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Highway Highs Our Sydney to Adelaide Road Trip Guide

Highway Highs: Our Sydney to Adelaide Road Trip Guide

So, you’re planning to embark on a road trip from Sydney to Adelaide? Our team will help you turn this long journey into an unforgettable odyssey!

This ultimate road guide unveils the best routes, awe-inspiring natural wonders, and other critical info you need for a stress-free and enjoyable Sydney-to-Adelaide trip. Buckle up, adventurer!

Things to Keep in Mind

Distance from Sydney to Adelaide

The total distance between Sydney and Adelaide is approximately 1,374.8 km (854 mi), and a road trip takes around 14 to 15 hours. 

It’s going to be a long drive, so prepare yourself mentally and physically.

We suggest creating a music or podcast playlist that can keep you entertained while you’re on the road. 

Best Modes of Transportation from Sydney to Adelaide

Best Modes of Transportation from Sydney to Adelaide

Car (14 to 15 hrs): Let’s start with the most obvious choice. By opting to travel by car, you’ll gain flexibility and independence, letting you go through the journey at your desired pace. 

Bus (23 to 24 hrs): If you just want to zone out on your trip, you can free yourself of the burdens of driving and travel by bus.

This is also a cost-effective option, and some bus companies offer comfortable amenities like reclining seats and onboard entertainment.

Train (22 to 23 hrs): Travelling by train is a classic; it can be fun too! The Indian Pacific train is an iconic railway connecting Sydney to Adelaide.

It offers a luxurious and scenic experience, allowing you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful landscapes on the way. 

Plane (2 hrs): Yes, we know this is a road guide, but we won’t be doing you an injustice by excluding the fastest and most convenient way to travel from Sydney to Adelaide. 

Several airlines operate regular flights between the two cities, giving you the chance of saving life’s most important resource: time!

The Best Routes from Sydney to Adelaide

National Highway A1

National Highway A1 is the most direct and commonly traveled route. It follows the Hume Highway from Sydney to Melbourne and then connects to the Western Highway, leading to Adelaide. 

It’s a well-maintained and efficient route, spanning approximately 1,150 km (715 mi) and taking around 14 to 15 hours of driving time.

National Highway A1

Coastal Route

For a more scenic trip, you can consider taking the coastal route. Start by heading south from Sydney along the Grand Pacific Drive, which offers breathtaking coastal views and passes through quaint towns like Wollongong and Kiama. 

Then, continue along the Princes Highway, passing through picturesque areas of the New South Wales South Coast, before eventually joining the A1 highway to Adelaide. 

Coastal Route

Keep in mind that this captivating route will take more time—around 2-3 days depending on your travel speed.

Inland Route

Another alternative is the inland route, which takes you through regional New South Wales and South Australia. This option will take around 15 to 16 hours.

After leaving Sydney, head west towards the Blue Mountains and Bathurst, then follow the Mid-Western Highway and Sturt Highway through towns like Dubbo, Cobar, and Broken Hill. 

Inland Route

From Broken Hill, you’ll continue south on the Barrier Highway to Port Augusta and then join the A1 highway to Adelaide.

Things to Know 

Bring enough food supplies and fuel

Bring enough food supplies and fuel

Properly stocked supplies and ample fuel are the keys to a smooth and worry-free long road trip!

We never leave Sydney without filling up our fuel tank, as fuel stations might be limited in some remote areas. The last thing you want is to get stranded in the middle of nowhere!

Moreover, no man should be subjected to long-distance travel with an empty stomach! Be sure to bring essential supplies, such as water, snacks, and a first aid kit, especially if you plan to venture off the main highway.

Know your route’s road conditions

Know your route’s road conditions

Use your phone to check if there are potential road closures, construction, and weather conditions along your chosen route. 

This will make you prepared for any detours or delays. We recommend apps like Google Maps and Waze.

Follow wildlife and road safety tips

Follow wildlife and road safety tips

We know how road adventures can get wild sometimes, so we’re here to remind safety should always be prioritized when driving.

Australia is known for its unique wildlife, so be cautious of animals crossing the road, especially during dawn and dusk. Kangaroos and emus are known to use highway roads, so always keep an eye out for them.

Additionally, always observe speed limits, stay alert, and be prepared to stop or slow down if necessary. 

Prepare for loss of mobile coverage

Prepare for loss of mobile coverage

Bear in mind that mobile coverage can vary in remote areas, so have offline maps or a GPS device as a backup for navigation. Inform someone about your travel plans and estimated arrival time in case of emergencies.

We also suggest updating someone every hour or two about your whereabouts. This simple trick is a total lifesaver! 

Prepare for changing weather

Prepare for changing weather

Always remember to take into account the climate and season when planning your trip. South Australia experiences different weather patterns, so pack appropriate clothing and be prepared for varying temperatures and weather conditions.

Learn local laws and regulations

Learn local laws and regulations

No matter where the road takes you, there is one constant you must follow: the law.

Familiarize yourself with the local traffic laws and regulations of each state you’ll be driving through. Pay attention to speed limits, seat belt requirements, and any specific rules or restrictions.

Best Accommodations from Sydney to Adelaide

Best Western Plus Goulburn

Address: 77 Lagoon St, Goulburn NSW 2580
Phone: (02) 4821 2422
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Best Western Plus Goulburn is a cozy place that can help recharge your mind and body. 

This contemporary-styled accommodation is 194 km from Sydney and offers well-appointed rooms with comfortable furnishings—things that a restless road traveler needs. 

This hotel is also strategically located on the Hume Highway, the main route between Sydney and Adelaide, so stopping here for a short or overnight rest is a terrific idea! 

Tuckerbox Motor Inn

Tuckerbox Motor Inn

Address: 87-97 Mount St, Gundagai NSW 2722
Phone: (02) 6944 0300
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Tuckerbox Motor Inn is a touch of summer paradise. With solar-heated pools and spacious rooms, this accommodation can rejuvenate your mind and body—preparing you for when you’ll hit the road again.

The spa suite was where we stayed here. It’s arguably their most relaxing room, plus the view of the sweeping Gundagai highway is as clear as day here!

Highway Inn Motel

Highway Inn Motel

Address:394 Murray St, Hay NSW 2711
Phone: (02) 6993 2102
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With vintage-themed rooms adorned by graphite and golden brown bricks, Highway Inn Motel exudes vibes of a simple yet beautiful bygone era. This aesthetic quality can soothe your weary mind, especially if you go for a swim in their outdoor pool.

Highway Inn Motel is also set in the farming town of Hay, giving you the golden opportunity to relish the enchanting sights of one of South Australia’s rustic havens. You can even shop for some farm-harvested goodies while staying here!

Nicholas Royal Motel

Nicholas Royal Motel

Address: 152 Lachlan St, Hay NSW 2711
Phone: (02) 6993 1603
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Perched on the golden-brown plains of Hay, the cozy Nicholas Royal Motel is perfect for quick stopovers and overnight stays. The rooms here have a countryside feel to them while having amenities needed for a relaxing stay.

The lush plant life surrounding this serene motel is a sight for tired eyes, especially on mildly-warm afternoons when sunlight is most pleasant. Their turquoise pool is also top-tier, especially since it’s shaded by tall trees.

Best Stops from Sydney to Adelaide


A detour to the nation’s capital can make your road trip more fun and memorable. Touted as one of the most livable cities in the world, Canberra has architectural wonders, natural marvels, and cultural attractions galore!

If it were up to us, stopping by the crystal-clear Lake Burley Griffin in the heart of Canberra should be a must-do for travelers. 

If you’re starving, our top pick would have to be the elegant Courgette and the authentically Japanese Akiba. The former lights up the table with succulent European dishes, while the latter boasts Japan’s top cuisines.

Blue Mountains National Park

Blue Mountains National Park is a breather in the form of nature’s most stunning views. The park is characterized by its superb mountain ranges, deep valleys, lush forests, and iconic blue-hued eucalyptus haze.

We had a blast taking what seemed to be thousands of snaps at Echo Point in Katoomba, a popular spot where you can witness the iconic Three Sisters rock formation! 

This is also the spot if you want to enjoy sweeping views of the Jamison Valley.

Picnics are highly suggested here, especially around sunrise or sunset!


The exhaustion caused by long trips might be relieved by the pristine beaches of Wollongong. Known for its undeniable coastal charm and serene allure, this region is the home of coastal trails and the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge. 

Here’s our number one tip if you’re planning to stop here: explore the seaside bike paths! They’re easy to navigate, perfectly warm, and extraordinarily peaceful.

Hungry travelers can beeline to the beachside beauty that is Steamer’s Bar and Grill. 

This reenergizing restaurant with an open veranda overlooking the sapphire sea serves high-caloric and exceptionally delicious culinary bombs like pizza, barbecue, and burgers!



Tanunda, nestled in the heart of the renowned Barossa Valley, offers a captivating blend of history, culinary delights, and jaw-dropping landscapes.

Steeped in German heritage, the town’s charming streets lined with heritage buildings can transport visitors to another era!

The wine here is impeccable, but we strongly advise not to drink if you’re going to drive. Purchasing bottles for later consumption is a different story, especially if you pair their crisp reds with the farm-harvested meat this town exceedingly produces.

If you don’t want to cook, Vino Lokal, the town’s romantic and high-quality bistro, got your back. After hours on the road, you deserve a slice of their perfectly-flavored sirloin steak—our team’s go-to meal here.

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