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Fuel in Central Australia

When you’re travelling by car or 4WD anywhere in the Northern Territory, it is vitally important to understand where your potential fuel stops are located. The Territory is vast and with hundreds of kilometres between destinations and nothing in between, it pays to know how much fuel you’ve got, how much you need to budget for, and how long you need it to last to get you to your next fill up location.

So to make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of the major refuelling stations throughout Central Australia, what you can find there and most importantly where they are so you should never have any troubles getting stuck without fuel in the desert. 

Alice Springs     |     Lasseter Highway     |     Stuart Highway     |     Kings Canyon     |      West Macs    |      Tanami Road    |      East Macs    |      Plenty Highway    |      Sandover Highway 

Alice Springs

As Alice Springs is a well established city, there are a number of different fuel stations available. Puma, Caltex Woolworths, BP, Shell Coles Express, United, IOR, Ampol and several independent suppliers all have stations with the majority along or just off the Stuart Highway. Most stations have small supermarkets attached to them so they are perfect for fuelling up and getting together all your last minute supplies before hitting the road for an adventure!

Lasseter Highway

Shell Yulara

Found at 257 Yulara Drive, just off the Lasseter Highway, next to the Ayers Rock Resort & the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The station is open everyday and also has an attached convenience store for cold drinks, snacks, an ATM and toilet. This is the closest fuel to Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park for those visiting the region.

Curtin Springs

The Curtin Springs cattle station, home to the Wayside Inn, is a great place to stop for fuel and has its own adjacent café/restaurant where you can grab coffee, small eats and cold drinks. It’s located just off the Lasseter Highway, on the left if you are heading east at the Curtis Springs turn off. Open hours are dependent on the time of year and traffic, but the station can be contacted on 08 8956 2906 for more information.

Stuart Highway

Kulgera Roadhouse

Kulgera Roadhouse is a perfect pit stop with accommodation, caravan park and a local pub available. It’s about 275km south of Alice Springs along the Stuart Highway, or 20km north of the South Australia/Northern Territory border. To book any accommodation you can call the roadhouse on 08 8956 0973.

Erldunda Roadhouse

Found 200km south of Alice Springs and 1,300km north of Adelaide at the intersection of the Stuart & Lasseter Highways, Erldunda Roadhouse is an oasis. The fuel station is operated by Shell with its own shop for cold drinks and snacks, and the Erldunda Roadhouse itself offers accommodation & dining. With under 300km to Kings Canyon, Uluru and Kata Tjuta, it’s a great place to make base or stop in to fuel up. The place is also the location of a well-known caravan park with an emu enclosure, so it makes for a fun place to spend the night or just a few hours. 

Stuarts Well Roadhouse

This Ampol operated service station is a great spot if you’re a caravaner. Stuarts Well Roadhouse's small store provides all the basics like cold drinks, snacks and ice creams, as well as an ATM. The station is around 92km south of Alice Springs along the Stuart Highway (on the right if you’re heading south). 

Aileron Roadhouse

Located 135km north of Alice Springs, the Aileron Roadhouse is a Caltex branded fuel stop with a larger than average store to buy snacks and drinks. It’s also relatively close to the Glen Maggie Bar if you feel like spending a little more time in the area. It’s also very close to the little known Anmatjere Man statue - a 17m high sculpture of an Aboriginal man with his spear. 

Ti Tree

Ti Tree is 194km north of Alice Springs and 314km south of Tennant Creek. The township is home to three petrol stations; Ampol, Puma Food Store and Ti Tree Farm Garden. The Ampol has the largest variety of fuels and is located just off the Stuart Highway next to the Greyhound bus stop on the Stuart Highway Service Road. You’ll find a convenience store at the location itself and a few lovely places to sit down for a meal around the town itself.

Barrow Creek

Barrow Creek fuel station operated by United is 283km north of Alice Springs, and 206km south of Tennant Creek. The fuel station is found beside the Barrow Creek Service Road (turn right off the Stuart Highway if heading north) and is right next to the Barrow Creek Hotel. Cold drinks, snacks and a toilet are available and if you have the time it’s well worth driving a little further into Barrow Creek itself and visiting the site of the Barrow Creek Telegraph Station and finding out about the areas incredibly interesting history. 

Wycliffe Well

United Petroleum at Wycliffe Well is 375km north of Alice Springs and 133km south of Tennant Creek. Located in the Barkly Tableland it’s a beautiful and small place to stop with the fuel station offering all the convenient comforts you could want on a road trip.

Wauchope

The best spot for fuel in Wauchope is at the Devils Marbles Hotel, around 135km south of Tennant Creek and 375km north of Alice Springs. The hotel provides great accommodation and if you’re planning on stopping here for fuel, it’d be a great idea to visit Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles for a picnic as they are just nearby and a must see in the NT.

Tennant Creek

Tennant Creek (508km north of Alice Springs) is a well developed town with several good stations to refuel. BP, United, Lone Star, Shell, and Ampol are all located at various points in the town along the Stuart Highway. You’ll find all your basic convenience needs and there are plenty of cafes & restaurants around for a more substantial meal. Tennant Creek itself is also home to plenty of interesting activities as it once was a very important gold mining town. With historical mines & museums and even mines still operational closeby, you’ll want to spend a little time here.

Threeways

The Shell Threeways Roadhouse is 475km north of Alice Springs and just 23km north of Tennant Creek. Sitting on the right hand side of the highway once you pass the Stuart Highway’s intersection with Barkly Highway, you can’t miss the enormous Shell Truck mural on its brick wall. The station also has its own restaurant and pub as well as a wall of license plates from all around Australia to commemorate the many travellers who have stopped by. 

Renner Springs

At the Renner Springs Desert Inn you’ll find fuel pumps operated by BP along with 24/7 amenities as well as an adjacent convenience store for cold drinks and snacks. The Desert Inn itself is a great stopover location as well, with a good restaurant and rooms available. Renner Springs is 161km north of Tennant Creek.

Elliott

Fuel in Elliott is found by turning off the Stuart Highway at the service road (left if you are heading north), and is operated as a BP service station. The town of Elliott is quiet and a very nice stop for a picnic or stroll with a good store right next to the BP station, The Elliott Store, where you’ll be able to get all your supplies and groceries. Elliott is approximately 242km north of Tennant Creek. 

Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon Resort

Found right next to the resort itself, Caltex at Kings Canyon is a great stop before venturing further into the desert. Found right off Luritja Road, the service station has a small restaurant, convenience store and with the resort itself right there it’s ideal for spending a night or two knowing you can fill up the tank and have a good night’s sleep before a new day of outback adventure!

Kings Creek Station

Kings Creek Station is approximately 291km west of Alice Springs, situated along Luritja Road. Aside from being a good fuel stop, the site is a functioning cattle station with its own accommodation, café/restaurant and a range of activities available. 

West MacDonnell Ranges

Hermannsburg

Ntaria Supermarket and Fuel in Hermannsburg is ideal for a stop to get petrol, have a toilet break and grab a cold drink. Located 126km west of Alice Springs along Larapinta Drive, Hermannsburg is home to the famous indigenous artist Albert Namatjira as well as the Hermannsburg Potters, so aside from petrol, there is a range of interesting cultural discoveries to find here too.

Glen Helen

NOT CURRENTLY OPEN

Until only very recently Glen Helen has not had its own fuel station. However, the small store by the Finke River now has its own fuel station attached to Discovery Parks - Glen Helen. Just 133km west of Alice Springs on Namatjira Drive, make sure you stop here for some fuel and food and take in the views of the river before heading into Alice or going further west. 

Papunya

Papunya Community Store is an excellent refuel location within the town that started the Papunya Tula Art movement in 1971. Stop here to grab some petrol and supplies and make a visit to the Papunya Tjupi Arts centre where you’ll find incredible & beautiful indigenous art works. Papunya is 246km west of Alice Springs traveling along Namatjira Drive and the Namatjira Kintore Link.

Haasts Bluff

The Kanparrka Store at Haasts Bluff is a reliable little petrol station commonly referred to as ‘Bluff Servo’ and is in the central township of Haasts Bluff on Multa Road. The station is 227km west of Alice Springs driving along Namatjira Drive.

Tanami Highway

Tilmouth Well

Affectionately known as an oasis in the desert, Tilmouth Well Roadhouse has its own independent 24/7 petrol station, with self-service bowsers and attached toilet facilities. Sitting 187km northwest of Alice Springs along the Tanami Highway, it’s a fantastic place to refuel or even spend a night or two, with its own swimming pool and grassy gardens to cool off in. 

Yuendumu

With well known friendly staff, Yuendumu Big Shop is a great place to stop for fuel and general store needs like basic groceries, fresh fruit/vegetables, cold drinks and more. Big Shop is located in the centre of town on Conniston Road, and just around the corner is Nguru Outback Store where you’ll get all your bush needs taken care of too. Yuendumu is 329km northwest of Alice Springs on Tanami Road.

East MacDonnell Ranges

Ross River Resort

Located on the Ross Highway, the fuel station also has a convenience store and block ice for sale (very handy in the desert!). But if you’ve got time, make a stop at the resort itself where you’ll also find bird watching, bushwalking and the historic homestead. The Ross River Resort is just 83km east of Alice Springs on the Ross Highway.

Plenty Highway

Gemtree

Gemtree Caravan Park as the name might suggest is not just a great place to refuel, but also to stop and relax. With drinks and supplies as well as a toilet stop available, post up in the shade and take in the desert air, or if you’re in the mood, have a go at gem fossicking in the local gem fields! Gemtree is 138km northeast of Alice Springs, just drive north up the Stuart Highway then turn right onto the Plenty Highway and you won’t miss it.

Harts Range

In Harts Range you’ll be able to get fuel at Atitjere Homelands Store on Mica Road. The store itself offers cold drinks, groceries, hot food, ice-creams, an ATM and pay phone which you can use. The site is located 216km from Alice Springs, heading east along the Plenty Highway after turning right at the turnoff from the Stuart Highway.

Jervois

Jervois Station Roadhouse is 350km from Alice Springs and is a great fuel station with facilities for camping, toilets, shower, drinking water and a public pay phone. While there isn’t a whole lot else in its direct vicinity, the scenery around Jervois Station Roadhouse is magical, so it’s well worth taking a little while to walk around and enjoy the atmosphere. 

Tobermorey

Another 223km along the Plenty Highway from Jervois is Tobermorey Station Roadhouse & Caravan Park. The site has its own fuel station, convenience store for basic groceries and the adjacent caravan park and campsite are more than comfortable for short stays or overnight. The location is amongst a grassy oasis with plenty of green to spread your legs - or for the kids to play if you’re with the family.

Sandover Highway

Ali Curung

There are two main petrol stops available in Ali Curung; Puma and Mirnirri Store. Both offer petrol as well as basic necessities like cold drinks and snacks. Located conveniently in the middle of nowhere, the fuel stations aren’t like what you’d find in the big city, but they more than do the job and will get you through to your next stop! Ali Curung is 378km north of Alice Springs taking the Stuart Highway and then turning right onto the Sandover Highway.

Arlparra

There isn’t a whole lot to find in Arlparra but there is a Puma fuel station and local store, which makes it a great place to visit if you’re heading along the Sandover Highway. As it is very remote, you’ll only get the very basics here like cold drinks and snacks but in the middle of nowhere, what more could you want. Arlparra is 279km north east of Alice Springs, heading north up the Stuart Highway and turning right onto the Plenty Highway all the way until you reach the Sandover Highway then continue further north, you can’t miss Arlparra as there’s not much else around!

Ammaroo

Puma at the Ammaroo Track is another potential life saver out in the red dirt middle of nowhere. As with a lot of fuel stops in the Red Centre you won’t find all the bells and whistles of an urban petrol station, but you will be able to refill your car and get yourself a cold drink. Ammaroo is approximately 502km north of Alice Springs, and the closest township nearby will be Sandover, which is just 60km southwest along the Sandover Highway. 

Barkly Highway

Barkly Homestead

With its own accommodation and swimming pool just off the Barkly Highway, Barkly Homestead is an outback paradise. The fuel station is very convenient offering petrol, gas, a range of oils, lubricants and coolants as well as drinks, freshly made coffee, ice creams, snacks and a small gift store. Claiming to be the first pub in the NT, it’s also worth stopping in even for a nice pub lunch and if you’re up for an overnight stay, there are great motel rooms and cabins available too. Barkly Homestead is approximately 211km from Tennant Creek heading north and turning right at Warumungu onto the Barkly Highway.

Frequently Asked Questions

Caltex Larapinta, 26 Diarama Close
BP, 73 Gap Road
Shell Coles Express, 6 Larapinta Drive
Or the caravan park you are staying at.

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