoubtedly leave numerous people jealous, I continued my journey towards Coober Pedy where I’ll have a rest for the night. Located 846 km north of Adelaide, Coober Pedy supplies 80% of the worldwide opals. This Australian village is a must-see place during your Road Trip from Adelaide to Alice Springs. It is the first cave city in Australia.
Additionally, the red dust and the drought give Coober Pedy the appearance of an abandoned city or another planet. However, be careful about the extreme temperatures in the area, they can even reach 50 degrees sometimes. So, I urge you to wear a hat, hydrate yourself and stay safe!
Day 2: Exploring Coober Pedy - South Australia
After a pleasant calm night, it was time to explore Coober Pedy, an Australian gem. We started our day with a visit to the Kangaroo Orphanage. It is in fact a shop presenting local Aboriginal crafts which organize at the end of every day a visit to their back shop, converted into an orphanage for kangaroos. Coober Pedy Kangaroo Orphanage takes care of injured kangaroos and joeys.
Additionally, when you enter the Orphanage feeding area, you’ll find a small fence where you can see and feed all the kangaroos. After some fun time with kangaroos, it was time to learn more about the Opal industry. As I wrote before, Coober Peddy is related to opal.
You only need to walk around the town center for a few minutes to realize this. To learn more about opal and how to find it, you can visit one of the city’s many mines. For AUD 15 per person, it is possible to descend into the mine and follow an explanatory route about the mine and how to find opal.
Additionally, some mines offer a free demonstration early in the morning. For our part, we went to the Umoona Opal museum. This institution teaches you a little more about miners, the discovery of opals in the 1910s, and the transformation of Coober Peddy. I put on a helmet and I strolled through this maze of galleries, old mines, and old dwellings.
Additionally, in Umoona Opal Museum, you can watch free movies about the miners’ lives and admire free exhibitions about the history of the town. Lastly, I finished the day by admiring spacecraft, abandoned vehicles, big spiders, and colorful mountains of the breakaways. I must admit Coober Pedy is one of the most unique places I have ever been in!
Day 3: Cooper Pedy to Alice Springs
On the third day, it was time to say goodbye to Coober Pedy and head to Alice Springs. On the way, we got the chance to see the SA/NT Border Wall. SA stands for South Australia and NT stands for the Northern Territory which was previously a part of SA.
This border wall runs for 257 km southwards along the border with New South Wales. After 7 hours, we arrived at Alice Springs. It’s the Red Center of Australia because it is located exactly in the center of the Australian continent. Additionally, the city has more art galleries per capita than any other city in the country.
Furthermore, it is a city with lots of shops, restaurants, malls, etc. On top of that, according to legend, the area surrounding Alice Springs was created by ancestral figures (nomadic boys, two sisters, and animals). This legend of Alice Springs is one of the founding stories in Australia. Before starting your visit to the town, you must first stop at the famous “Welcome to Alice Springs’ ‘ sign.
It is a big, long, and red sign similar to the landscape. Located on the Stuart Highway, the Welcome to Alice Springs sign sends out a Northern Territory greeting style as you’re getting ready to enter the town. Concerning the accommodation, I stayed at Alice Lodge Hostel that I previously mentioned. As for activities, I started with paying a visit to Alice Springs Camel Farm.
Owned by Marcus William, a camel man since 1982, Camel Farm is a natural area that leaves minimal impact on the environment. Visiting Camel Farm is a great opportunity to learn about camels and their history in the region. Additionally, you can ride camels while a farmer makes them run fast when you ride them. After a blessing time at Camel Farm, I went to Anzac Hill.
It is Alice Springs’s most visited attraction and the perfect place to get a bird’s-eye view of the town. Anzac Hill offers panoramic views of Alice Springs and the surrounding mountains that surround it. Additionally, The Anzac Hill Memorial was inaugurated on April 25th (Anzac Day). It serves as a tribute to all members of the army forces who lost their lives during World War I. Today, Anzac Hill Memorial is a tribute to all who have served and defended Australia.
Day 4: Kings Canyon - Northern Territory
We started the fourth day of this road trip by visiting the famous Watarrka National Park. It houses the Kings Canyon and is one of the Australian wild wonders sculpted by nature. Concerning Kings Canyon, it is distinguished by vertiginous reddened cliffs and offers splendid views over the whole of Watarrka Park.
At the bottom of the deep gorges, you’ll find water points that have allowed in some places the development of lush vegetation in an otherwise desert environment. Additionally, Kings Canyon is a refuge for the surrounding flora and fauna. Furthermore, The Watarrka National Park has been populated by the arboreal Luritja people for over 20,000 years.
They are the ones who named the region “Watarrka ” after a genus of acacia that is abundantly found there. Additionally, the Watarrka region was a sacred place for the Luritja, which also served as an area of refuge during severe droughts thanks to the many waterholes in Kings Canyon. Also, I couldn’t go to Kings Canyon without trying its famous walk. I walked 6km in 3.5 hours.
To meander through Kings Canyon you have to climb it first to see its orange cliffs. At the top of the Canyon, the view is worth it! On the horizon, the desert spread out before my wide-open eyes. I felt my energy, boosted by the excitement, rising in me! I was ready for hours of walking in this Australian landscape. After a few meters, I arrived at a sort of stone amphitheater.
Monoliths stood in layers and surrounded me. The show was really cool! I continued my walk in astonishment until I arrived at the famous Canyon. It’s unbelievable how orange dominates, it even reigns supreme. Additionally, don’t miss out on the Garden of Eden. It is a green oasis located behind the large crevasse.
In the Garden of Eden, the vegetation reigns supreme, making it the perfect place to organize a picnic.
Furthermore, when the heat gets stifling atop the rocks, there is the extraordinary possibility of swimming in the shade in a natural pool bordered by a small waterfall. Also, if you can spot a rock, you can make a remake of the lion king! You’ll make many friends jealous for sure!
Day 5: Mount Conner, Kata Tjuta and Ayers Rock
On the fifth day of this Road Trip in Australia, we explored Mount Conner. It is a plateau mountain 350 m in height. The aborigines nicknamed it Atila. Mount Conner is part of the same rock formation similar to Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
Additionally, The region enjoys a dry and sunny climate all year round. Therefore, it can be visited at any time. Furthermore, seeing the rain streaming down Mont Conner is a rare and exceptional sight! There, you’ll find a small parking lot with toilets and a viewpoint to photograph it. We continued our journey by discovering Kata Tjuta Domes, also known as the Olgas.
Kata Tjuta Domes are an integral part of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, located near the small town of Yulara. We were completely mesmerized by the Olgas’ red color. From a distance, it looked like the area was covered in dust, but when we looked up close they were actually rock formations.
There was a collection of 36 rounded rock formations that emerged from the desert. Concerning Kata Tjuta Domes’ view, it was as impressive as it could be! From the observation platform, we could see the size of the rocks and the immensity of the area.
Additionally, when you do the Olgas’ walk, you’ll visit the valley of the winds. It offers a magnificent view of several rocks, all rounded but very high. Furthermore, while doing the Kata Tjuta walk, you’ll have the chance to visit Walpa Gorge.
It will lead you straight into a canyon, surrounded by mountains, each more impressive than the next. To end this amazing day, me and the rest of the tour participants went to admire Uluru’s sunset.
From Uluru’s Viewpoint, we saw the sun setting behind us little by little. The show was purely magical! We saw the rocks changing colors as the sun went down. Additionally, the van was carrying a Charcoal Grill BBQ Catering Trailer.
We had the opportunity to enjoy BBQs during the whole tour. We ate Kangaroo meat which is very tender, low in calories, and particularly lean. We also ate Camel Mea which is low in fat and has numerous nutritious benefits.
Day 6 : Uluru Caves
On the sixth day, we continued our Road Trip Adelaide to Alice Springs towards Uluru, a sacred Aboriginal site with over 600 million years old history. Uluru site is now visited by more than 300,000 tourists per year. Additionally, its walk spreads to 10km.
Long ago, it was allowed to climb to the top but following a few incidents and to save this sacred site, climbing was prohibited since 2019. But even if you can’t climb Uluru, I invite you to go see Uluru Ayers Rock. It offers one of the most beautiful sunset views in the world. You’ll have the chance to see the last rays of light hit Uluru’s Rock.
When the sun is at one of its lowest points, you’ll see the entire rock turning red for a couple minutes. It is a beautiful moment to witness so be sure to pay attention when the time comes.
Also, I suggest you visit it at sunrise, there are fewer people and the show is also magical. We also had the opportunity to visit Uluru’s caves. They are wind and shallow caves which were used by the Australian aborigines as shelters. Uluru’s caves are cool and provide shade which is a blessing in hot times.
Day 7: Back to Alice Springs and Flight to Cairns
Just like anything in life, everything has a beginning and an end. On the seventh day, it was time to finish this amazing tour. Time to go back to Alice Springs and then head to the airport to catch my flight.
During these 7 days, I met new friends, admired beautiful landscapes, and experienced numerous adventures. In only 7 days, I made so many unforgettable memories that I will always cherish. It was the end of a beautiful journey but also the start of a new one!
The Road Trip Adelaide to Alice Springs is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’m so glad I did it with the tour agency because it made my life so much easier.
However, if you don’t want to do a tour, it is absolutely doable with a group of people by renting a 4*4 car and going for the adventure! I
hope this guide helped you in your Road Trip preparations. Please, don’t forget to tell me about your expectations and experiences. I look forward to reading your comments!