Australia, one of the world’s most popular road trip destinations, is on the bucket list of just about every avid to amateur traveller. The country is highly esteemed and admired for its stunning natural beauty. From its breathtaking rainforests to pristine white sand beaches, enchanting ocean views, wild outback, and great man-made wonders, Australia offers an abundance of attractions and activities to engage road trip travellers. A self-drive road trip along the Australian roads is the best way to savour it all. Using a reliable rental car is also the cheapest way to travel and explore the beautiful landscapes, panoramic views, and picturesque treasures of the country Down Under.
Say the word “outback” and Australia instantly comes to mind. The outback symbolises the essence of the land Down Under. The wide open spaces seem to stretch on forever, inviting you to hop in your 4WD rental and let the vast outback rip beneath your wheels, taking you from adventure to adventure. Enjoy the thrill as you come face to face with native wildlife, roll on past sprawling farmlands, and yield to the allure of the wild beaches. Take on rugged mountain ranges, explore spectacular gorges, and drive along the world’s longest stretch of straight railway line. Enter the Valley of the Giants and take on the adventure of trekking along the Tree Top Walk to view ancient forests and walk among sky-scraping karri trees. Wild camels, kangaroos, emus and, believe it or not, even bits of space junk that made their way to earth are a part of the outback experience. Exercise extra care at dusk, as the Eyre Highway will take you through remote areas. Be sure to take along extra fuel and an adequate supply of food and water. Recommended outback itineraries include Gibb River Road and the Bibbulmum Track.
Explorer Way is the best off-the-beaten-track to be found in South Australia. The 3,000-kilometre (1,860-mile) route stretches from Adelaide to Darwin and makes for an unforgettable South Australian outback road trip. Much of the route follows in Stuart’s footsteps (Australia’s greatest explorer), transporting you from the south’s coastal Mediterranean climate to the tropical climes of the high north as you drive through arid desert landscapes in the centre. The portion of the Explorer’s Way that passes through South Australia follows the historic Overland Telegraph trail and features incredible natural attractions, outback pubs, busy and historic towns, and quirky roadhouses. Lonely Planet rates Adelaide as one of the world’s coolest cities.
Great Ocean Road
The internationally renowned Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most popular road trip routes. The Great Ocean Drive itinerary takes you from the surf capital of Torquay along a coastline-hugging road network that features gorgeous small towns, breathtaking coastal views, amazing cool temperate rainforests, and splendid waterfalls, before it comes to an end at the historic fishing village of Port Fairy. The 243-kilometres (151-mile) stretch of road is listed as an Australian National Heritage site. This scenic coastal drive offers unforgettable memories that include exploring the iconic Twelve Apostles; spotting Australian native wildlife including koala-filled tree canopies; water sports such as surfing and canoeing; mountain biking, zip lining, walking, and all the adventures and sightseeing that the Great Otway National Park has to offer. Enjoy a walk through the tops of ancient, mossy trees using the Otway Fly Treetop Walk. The Great Ocean Road was built between 1919 and 1932 by returned soldiers and was dedicated to their comrades who lost their lives in World War I.
Great Ocean Drive
The Great Ocean Drive is different from the Great Ocean Road. The Great Ocean Drive is a scenic coastal road that stretches from Sydney to Melbourne and passes inland through rolling countryside and large areas of natural forest. This self-driving route presents some of the most dramatic and naturally beautiful scenery Australia has to offer. The route will take you through the Royal National Park and also Bald Hill/Stanwell Park where there’s the additional attraction of hang gliding.
Pacific Coast Highway
Australia’s Pacific Coast Highway makes for an epic road trip. This stunning coastal drive runs from Sydney to Brisbane and serves up everything you could ever want from a road trip. It is one of Australia’s most popular driving routes. This route features picturesque views, stunning beaches, dolphin and whale-watching, an abundance of quaint towns with a variety of restaurants and shopping options, a world-first koala hospital in Port Stephens and many lovely spots from which to view the stunning sunset.