Australia is home to some of the most beautiful roads in the world: sweeping ocean views, routes through the Australian outback, cosmopolitan city breaks along the way…The reasons to rent a car in Australia are pretty much endless, so join us as we explore some of the best road trips in the land down under.
1. The Great Ocean Road
Australia’s most iconic drive, the Great Ocean Road stretches over 155 miles from Torquay to Warrnambool and is best enjoyed over the space of a few days. The Twelve Apostles – 12 limestone rock stacks found close together in the ocean – are probably the most famous sight along the route, and while they’re worth seeing there’s plenty more to make this one of the best road trips in Australia. The route takes travelers through stunning natural scenery, past beautiful beaches, and awesome rainforests. Stop off in the coastal town of Apollo Bay, check out Loch Ard Gorge, and take your time – this is a route best explored without rushing.
2. Sydney to Melbourne
Travel between two of Australia’s most popular cities with this coastal route from Sydney to Melbourne. The journey begins with a drive through the Royal National Park and along onto the Grand Pacific Drive, affording awesome coastal views. From here, the journey continues along Australia’s southeastern coast – and there’s more than enough to see and do along the way! Jervis Bay is a must, with white sandy beaches and the chance to see dolphins; check out local crafts in the village of Central Tilba; visit the penguins at Gabo Island; hike to the peak of Mt Oberon in Victoria…the list is endless!
3. Cairns to Cape Tribulation (Great Barrier Reef)
A relatively short drive of around 86 miles, this coastal route is also known as the Great Barrier Reef drive thanks to its proximity to (you guessed it!) the Great Barrier Reef. It may be short but you’ll want to take at least a few days to enjoy everything the drive has to offer. Stops along the way include unspoiled stretches of sand such as Ellis Beach; the Thala Beach Nature Reserve; the coastal village of Port Douglas (from which you can head out to see the Great Barrier Reef); and the Daintree Rainforest, home to crocodiles, canopy walks and more.
4. Heritage Highway, Tasmania
This historic route is notable for its heritage and the opportunity to explore a number of cultural sights along the way. The road was built in the early 1800s by convict road gangs, and features plenty of historic villages and stops. The village of Longford is notable for its English-style landscape and as the location of Brickendon and Woolmers Estate, two World Heritage Convict Sites; Campbell Town, a significant historic site, can also be found along the route; while golfers can enjoy a round at Ratho, the Southern Hemisphere’s oldest golf course.
5. Sydney to Brisbane
One of the most popular road trip routes in Australia, driving along the coast from Sydney to Brisbane allows you to take in the Pacific Coast while also heading through national parks, past beaches and through charming towns and villages. Take your time and enjoy the sights along the way: enjoy great wine in Hunter Valley, found in one of Australia’s primary wine growing areas; explore the city of Newcastle and town of Port Macquarie; and relax on the Gold Coast’s world renowned beaches. The drive can be done in two days, but to really enjoy all the Legendary Pacific Coast has to offer we’d recommend at least a week.