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Outback Way - from Alice Springs on Plenty Highway to Boulia

By Edited May 15, 2015 2 10

This is an interesting journey for the travellers eager to explore part of Australia’s Outback. To do this trip you will need a four wheel drive vehicle and it can only be done in good weather as it is an unsealed road for the majority of the way.


Alice Springs

The MacDonnell Ranges stretches for 400 km's from East to West on either side of Alice Springs and provide a picturesque backdrop to the township for the enthusiastic photographer. There are numerous camp site areas available some in National Parks and other dog friendly camp sites. These will vary from caravan parks to those with on-site charges with an honesty box. Do the right thing and help keep these sites available to the next traveller.

Things to see in Alice Springs

Arltunga Historical Reserve- Gold was first discovered here in 1887. You can relive the past by walking through the remains of this old ghost mining ruins and stone buildings. Explore one of the two mines with a torch and check out the old goal and Police station which has been restored.

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No it will not say what type of help is needed but you can work that out.
Plus they have another button direct to 911 in case of drastic emergency. Never push that unless a real emergency. It is important to read all the details on this.

Emily and Jessie Gaps

Emily and Jessie Gaps Nature Park (10 km's)

For those short on time take a leisurely drive out into East MacDonnell ranges and see the Gaps in the Heavitree Range. Emily is a sacred site, take off your shoes and socks and walk across the water to see the large rock painting featuring the Catapilla dreaming. Jessie Gap has picnic facilities for you to enjoy a break out in the open. No Camping allowed here.

Other Places to see around Alice Springs

You can either drive down and out to Kings Canyon and Uluru (Ayers Rock) or pay for someone to fly you or take one of the many tours around these beautiful surroundings.

Plenty Highway to Boulia 80% (Dirt Road)

Head north on the Stuart highway for approximately 107 km's and turn right onto the Plenty Highway. The first 70k's are bitumen, then it changes to a dirt road. Now is the time to let a little air out of your tires for a smoother and safer ride. Make sure all your caravan cupboards and doors are securely shut as this will test out how good your caravan is built.

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Crossing plenty highway in wet season

Travel and see your own country


Saw this Kangaroo which had been recently killed being eaten by Eagles yet covered in thousands of ants.

Gemtree - has a small caravan park and camping facilities.  Take a stroll through there store and check out the gemstones available to buy.  Or if interested you can get a permit and fossick for your own.  Do not rely on fuel at this stop as not always available.


Harts Range-has a Police Station and is 87km East of Gemtree and 132km West of Jervois.

Jervois - is next place where you can fuel up although be prepared for a price hike as they are a long way from a town.  You can camp here for a small fee with shower and toilet facilities.  Or if you prefer you can camp down at the Marshall River for free. There is no water in this as this road would be impassible if full of water, as this road has many flood areas. There is no other fuel for the next 467km's until you reach Boulia.

This large snake about six foot or more crossed the road just in front of our caravan

does anyone know what sort of snake it is?

You will eventually cross over the Northern Territory/Queensland Border which changes from the Plenty Highway at the Border to Donahue Highway.

Tobermorey Station - has a small Caravan park with lawn and ablutions, although on our  visit in May 2012 they had no power nor fuel facilities.  Do not get too excited after leaving here and come across some bitumen it only appears for a short time occasionally until you reach the town of Boulia. 

Helicopters are used on many outback stations these days to round up their cattle on very large properties.


They say you have not experienced the true outback until you visit Boulia. Have you ever experienced seeing the Min Min lights at night for yourself? It can be a truly scary experience. Check out other experiences of the locals in town.  

Find your own waterhole where you can chance your luck fishing or catching a yabby.  Then again you may be more interested in spotting the many varieties of bird life.

Other things to see are the Corroboree tree; the famous Camel races; visit the museum and learn more about the Dinosaurs.

Bush Tucker in Central Australia
Knowing these different types of bush foods could save your life in the outback if you know what to look for.  So visit one of the aboriginal centres and learn these bush tucker methods.

For thousands of years our indigenous people have lived of the Australian land.  Many of these foods are now incorporated into some of our restaurants.  Many of the bush foods comprise from edible native flora and fauna.

Some of these foods are Wattle seeds, Ruby salt bush, bush banana and bush passion fruit. Bush meat could be Emu, Wallaby, Witchetty Grubs, Kangaroo or even Camel.  

This picture below shows a map of where we are  in Queensland near end of May 2012. It is recorded on a spot messenger device and added to a site called ExplorOz.

This is a combination of 3 trips shown here. One in Western Australia viewing the wildflowers

Then we went to south Australia and Victoria

This trip we crossed the Nullabour again and went up the middle on the Sturt H'way and into Queensland.  You too can record your trip and even add your photos on ExplorOz. Or anywhere with is Spot Messenger GPS


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Get Directions
Plenty Highway, NT 0872, Australia


May 23, 2012 1:53pm
When I read your article, and see the photos, then I really regret that I have never been to Australia!
May 23, 2012 4:02pm
Thanks askformore, Hey its never too late, as long as you can travel never say no. I would love to go to England too but hate flying and cant walk so that's life I suppose. We always want something just a little out of our reach, but you got to keep on trying and enjoy living life that's the main thing.
May 23, 2012 6:59pm
I spent some time at the sacred Uluru, and in Alice springs. I have some cool memories and photos. Your words make me want to come back and do some more exploring. Thumbs up.
May 23, 2012 8:04pm
Thanks footloose, then go for it before it is too late. Australia is a big country and takes a lot of time to cover it all,
May 30, 2012 7:29am
Eileen...you have made yourself a road trip for sure. I am glad to see that you are still here and I love your articles. You are living the life. Congratulations....
May 31, 2012 7:12pm
Hi Lindylou, long time no see. Yes we are still on the road and heading further south now in Queensland. Thanks for stopping by
Jun 20, 2012 9:14am
What an amazing journey you are having. Keep the articles and photos coming so we can enjoy the experience, too. Thumbs Up!
Jun 21, 2012 7:49am
Thanks Southerngirl, We are actually home now as got tired of the continual rain and cold but have lots of pics to share still.
Jul 4, 2012 12:46pm
Great article eileen. Fabulous pictures.
Jul 4, 2012 7:13pm
Thanks lynsuz, Have to write some more on the rest of our rainy trip. cheers
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