The Outback Way is one of Australia’s great four wheel drive odysseys. Known as ‘Australia’s Longest Shortcut’, the route runs from Perth, Western Australia to Cairns in Queensland. Embark on your Outback Way adventure by purchasing The Outback Way Atlas and Guidebook from outbackway.org.au or from The Great Beyond Visitor Centre Laverton in Western Australia's Northern Goldfields.
The western half of The Outback Way travels from Perth and Alice Springs and below is an itinerary starting from Kalgoorlie in the wild west, across the desert to Uluru, offering a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Day 1: Kalgoorlie to Laverton via Lake Ballard (470 kilometres/5 hours)
Stock up on fuel and water supplies before starting your adventure on The Outback Way. Head north to the historic gold rush town of Menzies, detouring en route to take in Lake Ballard and the remarkable Antony Gormley sculptures. Visit the ghost town of Gwalia and see historic Hoover House, once home to the former American President, Herbert Hoover, who managed the local mine. On the way to Laverton, view remnants of mine shafts, try your hand at fossicking for gold and admire the colourful wildflowers in spring time.
Accommodation options: Stay overnight in Laverton at the local hotel, motel or caravan park.
Day 2: Laverton to Warburton (570 kilometres/7 hours)
Take the Great Central Road and journey across the Great Victoria Desert. Along the way you’ll encounter vast salt lakes, scenic nature reserves, waterholes, natural springs and caves. You’ll need transit permits to pass through the Indigenous community of Warburton, where you’ll find stunning works of traditional Indigenous art.
Accommodation options: Warburton Roadhouse.
Day 3: Warburton to Yulara (560 kilometres/7 hours)
The drive across the Gibson Desert and over the border between Western Australia and the Northern Territory is outback adventure at its best. The first 200 kilometres has tracks leading to Indigenous communities. Here the epic Gunbarrel Highway joins the Great Central Road. Keep watch for wild camels and other wildlife. You’ll be amazed by the rich desert terrain, with its scenic ranges, vivid red soil, spinifex, mulga and desert oaks.
Stock up on food and fuel at Warakurna Roadhouse before continuing across the border to the Northern Territory. The journey takes you over a number of creek crossings and past Petermann Ranges. Check out historic Lasseter’s Cave, a popular place for picnics.
Accommodation options: There’s a good selection of accommodation in Yulara – the gateway to Uluru.
Day 4: Yulara to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Entry (25 kilometres/30 minutes)
The massive figures of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and Uluru rise over the horizon as you enter Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Spend time bush walking around these amazing feats of nature.
Parts of the track are only suitable for high clearance four wheel drive vehicles and should only be attempted by confident drivers. Supplies and services are limited and road conditions can vary, so plan ahead, stock up on food, water and fuel and contact the local visitor centre for up-to-date track information.
Before heading off into the remote desert areas of Australia, you will need to obtain permits, enabling you to travel through private and Aboriginal Lands. Get more information about permits for Aboriginal Lands or visit the Australian National Four Wheel Drive Council. And to ensure you enjoy a safe and well-planned journey, be sure to take a look at Road safety and Important travel tips.