Adventure

The Absolute Best Australian Road Trips You’ll Want To Take Right Now

Australia is eminently drivable. Most of the roads are flat, spacious, well cared for and safe. And road trips make one of the best ways to see more of the country – outside the major cities.

Yes, the Boomers and grey nomads have been onto this for a while, but in this case they’re actually right. You can enjoy so much more of Australia on a road trip, and this goes for any of the states.

Check out seven of the best Australian road trips across all states and the NT.

1. NSW’s Waterfall Way

The Waterfall Way road trip in NSW starts in Coffs Harbour, on the north coast, and along the 207km route you can stop at a bunch of beautiful cascades, including Ebor Falls, Dangar Falls or the 220m high Wollomombi Falls.

There are also stunning World Heritage areas along the route and cool-climate wineries to top it all off. BRB, I’m packing my bags now.

Check out more details and an interactive map for Waterfall Way here.

 

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2. Vic’s Great Ocean Road

Yah, it’s one of the big ones. The Great Ocean Road is pretty damn famous, especially for the seven Twelve Apostles (yes there are only seven of originally eight, but it’s still a great view).

The Great Ocean Road drive technically starts in Torquay, southeast of Melbourne, and runs along the coast all the way to Port Fairy. About 250km all up. But many people start in Melbourne and do just a section of the drive.

In a long day it’s possible to get to the apostles and back, but we suggest taking your time, seeing the sights, and staying on the road. Maybe you would even consider taking the drive all the way to Adelaide, through some of Australia’s best food and wine regions – but more on that later.

Check out everything you need to know about the Great Ocean Road here.

 

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3. Queensland’s Pacific Coast Way

What’s more beautiful than a stunning string of beaches conveniently connected by handy highways for ease of access? Queensland’s Pacific Coast Way is exactly that. It’s a truly epic 1784km long, so it might be advisable to do it in chunks rather than all at once.

The Pacific Coast Way runs from the Gold Coast, through Brisbane, Bundaberg, Mackay and Townsville all the way to Cairns. On the way, check out Gold Rush history, Australia’s ‘Beef Capital’ (Rockhampton), scuba or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, see dramatic waterfalls and swim at hundreds of beaches along the way. Find out more here.

 

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4. NT’s Nature’s Way

After a region with fewer people? NT’s your best bet. The Northern Territory’s Nature’s Way road trip takes you to some of Australia’s most beautiful national parks, and lets you experience true outback and Indigenous culture.

Starting in Darwin and touring Kakadu, Nitmiluk Katherine Gorge and Litchfield National Park along a 975km road trip, you’ll see some of the most dramatic scenery you’ll ever witness, and some of Australia’s most dangerous and beautiful wildlife. I did this in five days, but I’d suggest taking your time to explore – find out more about it here.

 

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5. Tasmania’s Coast to Coast

Start in Hobart, Launceston or Davenport (yes, Tasmania has more than one city) you can take in so much of the island on this classic Australian road trip, which starts at 14 days and extends to 21 days over around 1450km. You can also tackle this in smaller sections – over a weekend or a week.

The full road trip takes you through each of the above cities, as well as wilderness such as Tasman, Maria Island and Freycinet National Parks, and to Cradle Mountain and Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers. You’ll see all the best bits of Tasmania on this trip – that is, some of the best bits of Australia.

 

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6. WA’s Kimberley Wilderness Highway

Drive a whopping 6943km in a week on the Kimberley Wilderness Highway between Broome and Kununurra, witnessing local Indigenous culture along the way, as well as the outrageously beautiful Western Australian landscape on the way.

Highlights on the route include Mimbi Caves, Geikie Gorge and the stunning Bungle Bungle Range in World Heritage listed Purnululu National Park.

There’s also a bunch of shorter itineraries you can do as sections of the Kimberley Wilderness Way. We all have lives, we get it.

 

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7. South Australia’s Epicurean Way

South Australia truly punches when it comes to its food and drinks, and what better way to see them than linked them together on the Epicurean Way road trip? The route links together heavyweight wine regions McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Barossa and Clare Valley. And you know what pops up around successful wine regions? Food producers!

Pair it with views of rolling hills, forests and perfect coastlines and you have the Epicurean Way, a 250km road trip with some of the country’s best food and wine. Hope you left room in your luggage for take-home goodies.

 

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(Lead Image: Tourism Western Australia)