Australia’s a pretty huge country, and once you appreciate its vastness, you realise that there really is only one way to truly explore it: the road trip. Sort yourself out with campervan hire, or purchase your own and get ready to hit the road. There are some amazing road trip drives out there to take your pick from, so here’s our top 5!
1) The Great Ocean Road – VIC
The great ocean road isn’t just one of Australia’s most scenic drives, but one of the world’s best. Easily accessible from Melbourne, the ocean hugging 250km road takes around 3 to 4 hours. Expect beautiful beaches, forests and stunning sandstone cliff formations to make up this enchanting coastal drive. You start off the action in popular surf town, Torquay, heading past seaside towns, Lorne and Apollo Bay. Then finally you reach the big boys; The Twelve Apostles off the shore of Port Campbell National Park. A great weekend road trip getaway and you can easily zip back to Melbourne in-land.
2) South Coast – NSW
This coastal drive starts at the Royal National Park (just south of Sydney) and ends up at the coastal town of Eden. Eden is 478km from Sydney and takes around 6 to 7 hours to drive. Jervis Bay is approximately half way and holds the Guinness World Record for having the whitest sand in the world. You can swim with seals at Montague Island and go whale watching at Eden. And as you’ll be passing fishing towns and villages, shell out for some cheap local oysters – yum!
3) Pacific Coast Touring Route – NSW & QLD
This Sydney to Brisbane, or vice versa, road trip, of around 940km showcases the quality Northern NSW hinterland and coastal hippie vibe. The magic haze spreads between Byron Bay, Mullumbimby and Nimbin, which all proudly celebrate alternative lifestyles. Bellingen and surrounds offer up beautiful valleys of waterfalls and rainforest. Along the way, you’ll find pristine beaches and coves, lush vegetation and relaxed towns. Bigger partying centres include Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie.
4) Great Green Way – Queensland
This Great Green Way road trip from Cairns to Townsville explores Queensland’s tropical north. We’re talking endless beaches, palm trees, the Great Barrier Reef, islands, rainforests and cascading waterfalls. A coastal stretch of 457km will have you pass by long palm-fringed beaches around Mission Beach, to views to Dunk and Bedarra Islands. Within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, immerse yourself in tropical rainforests and check out the thundering waterfalls. Giant ferns, golden sands and turquoise waters lead the way. Pull up in your campervan, anywhere, and soak it all up.
5) Australia’s South West – Western Australia
Known as Australia’s South West, Lonely Planet has declared the area 280kms south of Perth as one of the world’s Top 10 regions to explore; Margaret River is its centrepiece. You not only get over 40 world-class surfing beaches, rolling countryside, caves and towering karri forests, you can sample some of Australia’s best food and wine. You can expect to see kangaroos, possums, dolphins, seals and whales. For colourful fish, head to the underwater observatory at Busselton Jetty. Definitely a road trip for the nature lovers out there! Enjoy it your way, from the comforts of your own campervan.