We don’t always take the time to appreciate what’s right in front of us. With overseas travel an unknown for the foreseeable future, it’s a chance for many of us to start planning to holiday locally. Not only a boost to tourism in our own state, road tripping also gives us a chance to discover the wonders waiting in our own backyard. Here are some of the most sensational road trips in Australia.
Always follow government guidelines and plan ahead as access to some attractions may be restricted.
1. VIC – The Great Ocean Road
From Torquay to Warrnambool, the Great Ocean Road winds along the coastline for the majority of the 255km trip. Enjoy scenic views, surf and multiple places to stop for bites to eat.
Consider making time to continue past Warrnambool to Port Fairy, a heritage township lined with Norfolk pines, boasting wildlife walks, swimming spots, culture, delightful food, and four pubs for a town of 3,000 people!
2. TAS – The Great Eastern Drive
At approximately 176km, the Great Eastern Drive stretches between St Helens (in the north) and Orford (in the south), offering beautiful beaches, award-winning wineries and sensational seafood along the way. The famed Freycinet Peninsula is a highlight.
This road trip can be experienced for anywhere from a couple of days to a week or longer. With more time on your side, from St Helens you can venture across to Ralphs Falls and St Columba Falls (Tasmania’s tallest waterfall).
3. NSW – The Grand Pacific Drive
A 140km scenic coastal drive beginning at the Royal National Park, just south of Sydney’s CBD. Cross the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge on the way to Wollongong, pass through Kiama and end at the oasis that is Jervis Bay.
With so many breathtaking beaches to stop at, don’t forget to keep your swimmers handy!
4. QLD – Great Barrier Reef Drive
Covering 140km between Cairns and Cape Tribulation, the Great Barrier Reef Drive culminates where two world heritage sights, the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, meet.
Accommodation tends to book out quickly, especially during the school holidays, so make sure to plan well in advance. This drive can be done in one day, but a leisurely five-day sojourn allows time to stop and explore.
5. WA – Perth to Gracetown
A 290km drive along the WA coastline from Perth, passing through Bunbury, Busselton, Dunsborough, Yallingup, and finally the surfing haven of Gracetown – which also offers plenty for snorkellers and bathers (see the Injidup Natural Spa). Those more aligned with wine than surf will find plenty of popular spots along the way (be sure to appoint a designated driver).
With so much to see, this road trip can take anywhere from a couple of days to a week or longer. Ensure you plan your trip to make the most of what the Tassie east coast has to offer.
6. SA – The Epicurean Way
Linking together four famous wine regions – McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Barossa and Clare Valley – this 250km round trip is a sensory overload. As well as a great drop, gorgeous scenery and gourmet local produce await. Tip:
South Australian Tourism recommends allowing five days from start to finish, and has created a handy map
to help you hit the highlights. Adding a few extra days will allow time to truly discover a particular area.