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Australia’s wide-open plains and long stretches of unwinding roads make it the perfect destination for an ultimate road trip. It’s no wonder that the great Australian road trip is a highlight of many visitors’ stay Down Under, especially if you have a few friends to bring along.
With the country’s mammoth size, however, it can be overwhelming to try to narrow down the best Australian road trips. To help you have the most epic journey of your life, here are my top picks for the best Aussie road trips.
Great Ocean Road Trip
Start: Torquay, VIC | Finish: Allansford, VIC | Length: 664km/413mi | Suggested Time: 1 day
One of the most famous Australian road trips sees you snake your way down the rugged coast in Victoria. Take in the stunning sea views as you drive, or stop to get a closer look at some of nature’s remarkable features such as the “Grotto” or the “12 Apostles”.
This beloved road trip also takes you past some of Australia’s best surf beaches, so if you’re looking to catch a wave – make sure to pack your surfboard!
Classic East Coast Road Trip
Start: Sydney, NSW | Finish: Cairns, QLD | Duration: 2,400km/1,491mi | Suggested Time: 1½ – 2 weeks
When you think of Australia, one of the first things that springs to mind is probably the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Bondi Beach… think a little harder, and the Great Barrier Reef probably also springs to mind. Luckily, it’s a gorgeous and sun-soaked drive between the two.
The classic East Coast road trip also features a stopover in cosmopolitan Brisbane, where the weather is warm and the lifestyle is laidback. If you’ve got even longer, you could even start from trendy Melbourne and take in the sights of this chic city.
West Coast Road Trip
Start: Kununurra, WA | Finish: Broome, WA | Duration: 1,043km/650mi | Suggested Time: 3 – 4 days | (a 4WD is recommended)
Australia’s wild west is an amazing sight to behold thanks to its incredible size and isolation. In fact, if Western Australia was a country, it would be in the Top 10 largest countries on earth.
There are several great options for road trips in WA, but one of the best and most exciting is through the staggeringly beautiful Kimberley region. Beginning in Kununurra and ending in Broome, this road trip will introduce you to Aboriginal culture and take you down one of Australia’s most famous roads: the Gibb River Road.
The Outback Road Trip
Start: Adelaide, SA | Finish: Darwin, NT | Duration: 3,030km/1,882 miles | Suggested Time: 3 weeks
One of the most epic road trips in Australia takes you right through the country’s red centre, where life is harsh and inhospitable, and you can drive for days without seeing anything except a couple of kangaroos. Despite the harshness of the environment, communities do thrive, such as the underground city of Coober Pedy, or around the stunningly beautiful Uluru (formerly Ayers’ Rock).
Beginning in foodie paradise Adelaide and ending in quirky Darwin, this epic Australian road trip will introduce you to some of Australia’s most beautiful and extreme landscapes.
How to Make Your Road Trip an EPIC Adventure
There are a few tips and tricks to make sure that you have the most epic adventure during your Australian road trip. Plus, carefully planning your Australian road trip – such as what vehicle to use and what supplies to bring – can be the start of your fun!
First, you may want to make a budget so you know what to expect. Big costs on the road are going to be food, accommodation and petrol – you can split all of these by going as a group. Costs for a road trip can vary hugely – accommodation starts from about $15 per night for a campsite, up to $100s per night for luxury lodgings!
Bringing along some friends is also a great idea for safety and enjoyment. It’s always fun to meet new people and road trips are best shared! There are some great websites such as
Don’t forget to take some basic safety precautions as Australia’s roads can be unforgiving. Never drive for more than 2 hours without switching drivers or taking a break. It’s also recommended to bring plenty of water in your vehicle, and keep people updated of your plans.
Finally – savour every moment! You’re creating memories that will last a lifetime – so don’t rush, just sit back and enjoy every second.