Driving from Alice Springs to Melbourne

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When on holiday in Australia, you might be considering taking in the country by car. Thought you must be prepared to do so as Australia is a massive piece of land. At almost eight million square kilometres that’s a lot of room to spread out and also, a lot of ground to cover when driving.

Alice Springs or ‘The Alice’ as it’s colloquially known, is a town that is located in the geographical centre of Australia, close to the southern border of the Northern Territory, one of the six states that makes up Australia. The town is famous for its large populace of United States nationals whom have been present since the 1950s and a large majority of are employed at the Pine Gap Defence Space Research facility.

The Gap is a joint operation between the US and Australian government. As the third largest town in Australia’s Northern Territory, Alice sees a lot of tourism due to its close proximity to Ayers Rock, which lies just over 200 miles away. Those who visit Alice Springs usually like to check out this magnificent sandstone rock formation which lies in the Red Desert that makes up the surrounding area of Alice Springs.

raod sign Alice Springs

A road sign that you will more than likely pass when travelling from Alice Springs to Melbourne.

The climate in Alice Springs is classified as a Desert climate with temperatures that conform to that classification due to the Alice being right at the point where several deserts converge. Driving from Alice Springs to Melbourne is quite a trip, in more ways than one, so you may wish to fly. The trip itself will take a little over 22 hours so that’s a whole day of non stop driving and you’ll be crossing the majority of South Australia on the A8 motorway, passing through Adelaide and then heading east to Melbourne for a total of just over a thousand miles.

You’ll pass through a variety of small towns and see a lot of beautiful scenery when it’s light out. If you are driving a camper van then there are many beautiful spots on the drive you can pull over and enjoy an opportunity to camp out in the Australian desert which will be a fantastic side trip on your journey to Melbourne. If you’re not driving a camper and if you get tired easily, It’s probably best to try and make it to Adelaide and find a hotel to rest before continuing on to Melbourne.

It’s also helpful to get accustomed to the climate change you will face being so close to the ocean. However, if you are planning a non stop drive then you must be advised that your car must be thoroughly inspected before undertaking such an arduous journey. It’s never a good thing when you break down on a remote stretch of the highway where there is no mobile phone service and no towns for miles. The Australian desert is home to many dangerous wild animals and reptiles that might just be lurking if you break down at night.

the day begins in Melbourne

The day begins in Melbourne.

This is why it’s a good idea to not make any unnecessary side trips if you don’t have a good idea of how to get back onto the motorway. Always make sure you have a good GPS system on your phone or that you have an up to date map to consult. Taking precautions on such a long drive is essential to a safe journey.

When you reach Melbourne you will experience many things, not only will you have crossed a thousand miles on your drive but you will also have gone from a relatively small town to a huge city, the second largest populated city in Australia to be more specific. Melbourne is filled with various tourist attractions and is built alongside the Yarra river. It was founded in 1835 by settlers from Van Diemens Land, which is now known as Tasmania and grew into a hugely populated city following the discovery of gold in the state of Victoria. You just experienced a good chunk of Australia on your drive and now you’re here, the delights of Melbourne beckon.