Australia is a wide and varied landscape, encouraging many travellers to discover its hidden roads and tracks over several days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years. There is so much to see of this great land, and what better way to discover the country than by road? Taking the time to go on a driving tour allows you to really get a sense of the Australian landscape, and often, you can take your time to see all there is to see.
It’s important to be well equipped for whatever journey you choose. This includes taking an appropriate car and on board supplies. If you’re looking to travel in remote areas, petrol and water on board is a must. Planning your trip is very important. With proper planning and the right equipment, you’ll be sure to have a great road trip. Here are five of our favourite driving tours around Australia, each with a general itinerary that you can either follow to a tee or just use as a loose guide.
Round trip of Tasmania
Tasmania is a beautiful, wild state just off the mainland south of Victoria. A road trip around this lush, tranquil state is a perfect way to witness its natural sights.
● Start: Hobart
● End: Hobart
● Towns to visit along the way: Strahan, Cradle Mountain, Devonport, Launceston, St Helens, Bicheno, Swansea, Port Arthur
Activities: There is so much to do in Tasmania. You can think of your trip as a relaxing getaway or an adventurous escape. There are many wine tours in Hobart where you can taste some local wines served with fine cheeses. A magnificent golf course north of Launceston, Barnbougle Dunes, has spectacular views to take in while playing a few holes. Or maybe you’d prefer an adrenaline rush from whitewater rafting on the Mersey River, or a relaxing canoeing experience along the Dove River. However you choose to take this trip, there are plenty of beautiful sights and landscapes to take in on the way.
Northern Territory Nature Tour
The Northern Territory is a state full of rugged natural beauty and a rich culture. There is a great round trip driving tour that starts in Darwin, weaving through the wetlands and wonderful National Parks of the Northern Territory, before returning back to starting point. Depending on the season, there will be different activities and things to see. There is definitely plenty to experience on this outdoor adventure.
● Start: Darwin
● End: Darwin
● Areas to visit along the way: Kakadu National Park, Katherine/Nitmiluk National Park, Litchfield
Activities: There are numerous cruises that travel along the wetlands of the Kakadu National Park, allowing you to see wildlife like crocodiles, buffalo, and the wide range of birds that reside in this area. Take a helicopter ride and view the magnificent beauty of the National Parks from above. Do note that some roads will be closed during the wet season, and some areas are only accessible in a 4WD.
Sydney to Brisbane Family Trip
The coastal towns along the Pacific Highway from Sydney to Brisbane are full of great activities and sights for the whole family. There are many child-friendly places to visit, and with so many things to see and do, the kids will barely notice that they’re cooped up in a car.
● Start: Sydney
● End: Brisbane
● Towns to visit along the way: Blue Mountains, Port Stephens, Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay, Gold Coast
Activities: The Blue Mountains National Park is a great place to visit for both parents and kids. Port Stephens is home to parasailing adventures where you can view the fascinating seaside town from the air. There are plenty of family activities at Coffs Harbour, including the iconic Big Banana and the Pet Porpoise Pool where you can swim with dolphins. Of course, the Gold Coast is home to some of Australia’s most popular theme parks where the whole family can relax and have fun.
Indian Ocean Drive
If you want to experience Western Australia’s Coral Coast, then the Indian Ocean Drive is a must. With the route only opening in 2010, now is a great time to get there and take a look for yourself.
● Start: Perth
● End: Perth
● Towns to visit along the way: Cervantes, Dongara, Geraldton
Activities: One of Australia’s most unique landscapes is the Pinnacles Desert. With sealed roads weaving through this desert, it’s now a breeze for anyone to view and visit. Molah Hill Lookout on the way to Dongara provides graceful views of the area, with signage along the walkways providing information on local flora and fauna. Jurien Bay is the place to go for skydiving, where you can land right on the beach. Follow the adrenaline rush with a visit to Jurien Bay Marine Park. Mount Scott is also the home to the HMAS Sydney II Memorial, commemorating 645 lives that were lost during World War II.
Southern Queensland Escape
Queensland is home to dazzling beaches, great weather, and friendly people. Taking a road trip around some of Southern Queensland’s most popular destinations is a great way to discover some of the best towns and activities Queensland has to offer.
● Start: Brisbane
● End: Mount Tamborine
● Towns to visit along the way: Montville, Noosa, Surfers Paradise
Activities: The Glasshouse Mountains are a stunning place to visit and soak up the fresh mountain air. Noosa is home to some of the best restaurants in the country, and of course, stunning beaches. This area is a great place for food lovers to visit, with many cafes specialising in local produce. Markets will also sell fresh, local, organic products. Surfers Paradise is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Australia, and there is plenty to do there, especially if you’re bringing the kids. Visit Mount Tamborine to explore the wildlife, and end the trip at SkyPoint, Australia’s only beachside observation deck, to soak in the 360 degree view of the Gold Coast.