Dreaming of Australia’s open roads: 10 road trips to inspire your next adventure. Being at home does not mean that you cannot be inspired to plan your next adventure – start your dreaming journey from your own sofa. And Tourism Australia recognizes that nothing means freedom like the open road.
Whether you’re hugging the coast or heading inland, Australia offers road trips like nowhere else. Why not go down the Great Ocean Road and see koalas sleeping in the treetops, or head towards the Eyre Peninsula in search of perfectly pink lakes. Tourism Australia shares with us 10 road trips to inspire your next Down Under adventure.
Road trip from Sydney to Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (day trip)
Nestled halfway between Sydney and Melbourne, Canberra is a worthy addition to anyone’s road trip itinerary. Take the Federal Highway from Sydney to Canberra, a journey of approximately three hours, to discover urban breweries, cool-climate wines, world-renowned museums and outdoor adventure.
Airlie Beach to Cape Gloucester Road Trip, Queensland (day trip)
The Whitsundays region of Queensland is full of small towns and coastal oases. Head north from Airlie Beach to find Cape Gloucester, a beautiful place with tall palm trees, secret coves, and breathtaking views of the Coral Sea. With just under an hour’s drive, this route can be turned into a day trip, or continue to Townsville and Cairns for a getaway to the reefs and rainforest.
Road trip from Perth to Esperance, Western Australia (weekend getaway)
Eagle Bay, a secluded getaway on the southwestern shores of Western Australia, is just one of many stops along the breathtaking road trip from Perth to Esperance. The 7.5 hour journey offers everything from urban exploration to coastal cruising. Hope Beach Paradise, home to Lucky Bay’s sun kangaroos, is on your bucket list.
The Great Barrier Reef Drive, Queensland (weekend getaway)
Tropical adventures are no more scenic than the 300 kilometer (186 mile) Great Barrier Reef. After the Queensland coast, you will have the largest reef system in the world on one side and the Daintree rainforest on the other. Stop while diving in Port Douglas, learn about Aboriginal culture in the ancient rainforest of Daintree, and spot saltwater crocodiles at Cape Tribulation. The trip only takes a day or two, but you’re sure you want to stay a little longer.
The Great Eastern Drive, Tasmania (long weekend getaway)
There are no bad turns on the Australian island state of Tasmania; there is something breathtaking on every corner. Along the 176-kilometer coastline on Great Eastern Drive, make sure to also head off the main road to enjoy the incredible food, wine and nature of the area.
Car trip from Melbourne to Canberra (long weekend getaway)
Take the 7-hour domestic route from Melbourne to Canberra to find Woomargama National Park in New South Wales. This protected forest area is perfect for reconnecting with nature through camping, hiking and 4×4 hikes. You may have to venture off the beaten track to find it, but isn’t that what it is?
The Great Ocean Road, Victoria and South Australia (adventure week)
Need coastal happiness? There is no better place to find it than along the Great Ocean Road, a seaside road trip full of scenic views, wild animals roaming free and laid back Australian cities. Spend three (or more!) Days snaking from Melbourne to Adelaide or from Adelaide to Melbourne.
The Road to the Rock, Western Australia (9-day trip)
As the largest state in Australia, Western Australia has endless destinations to explore. Let yourself be surprised by the great outdoors of the 9-day Road to the Rock road trip. Stop at charming roadside restaurants, explore Aboriginal rock art and hike the open road venturing into the Australian Golden Outback.
Road trip from Adelaide to Perth, South Australia (10-day trip)
When it comes to perfect roads, it’s hard to compete with this one. Sometimes called Watermelon Avenue, this narrow trail divides the pink waters of Lake MacDonnell, on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, with the nearby blue-green aquatic landscape. You can make Lake MacDonnell your final destination from Adelaide, but for a more difficult backcountry adventure, cruise across the country along the Nullarbor. Spanning Adelaide to Perth, this road trip takes at least a few days, so plan an epic Australian adventure in advance.
The road trip of the Stuart Highway, Northern Territory (fifteen freedom)
There is something special about the red earth and the vast plains of Australia. Along the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory, it’s just you, the open road and the tranquil beauty of the Australian outback. For an epic journey, take the Adelaide to Darwin route, stopping at iconic destinations like Alice Springs, Uluru and Kakadu along the way.