Who Dares Wins

In August this year, I had the absolute delight to drive the Dare’s Hill Tourist Drive, a fantastic 128kms dirt road drive that starts and finishes on the Barrier Highway in South Australia.

The scenery changes an amazing 5 times throughout the drive, there are the historic homestead ruins of Antarctic explorer and aviator Sir Hubert Wilkins, ancient Aboriginal rock engravings and paintings, panoramic views from the summit of Dare’s Hill, red dirt, salt bush, rocky outcrops and an abundance of Australian native plants and wildlife; it’s a photographer’s paradise.

We collected route notes and a map from the local tourist office in Burra, which disappointingly were last updated in 1989. The signs on Tourist Route Number 21 were faded, in a bad state of repair, and (I believe) missing altogether. It was no surprise when we discovered that we were very lost in the outback. A kind farmer on a Homestead helped us find our way back to the main road again.

The poor signage won’t deter me from doing the Dare’s Hill Drive again. Far from it – I would love to take the drive again in every season of the year. It’s a true gem of a tourist drive in South Australia and worthy to be on everyone’s “must do” travel list.

Hallett is just 187kms from the Adelaide CBD and only 32kms north of Burra; the Dare’s Hill Tourist Drive would be a fantastic complement to a short holiday/long weekend trip to the mid north of South Australia.

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Featured in Australian Travel Photography and Writing Group October 2010


barrier highway, dares hill, mid north, route 21, south australia, tourist drive

I love being a tourist in my own country; the unique flora and fauna, the wonderful people, the striking vivid colours. Photography has opened up my country to me. I try to get out into it & photograph it as often as I can. Access to the great Australian outback is within easy reach of everyone! I hope you take the time to view some of my photos & I hope that they inspire you to go for a drive on the weekend and see what you can see.

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  • Ben Loveday
    Ben Lovedayalmost 4 years ago

    I’ll do the drive in the near future! Heading out beyond Broken Hill soon…

  • ooooh, I’m so so so so jealous!! Set aside a whole day to do this drive though Ben, it’s the most incredible tourist route!
    I think i’ve got the drive notes on my computer, I’ll email them to you :)

    – Paula McManus

  • rina  thompson
    rina thompsonalmost 4 years ago


  • thanks Miss Rina! We will have to do this drive again when you come back!! xx

    – Paula McManus

  • Ben Loveday
    Ben Lovedayalmost 4 years ago

    We have friends with a station about 200 km NW of Broken Hill, and they say its looking pretty darn good up that way after all the rain. Its going to be quite an adventure…hope we can camp out under the stars and get some time lapse shots!

  • when are you going? if it’s soon, all the wildflowers will still be everywhere

    – Paula McManus

  • Glynn Jackson
    Glynn Jacksonalmost 4 years ago

    Great stuff Paula

  • thanks Glynn! :)

    – Paula McManus

  • DaBimages
    DaBimagesalmost 4 years ago

    This sounds great Paula. I’ll be visiting Adelaide soon, so will try to the Drive then.

  • thanks DaBimages! I’d be very keen to hear what you think of the drive :)

    – Paula McManus

  • Terry Everson
    Terry Eversonalmost 4 years ago
    A great account of what seems to be an interesting drive Paula. Good luck in the challenge.
  • thanks so much Terry! Good luck to you too! :)

    – Paula McManus

  • Leanne Nelson
    Leanne Nelsonalmost 4 years ago

    What an adventure! Sounds like a fantastic drive. Would love to do it one day.

  • it is really wonderful and you really get a taste of the true outback, without all the travel. Thanks for the feature too Leanne – I’m thrilled to bits! :)

    – Paula McManus

  • Karry Smith
    Karry Smithover 3 years ago

    WOW Definately in the travel plans now!!! Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

  • you’re welcome Karry! :)

    – Paula McManus

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