Australia’s Best Road Trips: Complete Guide

DRIVES COLLAGEBlog by Visit Brisbane

In the mind of those who are consumed by wanderlust, Australia is known to be home to some of the most beautiful beaches, Rainforests and historic sites in the world.

Backpackers from all walks of life travel to Australia to endure what our very own backyard offers. With a sense of adventure ourselves, Aussies love a road trip around the land down under. Here is our take on the best Australian road trips that will allow any Aussie or backpacker with or without constraints to go ‘walkabout’.

1.  Great Western Tiers TAS 50KM

Short in Kilometres but definitely not short in beauty, the Great Western Tiers are home to natural views and historic heritage and geological features. The venture begins in Launceston and ends in Deloraine. Along the way you can stop in the historic towns of Carrick, Hadspen, Hagley and Westbury, known for its English country character and colonial architecture. A series of quaint waterfalls can be found in rainforests with easy walking trails at Liffey Falls.

2.  Gold Coast Hinterland – Lamington National Park via Mount Tamborine and Canungra QLD 80KM

This roadie starts at the beautiful beaches of Surfers Paradise before continuing on to Mount Tamborine, a haven of beautiful wineries, Cedar Creek falls and restaurants. Continue on through to Canungra where you can stop at a series of quaint cafes and shops. After a pit stop, venture on to Lamington National Park, which is characterised by caves, fern gullies, waterfalls and breathtaking lookouts.

3.  Grand Pacific Drive NSW 140KM

Featured on many car advertisements, Grand Pacific Drive is well renowned for its spectacular driving scenery. There are heaps of things to do along the coastline from the unique experience of viewing a rainforest from above on the Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk, or a visit to the infamous Kiama Blowhole where water erupts out of volcanic rock formed around the beach. The route offers many other highlights along the way including old-fashioned villages, Bald Hill Lookout, and a drive over the sea cliff bridge.

4.  Uluru to Kings Canyon NT 310KM

Start at Australia’s world famous iconic natural beauty, ‘Ayers Rock’ and finish at the unspoiled ancient land of Kings Canyon. Visitors can partake in track walks that vary from 1 to 6 hours in length through the sacred land that Ernest Giles wrote “…could it be transported to any civilised land, it’s springs, glens, gorges, ferns, zamias and flowers would charm the eyes and hearts of toil-worn men who are condemned to live and die in crowded towns…” the first European to see Kings Canyon, in 1872.

5.  The Great Alpine Stretch 339KM Vic

This route is littered with highlights all year round. The high country in winter transforms into a winter wonderland of popular ski fields and cloaks itself with wildflowers during summer. The famous history of Ned Kelly and his gang can be retraced at several locations along the route. For water based activities Lakes Entrance is another notable stop over, a lakefront town close to Ninety Mile Beach.

6.  Kalbarri to Perth WA 573KM

Kalbarri offers views that are bound to take your breath away, from the coastal gorges at the National Park to the famous sunset views from the coastal walk trails. If you are staying overnight you can relax under the outback stars at the outdoor cinema. The Pink Lake owes up to its name being is oddly pink in colour, an extremely mystical site and is definitely worth the stop on the way South. Another site worth a visit on the journey to Perth is the town of Northampton, a charming historic experience.

7.  The Oodnatta track SA 620KM

This unsealed track is a path of ancient Aboriginal trade routes. It appears as waterless plains, but actually sits upon the Great Artesian Basin, one of the world’s largest aquifers. The water comes to the surface in hundreds of places along the track creating its nickname ‘The String of Springs’. You will also come across sand dunes, salt lakes (including Lake Eyre) and Kewson Hill – The Camp of the Mankarra-kari.

8.  Cairns to Cape York QLD 995KM

An adventurous journey through the country’s untamed wilderness to reach the very tip of Australia. Discovering ancient Aboriginal rock art, red outback roads, wetlands, and pristine waterfalls, this roadie definitely requires a little more time and a 4WD but will definitely satisfy the eyes of the wanderlust.

9.  The Great Inland Way QLD 1863KM

This popular journey begins at the village of Hebel and comes to an end in Cooktown. It is advised to take at least a week to take on this adventure as there are so many hot spots worth an explore along the way. Travelers will witness a diverse range of natural and historical wonders including the Coral Sea to heritage listed architecture and Undara Volcanic National Park. Travelling along this road, you will marvel in hot springs, gem fields, waterfalls and endless national parks.

10.  Sydney to Alice Springs NSW-SA-NT

This trip is definitely one for those who are lucky enough to have more time on their hands, although it is definitely worth it, travelling through many iconic Australian locations. Beginning in Sydney the drive heads down towards the beautiful Blue Mountains before hitting the Great Ocean Road with its notorious twelve apostles. One of the most well-known charms of Australia’s wonders, this coastline features an array of golden beaches and villages before arriving in Melbourne.

After indulging in metropolitan, dive back into the outback and discover the volcanic trails and wildlife at Grampians National Park moving further on to Adelaide. After this chilled out city you will make your way through the Barossa Valley for a chance to taste some of Australia’s finest wine. The trip continues on to the impressive Ayers Rock before coming to an end at Alice Springs, a hub for Aboriginal Art, history and quirky outback events.

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Haylee Forbes

Haylee Forbes relocated from rural Queensland to the city to fulfil her sought out career of becoming a lifestyle writer. Her work provides an insight to the experience and understanding of the world through the lens of one who grew up out west. She plans to graduate from University in late 2016 with Bachelor’s degrees in Marketing and Journalism.