With 50,000 kilometres of spellbinding coastline, Australia is the perfect place for a coastal journey.
Drive the Pacific Coast Touring Route from Sydney to Brisbane via bohemian Byron Bay and the neon-lit Gold Coast. Or follow the spectacular coastal route from Sydney to Melbourne, then the Great Southern Touring Route to Bells Beach, lush national parks and the Twelve Apostles. Take in Fremantle, the lush Margaret River and Esperance's snow-white beaches on a journey through Western Australia's south-west. Sail through the idyllic Whitsundays Island or immerse yourself in the uncrowded beauty of Tasmania's East Coast.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Walking is the best way to explore the natural sanctuary of Wilsons Promontory. Known as ‘The Prom' to locals, it embraces 50,000 hectares of coastal wilderness on mainland Australia's southernmost tip. The many well-marked trails traverse empty beaches and eucalypt forest, heath and swamp, cool rainforest gullies and rocky mountain tops. Opt for short and scenic trails, like the Loo-Errn Track, ideal for families and the mobility-impaired. Do a day trek to the lighthouse or spend three days on the Wilsons Promontory Circuit Trail, which starts from the main tourist hub of Tidal River. Scale Mount Oberon or hike out to remote and beautiful Millers Landing. Stay at campsites throughout the park and get up close to the park's incredible array of native plants, birds and animals. You can also dive and snorkel with magical marine life in the clear, protected waters offshore.
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.
The BIG Pacific Coast Touring Route
Australia is a big country with a fondness for Big Things - super-sized sculptures commemorating everything from prawns and pineapples to native animals and Ned Kelly. You'll find them all along the spectacular Pacific Coast Touring Route, which stretches all the way from Sydney to Cairns. Weave through the Hunter Valley, Byron Bay, the glittering Gold Coast and see the World Heritage-listed wonders of Fraser Island and Great Barrier Reef. Stop to snap the Big Banana, a giant gumboot, a herculean pelican and many more larger-than-life monuments along the way. Whether you consider them highway art or just humourous, the Big Things are worth spotting on this stunning Australian road trip.
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.
Three Great Days in Cairns
Cairns is the energetic heartbeat of Tropical North Queensland: modern, stylish and a renowned lure for sun seekers. It’s the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage site cited as one of the seven wonders of the natural world. Whatever your pace, you’ll have no trouble filling your days in Cairns.
Three Great Days on the Gold Coast
Roll with the vibrant energy of the Gold Coast, where there are beaches, rainforests, restaurants, theme parks and shopping strips to visit. Swim, surf or dine alfresco in relaxed, glamourous Main Beach and shop up a storm beneath the towering Surfers Paradise skyline. Learn to surf here or in Burleigh Heads, where afterwards you can explore the national park. Enjoy thrills, spills and animal interactions in any of the many huge theme parks. Then get back to nature in the World Heritage-listed rainforest of the national parks, including Lamington, Border Ranges, Main Range and Nightcap.
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.
10 days sailing It's hard to beat the romance of sailing through the Whitsundays - 74 idyllic, mostly uninhabited islands tucked inside the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Think clear moonlit nights, spectacular sunsets, secluded beaches and pure air. You can sail, swim, snorkel and dive at sheltered anchorages such as Blue Pearl, Butterfly and Hook Island Bays. Soak up the resort atmosphere of Hamilton Island, bushwalk through national park on South Molle and relax in Hayman Island's five star luxury. Visit Whitsunday Island and walk the pure white, silica sands of Whitehaven Beach.
South-West, Beaches and Goldfields
Discover the diverse and theatrical landscapes of Australia’s south-west corner. Drive from Perth through the buzzing historic port of Fremantle and swim with dolphins in Mandurah and Bunbury. Explore wineries, surf beaches, ancient limestone caves and towering karri forests in the Margaret River region. Walk through a canopy of sky-scraping trees in the Valley of the Giants, near Walpole. Swim and surf from Esperance’s clean, empty white beaches and cruise to the pristine islands of the Recherche Archipelago. Soak up gold fever in Kalgoorlie-Boulder and trace the path of pioneers on historic gold trails. Watch golden sand morph to green valley as you drive back into Perth.
Three Great Days in Broome
See it all in Broome, the remote, romantic pearling port in the north-west corner of the Kimberley. Purchase a pearl in Chinatown, where many of the buildings were built in the exciting early pearling days. Continue the nostalgia in the pearling museum or on an old pearl lugger. Hop on a camel and watch the famous, fiery sunset over Cable Beach. Catch the natural magic trick of Staircase to the Moon, bird spot in Roebuck Bay and see prehistoric dinosaur prints at Gantheaume Point. Devote your final day to a 4WD adventure along the magical Dampier Penisula, where you can extend your stay in traditional Aboriginal communities.
Great Sunshine Way
Drive from the surf beaches, thrilling theme parks and lush hinterland of the Gold Coast to the vibrant capital of Brisbane. Cruise down the Brisbane River, climb the Story Bridge and satisfy your culture cravings in South Bank. Soak up sunny sophistication on Noosa's Hastings Street or meet koalas in the coastal rainforest of Noosa National Park. Watch whales from Hervey Bay and explore the sandy attractions of Fraser island by four wheel drive. End your journey in Bundaberg, a historic sugar and rum city where you can walk endless beaches and dive from the southernmost coral isles of the Great Barrier Reef.