Here’s a little known fact about Australia: If you visited a new beach each day, it would take over 27 years to see the 10,000 beaches along the 16,000 miles of coastline.
Australia is one of the world’s last great wildernesses that is home to desert landscapes, tropical forests, mountains, canyons and caves. Because 85 percent of Australians live within 31 miles of the coast, there are vast expanses of wide-open spaces for visitors to explore. It’s the ideal setting to take an epic road trip like one of the following:
Sydney to Brisbane
Allow yourself several days to meander up the Legendary Pacific Coast, through the Northern Rivers Region, Byron Bay, the Solitary Islands Marine Park and Queensland. The 900km picturesque coastal drive offers natural splendors, wineries, sleepy villages and beach towns to cruise and explore. Australia.com offers a seven-day itinerary.
This family-friendly road trip offers everything from wildlife and dolphin watching to forest trail hiking and canoeing.
The Savannah Way
If you want to take the ultimate road trip lasting about two weeks and spanning 3,700 kilometers, drive from Cairns in Queensland on the east coast to Broome in Western Australia. This Northern Australia east-west expanse covers it all.
Highlights of the Savannah Way include Millaa Millaa Falls, Undara Lava Tubes, Boodjamulla National Park and Cobbold Gorge. Learn how the Australian Outback is incredibly diverse on this stellar route.
Gibb River Road
Venture out of Broome and through the center of the Kimberley, the barely inhabited wilderness in the northwest corner of the continent. Travel the arid landscape and delight in the magnificent sandstone bluffs, valley gorges and majestic waterfalls with swimming holes that occupy the terrain. A 4WD is recommended for this drive as the roads can become quite rocky.
Melbourne to Adelaide
Take the Great Ocean Road to experience the dynamic south-east coastline. This journey will take you to Torquay, Bells Beach, Twelve Apostles, Otway National Park, Cape Bridgewater and the Naracoorte Caves. The distance spans 1,000 kilometers and can take up to five days.
The drive begins on Victoria’s Surf Coast and travels through national parks, ancient rain forests, heathlands, wetlands, charming coastal fishing towns with seafaring history, and the McLaren Vale wine region.
Packing for the Drive
Prepare yourself for the rugged Australian Outback by packing thoughtful items for the drive. In some areas, you might be the only car you see on the road for hours so it’s essential you come packed and prepped for any situation.
To ensure a safe and successful adventure, stock up on drinking water and snacks. To combat the harsh Australian sun, bring extra skin and eye protection such as sunblock, a hat and sunglasses with an extra pair of high-quality lenses to help save money on an extra pair of frames. A satellite phone and a spare tire should also top your list.
Plan on traveling during the dry season (May to October), because you don’t want to get cut off by flooding during what locals refer to as “the wet.”
Because kangaroos outnumber people by 20 million and sheep outnumber us by 130 million on the island continent, it’s important to be especially vigilant when the sun goes down when animals on the road are harder to see.
While there are hundreds of Australian road trips to consider, one thing is for sure — there is more adventure waiting in Australia than you could possibly dream of.