Travelling from the Sturt Highway? Three detours You Must Take!

If you’re feeling the urge to travel, and aren’t quite sure which way to head, I highly recommend packing up your off-road camper trailer with everything you need for an epic road trip and taking the road from Sydney to Adelaide. 605 kilometres in length, the Sturt Highway showcases some of the most diverse landscapes Australia has to offer and by making a few simple detours you can make it a journey to remember. 

If a road trip is worth doing, it’s worth doing well! So, plan your trip ahead of time so that you have enough time and supplies to incorporate the following must-see destinations into your travel itinerary. 

Murray Sunset National Park 

The Murray Sunset National Park is Victoria’s largest national park and home to the Pink Lakes, so named because of the red pigment, carotene, which is secreted from the algae. The colour of the lakes changes throughout the year from a deep pink, to a shimmering white, and evaporate over the hot summer months leaving the black mud covered in a concentrated salt crust. 

If relaxation and solitude, and a break from the daily grind is what you need, this remote outback park offers travellers the chance to unplug and get back to nature. If you want to make the most of your off-road camper and travel Australia’s most far flung and remote places, it’s imperative for your safety and peace of mind to invest in a radio. Like many remote Australian destinations worth visiting The Murray Sunset National Park doesn’t have phone reception, which makes it the perfect place to kickstart a much-needed digital detox. My tip would be to keep your phone charged though unless you have a camera handy, as the local wildlife is definitely photo-worthy, and includes a number of threatened species such as the mouse-sized marsupial Paucident Planigale, the Millewa Skink and the Regent Parrot. Expect to see Western Grey and Red Kangaroos too. With over 220 species of birds, and 660 known species of plants in the area, this outback park is a real treat for nature-lovers. 

The Riverina Food Trail 

Camping doesn’t have to mean missing out on the finer things in life, especially if you take a detour to the Riverina Food Trail. The heartland of farm-to-fork and paddock-to-plate, the Riverina has long been renowned as Australia’s food bowl. Griffith, boasts a large Italian population, with 60% of people in the city having Italian ancestors, so it should come as no surprise that it also has a reputation for excellent food and wine. Chocolate connoisseurs should also make time to visit Junee Liquorice and Chocolate Factory – absolute heaven for sweet tooths! 

Mungo National Park 

If you’re keen for real adventure, want a taste of true outback living and are looking for an extra special, unique location to camp, Mungo National Park ticks all these boxes and more! Steeped in Aboriginal culture and history, and home of the 42,000-year-old remains of Mungo Lady and Mungo Man, Mungo National Park gives visitors a glimpse into how the climate, waters and landforms in this country have changed over the last 100,000 years. The spectacular formations called ‘lunettes’ which are thick layers of clay and sand give the park a lunar or Mars-like appearance. It’s one of those places that you simply have to experience for yourself. Even the best photographs fail to impress the sense of wonder and deeper understanding of, and appreciation for Aboriginal culture and history that a visit to this park inspires. 

Don’t take this detour on a whim though. You’ll need to be prepared and have everything you need with you as it is 110 km from the nearest fuel station. You’ll also need a radio as you won’t get any phone reception at Mungo Park. 

Next time you take the Sturt Highway make it a road trip to remember. Take your time and experience all the breathtaking flora and fauna, the mouth-watering gourmet food and wine and the rich and awe-inspiring culture and history that this spectacular region of Australia has to offer campers who are prepared to go off the beaten track.

About the Author

Affectionately nicknamed ‘the Mothership’ by staff at the family-run business she owns with her husband, Karen Perry has a reputation as someone who is always happy to help and works tirelessly to keep all the business cogs running smoothly. With a passion for camping and a desire to inspire other Australian families to ‘journey Australia with attitude,’ Karen couldn’t have found a more apt calling than being part of a business that enables families to get outdoors, explore, and spend quality time together making memories.