Broome to Darwin Road Trip

Explore the vast wilderness, stunning coastline and ancient history of Northwestern Australia on a magical Broome to Darwin road trip.

Exploring the Wilds of Northwest of Western Australia and the Top End of the North Territory

The Kimberley region of Western Australia is the perfect introduction to your Broome to Darwin road trip.

As you travel through this part of the world, you will discover some of the most remote unspoilt landscapes, which acts as a haven for wildlife in Western Australia. Explore ancient rock paintings at Windjana and Manning Gorge, be immersed in the gorges, cliffs and rugged landscapes of El Questro.

As you travel through to the Northern Territory, you will find waterfalls and hot springs and the immense Kakadu National Park, the largest national park in Australia, which highlights the unspoiled nature of the region.

And then there’s the aboriginal culture and bustling towns along the way which truly make a Broome to Darwin road trip a once in a lifetime adventure.

SUGGESTED Travel itinerary

Broome to Darwin Road Trip - Travel Times & Highlights

Please note: Distances and travel times are estimates only and may vary due to alternative routes, weather and road conditions. Please check with Main Roads Western Australia for updated information before commencing your journey.


broome gantheaume point

Broome is the perfect starting point for a road trip and a great introduction to the stunning coastline in North western Australia. 

The town itself is rather quiet and sleepy and known for having a relaxed atmosphere in general. With unobstructed views of the Indian Ocean, Cable Beach is one of the most iconic in all of Australia and the red cliffs make for an awe-inspiring sight.

Cable Beach stretches for more than 20 kilometres down the coastline and the near perfect weather have cemented Broome as one of the most popular destinations in WA.

Distance from Broome: 4 hr 28 min (357 km)

Windjana Gorge

windjana gorge crp

Windjana Gorge National Park was first carved by the River Lennard more than 375 million years ago and forms part of a Devonian reef system. The gorge is 300 metres deep and three kilometres in length and the steep walls strike an imposing sight to say the least. 

At the bottom of the gorge, freshwater crocodiles inhabit the pools and the surrounding landscape is littered by Liechardt trees and Fig trees which attract hordes of Fruit bats and Corellas.

Windjana is also steeped in history as this area was home to the Bunuba people who rebelled against European settlers in the 1890s, and this cultural importance really adds to the experience on a Broome to Darwin road trip.

Distance from Windjana Gorge: 2 hr 57 min (213 km)

Manning Gorge

manning gorge waterfall

Manning Gorge is situated on Manning Creek and several waterfalls appear along this gorge during the rainy season. This is how pools appear at the bottom of the gorge and why Manning Gorge is often regarded as the best place to swim in the Kimberley region. 

You can also take short hikes in the area and some trails even feature ancient Bradshaw and Wandjina rock paintings which showcase the rich and cultural past beneath the huge cliffs on all sides. If for nothing else, you should at least stop for a swim in Manning Gorge on your Broome to Darwin road trip.

Distance from Manning Gorge: 5 hr 6 min (318 km)

El Questro

el questro wa

El Questo is the kind of place that talks without making a sound. This wilderness park is a truly magical landscape that spirals for more than 700,000 acres and an iconic attraction on your Broome to Darwin road trip. 

You will find a near complete silence at times and then also the natural ambiance that comes with rivers, waterfalls and the many animals who inhabit the region.

El Questro is also a great place to enjoy activities as you can go hiking, fishing and even horse-riding through these landscapes. This is also a great landscape for 4×4’s and the wildness and natural beauty almost feels like it goes on forever!

Distance from El Questro: 3 hr 43 min (294 km)

Purnululu National Park

Purnululu National Park features a sandstone landscape and striking domed hills which date back more than 350 million years. 

You will need a four wheel drive to navigate the park and the dry season is the perfect time to experience the many campgrounds around the park.

Taking a walk around the gorges and creeks is the best way to get a true feel for the area and both the sunsets and sunrises are worth the trip alone. Just so you know, Purnululu National Park is a designated World Heritage Site and not to be missed on a Broome to Darwin road trip.

Distance from Purnululu National Park: 3 hr 35 min (291 km)


kununurra elephant rock

Kununurra is situated on the edge of East Kimberley and the perfect town from which to start exploring the surrounding nature. Featuring large outback stations, immense lanes and ancient rock formations, the natural scenery never fails to disappoint. 

This is especially true of Lake Argyle which is the largest expanse of fresh water in Australia and the ideal spot for a picnic or sun-downer.

In every direction, you will also see rivers and waterfalls and Kununurra means “Big Water” – a name given by the Aboriginal people many thousands of years ago.

Distance from Kununurra: 5 hr 20 min (514 km)


katherine nt

Katherine is another place where gorges, waterfalls and thermal springs dominate the landscape. The gorge itself is immense and there is actually a five-day hiking trail that stretched for 58km through the area. 

You can even learn about the history of the area at the Nitmiluk Visitor Centre and there is also a nearby campground and several enticing swimming holes.

Activities are also available here and when you are not checking out the Aboriginal rock art, there is opportunity to canoe along the gorge or perhaps take a helicopter for a spectacular view from above.

Distance from Katherine: 1 hr 25 min (117 km)

Mataranka Hot Springs

mataranka hot springs australia

Mataranka hot springs in the Northern Territory is a great place to relax and take in the natural surroundings.

The thermal springs are very peaceful, with the warm water sure to wash away any worries. This water actually maintains a temperature of 34 degrees and consists of fresh water that comes from the Georgina and Daly basins.

The mind and body is sure to appreciate this peaceful break on a Broome to Darwin road trip.

Distance from Mataranka Hot Springs: 1 hr 47 min (173 km)

Daly Waters Pub

daly waters pub outback servo australia

Daly Waters is a pub and the one roadhouse that you don’t want to miss on a Broome to Darwin road trip. The bar is decorated with quirky memorabilia from floor to ceiling and visitors often leave items behind to add to the collection. 

You will also find a hearty menu of barramundi and barbecue food and all the usual drinks you might expect in the Northern Territory. Located at the intersection between Stuart Highway and Carpentaria Highway, Daly Waters is at least worth a pit stop for a drink and bite to eat.

Distance from Daly Waters Pub: 5 hr 57 min (582 km)

Kakadu (Jabiru)

kakadu saltwater crocodile

Kakadu is the largest national park in Australia and the greatest example of a varied ecosystem on the continent. You can see this variety as you move from open forests and savanna woodlands to mangroves, floodplains and stunning coastline. 

The flora is especially impressive and some of the escarpments rise up more than 300 metres. In fact, Kakadu is probably the most unspoiled region in the country, and simply a jaw-dropping encounter with the beauty of Mother Nature. Jabiru is the name of the main township in the park and it’s a great place to eat, drink or pick up supplies.

Most visitors stop here to prepare for an adventure into the park and Kakadu is often the highlight for visitors that travel on their Broome to Darwin road trip.

Distance from Kakadu (Jabiru): 3 hr 4 min (300.5 km)


litchfield national park

Litchfield National Park covers over 1,500 km2 and this entire landscape was shaped by the power of water.

Featuring incredibly tall termite mounds and ancient sandstone pillars, Litchfield is a a photographers paradise and a truly iconic natural attraction. 

With this in mind, there are waterfalls and freshwater pools at every turn during the rainy season and the landscapes are also home to a rich history. After all, this National Park is the ancestral home of the Werat, Warray and Koongurrukun Aboriginal people and a place where visitors will often attest to feeling or witnessing the ancient spirits that created the landscape.

Distance from Litchfield: 1 hr 13 min (107 km)


darwin casuarina beach nt

Darwin is the famous capital of Northern Australia and the famous harbour which is no less than five times bigger than Sydney. This is also a place where you will find a very multicultural vibe and outdoor markets at every turn. In fact, these food markets would be the ideal place to finish a Broome to Darwin road trip, with more than fifty food stalls at the Mindil Beach market.

Darwin has a fantastic nightlife, and a host of bars and restaurants from which to choose. Meanwhile, you might also take a trip to the Tiwi Islands and explore the Aboriginal culture for which the islands are famous. Either way, this city is a hive of energy and activity and the perfect place to end a Broome to Darwin road trip in Northwest Australia.

Share this...