In our opinion, there is no better way to explore the land down under than on an Australian road trip. Not only do road trips in Australia allow you to see the country’s vast natural splendors, but it also offers a very cost-effective way to explore Australia’s most significant sights and attractions.
The Best Road Trips in Australia
After spending a combined 8 years exploring Australia, we share our top picks for some of the best road trips in Australia. Plus our Australia road trip planner so you can get the most out of your adventure.
1. THE LEGENDARY PACIFIC COAST: SYDNEY TO BRISBANE
The famous journey from Sydney to Brisbane or the reverse is by far the most popular road trip for travelers looking to explore the best of Australia. This self-drive itinerary spans 1000 km along the Legendary Pacific Coast.
The famous East Coast Australia road trip takes you on an adventure through lush national parks, stunning beaches, rolling green hills of the hinterland, and small yet vibrant off the beaten track towns full of charisma and authentic Australian culture.
It’s one of the road trips in Australia that can be undertaken in as little as 1 weekend or one that can be easily extended to 2-3 weeks.
East Coast Australia, Road Trip Highlights
2. THE GREAT QUEENSLAND ESCAPE: BRISBANE TO CAPE TRIBULATION
If you have added the legendary east coast Australia road trip to your Australia itinerary, then take our advice and keep going north for another one of the best road trips in Australia! We might be biased since we were based in Queensland for more than 2 years (well, more like 6 for Max), but we think it truly is the most beautiful and diverse region in all of Australia.
Head north from Brisbane, on your Brisbane to Cairns Australia road trip, taking a few days to explore Noosa National Park and lounge on Noosa’s beautiful beaches. Make your way to Hervey Bay and experience the sand dunes, rainforests, and beaches on Fraser Island, then ditch your car for a few days and sail into the sunset in the beautiful Whitsundays.
North East Coast Australia, Road Trip Highlights
Mission Beach, 1770, Townsville, and Port Douglas
3. WESTERN EXPEDITION: PERTH TO BROOME
Road tripping over 3,000 kms along the West Coast of Australia is not an easy task. The drive is long and strenuous, especially if done in less than 2 weeks, but those that undertake the journey will be rewarded with some incredible experiences.
Many will tell you that flying from Perth to Broome is a better use of your time, but we completely disagree. You’ll miss out on tons of cool Australian road trip experiences along the way, like sandboarding in Lancelin, watching the sunset at the Pinnacles in Cervantes, swimming with whale sharks in Ningaloo Reef, exploring the gorges of Karijini National Park, or enjoying the unbelievable pink hues of Hutt Lagoon.
4. THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD
The shortest, yet one of the most picturesque road trips in Australia is the Great Ocean Road, a 243 kilometers stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the cities of Torquay and Allansford. The road passes through rainforests and beaches and provides access to some popular tourist landmarks.
You can travel the Great Ocean Road in just a day by hopping aboard one of the many Great Ocean Road tours departing daily from Melbourne, but hiring a car and making your own Australian road trip adventure is so much better.
Don’t miss the famous Twelve Apostles, a collection of limestone formations off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park, the Otway Rainforest, and the charming seaside towns that line the coast.
5. LAUNCESTON TO HOBART VIA THE WESTERN LOOP
Traveling from Launceston to Hobart (or in reverse) is one of the most popular and best road trips in Australia when visiting Tasmania. But we recommend going further than just the 2-hour straight drive between the 2 cities.
Start your Tasmania Australia road trip from Launceston. Head West and admire the rugged beauty of the Walls of Jerusalem National Park or stop for a visit to the more famous Cradle Mountain National Park. Stop in the small town of Corinna, one of our favourite off-the-beaten-track places in Tasmania, drive through Zeehan and Queenstown and visit Lake St. Clair. If you have time, stop in Mount Field National Park before ending your road trip in vibrant Hobart.
AUSTRALIA ROAD TRIP PLANNER
Decide on your time frame
When it comes to mapping out your road trips in Australia, figuring out how much time you have to explore is the first step. Every one of the road trips in Australia on our list is flexible, meaning that you can complete it in just a few days to a week or two, or you can travel slowly, enjoying the route for a month or even longer. How quickly you move – is up to you!
Choose the right Australian road trip vehicle
Hiring a car in Australia can be expensive, so be sure to use a good car rental search engine, like DriveNow, and find the right vehicle for your adventure. Consider a car that’s environmentally friendly or choose to enjoy some of the best road trips in Australia with more than 2 people to reduce your CO2 emissions.
READY TO EXPLORE AUSTRALIA BY CAR?
Get the best car rental rates by booking on our favourite car rental website, DriveNow. It compares prices across all major car rental companies in Australia, so you are guaranteed to get the best deal! CLICK HERE or use the search box on the right to get a car rental quote now!
BEFORE YOU GO: Don’t forget travel insurance!
We can’t stress enough the importance of travel insurance, especially in a country like Australia. Whether you just plan to explore Australia on a road trip, do a little bit of hiking, or go extreme (think surfing, scuba diving, or ever skydiving), being protected on your travels is an irreplaceable peace of mind.
We learned about the importance of travel insurance the hard way and now we never travel without coverage.
Get a quote through our recommended insurance provider, World Nomads.
What are some of your favourite road trips in Australia? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear what great adventures we might have left off our list!
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