From coastal journeys and outback adventures, an Australian road trip is one of the best ways to experience our wide-open spaces and magnificent scenery.
Driving is one of the best ways to see Australia. From short trips to epic self-drive holidays and 4WD adventures, Australian road trips cover every length and landscape.
Driving Australia can be easy on most routes but you need to be prepared for the distances, road rules, 4WD tracks and outback roads you might travel. Make sure you are well prepared for your road trip in Australia with our road safety tips.
The Legendary Pacific Coast Touring Route, New South Wales
Explore the sparkling beaches and lush hinterland of the Central Coast, the wineries of the Hunter Valley and the picturesque inlets of Port Stephens. Work on your swing in a rainforest golf course on the Coffs Coast and your aura on the beach in Byron Bay. Dive with brightly coloured fish in Solitary Islands Marine Park or into the bright lights of the Gold Coast. This scenic drive takes you from Sydney to Brisbane, offering sweeping beaches, sleepy villages, mossy rainforests, adventure and relaxation along the way.
Pacific Coast Touring Route, Queensland
Capture some of Queensland's biggest coastal attractions- from the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef to the pristine islands and rainforest national parks. Four wheel drive Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island and see manta rays and turtles at Mon Repos, near Bundaberg. Stay in Rockhampton and visit Great Keppel Island and the Capricorn Caves. Snorkel or dive reefs and shipwrecks near Mackay and go sailing in the postcard-perfect Whitsundays. Walk the white sand of Magnetic Island, near Townsville and further north visit Hinchinbrook, Australia's largest island national park. The vivid colours, smells and sounds of this splendid coastline will stay with you long after your journey ends in Cairns, at the gateway to Queensland's tropical north.
Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive
Sydney - Nowra - Batemans Bay - Eden - Bairnsdale - Wilsons Promontory - Phillip Island - Melbourne 7 days drive Swim from white beaches in Jervis Bay, eat fresh oysters in Pambula and spot whales in Eden. Feed sea eagles in Mallacoota and experience the precious eco-systems of Croajingolong National Park. Go boating on the vast, tranquil Gippsland Lakes. Then walk along the sweeping expanse of Ninety Mile Beach and to the southernmost tip of Australia's mainland in Wilsons Promontory National Park. On Phillip Island, you'll find friendly fur seals and a daily dusk parade of little penguins. This blockbuster drive takes you to sleepy seaside towns, national parks teeming with wildlife and long, solitary beaches where your feet are the only ones on the sand.
Great Southern Touring Route
The Great Southern Touring Route turns the romance of the road trip into a grand love affair. Drive along the Great Ocean Road past the iconic surf spots of Torquay and Bells Beach, then onto the holiday haven of Lorne and the magnificent Twelve Apostles. Walk through waterfalls and lush forest in Otway National Park and watch whales from the historic town of Warrnambool. Stretch out your journey with a stay in any of the many scenic seaside towns, from Apollo Bay to Port Fairy. Away from the wild and windswept Southern Ocean, you can explore Aboriginal history in the Grampians and gold rush heritage in Ballarat.
Melbourne to Adelaide via Great Ocean Road
Travel from Melbourne to Adelaide along the country's breathtaking south-east coastline. Drive the Great Ocean Road past the iconic surf spots of Torquay and Bells Beach, then onto the holiday haven of Lorne and the magnificent Twelve Apostles. Walk through waterfalls and lush forest in Otway National Park and watch whales from historic Warrnambool. Soak up seafaring history in Port Fairy and Portland, near the towering sea cliffs of Cape Bridgewater. Taste wine in Coonawarra and see the fossils of giant marsupials in World heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves. Cruise the Coorong and explore the inviting beaches and wineries of the Fleurieu Peninsula on your way to Adelaide.
South Australian Loop
Take in fine food and wine in the Barossa and Clare Valleys, explore the rugged Flinders Ranges and meet wildlife galore on Kangaroo Island. Taste wine made by Jesuit priests in Sevenhill, climb the huge natural amphitheatre of Wilpena Pound and visit the historic copper-mining town of Burra. Swim, surf, snorkel and bushwalk along the Fleurieu Peninsula before getting up close to penguins in Penneshaw and a colony of sea lion at Seal Rocks on Kangaroo Island. This scenic drive takes in South Australia's most famous attractions on two smaller loops through the elegant capital of Adelaide.
Trace the trail of pioneer John McDouall Stuart as you travel from Adelaide to Darwin on the Explorers Highway. Explore the cellar doors and vine-lined chateaus of the Barossa Valley and rugged Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound. Stay underground in the opal capital of Cooper Pedy and the outback town of Alice Springs. Walk around Uluṟu with an Aboriginal guide and to the rim of Kings Canyon. See ancient Aboriginal rock art in World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park and swim in the crystal-clear pools of Litchfield National Park. Your adventure continues in the parklands, outdoor markets and festivals and historical attractions of tropical Darwin.
Red Centre Way
Swim in Glen Helen Gorge and spot rock wallabies at Simpsons Gap, both in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Listen to the Dreamtime legend surrounding the comet crater of Gosse Bluff. Climb to the rim of Kings Canyon and swim in the tropical pools of the Garden of Eden. Do a dawn camel trek around Uluṟu and wander between the steep russet domes of nearby Kata Tjuṯa. Journey through red desert sands, spinifex and mulga forest. Learn about the area's Aboriginal history from the Arrernte people who have lived here for 20,000 years. Immerse yourself in Aboriginal art and pioneer history in Alice Springs. Don't miss this unforgettable adventure through Australia's ancient centre.
Wind through the Adelaide and Mary River wetlands to World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. Here you can bushwalk through rugged escarpments and lush rainforest and discover a treasure trove of Aboriginal rock ark. Learn about the Territory's pioneering history in Pine Creek and swim in crystal-clear waterholes in the tarzan landscape of Litchfield National Park. You can do this dream drive on a fully sealed road in a two-wheel-drive vehicle.
Indian Ocean Drive
Discover white beaches, coral reefs, salty fishing towns and rugged national parks on this spectacular journey along Western Australia’s Coral Coast. Head north to taste fresh crayfish in Geraldton and mouth-watering tropical fruits in Carnarvon. Swim with the huge whale shark on Ningaloo Reef and four wheel drive through the canyons of nearby Cape Range National Park. On your way back down the coast, meet the dolphins of Monkey Mia, along with whales, manta rays, turtles, sharks, dugongs and fish in the wider Shark Bay World Heritage Area. See seasonal wildflowers break out their brightest colours all along the coast, from Cape Range to the cliffs and gorges of Kalbarri National Park.
Gibb River Road
Tackle one of Australia's greatest four-wheel-drive adventures on this 660-kilometre journey through the vast Kimberley. See freshwater crocodiles in the Windjana Gorge National Park and swim, bushwalk and camp at Lennard and Bell Gorges. Take a scenic flight over Mitchell Falls and the vast Mitchell Plateau. Stay on the one million acre El Questro Wilderness Park. From here you can go horse trekking, get up close to Kimberley wildlife and boat down Chamberlain Gorge past towering escarpments and Wandjina rock art. You could even take in the sights on a mountain bike for the Brisbane to Broome Charity Bike Ride. However you take on this outback challenge, remember it's one that needs planning.
Soak up Hobart's convict history before heading to Freycinet National Park and the perfect curve of Wineglass Bay. Swim in St Helens and do the Bay of Fires Walk in Mount William National Park. Look over Launceston from Cataract Gorge and cycle along Devonport's waterfront. Soothe your soul in the World Heritage-listed wilderness of Cradle Mountain - Lake St. Clair National Park. Stay in Strahan and cruise the Gordon River or white water raft the furious Franklin. Walk from waterfalls and fern forests to ski fields in Mount Field National Park. From the tranquil beaches of Tasmania's east to the rugged mountains flanking the west, this circle will leave you spellbound.
Great Eastern Drive
Immerse yourself in the beauty of Tasmania’s east coast on this attraction-packed drive. Sea kayak and hunt down history on Maria Island, sample farm-fresh berries and wine near Swansea and take in the perfect contours of Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park. Stop in Bicheno, where you can cling to the coastline on a motorised trike ride or see fairy penguins waddle home at dusk. Bushwalk in the rainforest of Douglas-Apsley National Park and game fish or dive from the picturesque port of St Helens Park. Swim in the calm, clear waters of Binnalong Bay and follow the Bay of Fires walk past Aboriginal middens, woodlands and powder-white beaches. Finish your journey in a remote eco-lodge with soul-stirring ocean views.