|Length||2,834 km (1,761 mi)|
|Direction||North - South|
|From||Daly Street, Darwin, Northern Territory
|via||Katherine, Daly Waters, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs, Coober Pedy|
|To|| Princes Highway / Eyre Highway, Port Augusta, South Australia
|Allocation||Darwin – Daly Waters:
Daly Waters – NT/SA border:
NT/SA border – Port Augusta:
|Major junctions|| Arnhem Highway
Anne Beadell Highway
The Stuart Highway is one of Australia's major highways. It is a segment of Australia's Highway 1 extending from Darwin, Northern Territory, in the north, via Tennant Creek and Alice Springs, to Port Augusta, South Australia, in the south—a distance of 2,834 kilometres (1,761 mi). The principal north-south route through the central interior of mainland Australia, the highway is often referred to simply as "The Track".
The highway is named after John McDouall Stuart, who was the first European to cross Australia from south to north. The highway approximates the route that John McDouall Stuart took to get from north to south.
Northern Territory 
The Northern Territory section of the Stuart Highway starts from the edge of the Darwin Central Business District at Daly Street and continues as a dual-carriageway to the Arnhem Highway in Howard Springs. The highway continues 317 kilometres (197 mi) south passing the Kakadu Highway to the Victoria Highway at Katherine. The route number changes from National 1 to National 87. The highway then continues 673 kilometres (418 mi) south passing the Roper Highway, the Carpentaria Highway and the Buchanan Highway to the Barkly Highway at Tennant Creek. The highway continues 508 kilometres (316 mi) south into Alice Springs passing the Plenty Highway. It passes through the Macdonnell Ranges and finally crosses the South Australia/Northern Territory border south of Kulgera. The highway was only fully sealed in the mid-1980s as part of Australia's bicentenary roadworks programme. There are no police patrolling the majority of this remote highway and until the end of 2006 there was no speed limit outside towns and other built-up areas on the Northern Territory part. The bulk of the Northern Territory's population not living in Darwin lies along its track.
South Australia 
At the Northern Territory/South Australia border the route number changes from National 87 to National A 87. The Stuart Highway passes through the Far North region and continues to Adelaide, but its proper routing is from Port Augusta. The highway passes through the Woomera Prohibited Area where travellers may not leave the road. The highway continues south-east towards Adelaide.
There is petrol and other facilities (meals, toilets, etc.) available at reasonable intervals (usually around 200 km or 120 mi) and more frequent rest stops. Some of the rest stops are located at scenic points with information boards, but others are little more than a picnic table and a rubbish bin in the middle of nowhere.
Speed limits 
There was no absolute speed limit in the Northern Territory before 1 January 2007 but maximum speed limits are now posted on some road sections. Drivers, previously, were simply required to drive at a safe speed to suit the conditions. Thus, the Northern Territory section of the Stuart Highway had no speed limits at all. The Northern Territory traffic laws were updated from 1 January 2007 to be similar to the rest of Australia. This included placing a speed limit on all roads (130 km/h or 81 mph) on major highways such as the Stuart Highway and significantly increasing penalties for speeding.
The South Australian Section is signposted as 110 km/h outside built-up regions, between Port Augusta and the Northern Territory border.
Cannonball Run 
In 1994 the first and only Cannonball Run in Australia ran from Darwin to Yulara and back again. Based on similar events in the United States, this event ended in tragedy when an out of control Ferrari F40 crashed into a checkpoint south of Alice Springs, resulting in the death of four people including the occupants. The remainder of the race had to have a 150 km/h (93 mph) speed limit imposed to prevent further accidents, and then had regular traffic overtake the competitors.
Flying Doctors 
The Royal Flying Doctor Service uses the highway as an emergency landing strip and sections of the highway are signed to that effect. These sections of highway have been specially selected and prepared for the landing of aircraft which only takes place after the piece of road has been closed by the police.
World Solar Challenge 
|This section requires expansion. (June 2009)|
Stuart Highway is the highway taken in the World Solar Challenge.
See also 
- Highways in Australia
- List of highways in the Northern Territory
- List of highways in South Australia
- Exploring the Stuart Highway: further than the eye can see, 1997, p. 6
- "Stuart Highway" (Press release). Australian Towns, Cities and Highways. Retrieved 11 April 2008.
- Chris Burns (19 November 2004). "Minister Opposes Speedometer Limits" (Press release). Government of the Northern Territory. Retrieved 11 June 2006.
- "Section 3 The Driving Rules" (PDF). Road Users' Handbook. p. 59. ISBN 0-7245-4869-6. Retrieved 11 June 2006.
- "Speed limits to be introduced on NT open roads". 7:30 Report (ABC). 2 November 2006. Retrieved 5 January 2007.
- "Motorists caught breaking new speed limit". ABC. 2 January 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2007.
- Cass, Rebecca (2001). "Cop swaps crooks for corks (page 17)" (pdf). The Drum, 2001: Farewells. Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services. Archived from the original on 7 September 2006. Retrieved 12 June 2006.
- "Search continues for missing British tourist". Lateline. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 18 July 2001. Retrieved 24 August 2009.
- Exploring the Stuart Highway: further than the eye can see. West Beach, South Australia: Tourist Information Distributors Australia, 1997. ISSN 1326-6039