Everyone loves a good adventure. Maybe there’s a national treasure you’ve never seen but always wanted to, or you’ve got some vacation days piled up that you’re ready to use. Or maybe you have an automobile romance on your hands - your classic car is finally restored or you just saw a movie featuring a cool vehicle you’d love to rent for a road trip. Well, it’s time to seize the day! The Australian outback is waiting for you. Here are 4 incredible routes that will take you by some of the most interesting and important landmarks on the Australian continent.
Hit the Red Centre Way
If you’re looking to see some of the most beautiful sites in Australia, Red Centre Way may be the perfect road trip for you. This path through the Northern Territory is marked by brilliant clay gorges and cliffs in an amazing array of colors. Experience them up close by stopping for a hike along Uluru and Kata Tjuta or along the many gorges that offer panoramic views of the Australian outback.
The Red Centre Way is a great road trip to take your kids on, as well. Take them on the Kings Canyon rim walk and watch them encounter nature like they’ve never seen it before. And they’ll never be bored during the drive because every glance out the window will offer a new natural wonder. Challenge them to name all of the color variants they see or choose local wildlife to watch for. The view is all the entertainment you’ll need.
Take the Tasmania Ocean Route
Are you ready to hop a boat before you hit the road? Just a short ferry ride away from Melbourne, the Tasmania Ocean Route is a fantastic tour of both shore and inland Tasmania. Count on spending at least a week or two weeks touring Tasmania. While you could drive it in three days, the experience would be of rushing and bustling rather than enjoying the region. And it is certainly a wonder worth your time.
One of the real benefits of driving through Tasmania is that you can access areas of the island that are otherwise inaccessible. Public transit simply doesn’t run to some of the most beautiful and interesting parts of the island, and it also restricts the time and space you have to explore. By driving you can hit several island highlights in one day, covering the short distances between them, and spending most of your time sightseeing.
Ride the Big Lap
Nothing says real Australian adventure better than the Big Lap. The Big Lap is just what it sounds like: a trip around the full perimeter of the Australian continent. This trip is a big time investment and probably not great for young families - children tend to find it unnecessarily drawn out - but retired adults often choose the Big Lap as the first great trip of their retirement. This tends to be ideal because, unless you plan to take your kids' schooling on the road, you’re going to need a lot of time. The Big Lap can take three months on the short end or three years if you’re diving deep into the whole experience. At that point, maybe it’s time to just stay on the road and head on in to the interior!
The Urban Brisbane to Sydney Route
If gorges and clay mounds aren’t your thing and you’d rather focus on the big cities, the trip from Brisbane to Sydney might be the road trip for you. Starting and ending in two of Australia’s largest cities, this route will give you a chance to round out your travels with a visit to the Sydney Opera House or one of the other major attractions the urban center has to offer.
You won’t spend the entire trip on the highway with nothing but concrete jungle in sight. Instead, this trip along the Pacific coast also follows the humpback whale migration down to Antarctica. Time your trip right and you’ll see a number of these majestic creatures. And in between you can navigate inland to visit the Hunter Valley vineyards - the perfect mix of urban sophistication and natural charm.
Counting the Miles
Whether you’re taking the long route around the country or just spending a long weekend jaunt driving between Brisbane and Sydney, Australia offers amazing adventures for everyone. But make sure you know what you’re getting into - calculate the mileage and fuel costs and check weather conditions and seasonal activities to make sure everything will go smoothly. Sometimes a road trip is spur of the moment, but the best trip have at least a sketch to follow. If you travel at the wrong time, for example, you’ll miss the whale migrations! The little things that make for big memories take some planning to get right.
Now is the moment to enjoy Australia to the fullest. Hit the road, hike the trails, and visit the cities. If you really love it, look into the great Australian road trip bucket lists. Turn the outback into your backyard.