5 Great Road Trips in Australia

Australia is a country with much natural diversity in scenery and landscapes. The best way to explore this diversity is with a road trip where you are able to pick and choose what to see and where to spend your time. The below road trips are all through vastly different territory and each road trip will help you explore more of the great Australian country.

Some of these road trips are best experienced with a campervan as they involve camping rather than hotel stays. You can hire a campervan from most large cities in Australia.

The Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road drive is considered one of the best in Australia. It starts at Torquay and finishes 243km west at Warrnambool in Victoria.  The highlight of this drive is the Twelve Apostles which are a group of now seven rock formations rising out of the ocean just off the coast line. Several of the Apostles have collapsed into the ocean over recent times.

Highlights of things to see:

  • Bells Beach at Torquay – famous surf spot
  • The Twelve Apostles – rock formations
  • Otway’s National Park – temperate rainforest
  • Triplet falls in Otway National Park
  • Cape Otway Lighthouse
  • Loch Ard Gorge – a great coastal beach
  • London Arch – a single land arch not attached to main land
  • Wreck Beach – walk to anchors of ship wrecks Marie Gabrielle & Fiji
  • Thunder Cave – unique cave that creates a thunder due to ocean swell
  • Bay of Islands at Peterborough – a group geological formations

Grand Pacific Ocean Drive

The Grand Pacific Drive typically runs from Sydney down southern coast and ends in Shoalhaven. This drive by itself is a wonderful trip but you can also expand this drive to cover the Sapphire Coast and finish the road trip a further 288kms south in the township of Eden.  The Grand Pacific Ocean Drive covers quite a few different areas of the coast that are very popular for holidays with locals.

The highlights to see:

  • Royal National Park – Australia’s oldest national park
  • Coastal walking path and wedding cake rock
  • Sky Bridge and its coastal views
  • The Kiama Blow Holes
  • Great Surf at Shell Harbour
  • Sandy white beaches of Jervis Bay
  • Turquoise water colour of the Sapphire Coast
  • Amazing coastal scenery of Eden

East Coast of Tasmania

grandpacificdrive

The east coast of Tasmania drive starts at Hobart and finishes at the Bay of Fires some 300kms further north.  The drive will take you past the Freycinet National Park which is a must stop and visit location. You will also get to explore some unexpected beaches and country side. Beaches on the Tasmania east coast are great white sandy beaches and are a great spot for those wishing to surf.

Highlights of things to see:

  • Perfect white sandy beaches
  • Bushwalking in Freycinet National Park
  • Hike or Tour Wine Glass Bay
  • Surfing, diving, kayaking from Coles Bay
  • Great wineries and cellar doors
  • Wonderful produce and seafood
  • Douglas Aspley National Park
  • Deep sea fishing from St Helens
  • Bay of fires walk

Great Barrier Reef Drive

The Great Barrier Reef Drive starts at Cairns and heads north to Cape Tribulation in the Daintree. The first part of the drive between Cairns and the tropical beach paradise of Port Douglas hugs the coast line going from beach to headland to beach again. The views over the ocean and along the coast are truly amazing in this part of the drive.

The second part of the drive from Port Douglas up to Cape Tribulation runs through open countryside then enters the Daintree Rainforest. The Daintree is a Heritage Listed rainforest and is also the only place in Australia where tropical rainforest meets coral reefs at the beach.

Highlights of things to see:

  • Palm Beach and the Cairns beaches area
  • Port Douglas and Four Mile beach
  • Tours to the Coral Reef
  • Mossman Gorge and Creek
  • Daintree River Cruises
  • Daintree Forest
  • Ocean Kayaking at Cape Tribulation
  • Snorkelling off Cape Tribulation onto coral reef

Gibb River Road

For classic outback 4wd adventures why not try the Gibb River Road. This 660km 4wd only track runs from Derby across the Kimberly to Wyndham. This road trip takes you along unsealed roads and river wash outs and can really only be done with a 4wd. The drive is not for everyone but you will be experiencing part of Australia that only a few ever get to visit.

Highlights of things to see:

  • The vertical falls – visit from Derby
  • Bell Gorge
  • Manning Gorge – Aboriginal Rock Art
  • Drysdale River Station
  • El Questro Wilderness Park
  • Home Valley Station
  • Windjana Gorge National Park

Summary

These are probably five of the better known drive trips to take and they take you through some vastly different terrain. With the exception of the Gibb River Road trip, that requires a 4wd campervan, the other trips can all be done in a standard campervan or motorhome. Hiring a campervan for these drives also allows you to explore all the camping grounds along the way and meet other road trippers doing the same thing.