Australian Campervan Hire - Darwin to the Threeways and Beyond

July 27, 2013

1,000 km

Time frame: 7+ days

One of our favourite areas in Australia is the area around and south of Darwin which is perfect for Australian Campervan Hire.  This area forms part of many of our adventures throughout Australia and we never get tired of the beauty and always seem to find new areas to explore.

  • For those who have never travelled this route, the ‘Three Ways’ is simply the intersection where the Barkly Highway intersects the Stuart Highway; or in other words, when you’re heading south from Darwin, you can either turn left into Queensland, or keep heading straight which takes you down to Alice Springs and Uluru.

    Campervan Hire in Kakadu National Park

    View of floodplain, Ubirr, Kakadu NP

This trip is best visited in winter, which is the dry season.  The dry season usually starts sometime in April, and ends early October.  However predicting the season is not an exact science and an early or late start/finish is not uncommon.

Highlights for your Australian Campervan Hire from Darwin to the ‘Three Ways’.

  •  Darwin – enjoy the multi-cultural city and evidence of World War II history.  The Mindil Markets are a great place to visit if you’re in town on the right night
  • Kakadu National Park – World heritage listed. Beautiful and lush in some areas; red and rocky in the others it is definitely worth visiting, both rich in scenery and culture.  Allow at least a couple of days to enjoy this National Park in your Australian Campervan Hire.
  • Berry Springs – The area is beautifully set up, with lots of picnic areas and easy access to the swimming areas.  As with many areas in the far north, swimming is usually only permitted May – September.  Enjoy the native plants in flower if visiting March/April.

    Campervan Hire in Litchfield National Park

    Litchfield National Park

  • Litchfield National Park is nice and compact with a well maintained sealed road taking you through the stunning National Park, entering via Batchelor; all attractions are well signposted.  There is so much to see, but my favourite would have to be Buley Rockhole.  Can you picture yourself sitting in crystal clear water, in your very own little rock pool with water flowing over your shoulders like a spa pool – a great place to spend a few hours!  Plenty of walks, lots of designated swimming areas, wild life, waterfalls with scenic view points.  There is a specific 4WD area to the park, however there is so much to experience with a 2WD vehicle, you won’t feel as though you have missed out in your Australian Campervan Hire.  There are a number of camping areas in the National Park.
  • Adelaide River – A good place to visit in your Australian Campervan Hire is Mt Bundy Station – a working cattle property on the banks of the Adelaide River which is famous for its crocodiles.  The station offers camping, both powered and unpowered and is accessed via a sealed road, 3 km from the Stuart Highway.  If you’re travelling in peak time, then you’d need to book a few days ahead for a powered site, however there is always availability for an unpowered site.
  • Edith Falls.  This is into the northern end of the Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge).  At Edith Falls there is a nice National Park (20 km detour from the Stuart Highway on a sealed road)
  • Katherine – A good place to stock up on provisions for your Australian Campervan Hire. Also thermal pools in town with a short walk to see the source of the springs.   Very helpful information centre in town also.

    Campervan Hire at Katherine Gorge

    Katherine Gorge

  • Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park.  To head up to the spectacular Katherine Gorge,  take the sealed road behind Katherine for about 30km to the Nitmiluk Visitor’s Centre.  This is where you can join a variety of different cruises which take you into the gorges, or for those more energetic there are kayak options and a hiking trail.  Keep your eyes open for crocodiles too.  Like many of the attractions in the Northern Territory it is a totally different experience in the dry season to the wet season.  We asked how high the water gets in the wet and were amazed to hear that it was close to the beautiful outdoor deck area of the information centre.  We were high up in the gorge – barely able to see the water at the end of the dry season!  There is also a camp ground near the Nitmiluk Visitors Centre, which is nice, and offers entertainment on some evenings around the pool.
  • Mataranka is well known for the thermal springs where many a weary traveller has relaxed after their adventures.  The thermal springs are a perfect 34 degrees Celsius.  There are two springs to relax in – the Rainbow Springs at the Mataranka Homestead and Bitter Springs.
  • Daly Waters.  This is a well-known historic pub which most travellers in their Australian Campervan Hire stop at, for at least a drink, but many stay overnight in the campground. A sense of humour is a must to enjoy the pub – you’ll see what I mean when you stop by. The pub is well set up for travellers with plenty of interesting things look at and to read around the walls.  There’s entertainment provided in the dry season, which is always a fun night.
  • Three Ways, which is where the decision is made to head south or east.  This time, we continued south, but that is another story.

    Campervan Hire at Mataranka Thermal Springs


For this particular trip, a 2WD Australian Campervan Hire is perfect.  If you would like to take advantage of the numerous freedom and national park camps en-route, hiring a campervan or motorhome with an on board toilet and shower would be perfect.  We took a just over seven days for this adventure, but longer would be good if you wanted to look more around the Darwin area and extra time in the Kakadu National Park.

As always, the information centres around this area will provide you with excellent local information on camping and activities in the area.

Please note while great care has been taken putting together these highlights to assist with your travel plans, sometimes local tourist attractions do change because of weather, conditions or another adverse reason which we are not aware of.  We do suggest checking with local information centres as you travel to receive the most up to date information.

We look forward to speaking to you further if you are interested to campervan Australia – fill in our easy to use form to get information on costs for your specific travel dates, or you are welcome to send us an email or give us a phone call.


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