Home to pristine beaches and natural environments, unique wildlife, and topped off by world-class cities, Australia has it all.
Nearly the same size as the continental United States, hitting the open road is the best way to discover all Australia has to offer.
If you’re thinking about an Australian road trip, check out our guide to some of our favourite routes.
Byron Bay to Sydney
We’ll start our list with perhaps the most popular Australian road trip. Australia is synonymous with sun, sand, and surf, and this route is packed full of all three.
The once-sleepy hippie town of Byron Bay has been a staple on the international backpacking scene for decades. The earthy, bohemian vibe still abounds in this lively hub of folk art, music, and local-and-organic everything.
As you cruise down the Pacific Highway, you encounter an endless array of pristine beaches and postcard-esque towns. Check out where to stay along the way.
Sydney needs no introduction, but there is more to see than the Opera House. Outside of the CBD, Sydney is surrounded by you guessed it – more beautiful beaches and hip communities like Bondi Beach and Manly surrounding them.
If your schedule permits, continue south to the Royal National Park and the Sea Cliff Bridge. You won’t regret it!
You can also extend this drive by starting further to the north. Check out Hastings Street and Noosa National Park on the Sunshine Coast before a dose of the city in Brisbane. Continuing south, you’ll arrive on the Gold Coast – one of the meccas of surfing.
Melbourne to Adelaide via The Great Ocean Road
This is one of the best Australian road trip routes for those looking for a diverse itinerary.
Located in the state of Victoria, Melbourne is arguably the most cosmopolitan and cultured city in Australia. A few hours down the coast, you’ll find a completely different world in the famous surf town of Torquay.
In Port Campbell National Park, you’ll experience the magic of the 12 Apostles. These huge limestone towers jut out through the ocean amongst a rugged backdrop. Be sure to have your camera ready!
You’ll also traverse some great wine regions on this Australian road trip. Cabernet sauvignon abounds in Coonawarra and the McLaren Vale area is home to over 160 vineyards.
Wrapping up in Adelaide, you’ll find a sophisticated and quaint little city that is home to museums, Australia’s second-oldest zoo, and a 50+ hectare botanic garden. Oh, and don’t miss the Adelaide Central Market with over 250 fresh produce stalls.
Cross the Nullarbor
A classic Australian road trip experience and rite of passage, crossing the Nullarbor will familiarize you with the true Australian outback.
The hot, dry climate combined with the vast expanse of emptiness is akin to California’s Death Valley. Home to the longest stretch of straight road in the world and traversing three time zones, surprisingly, there is a lot to see along the way.
There are indigenous caves to explore, whales migrating across the Great Australian Bight, and the simple pleasure of camping out and stargazing. Look for the Southern Cross and the Emu in the Sky.
An Australian Road Trip Is the Adventure of a Lifetime
We’ve just started to scratch the surface of the best Australian road trip routes. The Great Southern Land is a nature lover’s dream, but its cities are nothing to scoff at either. Whatever suits your fancy, an Australian road trip won’t disappoint.
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