5 Best Road Trips In Australia

Get to grips with the Land Down Under with our guide to the best road trips in Australia. From unforgettable drives through the outback to coastal missions to Sydney, this enormous country is the stuff of road trip dreams

 This guide to road trips in Australia will help you dive head first into exploring the country by car / campervan. The Land Down Under, of course, is a place famous for such delicacies as Vegemite, Tim Tams, and pretty much anything you can throw on the barbie.

Sure you could go on a European road trip or head over to America for a road trip in the USA but, let’s be honest, planning a trip Australia sounds like the escapism we could all do with right about now. Maybe you fancy flying down the Pacific Highway, and bracing yourself for Brisbane. Perhaps you want to take on Australia’s Red Centre Way and experience the Australian outback. There is so much happening in the largest country in Oceania, and we’re to help you get a sense of what’s on offer.

The Savannah Way

Route: The Savannah Way
Distance: 2175 miles (3501 km)
Duration: 14-21 days (recommended)

If you’re looking for a great way to experience Australia, then the Savannah Way is an excellent choice. Get down to exploring the Northern territory by taking on a monster stretch of 3,500km.

Those in search of an Aussie road adventure will not be disappointed with the Savannah Way. If done at a moderate pace, you can make this last at least three weeks. You’ll definitely need some time to explore the ecosystem here, so make the most of it.

Beginning west from Cairns, take a small drive on the Atherton Tablelands to Mareeba. Waiting for you here will be stretches of plantations and mango orchards that this particular part of Queensland is well known for.

If you’re after some replenishments for the journey, then be sure to grab a bite to eat from the hip cafés along the way. You’ll be able to chow down on sprouted-grain breads and homemade yogurt with lashings of coconut.

Exploring the route in stages is by far the most enjoyable way to do it. Spending a little time in each place you visit is a must as each stop offers up a little bit of a surprise. Believe it or not, one of these places is Mount Surprise. Get lost in the history of this railway town that sits on the edge of an impressive lava flow, one formed by an ancient volcano to the south east. If you’re looking for a watering hole, be sure to grab yourself a beer at the Burketown Pub in Burketown. It claims to be Australia’s most remote pub.

As you delve deeper into the Savannah Way, you will see more and more of the outback. Heading to Timber Creek will give you the opportunity to see stunning boab trees, gorges, and the vast red landscape that this part of Australia is so famous for.

Before you know it, you’ll be ‘vrooming’ to Broome where the route meets its end. This Australian resort town is strong end to the journey. From dinosaur footprints to Purnululu National Park, where you’ll find the amazing Bungle Bungle Range, Broome has a lot to offer.

Great Central Road

Route: Great Central Road
Distance: 700 miles (1,126km)
Duration: 7-14 days (recommended)

We wouldn’t dream of leaving out the Great Central Road, one of Australia’s most iconic roads that goes through the middle of the country. Drivers of this road always come to see the famous landmark of Uluru – a gargantuan sandstone monolith.

The starting point for this 700-mile drive is Laverton, a place steeped in gold rush history. Who knows, maybe it has some lost loot for you to plunder?

The next stage on this trip is a famous waypoint on the Great Central Road, the Tjukayirla Roadhouse. This is a place where you can recuperate and get some energy back by purchasing drinks and snacks. You can even stay the night and see the myriad of stars that light up the Australian sky. If you want to find out more about the Tjukayirla Roadhouse, have a look at Vollebak’s video on one of the world’s most remote stores.

The Great Central Road is known as “Australia’s Longest Shortcut” due to the road taking you from Western Australia to the Northern territory. As you can imagine, there’s a lot happening on it. This is certainly the case in Warburton, which is home to the Ngaanyatjarra Indigenous Community. Heads up, you will require permits to enter Aboriginal communities. Each vehicle requires one of these, and all drivers and passengers must be accounted for before entering.

From Warburton, the next port of call will be Warakurna. This is a location that will treat you to a viewing of the Rawlinson Ranges, and which’ll give you the opportunity to discover some indigenous art on the trail.

A stone’s throw away from here is Docker River. Known for its campgrounds where you can pitch up a tent, or park up the campervan, and be at one with the Australian outback – just make sure that you’ve packed some insect repellent.

After this, the exciting finish will be firmly imprinted on your mind as you set a course to Yulara. When you touch down, Uluru will be waiting for you with its spectacular and stunning colour that epitomises the Australian outback.

Although reaching this spot marks the end of your Great Central Road experience, it’s only the beginning of your time within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Grab yourself a pass and get ready to fall in love with the Red Centre.

The Pacific Highway

Route: Pacific Highway – Brisbane to Sydney
Distance: 490 miles (790 km)
Duration: 7-10 days (recommended)

We just had to fit this classic east coast driving route into the mix. This Australian road trip from Brisbane to Sydney is full of tranquil sights and luscious landscapes. If you’re a keen surfer, then look no further. You’ve found the ultimate Australian road trip to catch some waves, with stops at Byron Bay and Coffs Harbour an absolute must.

The Pacific Highway goes along the line of the coast and will not leave you short of beautiful sights to gawk at. The Gold Coast, the Myall Lakes, and Newcastle will provide you with stunning views. Get yourself to the Golden Coast and hit those waves with everything you’ve got. It will act as the perfect cool down from the Australian heat.  Alternatively, you might even fancy a stop-off at the Australian Whale Sanctuary. Humpback whales anyone?

If you’ve still got a hankering for the surfer vibe, then you can’t go too wrong with the infectious energy of Byron Bay. This place has waves of every type, and is a bit of a hipster hotspot. One of the cool things to do in the area is a visit to the Byron Bay Lighthouse. It’s about a 45-minute walk from the bay, and you’ll be right in the middle of Australia’s easternmost point.

A must-visit location on this road trip has to be Bongil Bongil National Park, which has a big population of Koalas and some lovely eucalyptus forests for you to enjoy.

From this point on, you can look forward to making the journey to Newcastle. This harbour city is definitely a highlight. Another spot you should visit and make time for round here is Fort Scratchley. Constructed in 1882, it was a former coastal defence for the Aussies to deal with a potential attack from the Russians.

The Newcastle to Sydney stretch will be the final segment of the adventure. Upon reaching the centre of New South Wales, you’ll have free range to explore as you check out the not-to-be-missed Sydney Opera House and  Harbour Bridge. You’ll soon see why this city is one of Australia’s most popular places to visit.

A Lap of Australia’s Red Centre Way

Pictured: Uluru at sunset

Route: Red Centre Way
Distance: 704 miles (1,135km)
Duration: 7-12 days (recommended)

This 705-mile journey around the Red Centre Way will make you truly thankful for the beauty of the Northern territory. It’s another way of exploring Australia’s ravishing Red Centre.

Getting to know Central Australia will really make you feel at one with the country. This is a drive that will take you through Alice Springs and Kings Canyon before returning you to the iconic natural landmark known as Uluru.

What can you expect to see on the Red Centre Way? Well, for starters, great gorges and phenomenal rock formations which will reveal themselves to you as you make your way deeper into the outback.

The starting point for you is going to be Alice Springs. You can enjoy the picture-perfect ranges here in a number of ways. How does jumping on a hot air balloon or touring them by camel sound? Whatever your mode of transport, you’re bound to spot some wildlife.

Next on the agenda will be Ormiston Gorge, an awe-inspiring spot known for its amazing bushwalks. Follow the five-hour Ormiston Pond walk here, and it will lead you to stunning views of the entire gorge.

From our earlier discussion of the Great Central Road, you should be well and truly acquainted with the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park by now. Coming at It from a different direction, however, comes with different experiences. Once you reach the area, why not treat yourself to the Valley of the Winds trail? This 4.6-mile trek will take you through towering rocks into a bountiful bed of soft green grass. It’s the type of walk that will make you thankful for the break from driving, believe us.

The Nullarbor Plain

Route: The Nullarbor Plain
Distance: 781 miles (1,256 km)
Duration: 7-14 days (recommended)

This glorious road trip stretches across the Southern edge of Australia, and you can join it via Adelaide or Perth. Nullarbor means “no trees” in Latin. In actual fact, the area is brimming with blue bush and mulga scrub. Along the 1,265km drive, you’ll see wildlife galore wandering the landscape.

If golf’s your thing, enjoy part of the world’s longest golf course (the Nullarbor Links golf course). This unique 18-hole par 72 course spans 1,365km from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia to Ceduna in South Australia.

If hitting balls with sticks isn’t your thing, then you can always immerse yourself in the Dundas Nature Reserve. This is a place where you can climb the hills of Fraser Range and become lost in the surrounding eucalyptus forest.

If you want something out of this world, then head on down to the Balladonia Cultural Heritage Museum. You will get to see fragments of the US Skylab space station. They are on display after they fell from space and hit the area in 1979.

On the road again, you’ll be on the way to Nuytsland Nature Reserve to see some stunning colorful scenery and beaches as far as the eye can see. While in the area, be sure to check out the Eyre Bird Observatory.

Back on the highway, you can look forward to the next stop of the Eucla National Park. Photography enthusiasts, make sure you’ve got full charge on the camera for this place because you’ll want to capture every moment in it. If you want time to unwind and relax, the Border Village Roadhouse is only a few miles away and it’s a great place to catch some rest.

The final stop on this road trip is the Nullarbor National Park. It’s home to sights you’ll never forget. Take the Bunda Cliffs, for example. They’re the longest line of sea cliffs in the world. Get the keys to a 4WD vehicle and discover the Nullarbor Plain – you won’t regret it, and you won’t forget it.

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