Ayers Rock to Perth

by Sagar
(Auckland, NZ)

Thanks for your reply on the campervan hire from Melbourne to Perth question. We have now booked our campervan and will be travelling from Brisbane instead and making a stop for 3 - 5 days in Alice Springs area.

Now, we have a couple more questions:
Can you confirm if the straight road from Ayers Rock to Perth via Warakurna, Leonara & Kalgoorlie, is bitumen? We researched this on Google maps but it doesn't look like a sealed road. If it isn't then do we have to go all the way up to Katherine, Kununurra, Broome, Karratha & then Perth.

Also, when you say "free" campsite in the previous question I had asked, do you mean we park ourselves in the bushes and still get away with it without getting a fine?

Re: Ayers Rock to Perth

The Great Central Road from Ayers Rock to Perth is most certainly not bitumen.

Here is another reader question about the drive from Uluru to Perth via the Great Central Road that you may find helpful.

To go through Katherine and the Kimberley is indeed a massive detour.

If you want to go through that area grab the free Kimberley guide from my other website. That should help some. (And take note of the distances and the driving times recommended in it.)

Yes, you can indeed camp wild in a lot of areas. Who would fine you? There's nobody out here. There are also many authorised free bushcamping areas. There are even many books available that list free campsites in Australia.

(Unfortunately I think the books I review on that page are out of print at the moment. But there are others.)

Most campsites in national parks are also dirt cheap.

How will you be getting from Brisbane to Alice Springs? That's another massive drive.

Didn't you say you only have about 2 weeks all up?

I am afraid Brisbane to Perth via Uluru will be too much to do in that time frame.

Comments for Ayers Rock to Perth

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Ayers Rock to Perth
by: Sagar

Thanks for your reply once again.
I did go thro the other reader question on the drive from Uluru to Perth. Helped us heaps :)
The plan is to hire a campervan from Brisbane and drive thro Toowomba -> Augathella -> Barcaldine -> Winton -> Boulia -> Alice Springs. Again, we arent sure if Winton - Boulia is a sealed road, doesnt say that on google maps.
So some more q's for u pls :)
1. Can we do the above route in a campervan ?
2. We are going to risk taking our campervan from Uluru to Perth direct, instead of taking a detour via Katherine and the Kimberleys (I know its a beautiful place though). Your advice on this...? And also by taking this option, we do need permit as we will be passing thro Aboriginal land yea?

Thanks so much for your responses. We really appreciate that :)

Plenty Highway
by: Birgit

Winton-Boulia is fine. To get from Boulia to Alice Springs, that's the rough part. The Plenty Highway is a sandy red track, like the Great Central Road, but a lot rougher. Unless it's just been graded it will be badly corrugated.

It certainly fits the label of "Outback driving" much better than your original idea of crossing the Nullarbor on the Eyre Highway :-).

What vehicle have you got? Especially the Queensland side of the Plenty is bad. (It's actually not the Plenty Highway. From the border to the east it's called Donohue Highway and is just a track.)

I'm not sure if you can do it in a 2WD. If that's what you want to do, take extreme care and make sure you get very up to date and reliable information about the conditions. (RACQ 1300 130 595, Boulia Shire Council 07 4746 3188)

Also, it's most definitely a dry weather road only (May-Sep should be ok).

The Great Central Road on the other hand should be fine in a 2WD, provided it is dry and you take care.

Keep in mind that unless your vehicle is a 4WD you are probably not allowed to take it offroad. I you do and anything goes wrong you have to foot the bill.

As for permits: yes, you do need two, and the links are in the other post about the Great Central Road, towards the bottom.

Ayers Rock to Perth
by: Sagar

We are hiring a Kea campervan. So, do you suggest an alternative route we take to reach Alice Springs ? The other option we have is to take a detour from Winton -> Mt. Isa -> Three Ways -> Tennant Creek -> Alice Springs but it works out to be 400 km longer than the route we were going to take.

by: Birgit

Sorry for the late answer. I missed that question.
A Kea... The brand really does not matter:-). What matters is if it's suitable for off road driving or not, if it's a 4WD or not and if you are allowed to take it on unsealed tracks. Kea have both, 2WD and 4WD vans.

As for the alternative route, you already answered the question yourself. Yes, it's a big detour, but you may not have much choice. It may not take longer either because you can drive much faster.

How do I get there?
by: Garrett

I have a 2 wheel drive station wagon and my girlfriend and I are heading from Brisbane to Perth around the end of January.

I was very naive and after doing a small amount of research I have learned things like roads aren't complete, petrol stations don't exist and there is nobody around.

I want to do this in the safest way possible. How can I make this trip safely. We want to stop at Uluru on the way on this trip.

Please help us plan for a safe and fun trip.


Perth to Brissie in a 4wd?
by: johnny boy

Hi all,

I drove from Brisbane to Perth after Christmas Moree through Broken Hill, and across the Nullabor, Esperance and around the coast. Now I have about 20 days to get back and I don't want to go the same way.

Any suggestions would be appreciated - the quickest route preferred.

I have a relatively new 4x4 so will that be enough this time of year?

I would appreciate any input.

Thanks lads.

Great central Road (Perth to Alice)
by: Bob H

Over the past 17 years I have traveled this route many, many times (at least a hundred) because of my job. Been there during the hottest, wettest, driest and prettiest and would advise that before you try it you should make sure your vehicle will stand up to the extremes that the country can throw at you. Whilst the road can be better than many sealed roads around be prepared for bloody awful bumps, dips and corrugations; as well as mud and DUST.

Good tyres (including 2 spares) are a must as well as a good radiator. Be prepared for breakdowns Carry v-belts, cooling hoses (and clamps). You should have your vehicle properly serviced. You should be able to carry out minor repairs yourself as there are very few (if any) mechanics out there.

Unless you have long range fuel tanks you should carry at least 20 liters of extra fuel and plenty of water. The longest distance between fuel stops is about 380km. Most only carry Opel petrol plus diesel.

Don't travel too fast, that's when things happen. Plan you day's drive carefully. On the Great Central I calculate covering 50km to the hour PLUS time for stops.

All the roadhouses are contactable by phone and I think most are online.

I would only recommend taking a 4WD as they are stronger and have a much higher ground clearance

Do the study and you will enjoy yourself? Oh yes - Contact the local police to let them know you are on the road. Believe it or not they will keep an eye out - even though you may not see them.

Cheers BOB

travel distance
by: Anonymous

In 4X4 in February, are those distances realistic?

And which roads need a permit?
And in February, any chance of road closures because of raining?

Day 1: Perth-Kalgoorlie Wave rock 900 km- 9hrs
Day 2: Kalgoorlie-Laverton: 365 km - 4hrs
Day 3: Laverton-Tjukayirla: 300km - 11hrs ????
Day 4: Tjukayirla- Warburton: 250 km - 9hrs
Day 5: Warburton- Warakurna: 230km-5h30
Day 6: Warakurna-Uluru: 335km - 12hrs???

Thank you!

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