There are few better ways for Aussies to recharge the batteries than by striking off and going walkabout. Indeed, it’s been a tradition dating back to the original Australians some 50,000 years ago. These days, it doesn’t matter if you’re a backpacker on a six-month jaunt or a corporate exec with two free weeks to spare; Australia has a bit of adventure for everyone. But the one thing anyone planning that perfect Australian road trip should consider is the sheer size of the country. That means ultimately distance will dictate the nature of the trip.
With that in mind, here are some of Australia’s most popular road trips – separated by region – that are filled with breathtaking scenery and near endless kilometers of adventure.
Gibb River Road: This 660 km cattle road runs from Derby to Kununurra across the Kimberly Plateau, one of Australia’s most beautiful and untamed landscapes. And since it covers a space on par with a medium-sized country, it is also one of Australia’s most expansive landscapes. But with only 30,000 people calling Kimberly home, most of the residents are African trees. Nevertheless, it is a perfect road trip for those with an adventurous spirit who want to be one with nature for a few days. In fact, there are numerous car-rental agencies in Kununurra with 4x4s on hand in order to accommodate just such intrepid souls.
New South Wales/Queensland
Rainforest Way: forged through years of volcanic activity, the region along the border between Queensland and New South Whales possesses some of the most lush and picturesque landscapes in the country. The subtropical rainforests teem with life, and there are over a dozen national parks in the area. And the Rainforest Way – a 650 km road that passes through the area – is one of the best ways to experience this marvel of nature in all its glory. The road itself is broken up into seven tour routes that can all be completed in a single day.
Great Ocean Road: Surfing is a way of life in Australia, and nothing combines surf, scenery and style quite like this 250 km stretch of road across Australia’s southern coast. The road begins in the east at one of Australia’s main surf cities Torquay. The road then continues along Victoria’s coast, passing through various small town gems along the way. It runs along majestic sand cliffs before moving into the Great Otway National Park and through the near endless forests of manna gums.
Cape to cape: This 200 km road showcases all the diversity Australia’s southern coast has on offer. Vineyards, coastline, forests; they are all represented here. The road itself connects Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin, and along the way travelers are treated to verdant farmland and canyons rife with karri trees. For an afternoon excursion, few options are better.
These are just a few of Australia’s best options for road trips. But within each of these major areas are even more journeys just waiting to be discovered by one new restless soul after another.
Elizabeth Bailey is an avid blogger with a penchant for car vacations. She enjoys sharing her tips and insights on various driving blogs. Visit
Expedia.com.au to find out more about saving money when on holiday.