Planning a Summer Road Trip?
Here are our top 6 road trips and why you should add them to your list. Australia is home to the world’s best roads and scenic drives. From twisting coastlines to sweeping desert plains. The unique and beautiful Australian landscape will only enhance your driving experience. Whether you are the off-road camper type or the top down relaxed type our top 6 road trip list has you covered.
1. Great Ocean Road, VIC
A 243 kilometre winding road that hugs the rocky coastline southwest of Melbourne. From Torquay to Warrnambool this road trip is considered a right of passage when it comes to road trips and for good reason. Here’s why;
The road itself is fun to drive and has everything you are looking for in a road trip. Picture perfect sights, great road, doable in a day but easy to stretch to 3 days. From the world famous swells at Bells Beach, great food offerings, waterfalls & rainforests plus the 12 Apostles! These are just the highlights. However if you have time take in London Arch (formerly Bridge). It collapsed in 2009 leaving 2 people standard but safe. Loch Ard Gorge the site of a 19th-century shipwreck and the Gibson Steps. The harbour town of Port Campbell and the surrounding National park. Finishing at Warrnambool home to the areas shipwreck museum and a surfing mecca.
We recommend starting at Torquay so you are on the ocean side. There are plenty of spots to pull over and take in the view. It is busy during school holidays which makes the drive slower but means you see more of the spectacular scenery. We drove the Great Ocean Road in two super cars read about it here.
2. Nullarbor Crossing SA – WA
From windy road to straight road in our top 6 road trips. This is the longest stretch of straight road in the world. An incredible 1675 kilometres. From the cliffs along the Great Australian Bight to the endless red sand along the desert highway.
The Eyre Highway crosses three time zones. Be surprised at the ease at which you will make the journey. There has always been a mythological quality about this road from Port Augusta in SA to Norseman in WA that somehow placed it out of reach, given the remoteness. But this is not the case. Allow a minimum of 4 days to take this road trip and the summer holidays are a surprisingly popular time.
When we say it is an easy journey it is not one we recommend without being prepared. The Nullarbor is sealed but it is remote. Ensure you have done your math on fuel, food and water before you cross. Accomodation is roadside motels or camping. You will see an abundance of wildlife, very few trees, some space rubbish, indigenous-art-covered caves and a long straight road you will share with some interesting characters.
Loraine one of our staff has recently driven this road and she was overflowing with excitement on her return.“Find any reason you can to do the drive across Australia. The best road trip I have ever done, so much more fascinating than I could ever imagine.” This is a great read in Australian Traveller.
3. Great Beach Drive, QLD
Staying with the sand theme in our top 6 road trips. We head to Queensland and drive vast stretches of white sandy beach along the eastern coast. The drive is 380 kilometres and takes you from Noosa on the Sunshine Coast to Fraser Island.
This one needs a 4 x 4 vehicle and a knowledge of beach driving. We recently tested the 4 x 4 driving facilities at Mt Cotton in Brisbane which we would recommend otherwise each State has similar training facilities to get up to speed.
This drive covers two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and a World Heritage Marine Park and requires you to prepare. You need a permit from the Queensland Department of Environment and Science and know the tide times. Many an inexperienced beach driver has found themselves caught with an incoming tide and having to drive in the soft sand or worse getting stranded in the surf.
After a short trip across on a small vehicular ferry from Tewantin head to the beach access for Teewah Beach. Just before Double Island Point cross over via Leisha Track to the aptly named Rainbow Beach. These colourful sand cliffs are spectacular. It is critical to reach Mudlo Rocks on the low tide. This is where you exit the beach before re-entering the Great Beach Drive at Inskip Point.
Once on the eastern side of Frazer Island you can begin the famous 75 Mile Beach drive. The drive should take you around three hours.
4. Great Alpine Road, VIC
From sand to snow although during the summer it is more rainforest. Drive Australia’s highest sealed road. Starting in Wangaratta wind your way way along 303 kilometres of mountain roads in the Victorian High Country to Metung in the Gippsland Lakes Area. You will drive through mountain ranges, lush valleys, wine regions, picturesque historic towns and sparkling waterways.
This is not a road to be driven carelessly after all it is a mountain road that accesses some of Victoria’s best skiing at Mt Hotham during the winter months. However this road is very rewarding for a seasoned driver with a mix of sharp and blind corners, twisting hair pin turns and steep grades. It makes for some adrenalin producing moments. However it is not all adrenaline, the scenery is breathtaking, the food and wine experiences are not to be missed as are the historic towns of Wangaratta, Bright, Omeo and Metung. Visit Victoria provides a great travel planner if you are looking for more than a driving adventure.
5. Great Eastern Drive, TAS
Jumping across the Tasman to experience the Great Eastern Drive in our top 6 road trips. When it comes to driving and driving in Tasmania it is hard not to associate the state with driving and the historic Targa Tasmania race. The worlds largest, longest and hardest tarmac rally event according to the official website however the Great Eastern Drive is better at a slower pace. This drive has its very own website that promises “a true journey of discovery that will lead you to the best-loved places and experiences of Tasmania’s east coast region”
Driving along the dramatic Bay of Fires coastline is unforgetable. Start in the north from St Helen’s and journey south to Orford a distance of only 176 kilometres. This is a drive for relaxation and being in the moment and expect to eat lots of fresh seafood and other local produce along the way. Taste any number of brilliant cool climate wines or Tasmanian whisky depending on your preference. This is a drive made for a Kombi if ever there was one. Read the story of blogger Elise Cook and her kombi drive experience.
6. Grand Pacific Drive, NSW – QLD
Finally we finish our top 6 road trips in Brisbane via the Grand Pacific Drive. A Perfect summer break, this 900-kilometer coast-hugging route is classic coastal Australia. Start from Sydney’s Royal National Park through the Central Coast, Port Stephens, Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, Yamba, Byron Bay, Gold Coast and finish in Brisbane.
This drive delivers a mix of big city, charming seaside towns , lush hinterlands and national parks. The Grand pacific drive deserves an allocation of five days to experience fully. Overall the road is in excellent condition and is easy driving. Take some detours along the way like the Hunter Valley region for excellent wine and boutique restaurants and great local produce.
A range of accommodation is available and plentiful. From beachside camp grounds to luxury Airbnb properties but like anywhere that is popular it is wise to plan ahead and book.
Planning a road trip requires some research and planning, so you do need to put in some time and with summer on its way, now is a good time to start. Do you need to upgrade your car to a four wheel drive for the great beach drive from our top 6 road trips? Or is it a convertible for the Great Eastern Drive? Start planning now. Having the right car and being prepared for your summer road trip will mean less stress and more fun.
If you are not sure about the type of car that would suit your dream road trip this is where we can guide and advise.
Contact via Enquire Now below and we would love to help you get the right car at the right price.