Great Ocean Road, Victoria
The Great Ocean Road in Victoria is one of those places you can’t believe actually exists. The turquoise water, soaring cliffs and towering trees look like something out of a dream. It’s a short journey, about 240km (150 miles) from Melbourne to Torquay, so you can visit several spots along the route and make it a long weekend getaway. If time allows for a more extended stay, there are plenty of places to stay nearby, as well as wineries to explore. For incredible views and adventure, try abseiling down one of the coastal cliffs near Port Campbell – it’s an experience you won’t forget!
Fraser Island, Queensland
Often referred to as The World’s Largest Sand Island, Fraser Island is breathtaking. Roughly 113 miles long and 14 miles wide, it’s a tropical paradise filled with rainforests, crystal-clear blue waters, stunning beaches, and even swampland. Like so many other road trips in Oz, Fraser Island can be done with a rental car or van. If you’re interested in exploring more than just isolated beaches while on your trip (which we highly recommend), spend some time taking off-road detours along Mount Finnigan Track and Inskip Point Track .
Cape York Peninsula, Queensland
Located in North Queensland, Cape York Peninsula offers some of Australia’s most spectacular, rugged, and untamed landscapes. Home to all manner of wildlife, including cassowaries (large flightless birds), crocodiles, and dingoes, visitors can see nature in its rawest form on a four-wheel-drive adventure or by exploring coastal towns such as Coen. Head there for off-roading thrills at Euraba Creek and the Dump Paddock beach stop—the final resting place for one of James Cook’s ships. At Cairns, you can island-hop with a week-long cruise on the Great Barrier Reef or go white water rafting down one of its famous rivers like the Murray River in Kings Canyon.
Eyre Highway, South Australia/Western Australia
The Eyre Highway, once called Australia’s loneliest road, links Western Australia to South Australia and runs through some of the most remote areas in Australia. Throughout your drive, you’ll see spectacular views of natural landmarks such as Gibson Desert, Nullarbor Plain, and The Great Australian Bight. You’ll also pass various towns including Yalata (population: 45) and Madura (population: 20). It is definitely a road trip well worth taking!
Gibb River Road, Western Australia
More daring, up-for-adventure-seeking road trippers require a 4×4 vehicle to negotiate the rough, dusty trackways. If you happen to be trekking in Western Australia’s Kimberley region, you will see sacred Aboriginal sites, remote cattle stations, and multi-tiered waterfalls. Spending two weeks in Broome checking out Cable Beach is an option, but if you only have time for a shorter getaway, choose your course accordingly. Start at Broome’s Cable Beach for a sunset camel tour, then stay at the The Courthouse Bed & Breakfast in Derby.
Red Centre Way, Northern Territory
This will start by taking you through the middle of Australia, a place that is filled with desolate and gargantuan, savage, and red burnt-umber deserts. As you travel, you’ll go through fiery red-orange gorges and canyons, and you’ll stop and swim in creeks surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Don’t be surprised to see kangaroos hopping in between sand dunes, marvel at the natural formations such as Kings Canyon, Kata Tjuta, and Uluru. One of the best locations for a sunset in the world, Uluru is also one of the best locations for experiencing indigenous Australian culture. For the budget-conscious, book one night at Alice’s Secret Travellers Inn in Alice Springs. If you want to make your night extra exciting, try a hot air balloon tour before sunrise.
East Coast (Brisbane to Cairns), Queensland
A trip on the East Coast is one of the most popular in Australia. It is one of the longest, extending all the way to Brisbane, yet it never outstays its welcome, thanks to great spots such as the Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island (the world’s largest sand island with pristine white beaches and inland rainforest) and the jaw-dropping Whitsunday Islands. There’s a wide range of price for accommodation depending on where your journey ends. But if you’re looking for a splurge experience to help you unwind, consider staying at Crystalbrook Riley, one of the best rated hotels in the area.
Great Eastern Drive, Tasmania
The Great Eastern Drive starts in the Tasmanian capital of Hobart and winds up in the Bay of Fires, where white sands are backed by burnt orange lichen-covered boulders and lapped by the crystalline sea. As you follow wild, untouched coastline through national parks, over mountains and past the historic ruins of the Port Arthur convict settlement, you’ll encounter awe-inspiring vistas of jagged sea stacks and lost worlds on the beach. You won’t believe your eyes as you journey through this charming country. Opt for a stay at MACq 01 Hotel and take one of the many tours available before setting off on your voyage. The hotel features mural paintings in its guest rooms that tell the stories of heroes, villains, explorers, inventors, and convicts that once roamed these lands.