10 Best Road Trips in Australia

Lush rainforests, stunning beaches, glistening coastlines, and the deep red Outback make Australia an incredible place to explore. And the best way to explore the unimaginable beauty of Australia and make the journey memorable is to take a road trip in Australia. Grab your 4WD or caravan, pack your stuff, and hit the open road!

In general you have to leave the main roads and drive a few miles away from it to find the interesting stuff. Where paved highway is the norm, then they are largely very safe. With the proviso that if you are a long way from a major city you should be careful about planning your fuel stops.

There will be adequate fuel supplies on most paved roads as long as you plan to refuel at regular intervals taking the fuel consumption of your vehicle into account. Some of the truck-stop meals may be expensive and basic and the suggestions of taking water are sensible. There can be unexpected holdups even on good roads and having water available can make these more bearable.

Consider if you will really need a Four Wheel Drive vehicle. For example, you could go from Cairns (or any other major city) to Ayer's Rock and travel around Uluru and Kata Tjuta without leaving the bitumen. In other words a 4WD vehicle may be an unnecessary expense. You may not even need one if your excursions on to dirt roads are going to be limited such as in the Kalbarri National Park.

Best Road Trips In Australia

Wondering which way to go? We have listed below some of the best road trips in Australia for you.

1. Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Stretching along the southern Australian coast from Torquay to Allansford in Victoria, Great Ocean Road is not just a famous road trip but one of the best drives on the Earth. While you are on the way to this iconic stretch, take it slow and enjoy the unforgettable views of the coastline, sunburnt cliffs, shipwrecks and the famous Victorian splendour - 12 Apostles. These are the limestone rock formations that rise from the Southern Ocean alongside the Great Ocean Road.

2. The Big Lap

It is one of the best and epic Australian road trips you will ever take in your life. From big cities to coastal towns, you get to experience everything on a single road trip. The route takes you around Australia following the 15,000 kilometers of Highway one linking some major cities like Sydney, Cairns, Darwin, Brisbane, Broome, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Esperance. Not days or weeks, but you will require months for this road trip.

3. The Great Barrier Reef Drive, Queensland

Is the thought of a long drive scaring you? Don't let it. Not every amazing road trip is a long drive in a big country like Australia. Just 140 kilometres drive from the tropical city of Cairns to the Cape Tribulation is the Great Barrier Reef drive. You would be surprised by the wonders at the two World Heritage Sites - Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Forest. You can even relax under the palms, snorkel, and spot the tree kangaroos in Port Douglas on the reef.

4. The Nullarbor, South Australia

If exploring wide-open spaces is on your bucket list, plan your road trip to the Nullarbor Plain in Southern Australia nestled in the middle of the Eyre Highway. This straight, treeless plain is a fascinating 146 kilometers long stretch of land. You can connect to the road via Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne easily. It is also home to the world's longest golf course, prolific wildlife, and unique caves.

5. Great Alpine Road, Victoria

This road trip extends over 500 kilometers through the Victorian High Country to the Gippsland lake area, starting from Wangaratta. The Great Alpine Road offers some amazing scenic views as it is lined up with historic towns and villages, including Beechworth, Bright, and Omeo. Victoria's Mt Hotham is truly a treat, offering horse riding, fishing, downhill skiing, and trekking in the warmer months. If you are traveling during winter, make sure to pack skis and boots and fit wheel chains to your car.

6. Great Beach Drive, Queensland

A Road trip to Great Beach Drive in Queensland is literally like no other. It offers you truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience of driving through stunning beaches, national parks, and world heritage-listed sites.

7. Outback

If you break down in the Outback, STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE. When driving in the Outback be sure to have at least 20 litres of water, 20 litres of fuel, 2 spare tyres and some canned food. AT LEAST. Travelling in remote areas is made very much safer if you carry a SPOT or an EPIRB or a satellite phone that can be rented from camping stores.

If you are going to travel the road less travelled, then you should not be considering doing this on your own at your current apparent level of experience. There are tour companies doing ‘tag-along’ tours and you will be able to travel some Outback tracks while being supported and assisted. Admittedly you will pay for the privilege but it may be a life or death decision. When things go wrong in the Outback they can go very wrong very quickly.

Make sure that your vehicle is in good condition. If you own it, join one of the programs that provide roadside assistance if you break down. If driving a hire car, find out what arrangements will apply if the car breaks down. Check what accommodation and fuel services are available on the route you are going to take, and what this will mean in terms of the number of kilometres you will need to cover each day.

8. East Coast, Tasmania

Tasmania is one of the most amazing destinations with abundant natural beauty. Experience it yourself by taking the scenic road trip from Hobart to the Bay of Fires via St Helens, Swansea, and Bicheno. Extremely beautiful Tasmania's east coast boasts stunning white beaches, views, walking tracks and wildlife. The road trip also allows you to take a detour to Freycinet National Park, a destination with granite mountains, prolific birdlife, soothing bays, and so much more.

9. Gibb River Road

Where paved road is not the norm, it is not a good idea for tourists to travel without a decent amount of research. The exception to this is probably the Gibb River Road in Western Australia which is a reasonably popular tourist road. But even there if you didn't research in the rainy season you could find the road impassable.

10. Grand Pacific Drive, New South Wales

New South Wales' Grand Pacific Drive is one of Australia's most breathtaking and scenic coastal drives you should not miss. It's a 140 kilometers long road trip from the south of Sydney in Royal National Park to the Shoalhaven region. The drive takes you along the rainforests, beautiful beaches, rugged cliffs, mesmerizing views, cities and townships of Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama, and the Shoalhaven, and over the spectacular Sea Cliff Bridge.

Conclusion

A road trip in Australia is on the bucket list of millions. Fulfill it by driving to these Australian routes in your 4WD or caravan. Whichever you travel from, make your road trip extra comfortable and convenient by adding the latest 4WD and caravan accessories from Xtend Outdoors.

About Author: Danny Smith is CEO and Founder of Xtend Outdoors Australia which manufactures and sell caravan annexes, awnings and accessories. He just love caravan holidays and frequently blog about caravanning trips, parks and tips.
Kalyan Panja
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