Australia is best known for its lush outback and expansive landscapes. In fact, it can almost be overwhelming if you’re planning a road trip.
Australian Traveller magazine has done most of the leg work for you by extracting the ‘10 Greatest Roadtrips of Australia’, from their ‘The 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia’ list. Check it out.
1. Road trip the East Coast Escape,Tasmania
Day 1 – Hobart to Orford: When you arrive at Orford, catch the ferry to car-free Maria Island. Spend the afternoon wandering, taking in her natural beauty.
Day 2 – Orford to Swansea: Stop at Freycinet Peninsula on the way to hike or abseil the picturesque Hazards, swim those ridiculous beaches and gorge on oysters.
Day 3 – Stay put: You haven’t swum with Wineglass Bay’s dolphins yet (or eaten enough oysters).
Day 4 – Swansea to St Helens: Pull in at pretty seaside town Bicheno on the way. Just north of town, directly in front of Diamond Island Resort, is also a view of the area so good it was voted #22nd best view in the country in a previous AT list (so you know it’s good).
Day 5 – St Helens to Bay of Fires: Call work and explain: you’re going to need another week’s leave.
2. Do the ‘Big Lap’, of Australia
Whether you edge the coastline or dive into the interior; road tripping your way ’round our incredible country is not just a holiday, it’s a lifetime highlight.
3. Road trip the Great Ocean Road,Victoria
It’s one of the most iconic experiences you’ll find in Australia, but unlike so many world-famous attractions, the GOR hasn’t fallen victim to its own popularity. Expect sweet little towns (like Port Campbell), ‘appropriately developed’ beach gems (like Lorne) and, as well as the magnificent apostles, the beauty of ‘lesser’ locations like Loch Ard Gorge.
4. Trip to the Tip, from Cairns to Cape York
A journey this adventurous – not to mention this iconic – was always going to feature on this list… but to take the #2 road trip spot? “Doing the Cape is something every Aussie with a spirit of adventure dreams of doing,” says Lee Atkinson, who, as Australia’s foremost roadtripper, has criss-crossed the country hundreds of times. It’s wonderful, she says, not just because it’s a pilgrimage of sorts, but because of what you’ll uncover along the way.
5. Cross the Savannah Way, Queensland to Northern Territory to Western Australia
Featuring 15 national parks, five World Heritage areas and half our continent – yes, from the lush foodie Cairns Hinterland all the way to the unimaginable colours of Broome – this is one journey that really underlines the magnitude of our continent.
6. Road trip the Great Alpine Road, Victoria
Roadtripping the Great Alpine Road can be done several which ways, but we like Tom Neal Tacker’s suggestion: “idle a couple gourmet-filled days in the northern foothills around the Beechworth, Myrtleford and Yackandandah triangle before heading to Bright (via a side trip to Mount Beauty), then to Harrietville on the way to Mount Hotham and Dinner Plain. Stay a night in Dinner Plain (dining options are pretty good) before heading south to Omeo and Bruthen to the Princes Highway.” Belated apologies if your pants no longer fit.
7. Tackle the Gibb River Road, Kimberley, Western Australia
Nothing in the Kimberley is cheap, but a trip on the Gibb River Road offers a better priced ratio of accessibility to authenticity than many other Kimberley options (air safari, anyone?).
8. Road trip the Legendary Pacific Coast, Sydney to Brisbane
Just outside Coffs Harbour is local secret Santa Fe, an eclectic South American-inspired B&B with outdoor spa, local produce-filled meals and six acres of award-winning gardens. Ignore the basic website; it’s great. From $195 a night.
9. Drive the Coral Coast, Perth to Exmouth, Western Australia
The Pinnacles. Kalbarri’s wildflowers. Monkey Mia’s dolphins. This trip is stuffed with highlights. The colours are astonishing: red, red dirt and turquoise seas, and every town has a different story.
10. Drive the Central Arnhem Highway, Northern Territory
It’s the road from Katherine to Gove, where the Gulf of Carpentaria meets the Arafura Sea. And if that sounds mysterious and magical, it doesn’t begin to cover the colours of the landscape, the depth of meaning in the indigenous art, and the thrill of survival here.