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The Great Ocean Road Is The Most Beautiful Road Trip In The World, According To Instagram

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Road trips are definitely an activity we’ve all been enjoying a lot more of since the pandemic and now Australians can say we have the most beautiful one in the world. New data has hailed our very own Great Ocean Road as the most picturesque in all the lands.

With 2021 still very much emulating 2020 in terms of international travel, Pentagon Motor Group wanted to suss out Covid-friendly ways people can continue to tick off their bucket lists — and a great way to do that is via classic road trip.

To work out the 20 most beautiful road trips in the world, they analysed over seven million Instagram hashtags associated with the most popular road trip destinations and calculated how many Instagram pictures are shared per mile (1.6km) of the journey. The route with the most Instagram posts per mile was crowned the most picturesque on the planet, AKA the Great Ocean Road. Carrrrn, Australia!

Although it has to be said that the Pentagon Motor Group did mention that while Australia took out the top spot, America did quite well for itself with the highest number of picturesque roads overall. This includes Big Sur (2nd), Blue Ridge Parkway (6th), Going-to-the-Sun Road (7th), Route 66 (11th), California’s Tioga Pass (14th), and Hana Highway (16th).

Here are the world’s most beautiful road trips. Seriously though, what is this world?

#1 Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia: 8,418 pictures per mile

Stretching for 243 kilometres between Torquay and Allansford, The Great Ocean Road is an Australian National Heritage listed stretch of asphalt that curves and winds its way along the stunning coastline.

From the wild Southern Ocean (home to the 12 Apostles), the Volcanic Plains, National Parks steeped in history and wonderfully creative little surf towns, there’s a ridiculous amount to do along the route. Here are some must-see spots for the ‘gram.

#2 Big Sur, California, USA: 5,226 pictures per mile

 

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You knew this one was coming – it’s an absolutely iconic part of Highway 1.

“Considered the most scenic and dramatic section of the Pacific Coast Highway with views of the Californian coast, the Big Sur is nicely positioned between mountains and ocean to give you the best of both worlds,” says Pentagon Motor Group.

“Not only is it one of the most beautiful stretches of road in the world, but it is also among the top 35 tourist destinations worldwide”.

#3 Jebel Hafeet, United Arab Emirates: 4,840 pictures per mile

 

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On the outskirts of Al Ain, in the Eastern Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE and on the border with Oman, you’ll find Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road. A zippy 11.7 kilometres winding through arid mountains, this may be a short drive but it’s an arresting one. It also ends with a palace belonging to the country’s rulers, so there’s that.

#4 Hai Van Pass, Vietnam: 4,298 miles pictures per mile

Hai Van Pass in Vietnam‘s Da Nang is a 21 kilometre-long mountain pass that translates to “Ocean Cloud Pass” for the foggy mist that rises from the sea it hugs. It’s been called “one of the best coast roads in the world,” by Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson so obviously this is a goodie.

#5 Chapman’s Peak Drive, South Africa: 3,425 pictures per mile

 

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Chapman’s Peak drive is nine kilometres long, stretching from Noordhoek to Hout Bay with 114 curves. It’s often touted as the most rewarding toll road in South Africa.

Similarly to Big Sur, this drive offers a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Western Mountains of the Cape Peninsula on the other.

#6 Blue Ridge Parkway, USA: 1,148 pictures per mile

 

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The Appalachian Mountains are some of the oldest on Earth. One of the longest and highest continuous routes in the Appalachian region is also one of the most popular: Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, USA. Drivers will get stunning views of the world below and if you really want your mind blown, head there in autumn when the leaves change colours.

#7 Going-to-the-Sun Road, USA: 940 pictures per mile

 

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As an Australian who lives in a country devoid of glaciers, I’m aware anything glacier related makes my jaw drop, but I’m genuinely not sure how this one wasn’t further up on the list.

Named after Going-to-the-Sun Mountain in Montana, which is prominently in view beyond Logan Pass, this is the first road in the world to achieve a status as a National Historic Place, National Historic Landmark and Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Visitors to the 80-kilometre roadway are blown away by epic views, with its highest peak reaching a casual 2026 metres.

#8 Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland: 853 pictures per mile

The Wild Atlantic Way includes Slieve League (Sliabh Liag) in County Donegal, sitting perched on Europe’s highest sea cliffs in Ireland. This lengthy drive is chock full of stuff to see, including 3o beautiful islands and a castle in Glenveagh National Park, where Hollywood stars including Marilyn Monroe holidayed.

#9 Olympic Peninsula Loop, USA: 798 pictures per mile

Ah, Washington State, you glorious thing. The Olympic Peninsula Loop is a massive 480 kilometres circling the perimeter of the incredible Olympic National Park, which is both an International Biosphere Reserve and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Olympic Mountains formed over 30 million years ago, with Mount Olympus being the highest point, at 2,428m. You can start from Seattle.

#10 Icefields Parkway, Canada: 781 pictures per mile

Another jaw-dropper here.

“This stretch of road connects two of Canada’s most beautiful locations, linking Lake Louise with Jasper, Alberta. Along the way, you will see over 100 ancient glaciers, plus cascading waterfalls and thick pine forests.”

For the full list of 20 most beautiful road trips, click here.


(Lead image: Wee Ping Khoo via Unsplash)