Michelle's 2010 Sydney to Adelaide Tour

Michelle Road Trip Tales
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25 hr | 2,184 km
In 2010, I embarked on a road trip from Sydney to Adelaide with two British backpackers, in the hope of showing them the real Australia. Rather than taking the well travelled coastal route, we decided to venture inland, towards the red desert. Our end goal was Adelaide, the home of another UK ex-pat who was in the country for the year and longing for some familiar faces.
  • 7 days on the road
  • 2 nights in the 'Priscilla' hotel
  • 1 beer can hunt in a pub
  • 3 days through a locust plague
Sydney to Cobar
I left Sydney with the two poms (one of whom would end up being my husband) and headed west, with our road trip playlist meticulously planned to the minute. We drove along, blaring the Priscilla soundtrack as well as some incredible Aussie pub classics to really get us in the mood. Our first stop was Cobar, a town that signalled the beginning of a landscape we would come to know very well - flat, red desert.
Michelle s road trip Cobar
Cobar has a mine, so we had to stop and visit
Cobar to White Cliffs
From Cobar we drove to White Cliffs, a town so hot that its buildings have been built underground. The boys thought I was joking when I told them we were going to stay at an underground motel. I still remember waking up early to watch the orange sunrise from the ‘roof’ of the motel. The White Cliff Hotel was another highlight and the first of many pub visits spent yarning with true blue Aussie locals.
Michelle's Road Trip - Looking for the room at The Underground Motel White Cliffs
Trying to find our room at the underground White Cliff Hotel, White Cliffs
White Cliff to Tibboburra
From White Cliff, we continued our journey to the hottest town in NSW, Tibooburra. The temperature had us sweating, so we stopped for a few cold beers at the town’s Family Hotel, a quaint pub with walls beautifully painted by various artists. As it was Easter, we were lucky enough to participate in the pub’s’ annual Beer Can Hunt – a welcome substitute for chocolate eggs.
Michelle road trip - Family Hotek
Easter Egg Hunt and Beer Can Hunt at the Family Hotel, Tibboburra
Tibboburra to Broken Hill
After many hours darting back and forth between Aussie and British pub rock classics, we found ourselves in Broken Hill - the quintessential Australian town. We stayed at the Palace Hotel for two nights, made famous by the iconic film, ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’. The artwork on the walls was breathtaking - colourful wall to ceiling landscape paintings. We also got a chance to visit the Pro Hart gallery to relive the iconic carpet cleaner commercial.
Michelle's road trip - Big Bench, Broken Hill
Testing out the Big Bench, Broken Hill
Broken Hill to Silverton
From Broken Hill, we ventured to Silverton, taking a pitstop at the quaint Silverton Hotel, a familiar setting to films like ‘Wake and Fright’ and ‘Mad Max’. The place was adorned with some impressive Australiana memorabilia. Leaving Silverton, we noticed a large grey cloud approaching from the horizon. What we thought was a bit of rain turned out to be a swarm of locusts that didn’t let up for three days! It was here, in the red heart of the country, that I knew we’d plunged ourselves into something truly Australian.
Michelle's road trip - The locust plagues started and stayed from Cobar to Broken Hill
The state of the car after driving through a swarm of locusts
Silverton to Manna Hill
We camped at Mundi Mundi plains where the red dirt seemingly stretched on forever; a place completely flat that you could see the curvature of the earth. From there, we journeyed to Manna Hill. After a week in the desert, we were feeling a little fatigued, so we stopped for coffee and cake at the charming Manna Hill hotel. The place was so homely and warm, it felt like we were visiting a long lost grandma.
Michelles Road Trip Mundi Mundi Plains
We made it to the Mundi Mundi Plains! 
Manna Hill to Adelaide
From Manna hill, we drove the last few hours to Adelaide. Our Easter road trip had come to an end. It only took seven days but we had seen an unforgettable side of Australia that not many backpackers had been privy to. More importantly, it showed my future husband and me that if we could survive the outback together, we could survive anything.
Michelle outside Manna Hotel - Road Trip Tales
Posing with the locals outside the Manna Hill Hotel

Road Trip Tales
are Member-shared memories, providing a sample of their route. Some highways and routes may no longer be open today. If you would like to emulate Michelle's journey, use the multi-place map. above, or create your own route using our trip planner and our road trip guides.