Australians love a holiday road trip. More than 900,000 kilometres of roads and highways take us through spectacular coastal scenery, beautiful mountains and endless plains. If you've got the travel bug, here's our list of road trips to fill your summer with new adventures.
An epic highway that traverses Australia’s tropical north, Savannah Way links Cairns in the east to the west coast city of Broome. The 3700km long road travels through 15 national parks, five World Heritage areas, two states and one territory, passing by magnificent gorges, world class fishing spots and historic pioneer towns.
The Huon Trail, south of Hobart, is heaven for food lovers. Feast on Huon Valley apples, berries and wine, and the seafood bounty of the D’Entrecasteaux channel and Bruny Island. The road winds through some of Tasmania’s most scenic wilderness, finishing at the tiny settlement of Cockle Creek, the most southerly point it is possible to drive in Australia.
There are plenty of opportunities to commune with nature while exploring the Rainforest Way’s 650 kilometre network of scenic drives through the verdant hinterland of the Tweed area, straddling the New South Wales and Queensland border. At the region’s heart is Mt Warning, all of which remains of the ancient Tweed Volcano, which last erupted 23 million years ago.
Flinders Ranges, stretching roughly from Port Pirie to Lake Callabonna in South Australia, offers a glimpse of the origins of our ancient island. Take a driving tour through the ancient range to see spectacularly rugged geological formations that have eroded over 540 million years. Be sure to visit Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheatre almost 100 kilometres across boasting some of South Australia’s best hiking, four wheel driving, and Aboriginal rock art sites.
The 110km drive from Cape Leeuwin to Cape Naturaliste in south-west Western Australia travels through the Margaret River region, offering a captivating mix of surf culture and wine, with a little history thrown in. Visit the historic lighthouses at both capes, spend a night among the vineyards, and be mesmerised by the magic of giant karri forests along the way.
Joining Jindabyne and Khancoban, Kosciusko Alpine Way travels through some of Australia’s most spectacular scenery, from mountain peaks to silver snow gums to alpine lakes. There is plenty to do too: lovers of the outdoors can choose between trout fishing, bushwalking and water sports, while in winter the area is busy with people visiting nearby ski fields.
When discussing Australia’s best driving routes, it’s hard to beat the Great Ocean Road; 250km of winding bitumen that hugs Victoria’s rugged southern coastline. The heritage-listed road, stretching between Torquay and Allansford near Warrnambool, was built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932, and is a dedicated war memorial. Highlights include famous surf spot Bell’s Beach at its eastern end and in the west, the Twelve Apostles, eight limestone stacks that rise up dramatically out of the harsh Southern Ocean.