Driving In The Northern Territory

Driving In The Northern Territory

posted in: Australia | 19

After selling our beloved Val the Van, we decided to experiment with a campervan relocation. This is when the rental company allows you  to drive their vehicle from A to B in a short time frame for a fairly low cost. We managed to get a good deal on a fancy little Apollo camper for three days between Darwin and Alice Springs. We had to pay a refundable bond, but only paid $16 for the three days hire. We even got a small contribution to our fuel costs.

The Stuart highway is pretty much one straight road that runs between Darwin and Alice Springs. If you have ever imagined driving in Australia, this is the landscape your dreams are made of. The bright blue sky stretches endlessly above you and the road disappears into the distance. The hot sun beats down and dusty red earth surrounds you covering everything. Towns marked on the map turn out to be nothing more than petrol stations, with quirky characters who could easily be psychotic murders.


We spent around six hours a day driving in the northern territory, in order to cover the 1500km. It was somewhat repetitive and there was always the danger of losing concentration but we tried to keep alert by singing along to our favourite power ballads.

We stopped at a few places on the way, including a night camping at Karlu Karlu, also known as the Devils Marbles. These large granite boulders provide an eerie addition to the otherwise flat unassuming landscape. They glow beautifully at sunrise and sunset and are great for exploring. Karlu Karlu is one of the most popular outback attractions and gets very busy, arrive early to ensure a camping spot.

It was an epic drive and we were really glad we did it ourselves rather than on a bus journey, although we were quite relieved to reach the relative civilisation of Alice Springs.

19 Responses

  1. Hi Emily and Sian. I spent a year living in the Northern Territory, and it’s a place that always warms my heart to think about (possibly just because my heart is remembering the climate…). Even though a three day journey through the Top End is super quick, I hope you really enjoyed it. Also, I think your blog is great – love the way you’ve developed a niche market! Thanks for following along with mine too 🙂

  2. […] chilly visit to Tasmania, we decided to warm our frozen souls by heading back to Darwin in the Northern Territory. In winter the population of the city swells as everyone and their wife heads north for some […]

  3. Merci for following 24/7 in France, author of “Solitary Desire-One Woman’s Journey to France” (video http://youtu.be/xG_YTa5sDac) & wishing you all the best!

  4. Love that pic of the sky 🙂

  5. What a road trip! Not sure about power ballad singalongs for staying alert(!), my travel companions would likely steer into oncoming traffic…
    Beautiful photographs.

  6. I took the Ghan from Alice Springs to Darwin. It was interesting, but driving, as you did, would have been better. BTW, I see you also have trouble with the spacing between photos and text in WordPress. I love WordPress, but it sure is quirky when it comes to inserting photos! Oh, and you’ve got some nice photos!

  7. Ooh, nice pics!!!

  8. I have seen these ‘devil’s marbles’ in southern Africa also, there they call them balancing rocks, but I think I prefer your name for them.

  9. Thanks for the follow on my blog ladies. I’m enjoying yours as well. Looking forward to reading more about your travels.

  10. Thanks for “liking” my recent post on my experience with tour guides. I loved the article on driving in Australia and your pictures really brought it to life. It’s a country I really want to visit. So much to see!!

    • Thanks for the comment. We hope you enjoy our other posts too. There is more coming in the next few weeks about the red centre of Australia. Happy travels!

  11. Some gorgeous photos 🙂 Keep travelling!

  12. Great post. Also, thanks for the Men at Work song. I love that song. I’ll be singing it all day!

  13. The Sunset pic is awesome…. right place right time.

  14. Thanks for the follow ladies 🙂 I’m loving looking around your blog. My love and I are heading to Australia for our honeymoon in less than 2 months! We have a campervan rented from Apollo (we’ll be going from Alice Springs to Uluru to Kings Canyon), how did you like the vehicle?

    • We loved our little apollo van, it was a real upgrade from our first van, val. Just a heads up about apollo, they will take the maximum amount of time to return your bond, we waited around a month for ours to be refunded! Aside from that the vans are awesome! We will be posting more about central australia soon 🙂

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