As far as epic Australian journeys go, the Outback Way is top of the list. With vast, iconic landscapes, Indigenous cultures and European history, this 2,700km four-wheel-drive adventure takes visitors from Laverton in Western Australia, through the Northern Territory’s Red Centre to Winton in Queensland, traversing the very heart of Australia.

The Outback Way is a known as ‘Australia’s longest shortcut’ and is a tourist route consisting of seven roads. Starting on the Great Central Road in WA, you’ll navigate the Tjukaruru Road, Lasseter’s Highway, Stuart Highway, the Plenty Highway, the Donohue Highway and finish on the Min Min Byway to Winton. Customise your journey with various side options, depending on your time availability and appetite for adventure.


Setting out from Laverton, you’ll come to Warburton and Warakurna, where authentic Indigenous artworks are exhibited and sold. Purchase the ultimate souvenir, and proceeds will feed directly into these Western Desert communities.

At Uluru, witness the otherworldly magic of this spiritual place as it colour-shifts throughout the day. North of Alice Springs, check out the Outdoor Gallery, a collection of 28 roadside billboards by 27 artists, spread over a 111km stretch of the Plenty Highway.

The Red Centre Way is a four-wheel-drive optional add-on, taking in the dramatic scenery of Uluru to Alice Springs. The 690km drive includes the gorges and waterholes of the West MacDonnell Ranges, and the majesty of Kings Canyon / Watarrka.

At Stuart’s Well, you can ride a camel, visit the Henbury Meteorites Reserve, or the geological wonder of Chamber’s Pillar.

Get in touch with early European culture, and visit a classic outback pub like the Middleton Hotel. Winton itself is also steeped in outback history, and don’t miss a visit to the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum.

Travelling with kids? Introduce them to Geocaching, a modern-day treasure hunt. Along the Outback Way, use GPS co-ordinates to track down 35 hidden Geocaches, each one a small container or box with ‘treasures’ inside and a tiny visitor’s book. Take a trinket if you wish, leaving another in its place. Visit the website for the co-ordinates to start your search.


The Outback Way consists of gravel roads with some sections of sealed highway. You’ll need a four-wheel or all-wheel drive with good clearance. Spare tyres are essential.

Visit to find details of the route and plan your itinerary, taking note of where phone and internet signal, fuel and accommodation is available. Be well prepared with downloaded maps or paper maps.

Consult the Great Beyond Visitor Centre in Laverton for road condition updates, local advice, and guide books.

Permits are required when traversing privately-owned Aboriginal land. This includes the Great Central Road between Laverton and Uluru. Contact the Ngaanyatjarra Council ( and the Central Land Council ( for permits.

Safety tips

When travelling in remote parts of Australia and on unsealed roads, always keep safety front of mind. Always drive to the conditions, which can vary on gravel roads, especially after rainfall. Slow down for creek crossings, as hazards can be difficult to spot. Keep a watch for stock and wildlife.

Be aware of your fuel consumption. It can be up to 360km between fuel stops. If you break down or have an accident, always stay with your vehicle, and always travel with plenty of water. If you’re traversing some of the more remote side-tracks, consider bringing a satellite phone.