Stuart Highway

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South Australia Northern Territory

The Stuart Highway is one of the main highways in Australia. It runs over a length of approximately 2,700 km in the north-south direction and connects Port Augusta in South Australia to Alice Springs in the Red Centre of the continent, and Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory.

  • 3.1 Solar Challenge
  • 3.2 Cannonball Run
  • 3.3 Royal Flying Doctor Service


The Stuart Highway is named after John McDouall Stuart, a Scottish explorer, who had succeeded in 1862 as the first European to cross the Australian continent from south to north. 1872 Transaustralische telegraph line was along the route that Stuart had taken, built through the Australian outback. In 1907 he was first driven on continuous by a car. In the 1980s, the Stuart Highway was straightened and paved, so that his present course partially deviates several kilometers from the original route Stuarts.


South Australia

The Stuart Highway begins in Port Augusta at the north end of Spencer Gulf. There, the light coming from the south Princes Highway ( NA1 ) is divided into the Stuart Highway ( NA87 ) and the leading westward Eyre Highway ( NA1 ).

The Stuart Highway runs first 170 km in a northwesterly direction until after Pimba. In Pimba the Borefield Road ( B97 ) branches off to the Oodnadatta Track. This road leads to Woomera, Roxby Downs, Andamooka - the opal fields and the Olympic Dam mine, before it reaches the Oodnadatta Track. Nearest town during the Stuart Highway is about 115 km to Glendambo. The route to Glendambo is of great salt lakes, embossed on both sides of the highway, such as the Lake Gairdner. Until shortly before Glendambo parallel to Highway also run the tracks of the Trans- Australian Railway which also operate on The Ghan and the Indian Pacific here.

The Stuart Highway 250 km north of Glendambo from Woomera Prohibited Area extends through to Coober Pedy. Coober Pedy is known as the "Opal Capital of the World ". The city is characterized by oversized molehills that have been heaped up by the Opalschürfern and the underground dwellings of its inhabitants. In Coober Pedy branch off to the west of the Anne Beadell Highway, to the east the William Creek Road and to the north the road to Oodnadatta from.

About 60 km north west of Coober Pedy meets the transaustralische railway line back to the Stuart Highway. An additional 175 km to the north is the town of Marla. Here is the northern end of the coming from the east Oodnadatta Track. 160 km north of the border between South Australia Marla and the Northern Territory has been reached.

Northern Territory

94 km after the border between South Australia and the Northern Territory is Erldunda the Stuart Highway. Here branches off the Lasseter Highway ( S4) to Yulara, Uluru - Kata Tjuta the National Park and the Watarrka National Park and Kings Canyon from.

A further 200 km to the north reaches of the Stuart Highway Alice Springs, the only major town in the outback of Australia. The city is the main supply station in the center of the country and the starting point for tours to the tourist highlights of the MacDonnell Ranges. The Ross Highway ( S8) into the East McDonnell Ranges, the Larapinta Drive (S2 / S 6 ) leads to the West McDonnell Ranges, Hermannsburg. A few kilometers outside of Alice Springs branches off the Tanami Road ( S5) in a westerly direction from the Stuart Highway. A further 50 km to the north branches of the Plenty Highway (S12 ) from the east. This highway leads, as shortly after the branch from the Stuart Highway connected Sandover Highway ( S14) in the north-west Queensland.

Between Erldunda and the branch of the Plenty Highway to the Stuart Highway is also part of both the Outback Highway, which connects the northern Queensland to the southern Western Australia.

In its further course of the Stuart Highway passes through the villages of Ti - Tree, Barrow Creek, Wycliffe Well and Wauchope before the rock formations of the Karlu Karlu, better known as Devils Marbles, are achieved. Nearest large town on the Stuart Highway is the old gold mining town of Tennant Creek, about 500 km north of Alice Springs. About 25 km further Threeways is reached. Here branches off the Barkly Highway (A66 ) from the east and leads to Mount Isa in north Queensland.

Other towns along the Stuart Highway are Renner Springs, Elliott, Newcastle Waters and Dunmarra where the Buchanan Highway ( R80 ) branches off and leads to northern Western Australia. Shortly before reaching Daly Waters, a place that is known for its interesting Roadhouse, hits from the east of the Carpentaria Highway ( R1) on the Stuart Highway. This is part of the National Highway 1 after the meeting of the two highways to its end leads also the Stuart Highway that name.

Extend further to the northwest happened the Stuart Highway Larrimah Mataranka and where the Roper Highway (S20 ) branches before Katherine and the nearby Nitmiluk National Park, which is known primarily for the 13 gorges of the Katherine Gorge, can be achieved. In Katherine branches off to the west of the Victoria Highway (N1 ) from

At Pine Creek, about 90 km north- west of Katherine, branches with the Kakadu Highway ( S21), the southern of the two main roads in the Kakadu National Park from. The following are the places Adelaide River, known as Access to Litchfield National Park and Noonamah. Further north is the branch of the Arnhem Highway (S36 ) towards Kakadu National Park and the town of Palmerston, one of the largest suburban settlements of Darwin. About 15 kilometers north of Palmerston happened the Stuart Highway to Darwin Airport and ends near the center of Darwin, at the intersection of Smith Street and Daly Street.

The highest point in the course of the highway is 731 m and the lowest at 9 m.


Solar Challenge

Every two years, will be held on the Stuart Highway, the World Solar Challenge. It is a race for cars with solar power, which will be held during the current traffic and is intended to develop more usable solar vehicles.

Cannonball Run

1994 was the first and only Cannonball Run held in Australia. This was on the American model, a high- speed race for sports cars of private persons and amateur racer. The track led from Darwin to Yulara and back. In an accident at a checkpoint south of Alice Springs, four people were killed. Thereafter, a speed limit of 150 km / hr was introduced to the remainder of the race.

Royal Flying Doctor Service

Like other highways in the Australian outback is also the Stuart Highway as Notlandepiste for the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia. Sections of the highway are specifically designated as Notlandepiste and special caution is required when driving on these sections. In the case of landing an airplane all vehicles must leave the road.


The official street name of the individual sections is:

  • National Highway A87 in South Australia,
  • National Highway 87 from the border to South Australia until after Daly Waters and
  • National Highway 1 from Daly Waters to Darwin.

Often, however, there are also signs with the unmistakable words " Stuart Highway".

For several years, the Australian highways officially get tourists effective names and markings. In the case of the Stuart Highway ( inclusive extension to Adelaide ) is the " Explorer Highway".


  • Steve Parish: Australian Touring Atlas. Steve Parish Publishing. Archerfield QLD 2007 ISBN. 978-1-74193-232-4. S. 70, 71, 72, 95, 96, 98, 99, 100, 101