To fully appreciate Australia’s natural beauty in all its glory, you need to put down the boarding pass and pick up a road map of Australia. Take a look at our favourite road trips across Australia.
Check out our road map of Australia above, which highlights our top road trip itineraries around the country.
Journey Length: 243 kilometres
Points of Interest: 12 Apostles, Port Campbell National Park & Lighthouse, Bells Beach.
Overnight stays: Lorne, Apollo Bay and Peterborough
Top tip: Start your journey in Torquay so that you’re on the ocean-side of the road.
Possibly the most famous drive in Australia, the Great Ocean Road is a rite of passage for Aussies and international travellers alike. While this scenic east coast Australian road trip officially runs from Torquay to Warrnambool, for convenience, most travellers begin in the state capital of Melbourne (103kms away from Torquay) which links seamlessly to the Great Ocean Road.
Along the Great Ocean Road, you’ll have the opportunity to experience a diverse array of activities and attractions. From outdoor adventures like surfing, scuba diving and sea kayaking, to arts, culture and heritage attractions, there is plenty to keep you entertained for your whole road trip.
Stretch your legs along the stunning coastline of the Great Ocean Walk and reward yourself with a fine dining meal followed by a drink at a local brewery or winery.
One of the most notable attractions along this road trip lies between the seaside towns of Princetown & Port Campbell. The 12 Apostles (now really the seven apostles) are colossal limestone rock formations which stand up to 45 meters above the turbulent Southern Ocean.
The Great Ocean Road is covered in National Parks, well worth exploring. Port Campbell National Park includes the famous London Arch (formally London Bridge) another limestone structure, as well at the Grotto & Loch Ard Gorge. The Great Otway National Park on the other hand, stretches from Torquay to Princetown and is dotted with rugged coastlines, sea cliffs, sandy beaches and rock platforms offering great viewpoints.
There is no shortage of beaches to explore along the Great Ocean Road. The most noteworthy however, is Bell’s Beach just outside of Torquay. Known as ‘Australia’s best beach” this stretch of sand plays host to the international professional surfing community for the Rip Curl Pro event and is loved among the surfing community.
Whether you are after idyllic swimming beaches, sweeping coastal views from the car, or wineries that are perfect for lazy lunches, there is something for every explorer along the Great Ocean Road.
Journey Length: 1,200 kilometres to Ningaloo or 2,553 kilometres to Broome (dependent on route)
Points of Interest: Pinnacles Desert, Karijini National Park, World Heritage Shark Bay, Ningaloo Reef & Eighty Mile Beach
Overnight stays: Lancelin, Karratha, Geraldton, Exmouth
Top tip: With so much wildlife in these areas, it’s not safe to drive at night
This Perth road trip is the perfect mix of outback and coastline. With the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean contrasted with the arid West Australian red centre, there is something new and unexpected to discover around every corner.
This west coast road trip can take from a week (if you spend most days on the road), up to a month (if you are taking things a bit slower and exploring all the towns along the way), so it’s easy to say that there is more than enough to keep you entertained. From swimming with dolphins in Monkey Mia (or whale sharks in Exmouth) and exploring the otherworldly Pinnacles Desert (covered in rock formations) to hiking through Karijini National Park and driving along the infamous Eighty Mile Beach, you are sure to enjoy experiences not available anywhere else in the world.
Plus, once you’ve arrived in Broome, there is still plenty to see and do. Stop by the famous Matso’s Brewery, catch a film at the open-air cinema, and enjoy a camel ride along Cable Beach. If you are undertaking this Perth road trip from June to September, then you may even be lucky enough to experience the outback carpeted in brightly coloured wildflowers.
It’s worth noting that this Perth to Ningaloo/Broome road trip will definitely take you a little off-road, so when planning your trip it’s recommended that you have a 4WD and are equipped with all the essentials – this road trip is no small feat!
Journey Length: 900 kilometres
Points of Interest: Byron Bay, The Big Banana, Hunter Valley, Ballina markets
Overnight stays: Port Stephens, Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, Ballina and Byron Bay
Top tip: Allow a little extra time so that you can spend more time off the Pacific Motorway, on the outback roads exploring the region’s hidden gems.
This popular 900-kilometre road trip takes you from Sydney to Brisbane, along the East Coast of Australia. Passing through the Central Coast, Port Stephens, Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, Ballina and Byron Bay this road trip is great for those without a 4WD who are also looking for all the creature comforts at towns along the way.
A great family-friendly road trip, this route will see you pass by many kid-friendly attractions such as the Australian Reptile Park, Treetops Central Coast and The Big Banana. Plus, there are still plenty of adult-friendly attractions from Sydney to Brisbane, including the Hunter Valley wine region and laid-back Byron Bay.
One of the main features of this Australian road trip is the stunning coastline that runs between Sydney and Brisbane. Top-notch surf beaches, seaside towns, and expansive coastal walks will be a feature for travellers on this road trip.
Journey Length: 735 kilometres
Points of Interest: Kakadu National Park, Nitmiluk National Park, Litchfield National Park
Overnight stays: Katherine, Darwin & Jabiru
Top tip: For stunning views over Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park, splurge on a helicopter ride.
Starting in Darwin, this Australian road trip will see you pass through scenic Kakadu and Nitmiluk National Park before returning back to Litchfield National Park. Labelled ‘Nature’s Way’, this Northern Territory road trip route is carpeted in Australian flora and fauna, with natural attractions around every corner, making it ideal for nature lovers and adventure seekers looking to explore Australia’s Northern Territory.
From Darwin, you’ll head down to Kakadu National Park, Australia’s biggest national park. Covering a whopping 20,000 square kilometres, Kakadu National Park is World Heritage-listed, offering lush rainforests, rock art, exotic wildlife and towering waterfalls.
Here you will witness breathtaking horizons from the top of a Kakadu escarpment, take a cruise along the stunning Yellow Water Billabong to spot crocodiles and enjoy a swim with a view from Gunlom Plunge Pool, a serene plunge pool, with a picnic area. The main township nearby, Jabiru has all the services you need, including some great accommodation options.
Further along your road trip, you’ll arrive at the beautiful Nitmiluk National Park. There is plenty to explore here, from canoeing along gorges to enjoying the natural swimming holes such as Leliyn Falls. This National Park is also home to the jaw-dropping Nitmiluk Gorge, located only 30 kilometres from the town of Katherine, which offers services and accommodation.
Only a 60-minute drive south of Darwin and the last stop on your road trip is Litchfield National Park. Possibly the Northern Territory's best-kept secret, this park is filled with stunning waterfalls, crystal-clear plunge pools and monsoonal forests. After your day out exploring, head back to Darwin for great nightlife, delicious eateries and centrally-located accommodation.
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