Australia's 5 Best Road Trips
The Great Eastern Drive - Hobart to St Helens, Tasmania
Its not hard to understand why this is one of Australia’s best road trips. Good food is essential to any holiday and it’s available in abundance on Tasmania’s east coast.
Freycinet National Park is a short drive from Coles Bay. Do a short walk to Wineglass Bay lookout, or walk the sugar-white sand and take a dip in the sea. Have a picnic and lose an afternoon on one of the Peninsula’s beautiful beaches, and if budget is not an issue, spoil yourself with a stay at Saffire Freycinet, voted number one luxury hotel in Australia.
See little penguins return to their burrows in Bicheno, join a guided tour to see Tasmanian devils and experience an underwater environment from a glass bottom boat.
Once named by Lonely Planet as the ‘hottest’ travel destination in the world, St Helens is the gateway to the Bay of Fires and Binalong Bay, which is also a fisherman’s paradise.
Lose yourself on the white sandy beaches whilst gazing at the impossibly clear ocean.
The Great Southern Touring Route - Victoria
Sit back and enjoy the ride. The best of Victoria is presented on the Great Southern Touring Route incorporating the Great Ocean Road, Grampians and Ballarat. Stay a few nights along the way so you have time to enjoy the many sites.
The Great Ocean Road lives up to its reputation as one of the most scenic and rugged coastlines in the world. Stop at any one of Victoria’s well known beachside towns of Lorne or Apollo Bay, before arriving at the world renowned 12 apostles. Top off the day with an overnight stay and dinner in the historic town of Port Fairy.
It won’t be long before you notice the morning sun hitting the rugged mountains of the Grampians as you drive through farmland and the village of Dunkeld, where the 2 hatted chef restaurant - the Royal Mail Hotel, beckons you to stop. The next 65 kms of breathtaking mountain scenery will engulf you on both sides before arriving in the village of Halls Gap, a great spot to stay the night so you can enjoy the walks through the wonderland range.
Depending on your interest, take a drive through Ballarat or the natural springs area of Daylesford. Fully rejuvenated, make the short drive back to Melbourne – and start planning your next trip!
Nullarbor Plain – Eyre Highway, Western Australia
The Nullarbor Plain - where the stormy Southern Ocean lashes the cliffs of the Great Australian Bight on one side of the road, and the desert stretches to infinity on the other.
This true Australian road trip stretches 2600 kms from Adelaide to Perth. It has a reputation for being a harsh environment, like a desert.
Kangaroos line the roads and giant wedge-tailed eagles patrol the skies.
There is a roadhouse every 200 kms or so, so there's ‘nothing to worry about’. You can get accommodation in several places and there are many opportunities for free camping.
Turn off at the Nullarbor Roadhouse and travel 20kms to The Head of Bight to view the Southern Right Whales, the Bunda Cliffs and have an unforgettable experience at Baird Bay swimming with Sea Lions and Dolphins.
The straight stretch of road between Caiguna and Balladonia is the world’s longest at 147 kms and is definitely Instagram-worthy.
Try something totally unique and play the 18-hole par 72 golf course which spans 1,365 kilometers with one hole in each participating town between Ceduna in South Australia to Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. This rugged outback-style golf course offers a quintessential Australian experience while providing a much-needed activity to break up the journey on this desolate highway.
Cairns to Port Douglas - Captain Cook Highway, Queensland
Breathtaking scenery surrounds you as you follow the Captain Cook Highway from Cairns to Port Douglas. The 75kms of asphalted road is one of the best coastal drives in the world hugging the coastline as it winds between the World Heritage areas of the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforest.
The sleepy picturesque village of Palm Cove is the halfway mark and a great place to indulge in a beachside lunch and walk along the jetty before embarking on the most spectacular part of the journey.
As you meander along this winding road, stop off and linger at one of the many isolated beaches and viewing bays, including Rex Lookout, where an incredible 180-degree view of the Coral Sea and its coastline begs a photograph.
Nestle yourself in Port Douglas with four mile beach on one side and the Reef Marina on the other. Here you can board your boat and go diving or snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef.
Red Centre Way – Alice Springs to Uluru, Northern Territory
Experience the red earth country of Australia and feel the complete isolation with skies bigger than you could ever imagine - drive from Alice Springs to Uluru.
Feel the red earth disappear as you take off in a sunrise hot air balloon flight over MacDonnell Ranges. By mid morning you can continue on the red centre way to Ormiston Gorge. Take a dip in the crocodile free, swimming holes and float through the narrow enclosing walls at Redbank Gorge pools.
Stay the night at Kings Canyon and take off after a hearty breakfast on the cliff walk around the rim. Don’t let the ascent of 1000 steps put you off. It’s easy going once you reach the top.
Luxury awaits in various accommodation options at Uluru where this precious red rock seems to magically appear out of the earths surface. It’s not long before you understand the spiritual relevance of this 350m high monolith to the Aboriginal people, believed to be about 700 million years old. Even though you can no longer scale this sacred site, you can experience its majesty from various angles and watch it transform at sunset from ochre, burnished orange to intense red.
Complete the journey with a cultural tour of the Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), and learn some of the region’s sacred history of the ochre-coloured domes and Dreamtime stories before returning to Alice Springs via the cliffs of Rainbow Valley.