australia’s-must-do-road-trips

Don't Miss These Epic Australian Road Trips

Published
03 Aug 2022
Image credit
Tourism WA
australia’s-must-do-road-trips

Hitting the road is as Aussie as Vegemite on toast. 

And as big as Australia is, once you break it down into manageable chunks of road, coast, desert, forest or reef, it won’t be long before you’re ticking off the best adventures you’ve ever had.

Here are 5 Australian Road Trips everyone should take!

australias-must-do-road-trips

The Great Ocean Road

australias-must-do-road-trips

Credit: Visit Victoria

Where? Torquay to Allansford in Victoria’s south west corner.
How Long? About 1 Week.
Don’t Miss: Port Campbell National Park and the 12 Apostles.
Pro-Tip: If you’re only going one way, start in Torquay and keep the ocean on your immediate left. This makes it easier to pull up at all of the various attractions.

Every single search of ‘Australia’s best road trips’ will include The Great Ocean Road.

Heavily promoted as exactly that, this coastal journey along Victoria’s south west corner definitely lives up to the hype.

Punctuated by a series of surf towns like Apollo Bay, Lorne and Port Campbell, in between beautiful Australian beaches, the Great Ocean Road comes to life in a series of spectacular natural stalagmite formations and stunning rocky outcrops. 

australias-must-do-road-trips

Apollo Bay Holiday Park is right on the water.

Officially only 224 km from Torquay to Allansford, everyone knows it’s longer than that, with most starting their journey from Melbourne or from over the border in South Australia.

australias-must-do-road-trips

Check out these glamping pods at Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park

Several national parks run the length of the Great Ocean Road, particularly the Great Otway National Park, where rainforest walks will leave you breathless.

There’s also a long history of shipwrecks, whales to spot between May and September, and an emerging number of pubs, cafes and restaurants for every member of your family.

Accommodation on the Great Ocean Road

australias-must-do-road-trips

The Red Centre Way

australias-must-do-road-trips

Every Aussie should explore Watarrka National Park. Credit: Tourism NT

Where?  A 1700 km loop beginning and ending at Alice Springs.
How Long? 1 week minimum.
Don’t Miss: Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon.
Pro-Tip: Engage with the local Indigenous people and let them guide you through the most important attractions. You won’t forget the stories they have to tell about this incredible part of Australia.

This is a trip every Australian should make. Beginning and ending at the Red Centre’s unofficial capital of Alice Springs, this remote post-colonial town is close to many of the Northern Territory’s most iconic attractions.

australias-must-do-road-trips

Kata Tjuta is a must-do in the Red Centre. Credit: Tourism NT

Full of ancient ochre landscapes carved out of wind, water, fire and ice, the history of the Red Centre’s awe-inspiring natural features is the real history of Australia.

Containing a Dreamtime that our Indigenous elders have passed on for 40,000 years, any journey here will immerse you in the soul of the Australian outback, and in the spirit of the world’s oldest living culture.  

australias-must-do-road-trips

Discovery Parks Glen Helen is the only park inside Tjoritja (West MacDonnell Ranges). 

Driving the Red Centre Way puts you on the road to meeting Australian icons at every turn.

Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Watarrka National Park (home to Kings Canyon) are the headliners, but don’t overlook the dramatic gorges and swimming holes of Tjoritja (the West MacDonnell Ranges) along the Larapinta Trail.

By letting an Aboriginal guide lead you through any of the above attractions, a whole new perspective will be yours. 

Accommodation in the Red Centre

australias-must-do-road-trips

Gibb River Road

australias-must-do-road-trips

Your reward for taking on the Gibb River Road is waiting at Lake Argyle Resort and Holiday Park

Where? Western Australia’s Kimberley region.
How Long? 1-2 weeks.
Don’t Miss: The multi-tiered waterfall cascades of Bell Gorge are worth the extra miles.
Pro-Tip: Bring some petrol with you and drive carefully!

Built in the 1960s to transport cattle, this 660 kilometre off-road track goes deep into the heart of Western Australia’s famous Kimberley region.

A 4WD adventure like no other, the Gibb River Road stretches from Derby, near Broome, to Wyndham near Kununurra and towards the Northern Territory border. Offering secluded gorges, rocky ridges and that indescribable open-road feeling, the drive has often been described as ‘transformational.’

australias-must-do-road-trips

Broome is a mecca for sunset chasers. Credit @4boysandacaravan

Much of the road is corrugated and full of potholes, so be sure to have a well-equipped vehicle, but any discomfort will be forgotten once you're immersed in some of the most spectacular wilderness Australia has to offer. 

australias-must-do-road-trips

You won't forget your first sighting of the iconic Boab tree. Credit: Tourism WA

This includes vast outback cattle stations, thundering waterfalls, sacred Aboriginal sites and rock art, the unique pioneering story and fascinating outback characters at every stop. 

Take the time to stop and soak in a glassy waterhole, immerse yourself in Indigenous culture and float in Lake Argyle’s famous infinity pool. We can’t recommend this enough.

australias-must-do-road-trips

Lake Argyle is truly a sight to behold.

At the end of the Gibb River Road, one of Australia’s most unique camping, glamping and boutique luxury resorts, El Questro, sits on the edge of its own station, El Questro Wilderness Park, a 700,000 acre swathe of untamed natural beauty in the heart of the Kimberley.

Accommodation in the Kimberley's

australias-must-do-road-trips

Tasmania's East Coast

australias-must-do-road-trips

Yes, this is Tasmania! Credit: Tourism Australia

Where? From Hobart to the Bay of Fires.
How Long? 1 week.
Don’t Miss: Freycinet National Park is stunning.
Pro-Tip: The Spirit of Tasmania can transport your vehicle and save you money on rentals.

We know that the secret’s been out about Tasmania for ages, but we can’t stop saying it, the Apple Isle is gorgeous.  

From snow-capped mountains to sapphire-blue bays, Tassie is overflowing with natural beauty and incredible attractions. Otherwise known as the Great Eastern Drive, the region from Hobart to Launceston via little-known places like St. Helens, Swansea and Bicheno is also awash with bountiful produce, the freshest seafood, and world-class wineries

australias-must-do-road-trips

Bicheno is an idyllic seaside town.

Along the way, Freycinet National Park is an absolute must-do, with its secluded coves, azure waters and prolific birdlife.

Be sure to allow time for the Freycinet Experience Walk and enjoy stunning views of Wineglass Bay. Spend a day taking in the coastal vistas, then dine on freshly prepared Tasmanian produce. 

australias-must-do-road-trips

Wineglass Bay is one of Tasmania's most stunning views. 

While you’re driving north, don’t be afraid to segway east and visit the beautiful towns and villages of Longford, Evandale, Cressy and Perth, where more gourmet food experiences and atmospheric cottages await.

Accommodation in Tasmania

australias-must-do-road-trips

The Pacific Coast

australias-best-road-trips

Scenes like this surround you on the drive from Sydney to Byron. Credit: John Montesi

Where? Sydney - Byron Bay.
How Long? 1-2 weeks.
Don’t Miss: Take your pick! It’s not called the Legendary Pacific Coast without reason. 
Pro-Tip: Whatever time limit you’ve put on yourself - double it immediately.

Loved by backpackers around the world, this is one of Australia’s most well-trodden road trips for a reason. 

Starting in Sydney and heading north toward Queensland for as long as your desire to explore will take you, the highlights begin immediately with lakes entrance at Dunleith, wineries in the Hunter Valley, and secluded bays near Port Stephens.

australias-must-do-road-trips

Discovery Parks - Forster is onthe banks of the Wallamba River.

Myall Lakes National Park is another must-do, with the sprawling nature reserve taking in Mungo Brush, Seal Rocks and Sugarloaf Bay, not far from the tranquil shores of the Wallamba River, where Australian surf culture begins to peak around Forster. 

Continuing north toward Port Macquarie via South West Rocks, the level of natural beauty turns up a notch again. A lively coastal hamlet at the beginning of Waterfall Way, the drive that links Coffs Harbour to Armidale is widely regarded as one of the state’s most picturesque. 

australias-must-do-road-trips

There are plenty of ways to unwind at a G'day Park!

After Coffs you’ll hit Yamba via more off-the-charts beaches that back on to wild forest and stunning cliffs. 

Just before you hit Byron Bay, why not make a final detour to Bangalow and Nimbin, two of Australia’s most arty and alternative towns.

Accommodation on the Pacific Coast

australias-must-do-road-trips

Wondering where Queensland, Western and South Australia went? 

Saty tuned for Part 2!

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