#4. Melbourne to Uluru itinerary when driving
Here’s a suggestion of locations you can visit while on the road. Note there are many other wonderful options not covered here.
Grampians National Park in Horsham, Victoria
Distance from Melbourne to Grampians National Park: 257.3 km (3 hours)
You haven’t been driving for too long, but this is the perfect excuse to get out and stretch your legs anyway. Who can say no to rugged sandstone mountains that are teeming with creatures big and small? This park is wonderful for hiking, climbing, camping or simply cruising through nature. There are cascading waterfalls and wildflowers aplenty – a real treat for the eyes!
Accommodation: Comfort Inn May Park is close to many attractions in Horsham, including the supermarket and petrol station. The suites are cozy, clean and modern!
Distance from Horsham to Mildura: 355.2 km (3 hours and 51 minutes)
Travellers of all ages will find something to do in the buzzing regional city of Mildura. Food lovers can fill their bellies with some of Australia’s finest locally-grown produce. Graze on fresh grapes, pistachios, melons, almonds and more as you browse the Sunraysia Farmers Market (held every first and third Saturday of the month). Do you feel like getting some exercise after all that driving? Go paddle boarding down the Murray River, or take things a little easier in a paddle steamer.
Accommodation: Mildura Motor Inn is a family-friendly hotel with a flat screen TV in every room, free parking and a pool that guests can use. The Happy Sumo Sushi Bar is nearby, for when you’re feeling peckish.
Port Augusta, South Australia
Distance from Mildura to Port Augusta: 531.6 km (5 hours and 41 minutes)
Don’t drive through Port Augusta without checking out the Wadlata Outback Centre – a popular attraction that’s won multiple state awards. Spend a few hours as a time traveller learning about the history of the region (all the way back to the dinosaurs). Children and adults alike love the hands-on exhibits and Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories.
You don’t need a green thumb to enjoy nature showing off at the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden. There’s a fenced play area for children to run wild, and a beautiful cafe that sells delicious food with native ingredients such as quandong!
Accommodation: You could stick to the green theme of the day and spend the night at Crossroads Ecomotel, a modern and energy-efficient motel that even has two dedicated pet-friendly rooms for furry friends.
Coober Pedy, South Australia
Distance from Port Augusta to Coober Pedy: 540.2 km (5 hours and 36 minutes)
Opals, opals and more opals! This small mining town is every aspiring geologist’s dream come true. You’ll find the world’s biggest opals on display, and can walk through historic mines. Do you know the best part? The majority of locals actually live underground! Coober Pedy features many “dugout” underground homes, churches and art galleries – which you can visit.
Accommodation: The Lookout Cave Underground Motel gives you the unique experience of sleeping underground in a cave. It has all the modern features that people want, while giving you a rustic sense of adventure with the natural sandstone surroundings.
Uluru, Northern Territory
Distance from Coober Pedy to Uluru: 755.1 km (7 hours and 40 minutes)
You’ve made it after a long day on the road, so settle into Ayers Rock Resort for some well-earned rest. There’s a swimming pool, playground, supermarket, restaurants, bars and more. You’re only 20 minutes away from Uluru, so you can ignore your alarm clock the next morning (unless you want to catch the stunning sunrise, of course)!