When wanderlust grips you, there’s nothing to do but answer its call. There’s something particularly poetic and inherently cool about the idea of a road trip. Plus, there’s no better way to really experience a place than to drive through it, stopping every time you see something that catches your fancy. Australia was made for road trips: the vast expanses, the gorgeous landscape, the scenic roads. Here are some of our favorite routes on the continent.
Uluru – the heart of Australia
If there is a symbol of Australia recognizable all over the world (apart from kangaroos, of course), that would be Uluru. The strange, color-changing rock formation is located right in the heart of Australia, in the desolate, yet beautiful desert called the Outback. Visiting Ayer’s Rock is a transformative, almost mystical experience, and driving there only adds to the experience. In fact, this is one of the most beloved road trip destinations in the entire world. Driving is the best way to visit Uluru – having your own transportation means you will be able to visit the Olgas (Kata Tjuta), too. Making your own schedule will let you experience the area without hurry. A word of advice though: before you head to Uluru, make sure your car is in top condition. If you don’t have the time to drive your car to a garage for a detailed check-up, try mobile mechanic services. Getting stranded in the Outback is definitely not something you want to experience.
The ultimate coast experience – the Great Ocean Road
If your idea of a road trip is driving along the coast with the wind in your hair, while the waves crash against rocks and the seemingly endless ocean stretches at your side. The National Heritage listed road as being curious in itself – it was built by soldiers returning from World War I and dedicated to their fallen comrades. Without a doubt, the biggest roadside attraction are the rugged limestone rocks of the 12 Apostles. The stretch of road perfectly showcases the diversity of the Australian nature: the rainforests, the coastline, the mountains – it’s all there. Surfing enthusiasts should make a stop at the world-famous surfers’ paradise – Bells Beach. If there’s one thing you definitely don’t need to worry about on this trip, it’s food and drink. There are plenty of wineries along the road, and for a delicious bite, stop at the Aire Valley Restaurant or Bay Leaf Cafe.
The lush corner of Australia – the Great Green Way
If you find yourself in Queensland, don’t miss the opportunity to head to the northern tip, and explore the area between Cairns and Townsville. The stretch of coast is only around 350 km long, but don’t be fooled: it offers plenty to see and experience. The green hills and rainforests might not be a landscape people typically associate with Australia, but that’s exactly what you will find following the Great Green Way. Take your time, stop for kayaking down Babinda Creek or relax on the golden sands of Mission Beach. The area is wonderful for diving, snorkeling, and even fishing.
The Golden Coast of Australia – from Brisbane to Sydney
Another iconic drive in Queensland, the east coast road from Sydney to Brisbane (or the other way around) is a trip that should be savored over a few days. For a start, exploring all of the signature sights of Sydney alone should take at least a few days – Bondi, the Rocks, Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, Manly – they are just a tiny fragment of everything Sydney has to offer to the millions of tourists who flock there every year. Once you head out, there are plenty of stops to be made. Wine aficionados should definitely check out the vineyards of Hunter Valley, where they can sample the best wines of Australia. If you’re looking for a beach holiday, opt for One Mile Beach in Nelson Bay or the lovely beaches of Port Macquarie. You can find some comfortable hotels there, too, such as the Macquarie Waters Boutique Hotel. Once you reach Brisbane, why not use it as a starting point to explore the Great Barrier Reef.
There are many other gorgeous routes to explore by car. So, don’t fret about your next holiday destination. Hit the road and get to know the best of Australia.