Road trains are a common sight on the Stuart Highway. A road train consists of a relatively conventional tractor unit, but instead of pulling one trailer or semi-trailer, a road train pulls two or more of them. Road trains really make sense given the long distances in Northern Territory. Although road trains look the same as tractor-trailors from the rear, it really takes a long time to pass a road train. You must be sure there is no one coming from the opposite direction. That is probably why they are marked as a road train on both the front and the rear.
From Wikipedia: "Australia has the largest and heaviest road-legal vehicles in the world, with some configurations topping out at close to 200 tonnes (197 long tons; 220 short tons). The majority are between 80 and 120 t (79 and 118 long tons; 88 and 132 short tons).
Double (two-trailer) road train combinations are allowed in most areas of Australia, and within the environs (albeit limited) of Adelaide, South Australia and Perth, Western Australia. A double road train should not be confused with a B-double, which are allowed access to most of the country and in all major cities.
Triple (three trailer) road trains operate in western New South Wales, western Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, with the last three states also allowing AB-Quads (3.5 trailers). Darwin is the only capital city in the world that triples and quads are allowed to within 1 km (0.62 mi) of the central business district (CBD)."
Darwin International Airport (DRW) is probably the smallest of Australia's International Airports. It is however a nice little place for a layover believe it or not.
I prefer to fly with oneWorld Carriers (AA, British Airways, Qantas, Cathay), so I had the privledge of checking out the Qantas Club lounge while waiting for a 1am! flight back to Sydney!
If you do not have status on the OW airlines, then I would wait until the last possible second to enter the Darwin Airport as there really is not much else to the place. You walk through security and are immediately at your gate, which is nice, but also tedious for longer amounts of time. There are a couple little places to eat, but as you can imagine, no grandeous fine dining locations or gift shops here.
Connecting service out of Darwin internationally includes Bali (DPS), Singapore (SIN) and a host of others through Brisbane or Sydney.
The government of the Northern Territory offers information on road conditions and road work in progress on a well updated but simple webpage. Have a look onto this site before planning your trip around NT.
I used " AAT-Kings", a Bus-Company doing daily tours from Uluru to A.Springs to many other destinations in N.Territory. It was easy and comfortable, booking via Internet/Mail no problem.
Have a look at
When driving around central australia,even when the road is long and straight with hardly any traffic out in the middle of nowhere.........dont speed!One... it is dangerous and Two... the police are still out there....i know,i was caught!
Most travel purists would probably tell me that I am taking the easy way out flying directly to this landmark, but what the heck.... I turned a 6 day boring excursion through the middle of the desert to a 6 hour round trip on a plane!
Yulara Airport is located just miles away from Uluru, and offers the flexibility of enjoying a view of Uluru from the air before you land. With this kind of luck, you do not need to spend money on a private helicopter or jet flight over Uluru!
Since you would most likely have to fly into Alice Springs and drive 5 hours, then I would say just pay a little extra and enjoy the flight into Yulara direct!
Just to let you know, expect wear and tear, we destroyed a car in NT, and had to get rid of it when we reached WA (thats a whole other story!). The fuel prices rocket in the outback townships, Hellsgate Roadhouse especially is 3 times the price of the city. And if you get a flat, you have to pay whatever they charge you. Just be careful, the coorogated roads are designed to give grip to the road-trains, but for a stndard car they can destroy the engine.
Most people fly into Alice Springs, and do a quick trip out to Ayers Rock and the Olgas. I recommend one of the 5 day camping tours that will also visit Kings Canyon, Palm Valley, Finke Gorge and Ormiston Gorge.
I travelled with Sahara Tours, it was a small group of 12, in a small bus. We spent most of our time off the beaten track and away from all the tourists. The camps were very luxurious. Our guide was great at taking the time to point out interesting flora and fauna like the Thorny Devil pictured here.
The train service from Adelaide (South Australia) to Darwin (Northern territory) runs daily and stops only occasionally on its 3000km trip north (or south).
One of those stops is Alice Springs.
We say that "The Alice" is the "dead centre" of Australia - partly because it's really in the "centre" of Australia and also because, if you disregard the temperature variations, you're "dead".
Many enter The Alice by conducted or private coaches, many by 'thumbing" a lift.
Some may even drive the 3,000 km to get there. If you're lucky, you can fly in from most capital cities.
We took the Ghan to Alice Springs from Adelaide. We really lucked out as the man who made our reservations stuffed up our tickets and later when it was learned it was full, they gave us first class at a much reduced price.
I would just like to clarify that you did not hand your keys to a staff member. You actually...more
We actually camped on our stay near Ayers Rock. However, as a public service, let me share a bit of...more
Well I stayed two nights in this "resort" and from the minute I arrived, I wanted to leave. A young...more