9 great Aussie road trips
Because srsly, who doesn’t love a good road trip?
By Jessica Wilkinson & Lee Atkinson
Guys can we all just agree that road tripping is the best? The snacks, the friends, the music. It’s such a treat. We’ve got all the logistics covered - even in the outback you'll generally find regular gas stations, friendly towns and plenty of roadhouses and restaurants to visit. And don’t even get us started on the scenery. What are you waiting for? Gather your mates, hire a car and we’ll provide the snacks! (Not really, that would be totes impractical).
ON THE ROAD
From Melbourne: Drive the Great Ocean Road
This is one of Australia's most celebrated road trips and it’s not just for the epic selfie opps. The 243 kilometre (150 mile) Great Ocean Road, starts an easy 90 minute drive from Melbourne. You'll see the famous Twelve Apostles and historic lighthouses plus there are lush patches of rainforest, shipwrecks, koalas, migrating whales, national parks, wild surf and windswept beaches. And if there’s one thing better than windswept hair, it’s windswept beaches.
From Sydney: Take the Grand Pacific Drive
This route starts just an hour south of Sydney. The Sea Cliff Bridge that coils around the cliff face 50 metres (164 feet) out to sea is epic as. You’ll then snake your way three hours down the coastline to Hyams Beach, where you'll find the world's whitest sand. Along the way you can go for a surf or paddle at crowd-free beaches. What could be better?
From Adelaide: Drive to the Flinders Ranges and Outback
The drive to the Flinders Ranges takes you right into the heart of this dramatic mountain range, (one of the oldest on the planet, FYI). From Adelaide it takes five hours to reach Wilpena Pound, a natural phenomenon that looks like a giant crater. It’s well worth the trip, too because it’s kind of like the moon but better because you can breathe and wear whatever you want.
From Alice Springs: Drive the Red Centre Way
If you've never been outback, this road trip is the perfect place to start. It’s pretty much a list-ticking bucket list in the form of a road trip. Your five days in the Red Centre will show you Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, and the dramatic gorges and refreshing swimming holes of the West MacDonnell Ranges.
From Darwin: Drive Nature's Way
There’s SO MUCH to see in the Kakadu National Park on this loop drive from Darwin, in Australia's tropical Top End. Be generous, give yourself at least five days so you can stop at Adelaide River for a crocodile cruise, and do cultural stuff like view ancient rock art and learn about traditional Aboriginal culture in Kakadu. Then, reward yourself for being cultural by going for a swim in the natural pools beneath the waterfalls in Litchfield National Park, or hike, paddle or cruise through Nitmiluk Gorge near the town of Katherine.
From Cairns: Take the Great Barrier Reef Drive
Not all great drives are long drives, guys. Sometimes you get sick of eating pringles and being confined in a small space with your friends. Luckily, we have you sorted with this 140 kilometre (87 mile) trip along the coast from Cairns to Port Douglas and Cape Tribulation in North Queensland. Take a tour of Mossman Gorge with an Aboriginal guide, see crocodiles and cassowaries in the wild, take a day trip out to the reef and walk through the rainforest and do all the things.
From Broome: Drive the Gibb River Road
Unlike the other drives on this list, the Gibb River Road is only accessible by 4WD. We’re being 4WD selective - it’s an exclusive club and you really ought to consider joining. Convinced? Hire a vehicle in Broome and explore the wild and remote Kimberley region.Camp beside secluded gorges, ride a horse across the savannah, relax in palm-fringed hot springs, cruise rivers and lakes and swim beneath waterfalls.
From Hobart: Take the Great Eastern Drive
Tasmania is really dishing up the goods for this one. Drive north from Hobart to the Bay Of Fires, where the beaches are white, the air is clean and the scenery is magnificent. Wander around the atmospheric sandstone ruins of the World Heritage-listed Port Arthur convict settlement, feed Tasmanian devils, take a walk on Maria Island, climb the ridge to look down upon the perfect curve of Wineglass Bay and basically eat your weight in food.
From Perth: Cross the Nullarbor
The Nullarbor Plain drive is a must-do Australian experience. Not many Aussie’s have even done it, but it’s on all their bucket lists. We know. We’ve seen them. Anyway, this flat, open expanse takes up almost the entire south-western corner of Australia and even though the whole long and flat thing sounds boring, it isn’t. Trust us.