Adelaide to Coober Pedy and back - South Australia


Travel up the Stuart Highway from Adelaide in this 10-day tour to the Outback town and world's Opal capital, Coober Pedy. Explore Woomera, Britain's weapons testing centre from a bygone era, cycle Clare's old rail lines and discover the ghosts at Gladstone Gaol.

  • Adelaide
  • Adelaide to Clare
  • Clare to Quorn
  • Quorn to Woomera
  • Woomera to Coober Pedy
  • Coober Pedy back to Woomera
  • Woomera to Port Augusta
  • Port Augusta to Gladstone
  • Gladstone to Riverton
  • Riverton to Adelaide

distance: 1824km

Day 1. Adelaide

Pick up your campervan in Adelaide today. Allow at least 1 – 1.5 hours in order to familiarise yourself with the vehicle before you leave the depot.

Adelaide, South Australia’s capital offers something for everybody, whether that be arts, culture, sport or adventure, you will not be disappointed.

Adelaide is also home to many festivals, including the very popular Fringe Festivals, so check out what is on offer when you arrive. As well as the festivals, there are plenty of opportunities to go fishing, visit museums, try local produce or just relax in the city.

Stay: Adelaide Caravan Park

Day 2. Adelaide to Clare

Depart this morning and follow the A1, M2O and A32 to Horrocks Highway. Continue along Horrocks Highway until you reach Clare.

Hire a bicycle and try out one of the Riesling and Rattler trails. These trails were once a part of a train line used for mining and agricultural purposes. Cycling or walking along these trails means you will see spectacular views of vineyards, bushlands, farms and historical buildings. Along the way, there are many signs detailing directions, history, the Ngadjuri people and the landscape. There is also ample opportunity to try out some local cafes and restaurants for breaks.

Distance: 141 km, 1 hour 50 minutes

Stay: Discovery Clare Caravan Park

Day 3. Clare to Quorn

Depart this morning and head northwest on Horrocks Highway towards Burton Street. Continue along Horrocks Highway until you reach Quorn.

Quorn has retained the essence of its history, and has appeared in the background of many films including Gallipoli, The Tracker, and most recently, Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner for its authentic look. Take a ride on Quorn’s heritage railway line, the Pichi Pichi Railway. The train runs along the oldest remaining section of the old Ghan railway, providing spectacular views of the bushlands.

Distance: 194 km, 2 hours 10 minutes

Stay: Quorn Caravan Park

Day 4. Quorn to Woomera

Depart this morning and head southwest on Flinders Ranges Way towards Fifth Street. Take a slight right onto National Highway A1 and continue straight onto the Princes Highway/ A87 until you reach Woomera.

Visit the Woomera Heritage Centre to learn of its past including the time when it was used as a missile testing ground during World War 2. The town itself was established by the British to be used to test new weapons systems, and after the war, it was then used to launch satellites into space. The town only finally became open to the public in just 1982, and therefore has a rich and complicated history.

Distance: 220 km, 2 hours 20 minutes

Stay: Woomera Traveller’s Village and Caravan Park

Day 5. Woomera to Coober Pedy

Depart this morning and continue along the Stuart Highway towards Coober Pedy.

Coober Pedy is a big mining town, so no visit is complete without exploring the history of mining. The Old Timer’s Mine offers an insight into how the opal miners would have to dig for opals all by hand, and the treacherous conditions they had to live through to find these precious stones. You can also experience what it would have been like to live underground, in one of the miner’s family home that have been preserved.

Another mine open for inspection is the Umoona Opal Mine and Museum. Described as looking like the surface of the moon, explore the underground shafts and mullock heaps which have been created from 80 years of mining.

Distance: 375 km, 3 hours 45 minutes

Stay: BIG4 Stuart Range Outback Resort

Day 6. Coober Pedy to Woomera

Depart this morning and return to Woomera via the Stuart Highway towards Port Augusta.

Visit Lake Hart, a large saltwater lake, which sits on the edge of Woomera. Walking along the ground, you will feel the salt crystals crunching against your shoes, and if you place your hand in the water, it will soon disappear beneath the salt. The lake glitters in the sun, so it is a perfect place to take some picturesque photos.

Distance: 375 km, 3 hours 45 minutes

Stay: Woomera Traveller’s Village and Caravan Park

Day 7. Woomera to Port Augusta

Depart this morning and continue along the Stuart Highway towards Port Augusta.

Visit the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens and discover the plants and animals that are able to survive Australia’s toughest conditions. Explore the vivid red sand dunes, woodlands, and vast saltbush plains and even enjoy mountain views from the top of the red cliff tops. After all of this, you can sit back and enjoy the information centre and have afternoon tea.

Distance: 187 km, 1 hour 50 minutes

Stay: BIG4 Port Augusta Holiday Park

Day 8. Port Augusta to Gladstone

Depart this morning and take the National Highway A1, until you reach Wilkins Highway. Turn left and follow until you reach Horrocks Highway. Turn right and continue until you reach Gladstone.

Check out the Gladstone Gaol and learn about the criminals who lived there from the late 1800s. Take a ghost tour at night with one of the resident psychics, and hear of the tales of the ghosts that live there. People report stories of being woken up in the night, seeing shadowy figures or having a feeling that someone is watching, no you never know who you’ll see.

Distance: 121 km, 1 hour 20 minutes

Stay: Gladstone Caravan Park

Day 9. Gladstone to Riverton

Depart this morning and follow the Horrocks Highway/ B82 until you reach Riverton.

Riverton is at the heart of the Gilbert Valley, which means that there are so many rolling hills and beautiful scenery to discover. The Riverton trails are the perfect way to see many sites of the town in one go. The trails begin in Riverton, and you have the opportunity to either walk or cycle around them. Along the way, you can visit local wineries, the art gallery, the railway station and heritage cemeteries.

Distance: 119 km, 1 hour 25 minutes

Stay: Riverton Caravan Park

Day 10. Riverton to Adelaide

Depart this morning and follow the A32/ National Highway M20 and National Highway A1 to the Princes Highway in Medindie. Continue along the Princes Highway until you reach Adelaide.

Distance: 99 km, 1 hour 20 minutes


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Special caution and planning should be taken when travelling in remote areas to ensure sufficient provisions, fuel and prescribed medicines are carried.

Weather conditions can make sealed roads impassable particularly during the northern Wet season. All rental vendors in Australia have restrictions on where their vehicles can be taken, therefore it is recommended that you consult with your vehicle provider on your intended journey when collecting your vehicle. Travelling where restrictions are imposed voids all insurance cover.

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