Best Australian Road Trips

7 Of the Best Australian Road Trips

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Road trips are a great way to get away, explore new parts of Australia and make great memories when travelling with friends or family.

Australia has some amazing sights and extraordinary experiences that are easily accessible by car.

Here are our thoughts on some of the best road trips in Australia.

1. The Great Ocean Road

Everybody knows it, but don’t let that put you off, it is the most famous for a reason…

The journey begins in Torquay, which is just an hour outside of Melbourne, and ends in Warrnambool.

Along the way there are scenic views of the coast as well as waterfalls and heaps of other great features that make Australia such a special place.

great ocean road roadtrip

Some notable highlights along the Great Ocean Road are:

  • The Twelve Apostles – limestone rocks that jut out of the ocean. These magnificent structures were formed over 20 million years ago, but they have completely eroded away from the cliffs that they were once attached to. Only eight of the apostles actually remain intact today, so make sure you see them before they are all gone!
  • The Loch Ard Gorge is a breathtaking cut in the limestone that is named after a ship that ran aground during its journey from England to Melbourne.
  • The Gibson Steps allow you to take in the Twelve Apostles from a sea level point of view. The waves crashing on the structures are an amazing sight to see.
  • The London Arch is a land bridge that collapsed in 1990. It used to be called London Bridge, but since the collapse of the portion that connected the arch to the mainland it has become an arch.
  • The Grotto is a sink hole under a cliff face that allows you to see the beautiful turquoise water through the rock structure.
  • Bells Beach is one of the best surfing beaches in Australia.
  • Point Campbell National Park offers beach walks, gorges, and stories of shipwrecks to anyone who takes the time to discover the park.
  • The Great Otway National Park is a breathtaking area with a spectacular view of Triplet Falls.

You can do the drive in a day, however, we would recommend you take your time and enjoy each site at your leisure.

2. The Nullarbor

The Nullarbor is a journey from Norseman in Western Australia to Ceduna in Southern Australia.

This journey takes you across Australia’s longest road; in fact, there is a stretch of road that is completely straight that holds the world record at 146.6 kilometers.

nullarbor roadtrip

Some interesting stops along the way include:

  • Nullarbor Links is a 18 hole golf course that has a different hole in every town between Kalgoorlie and Ceduna.
  • Head of Bight is a great place to do some whale watching, especially if you are making the trip between June and October.
  • Cocklebiddy Cave is one of a series of caves that can be found along this path. This specific cave holds the world’s longest underwater passage.

3. Gibb River Road, Western Australia

The Gibb River Road takes you through one of Australia’s Wilderness frontiers; the Kimberleys.

The rough terrain runs from Derby to Kununurra, and some areas of the trip may be difficult to traverse without a four-wheel drive, but that is part of what makes this journey one of the best road trips in Australia.

Some of the key stops along the way are:

  • Windjana Gorge National Park is one of the best places in Australia to spot fresh water crocodiles.
  • Zebedee Springs is an amazing thermal pool where you can relax and enjoy the abundant wildlife in the area.
  • Emma Gorge is a stunning place where butterflies fill the trees and a relaxing waterfall spills into a breathtaking turquoise pool. The hour long trek to get to the gorge is well worth the effort.

4. Cairns to Cape Tribulation

Cairns to Cape Trib is unique as it boasts two world heritage listed sites (The Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest).

cape tribulation roadtrip

Some of the more amazing stops along the trip are:

  • The Great Barrier Reef is an amazing stretch of reef that you will not want to miss. Access to the reef is easy from Cairns.
  • Mossman Gorge is an ancient area of the Daintree Rainforest that is home to the Mossman River and a charming swimming hole. The water in the river is said to be the second purest water found across the globe, but after a heavy rainfall it can also be a dangerous place to take a swim.
  • Cooya Beach is a great location to experience spear fishing and hunting for crabs in the mud.
  • Alexandria Lookout is a scenic location where you can see where the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest meet.
  • The Dubuji Boardwalk is a path that goes through the mangrove trees to Myall Beach.

5. Red Centre Way, Northern Territory

The Red Centre Way is a fascinating stretch of land that includes gorges, canyons, and plenty of other stunning landscapes.

Along the way there are numerous hiking trails in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Some of the spots along this Australian road trip that you do not want to miss are:

  • West Macdonnel Range National Park is a place with trails that will lead you to breathtaking views of the Serpentine Gorge. Make sure to check out one of the many tranquil swimming holes in the park.
  • Finke Gorge National Park is an area where you can explore the sandstone cliffs and the salt pans of the desert. The desert oasis of Palm Valley is the only place in the world you can find red cabbage palms growing.
  • Tnorala is a crater that was formed by a comet 140 million years ago.
  • King’s Canyon offers a grand view of the sandstone cliffs and the desert floor. To get the best view, try climbing to the rim of the canyon.

6. The Savannah Way, Queensland

This huge Aussie road trip gives you a journey that ranges from Broome in Western Australia to Cairns in Queensland. Some notable stops to consider along the way are:

  • Undara Volcanic National Park has lava tubes that are truly phenomenal. The lava tubes are the largest in the world, and tours allow you to examine them up close.
  • Lake Belmore is the largest body of fresh water that you can find in the Savannah, so make sure to take a dip.
  • Bluebush Swamp is a bird lover’s dream destination. There are so many different kinds of birds here that it will be hard for a bird watcher to leave.
  • The Caranbirini Conservation Reserve is the home to many endangered species. Amongst the sandstone cliffs you can spot Carpentarian grasswrens, Gouldian finches, and Borroloola gecko.
  • Boodjamulla National Park is a true treasure to visit. Rainforests, reefs, and breathtaking beaches are among some of the treasures found in this emerald green oasis.

7. The 75 Mile Highway, Fraser Island

If you are looking to go off-road and enjoy some 4wd action, then one of the best road trips in Australia would be traveling along the 75 Mile Highway. Don’t let the name fool you, this road is pure sand!

fraser island roadtrip

This is a long span of beach to explore, so be ready to take in the coastal sights.

Some of the most endearing stops along the way are:

  • Eli Creek is a fresh water source that filters through the sand for decades. The water found here is some of the purest in the world.
  • Lake Mackenzie is found in the center of Fraser Island. The crystal clear water found here is said to hold the power of youth.
  • The Maheno Shipwreck is a luxury liner that was being towed to Japan when a cyclone ripped her from the chain and repositioned her to Fraser Island in 1935.

Whether you are an Australian native or visiting for the first time, Australian road trips are a great way to explore several amazing sights within a few days’ time.

Next time you plan a holiday, consider taking a road trip around Australia.

Choose one of the Australian road trips listed here or create your own path, one that calls to your sense of adventure.