10 Road Trips in Australia You Must Do Once in Your Lifetime
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Road Trips in Australia 

Plan on visiting multiple Australian cities on your upcoming trip? That calls for an Australia road trip that is action-packed in every state. If you're looking for a bucket list experience, you can't miss the Great Ocean Road or the legendary Grand Pacific Drive. And if you're itching for an outback adventure, you have to drive the Red Center Way in the Northern Territory. If you'd rather take a more scenic route, though, the drive from Cairns to Cape takes you past Mossman Gorge and the Daintree Rainforest. On this Australian road trip, you'll pass through the coastal town of Port Douglas and see stunning natural scenery, including towering trees and gurgling rivers. If you're looking for an adrenaline rush, one of the best 4x4 routes in Australia is the winding Gibb River Road which passes through Katherine, Kakadu National Park, and El Questro. You can take in breathtaking panoramas of the Kimberley region's stunning geological features.
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Best Road Trips in Australia


The Big Lap

  • The Big Lap is a literal definition of a trip around this massive country. 
  • From Broome to Sydney to Cairns to Brisbane to Melbourne to Darwin to Perth to Adelaide to Esperance to Hobart, this road trip covers the roughly 15,000 kilometers of Highway One that connects seven of the capital cities. 
  • It's the best of Australia in one long road trip, from bustling metropolises to quiet seaside villages, lush forests to arid plains, secluded swimming holes to pristine beaches, and ancient rock formations to modern tourist traps.
Location: Australia

Duration: Six months

Stops: Visiting Kakadu, Uluru, and Alice Springs in the Northern Territory is a must, but you'll need to venture off the Stuart Highway to do so.

Tips: The northern part of Australia, from Broome to Cairns, is best traversed between April and September when temperatures are mildest. It's the dry season now when the weather is nice and the roads are usually passable even though they might be impassable during the wet season.

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The Great Ocean Road, Victoria

  • This breathtaking Australia road trip rightfully earns its reputation as one of the best driving routes in the world, thanks to its stunning scenery, which includes sandy beaches, verdant rainforest, quiet fishing villages, and tree canopies adorned with koalas. 
  • Spanning over 150 miles, the Great Ocean Road is rife with attractions like wineries, world-class surfing spots, and spectacular rainforest footpaths. 
  • The Twelve Apostles are the most impressive sight you can see from your window. Located in the waters of Port Campbell National Park, these limestone stacks make for a dramatic sight.
Location: From Torquay to Allansford, along Victoria's famous south-east coast, is where you'll find the Great Ocean Road

Duration: 2-3 days minimum 

Stops: Geelong, connewarre, The Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch, Otway Fly Treetops Walk,  12 Apostles

Tips: If you're only going to drive one way, it's best to begin in Torquay so that you can stay on the ocean side of the road and easily pull over to take in the sights.

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Gibb River Road, WA

  • This is a rough and ready Australia road trip that thrill seekers will adore. 
  • Known as one of the best 4x4 routes in Australia, Gibb River Road passes through Katherine, Kakadu National Park, and El Questro on its way to some of the most impressive natural wonders in the Kimberley, such as Katherine Gorge and Mt. Hart. 
  • If you're looking to spice up your self-drive experience, the bright orange tracks of Gibb River Road are the way to go. You'll regularly cross wide rivers and climb dusty hills.
Location: The Great Northern Highway connects the cities of Kununurra and Wyndham in Western Australia, and it passes through the Kimberley region, where the drive is particularly exciting.

Duration: 1-2 weeks

Stops: Derby, Windjana Gorge National Park, Bell Gorge, Manning Gorge, Drysdale river station, Homevalley station, El Questro Wilderness Park, Kununurra

Tips: Only two roadhouses, in Imintji and Mt. Barnett, sell gasoline along the Gibb River Road, and the price is exorbitant. Neither location sells gasoline but both do sell diesel.

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Tasmania’s East Coast

  • This Australia road trip, best experienced as a loop from Hobart to Freycinet National Park and back, is filled with unforgettable wildlife and beautiful beaches.
  •  It would be ridiculous to go on this trip and not stop at any of the National Parks along the way to see the incredible wildlife and flora that lives there. 
  • Visit Freycinet National Park to see stunning granite peaks and topaz blue waters, and then head to Cradle Mountain National Park to hike through pristine rainforest and pass by shimmering lakes.
Location: Tasmania

Duration: 3-5 days

Stops: Maria Island National Park, Freycinet National Park

Tips: If you'll be staying on Apple Island for an extended period of time, you can save money on car rental by bringing your own vehicle from Melbourne on the Spirit of Tasmania.

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Cairns to Cape York, Qld

  • On this tropically inspired Australia road trip, your self-drive vacation in the continent will take on a whole new light. 
  • Driving through Port Douglas, a coastal town with excellent restaurants and white sand beaches, you will have the chance to take in breathtaking views of the Daintree Rainforest and Mossman Gorge.
  • Dive into the alluring waters of this World Heritage site in search of turtles and tropical fish—every bit as beautiful as the pictures suggest.
Location: This vibrant Australia road trip goes through the Daintree Forest in North Tropical Queensland.

Duration: 4 hours 26 minutes

Stops: Great Barrier Reef, and Quinkan Galleries

Tips: In contrast to the fully sealed Mulligan Highway, which runs through the interior, the stunning coastal route via Cape Tribulation, the Daintree, and the Bloomfield Track requires 4WD.

Perth to Ningaloo, WA

  • It's just under 1200 kilometres from Perth to Exmouth to Ningaloo Reef in the north along the beautiful Coral Coast of Western Australia.
  • You pass through Cervantes, Geraldton, Monkey Mia, and Carnarvon. 
  • You experience Mother Nature at her best, complete with the Pinnacles Desert, Shark Bay—a World Heritage Site—dramatic gorges, swimming with dolphins, manta rays, and whale sharks. 
Location: Western Australia 

Duration: 8-10 days

Stops: Geraldton, Carnarvon, Exmouth, Ningaloo Reef, Coral Bay via Turquoise Bay, shark bay, kalbarri, and Cervantes

Tips: Be well-prepared before venturing north of Carnarvon, as supplies will be few and expensive.

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Great Alpine Road, Vic

  • Take an Australia road trip along the Great Alpine Road to get a feel for the Victorian Alps. 
  • This road is 308 kilometres long, stretching from Wangaratta in the north to Bairnsdale in the east. 
  • In the fall and winter, this is the place to go if you've ever wanted to experience a taste of what it's like to live in Europe during the cold season. 
  • If you prefer milder weather, spring is a great time to visit the mountains and appreciate some horseback riding, wine tasting, and scenic exploration.

Location: Victoria

Duration: 5 hours

Stops: Bairnsdale, Gipps Lakes, Mount Hotham

Tips: Drive slowly and cautiously, keep your gas tank at least half full, and install Diamond Pattern wheel chains if you plan on taking this route in the winter.

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The Savannah Way

  • It's about 3,700 kilometers long and connects Cairns in Tropical North Queensland to Broome in Western Australia's beautiful Kimberley region via the Northern Territory. 
  • This is the best possible east-to-west Australia road trip, as it takes in 15 national parks and 5 World Heritage sites. 
  • You can look forwards to seeing everything from lush tropical forests to vast grassy plains, isolated cattle stations to breathtaking waterfalls and gorges, and rock art etched into rock to crystalline waters.

Location: Queensland to West Australia

Duration: 7 days

Stops: Boodjamulla National Park

Tips: The outback requires preparedness. There are side roads suitable for 2WD vehicles, so having a 4WD is not strictly necessary. However, you should bring a radio in case your phone has spotty service.

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Pacific Coast, NSW & Qld

  • From Sydney to Brisbane, the fabled Pacific Coast Highway travels roughly 900 kilometers past Port Stephens, Coffs Harbor, Central Coast, Newcastle, Ballina, and Byron Bay. 
  • Surfing beaches, cute seaside towns, scenic national parks, and two exciting capitals—this is classic Australian coastal territory. 
  • You can get away from the city for a while by taking a trip to the Hunter Valley, which is located west of Newcastle and is famous for its Semillon wine as well as its fantastic restaurants and artisanal olive oil and chocolate.
Location: New South Wales to Queensland

Duration: 5 days

Stops: Daintree rainforest, Great Barrier Reef, Purnululu National Park, Hunter Valley region

Tips: In order to avoid the Pacific Motorway as much as possible, you should give yourself at least five days to complete this journey.

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The Grand Pacific Drive, NSW

  • The Grand Pacific Drive is a scenic coastal Australia road trip that spans 140 kilometers.
  • It passes through the cities and towns of Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama, and the Shoalhaven as well as through rainforests and across the famous Sea Cliff Bridge.  
  • It takes you past some stunning cliff faces and along some of New South Wales' most stunning beaches. 

Location: New South Wales

Duration: More than 5 five hours

Stops: Symbio wildlife Park, Sea cliff Bridge, Wollongong Harbor, Kiama’s blowhole, Minnamurra Rainforest, Jervis Bay, Coolangatta Estate Winery

Tips: Do not pass up a visit to Kiama without seeing the impressive blowhole.

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People Also Ask About Australia

  1. What are the best road trips in Australia?

    • Great Ocean Road: Take it slow and savour the breathtaking views along this famous stretch of road that passes through the 12 Apostles and historic lighthouses as you travel along Australia's Great Ocean Road, one of the country's most thrilling drives.

    • Grand Pacific Drive: The Grand Pacific Drive in New South Wales is widely considered to be Australia's most beautiful stretch of coastline. This breathtaking road trip to Australia starts in the Royal National Park south of Sydney and follows the coast all the way to the Shoalhaven area. From here, you can reach Wollongong's Sea Cliff Bridge, which stretches out over the water between some impressive cliffs.

    • Gibb River Road: In Western Australia, the fabled 410-mile stretch of the Gibb River between Derby and Kununurra (or Wyndham) offers the world's most extraordinary road trip to Australia on four wheels. Fly over gushing waterfalls and explore pristine waterholes, where you can see freshwater crocodiles.

    • Savannah Way:  This is the best possible east-to-west road trip to Australia, as it takes in 15 national parks and 5 World Heritage sites. You will see everything from lush tropical forests to open grasslands, and isolated ranches to breathtaking waterfalls and gorges, and petroglyphs to turquoise seas.
  2. Is Australia good for road trips?

    Yes, taking a road trip around Australia is the pinnacle experience. The sheer magnitude of Australia's scenic road trips is hard to match, what with the country's green rainforests, nearly 25,000 miles of coastline, and red dust of the Outback.
  3. What is the best month to go for a road trip in Australia?

    Spring and fall, the so-called shoulder seasons (March-May and September–November), are great times to take a road trip around Australia.
  4. What is the most scenic drive in Australia?

    The Great Ocean Road is the most scenic road trip in Australia as there are plenty of sights you enjoy along the way right from the 12 Apostles to the wineries, beaches and fishing villages.
  5. What are the best activities and attractions in Australia that you can book via Thrillophilia?

    Following are the best activities and attractions in Australia that you can book via Thrillophilia:
    1. Sea Life Sydney Tickets
    2. Madame Tussauds Sydney Tickets
    3. Taronga Zoo Tickets
    4. Sydney Opera House Tour
    5. Skydive Newcastle
    6. Symbio Wildlife Park Tickets
    1. How long does it take to drive all around Australia?

      It takes at least three months to one year to complete the big lap around Australia, as well as a South Australia road trip.
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    this experience in Gold Coast was one the most memorable . Driving a jetski gave me goosebumps and being an advance one, we could do so many things. At that moment I could feel the adventure reaching at max level.
    The ground staff which helped us throughout this package was super friendly and supportive. We enjoyed thoroughly and had a great overall experience. I personally liked parasailing and will recommend to all the travellers.
    Chakravartee Butt Gold Coast Water Sports Combo
    We chose jet ski and flyboarding option on this tour and are very happy with the experience. Flying above the waters and in the middle of beautiful views added a cherry to the cake. Thank you thrillophilia for providing Gold Coast water sports combo ticket at cheap prices
    60 metres above the ground gave me chills. The instructor was very good and he gave me all the necessary information. After he helped me wear all the safety gears, I was confident. I am glad I was able to do it and I am glad I choose this.
    Adventurous zipline and too above most beautiful views, it was a perfect combination. Going above the greenery at a great speed and winds blowing on my face refreshed me. Gold Coast canyon flyer zipline tour was better than perfect.
    Every aspect of the trip was very smooth. Director provided excellent information on what was upcoming. Local guides were great in sharing personal stories tied in to what was being seen.
    The overall arrangement done by Thrillophilia was absolutely wonderful. The trip was very well-planned, well-organized, and perfectly synchronized, The itinerary was very rich and very satisfying too, the team was nice helps us with all documentation, booking, and payment process. Great assistance during the trip and regularly sharing information and tips... from starting the team ensured that planning was flawless and well-executed... And YES, It was exactly as they promised to us... We were extremely delight and enjoyed every moment on this trip... Everything thanks to Thrillophilia and the whole team for their hard work to make our trip successful.
    Alex took care of me while I was surfing. He was so friendly and knowledgable and helped me learn from scratch. He even showed us his skills which were amazing. I would recommend beginner surf experience in Gold Coast to all.
    Being a beginner I was worried about availing this tour at first. But Thrillophilia did what it promised. I was so excited when the experience started. I could learn the basics of surfing and show off my moves to all. Thank you Thrillophilia for this package.
    It was a thrilling time. From booking tickets to availing it everything was very easy. This was my first time and at first I was scared but then I I started to get the hold of it, I enjoyed it throughly.

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