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5 Great Australian Road Trips

There’s no better way of getting to the heart of a country than by taking a road trip.
Exploring the small towns, getting to know the locals and having the freedom to to turn into any road should something catches your eye.

There are so many options throughout Australia but here are five of my favourite trips, including one I’m hoping to conquer later this year, as planned on the Shell LoVe Drives website.

Admire the view over Anglesea Beach on the Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road, Victoria

From Torquay to Warrnambool, 243 kilometres of the most beautiful coastline in Victoria:
built by soldiers returned to Australia after World War I, this drive winds along the coast and through the rainforest of Great Otway National Park.

It is famed for its limestone cliffs and landmarks like the Twelve Apostles; do stop at other highlights such as Torquay’s Bell’s Beach, Split Point Lighthouse in Airey’s Inlet and, for families, a trip to the Otway Fly Treetop walk is a must!

Snowy Mountain Drive, New South Wales

From the peaks of Mount Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest peak, through to Australia’s top ski fields at Thredbo and at the Charlotte Pass, down to Adaminaby’s popular trout fishing spots: there are plenty of do along the Snowy Mountain Drive.

The Alpine Way, beginning near Jindabyne, is the most stunning stretch of road as it weaves and dips through two valleys and along the Great Dividing Range crest, before continuing on through Thredbo and on to Khancoban, site of the Snowy Mountain’s second largest power station.

Stop at the Thredbo Valley Distillery, the only Schnapps distillery in Australia; try your hand at fly fishing, mountain biking or bobsledding, or head across the mountains by horse – this region has plenty for active adventurers.

Ayres Rock or Uluru at sunset in the Northern Territory, Australia

Alice Springs to Uluru (Ayers Rock), Northern Territory

In the heart of Australia, there is no drive more iconically Australian than this.

From Alice Springs, the geographic centre of Australia, to the scenic hikes of King’s Canyon and chance to get your thrills Quad Biking, and finally to Uluru/Ayers Rock that, along with Kata Tjuta/The Olga’s nearby, form two of the countries most recognisable sites, both of great importance to the traditional Anangu people of the area.

The 450 kilometres between Alice Springs and Uluru is prime location to spot some of the countries most famous animals, including kangaroos, emus and wild camels.

Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia

Just 45 minutes outside of South Australia’s capital of Adelaide, the Fleurieu Peninsula exhibits some of the state’s highlights – from wineries to surf opportunities; quaint country towns to great dining experiences.

Make sure you leave time to take the ferry from Cape Jervis to Kangaroo Island, famed for its wine, wool, meat and honey; enjoy at least one glass of Shiraz in the McLaren Vale Wine region, and try your chances with spotting Southern Right whales throughout the winter, the first arrivals beginning mid-May, and learning more about them at the SA Whale Centre in Victor Harbour.

Tasmnia-South-East-Road

North-East Touring Route, Tasmania

The ring road that makes up Tasmania’s North-East Touring Route needs to be relabelled to the “most stunning drive you’ll ever take with a full belly”-route!

From the “big country town” of Launceston, making stops in St Helen’s and nearby township of Binalong Bay – the start of beautiful Bay of Fires – and the East Tamar Trail, locally referred to as the Tuckerbox Trail, which comprises of the Tamar Valley Wine Route and a number of gourmet food producers.

Alternative highlights include the Bridestowe Lavender Estate – even out of flowering season the curving fields of lavender are beautiful and their homemade lavender ice cream is worth getting two scoops!; the tiny village of Ringarooma’s Ralph Falls, Tasmania’s highest single drop waterfall, and the little known historical Trail of the Tin Dragon that tells the story of the Chinese miners in the region.

Now it’s over to you:

Have you taken a road trip in Australia?
Is it something you’d like to do?

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This post has been published with support from Shell Australia.

 

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Marie-Eve - A Montrealer Abroad
    April 10, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    I can assure you that the Great Ocean Road is way high up in my bucket list! One of the most famous road trips in the world and not without reason, from what I gather.

    • Reply
      Nicole
      May 5, 2014 at 7:45 am

      The Great Ocean Road is such a special place but I won’t tell you that. I’ll drive you out there when you finally come visit me in Melbourne. 😉

  • Reply
    Sammi
    April 11, 2014 at 2:59 am

    Oh Australia 😀

    I want to do a few of those for sure one day, when I get to the other side of the world.

    • Reply
      Nicole
      May 5, 2014 at 7:49 am

      It’s a beautiful place, hey?

      Hope you manage to make it to the other side of the world soon. 😉

  • Reply
    Adam
    April 14, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    I haven’t completed all of these road trips but I did spend a month hitch hiking Tasmania and must agree that the Bay of Fires is stunning! The colours are mind blowing. Thanks for sharing this article.

    • Reply
      Nicole
      May 5, 2014 at 7:51 am

      Wow! What an experience. How was hitch hiking in Tasmania? Easy?

  • Reply
    Sara Gray
    May 6, 2014 at 11:08 am

    I have done the Great Ocean Road & Ayres Rock. Loved them both. I wrote a bit about my Nullarbor Plain adventure on my blog.

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  • Reply
    Toni Jefferson
    August 21, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    Another great Australia Road is the Gibb River Road. Now not as famous as the five you have talked about in your article however this one is not for the faint hearted. It is rugged terrain, this former cattle route spread through the heart of the Kimberly in Western Australia. My family and I did this when I was about 7 and still to this day I remember the absolute awe that I was in when we ventured down this gorgeous road.

  • Reply
    Jodie Brownlee
    June 11, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Hello Nicole, What a great blog. I have only just begun to read it but, having been bitten by the travel bug at 20 and never cured, I am gathering information. Thanks for sharing. I have done some of these road trips but not all, so there is still a lot of exploring to be done. 🙂

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