Exotic, exciting and far away, Australia is a dream-like destination for many people, especially those who live on the other side of the world. Australia occupies an entire continent (aren’t we lucky), and it’s incredibly diverse. From stunning coastline roads to the stark and somewhat overwhelming desert landscapes in the centre of the country, there’s certainly a lot to see.
Australia is massive, it’s basically the size of Europe (excluding Russia and Turkey), so a road trip across the entire country might take several months, and is likely impractical for the majority of travellers who can only visit for a few weeks. Today we will touch on a few of the more popular road trips within Australia so you can get a taste of this beautiful country.
There are plenty of “classic Aussie road trip” ideas for those who live in Australia however for travellers I’d recommend focusing on a major landmarks that interest you.
Adelaide to Ayers Rock (aka Uluru)
Im a sucker for the next road trip as it starts in my home town (Adelaide). Australia is famous for its stunning coastlines, however beautiful beaches isn’t all of what we’re about! If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you should consider a trip to the country’s untamed outback. The Australian Outback landscapes are utterly unique. The road trip I would recommend is from Adelaide to Ayers Rock where you will experience some spectacular desert landscapes that will almost make you feel like you’ve been stranded on Mars! The Savannah Way (highway) is one of the most extended drives in the country, clocking in at 3.700 kilometers (2.299 miles), but it certainly offers one of the most incredible “Aussie” Outback experiences.
Our recommended Adelaide to Ayers Rock road trip would be, depending how much time you have.
Adelaide -> Port Augusta -> Pimba -> Glendambo -> Coober Pedy -> Marla -> Kulgera -> Stuarts Well -> Alice Springs (base yourself her to see Uluru) -> Ayers Rock.
This is a very long drive, I would recommend doing this drive over 6- 10 days, the drive at times can be a little boring as there is desert for as far as the eye can see however there are some sensational sights along the way. I would also highly recommend hiring or purchasing a very sturdy car such as a Toyota Hilux or a similar 4wd for the rough outback dirt roads.
If you don’t have much time but want to see a little bit of the Australian outback and wildlife, I would recommend checking out the Flinders Ranges, which is only a 5.5 – 6 hour drive from Adelaide.
Great Ocean Road (Melbourne to Adelaide)
One of the most famous Australian road trip routes is, undoubtedly, “The Great Ocean Road”. This area is located in the state of Victoria. According to the country’s own official travel website, The Great Ocean Road is “one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives,” which will take people on a stunning journey across the South-western coast of the country. The road trip’s not too far off from Melbourne, making a great starting point. The Great Ocean road trip features some great attractions such as the “12 Apostles” and the stunning ‘Bells Beach,” a true paradise for surfers.
Our recommended Great Ocean Road Trip would be as per below, however it depending how much time you have. This drive takes 12 hours. So this trip can take 1 day if you drive without making many stops however I would recommend putting aside 3-5 days to really enjoy the area.
Melbourne -> Torquay -> Anglesea -> Lorne -> Apollo Bay -> Great Otway National Park -> Port Campbell (The 12 apostles are only a short drive from Port Campbell, this is a good area to be used as a base if you plan to stay in the area) -> Peterborough -> Warrnambool -> Port Fairy -> Portland -> Nelson -> Mt Gambier -> Robe -> Adelaide.
Sydney To Brisbane via Pacific Coast Highway
Home to the famous Sydney Opera house and Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney is often where most tourists enter the country. One of the best Road trips from Sydney is along the Pacific Coast Highway, to Brisbane. Some of Australia best beaches and towns are right off the highway, which means that you will be able to plan some nice stops for a relaxing dip in the ocean or to explore some interesting places along the way!
Our recommended Sydney to Brisbane road trip would be, depending how much time you have. This drive also takes 12 hours, which can be done in 1 day however to truly enjoy yourselves, I would recommend at least 3 days, with 3 suggested overnight stays.
Sydney -> Port Stephens –> Port Macquarie (stay overnight) –> Coffs Harbour –> Byron Bay (stay overnight) –> the Gold Coast (stay overnight) -> Brisbane.
Need a few more Australian road trip inspiration? Check out this feature from Buzzfeed,