Brisbane, Australia at twilight with the city skyline in the background and the Brisbane river in the foreground.
f11photo/Shutterstock.com
Road Trips

Road Trip From Brisbane To Adelaide

By SYH Sarah | Updated on 29 March 2022

A road trip from Brisbane to Adelaide is a classic Aussie adventure. Not only will you pass some of the most incredible rural scenery you will ever get to see; you can taste some of the best vanilla slice in the country, prospect for gold in an historic mining town, and even stargaze at one of Australia's best known observation spots!

The quickest route from Brisbane to Adelaide takes 22 hours of uninterrupted driving to cover 2020-km of road. But you can check out cool places like Toowoomba, Dubbo, Hay, Ouyen, the Big Desert Wilderness Park and the Murray Bridge along the way.

This is just a small selection of the many fabulous stops you can make on this epic journey. So be sure to keep reading until the end to find out what other great options are available to you.

How far is Brisbane to Adelaide and how long will the road trip take?

Route comparison
RouteDistanceDriving Time
The A39 Route2020 km22 hours
The A32 Route2035 km22 hours 20 minutes

There are two main ways to drive from Brisbane to Adelaide. One involves taking the A39, whilst the other incorporates a detour along the A32.

Both take over 22 hours of non-stop driving time to complete the journey, with the A39 route being a touch shorter in terms of distance than that other.

Driving along both routes will eventually take you through the heart of country New South Wales and South Australia, until you get to Adelaide.

While the A32 sticks exclusively to rural New South Wales and South Australia, the A39 will also give you the opportunity to pass through more remote parts of Victoria.

Toowoomba, Australia with a fence in the foreground overlooking panoramic views of flat lands and mountains below on a sunny day.
Make the most of your route from Brisbane to Adelaide by stopping at places like Toowoomba for the views.
Purmak Marina/Shutterstock.com

The scenic views you will experience along both routes are breathtaking. If you decide to check out some of the many small towns you encounter during the drive, you will also get to engage with some of the friendliest and most genuine people you could ever hope to meet.

Best road trip route from Brisbane to Adelaide

On your road trip from Brisbane to Adelaide the first part of your journey will involve taking the A39 past Toowoomba, Pittsworth, which was once the largest cheesemaker in Queensland, and the historic town of Goondiwindi.

After crossing the border into New South Wales you will soon reach the town of Moree which then presents a crossroads. Here you can choose to either continue on the A39, or detour onto the A32.

Whichever route you take, the road will eventually take you into Adelaide, and in about the same amount of time.

Adelaide, Australia at night with water in the foreground reflecting the buildings which are illuminated with lights and street lamps.
Adelaide is a great city for some culture at the end of your road trip.
kwest/Shutterstock.com

The A39 Route

If you choose to continue on the A39, the road will lead you past Dubbo, which is famous for the magnificent Western Plains Zoo, and then on to the quaint town of Hay.

Situated on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, it's a great place to watch the sunset, as the flat landscapes of the Hay Plains showcases stunning 360 degree views of it.

From Hay you will continue up to Ouyen, which for 14 years was the original home of the annual Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph, and is now renowned across Australia for producing some of the best vanilla slice you can buy today.

The road will eventually take you on to Adelaide, but not before giving you the opportunity to visit the Murray Bridge, which is one of the best spots in Australia for stargazing.

The A32 Route

Having decided to take this detour, the road will lead you past the towns of Narromine, which is known for being one of the best gliding locations in the world, as well as Trangie which is notable for its stately corner block pubs.

Accommodating the wonderful Macquarie River, both destinations are great spots for fishing, swimming, canoeing and kayaking too.

On from both of them, the road will lead you past Nyngan, which famously hosts ‘the Big Bogan' statue, as well as Cobar, which although now better known as a copper mining area, was once a significant player in the gold mining industry. If you are feeling lucky you can still prospect for gold there today.

The route continues on to the historic town of Broken Hill, which is located on one of the world's richest deposits of silver, zinc ores and lead, and showcases an amazing landscape of verdant wetlands, shimmering lakes, fabulous flat topped mesas and spectacular desert plains.

Leaving Broken Hill, the road will eventually lead you on to Adelaide, after passing through a number of other fascinating small regional towns in South Australia.

Best places to stop between Brisbane to Adelaide

It's a long old drive from Brisbane to Adelaide, so you will definitely need to schedule a couple of overnight stops.

Whichever route you choose to drive, there are plenty of small regional towns where you can stay. Here are a couple of our favourites.

Macquarie River, Dubbo in the centre with farm fields either side and taken as an aerial shot with the sun rising in the distance.
You won't be short of great scenery for sunrise and sunsets in this part of Australia.
Taras Vyshnya/Shutterstock.com

Check out the sunset in Hay

Hay is a quaint country town located about 915km from Brisbane. Nestled on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, it's a lovely spot for fishing, swimming and kayaking. It's also a terrific place to watch magnificent sunsets, over the flat landscapes of the Hay Plains.

If this is something you would like to do, the New Crown Hotel Motel is a great value and well-located option. Situated right in the centre of town, it is close to all the main shops and restaurants, while the river is also just a minute's drive away.

Rooms are comfortable and well presented, while the property also has an excellent restaurant and bar onsite if you fancy a quiet evening before continuing on your drive.

The hotel is also close to the A32, so you will quickly be able to get back on the road to Adelaide when it's time for you to leave.

See the stars at Murray Bridge

Murray Bridge is lovely rural town in South Australia that lies on the banks of the Murray River. With very little rainfall, crystal clear skies and hardly any light pollution at all, it is one of the best spots in Australia to view the stars.

Murray River, South Australia at sunset with tall trees on the left and the river reflecting the trees in the background.
The views around Murray Bridge give great sunsets.
kwest/Shutterstock.com

Should you decide to stay here, the Bridgeport Hotel is a stylish and super convenient accommodation option, with free on-site private parking (a definite plus!).

The Bridgeport Hotel offers an excellent location, close to all the best spots for checking out the cosmos. In addition, the Riverglen Marina, which provides plenty of opportunities for water based recreational activities, is just a short drive away.

The hotel also has a very nice restaurant onsite that serves delicious food. As well as a fabulous swimming pool, which is the perfect way to unwind after a long day of driving.

Things to see on a road trip from Brisbane to Adelaide

During your road trip from Brisbane to Adelaide there are a plethora of different places to visit, and interesting sights to see.

Granted, it's impossible to see them all on one regular trip. But if you do have a little bit of time available to you, then you really should check out the following:

  1. Toowoomba - Known as the ‘Garden City', Toowoomba is Queensland's largest inland city. It is known for its annual Carnival of Flowers, as well as its numerous parks, green spaces and gardens.
  2. Goondiwindi - Fascinating historic rural town located near the Macintyre River that is renowned for its rich indigenous culture and arts.
  3. Dubbo - Famous regional city in New South Wales that houses the wonderful Western Plains Zoo, as well as the heritage-listed Old Dubbo Gaol prison.
  4. Narromine -One of the best gliding locations in the world. Also widely acknowledged as being a terrific spot near the Macquarie River for fishing, swimming, canoeing and kayaking.
  5. Trangie - Charming town known for its stately corner block pubs. Another noted spot near the Macquarie River for water-related recreational activities.
  6. Nyngan -Get your photo taken next to the iconic ‘Big Bogan' statue.
  7. Cobar - Formerly a significant player in the gold mining industry, but now better known as a copper mining area. If you are feeling lucky you can still prospect for gold.
  8. Broken Hill - Historic town situated on one of the world's richest deposits of silver, zinc ores and lead. It boasts a fantastic landscape of glistening lakes, lush wetlands, fantastic flat topped mesas and stunning desert plains.
  9. Narrandera Nature Reserve -Take the chance to hang out with koalas in their natural habitat.
  10. Hay -This charming town on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River features the flat landscapes of the Hay Plains. It accommodates unique and stunning 360 degree sunset views throughout the year which have to be seen to be believed.
  11. Ouyen - Indulge your sweet tooth with a delicious pastry or two at Australia's home of the much loved vanilla slice.
  12. Big Desert Wilderness Park - A fantastic place for those who love nature and bird-spotting, this terrific park was Victoria's first declared wilderness area. It is a renowned place for hiking, photography and 4-wheel-driving.
  13. Murray Sunset National Park - Visit the largest national park in Victoria and check out as many of the 183 species of protected flora and fauna as you can.
  14. Murray Bridge - Marvel at the wonder of the cosmos at one of the best locations in Australia for stargazing.

Broken Hill, Australia with a large sculpture overlooking the flat plains below on a clear day.
Broken Hill has fantastic desert plains.
Lauren Cameo/Shutterstock.com

Best time to go on a road trip from Brisbane to Adelaide

One of the best things about a road trip from Brisbane to Adelaide is that you can do it all year round.

As you will be traveling through rural areas for much of the journey, you will need to be mindful of inclement weather conditions that could initiate natural disasters like bushfires or flash flooding. This is particularly relevant if your trip is taking place in the summer months of December and February - when the potential risk of this happening is at its highest.

When you do embark on your road trip you will find that hotel rates and levels of traffic will be higher in the summer (as well as during the school holidays and at weekends), so it is worth making note of that when planning your journey.

Other than that you can hit the open road at any time. Whenever you decide to hit the road, however, we'd recommend you get your vehicle fully serviced by a mechanic before starting your trip.