4 Incredible Road Trips to Take in Australia
One of the best experiences you can have in Australia is taking a road trip. A country with quite a bit of wide open space, driving is sometimes one of the only ways to get to certain spots. There’s no shortage of road trips – for example, you could drive the entire circumference of Australia on Highway 1; that would take you about 9 months and take you over 25,000 km.
If you don’t have 9 months of annual leave up your sleeve, here are some more manageable routes to enjoy across the country.
1. Sydney to Perth: Coast to Coast
One of the best and most popular driving routes is from Sydney to Perth, allowing you to enjoy a wide variety of the best of Australia. You can drive through the centre of the country, hitting the famed Uluru in the middle of Australia, or you can take the southern coastal route, allowing you to spend time in spots like Melbourne and the capital of Australia, Canberra. You’ll need 4 days at minimum, but a week or more is best.
2. Sunny Shores: Sydney to Sunshine Coast
Want to experience the best of Australia’s sunny disposition? Then hop in your car – preferably a convertible – and head up the A1 to the Sunshine Coast. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy roadside snacks and great views in spot like Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, the Gold Coast, and Brisbane. Careful of holiday weekends, as traffic can easily get backed up on this popular route; there are also trains and flights to help you make the return journey with ease.
3. The Great Ocean Road
I’d be remiss without mentioning the drive from Melbourne down to the Great Ocean Road; you will no doubt experience the most memorable sunsets of your life watching the colours change on the many rugged sea stacks along this iconic Australian spot. Spend the night in the area so you have hours to explore the many small beaches and interesting stopping points, then circle back to Melbourne.
4. The Gibb River Road
Tucked away in the Kimberley, Gibb River Road is the only crossing that will take you from Kununurra to Derby. The road covers an area larger than the country of Germany, but only 30,000 people call this wild plain home. At 660km of driving, this is second only to the coast-to-coast drive in length, but it’s actually a route well served for travellers; car hire stations in the cities at each end offer one-way rentals to allow you ease for enjoying this wonderful, only-in-Australia experience.
Keep in mind, when you are doing an Australian road trip, you don’t have to do the entire trip by road. Practical reasons may dictate going via a different route – for example, driving and then taking a flight or train back to your origin. This can save time and money and also your sanity – as a friend once told me, “Australia is so big, one can easily drive themselves to death.”
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