Once you start to appreciate the vastness of Australia, you also start to realise that there’s only one way to truly explore her. Yep, the road trip. Add a campervan or motorhome, and you get to call all the shots – where you go, when you go, and when and where you sleep.
With your campervan hire sorted, it’s time to hit up one of Australia’s best drives.
1. Great Ocean Road – Victoria
The Great Ocean Road is not only one of Australia’s best scenic drives, but also one of the world’s best.
Easily accessed from Melbourne, about 3 hours drive, the roughly 250km ocean-hugging road takes in beaches, forests and stunning sandstone cliff formations – including the Twelve Apostles. The route starts with big wave action at Torquay, then heads to Lorne and Apollo Bay, before turning inland through Otway National Park for lush rainforests and koala spotting. Towns along the Great Ocean Road are popular getaways for partying Melburnian’s. So keep that campervan tidy.
2. South Coast – NSW
This drive showcases Australia’s chilled coastal life – think fishing, boating and swimming in calm bays, lakes and ocean beaches – all edged by pristine bushland. Lucky you – front row seats.
Officially, the South Coast region starts from Royal National Park, just south of Sydney, and stretches 400km to Eden. Jervis Bay boasts the spectacularly bright Hyams Beach, which holds a Guinness World Record for the world’s whitest sands. Swim with seals at Montague Island and watch whales at Eden. And as you’ll be passing fishing towns and villages, shell out for some cheap local oysters – yum.
3. Sydney to Brisbane (or vice versa) – NSW & Queensland
Known as the Pacific Coast Touring Route, this Sydney to Brisbane, or vice versa, road trip, of around 940km provides accesses to the spectacular Northern NSW hinterland and coastal hippie vibe.
The magic haze spreads between Byron Bay, Mullumbimby and Nimbin, which all proudly celebrate alternative lifestyles. Backpackers in campervans, heaven awaits. 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.
Stock up at the Hunter Valley, Australia’s oldest wine growing region.
4. Great Green Way, Cairns – Queensland
This road trip explores Queensland’s tropical north. We’re talking endless beaches, palm trees, the Great Barrier Reef, islands, rainforests and cascading waterfalls.
Experience it via the Great Green Way, a 457km coastal stretch between Cairns and Townsville. Long palm-fringed beaches open up around Mission Beach, with 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 (Margaret River) – 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. Local fauna on show includes kangaroos, possums, dolphins, seals and whales. For colourful fish, head to the underwater observatory at Busselton Jetty. Nature lovers, you’re in for a treat here. Enjoy it your way, from the comforts of your own campervan.
Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.