With travel restrictions continuing into 2021, it is clear that international travel may not be an option for some time still! Thankfully, living in Australia, we have lots of freedom to explore our country – and what better way to explore than by taking an Australian road trip?
Here I’ve shared my top Aussie road trips that I have taken along with the best Australian road trips that fellow bloggers have taken. Even though we may be limited to exploring Australia for now, you’ll quickly see how much there is to do on our island country!
Best Road Trips in Australia by State:
As I want to build this post with the best road trips to take in Australia, I am continually looking for more contributions! If you have taken an incredible road trip here, send me an email or dm via Instagram to be a contributor on this post. In return, you’ll receive a link to your blog!
Best Road Trips in Western Australia
Starting in the state that I call home, Western Australia has some incredible road trips to add to your travel bucket list! Being the largest state in Australia, taking a road trip is the best option to see as much as possible and really get a feel for what WA has to offer.
Australia’s South West Road Trip
Written by: Megan (The Common Adventure)
Length: 1-2 weeks
If you love beautiful coastlines, nature experiences and incredible food and wine then a road trip through Australia’s South West needs to be on your bucket list. This Western Australian road trip is filled with raw natural beauty like nowhere else in the world!
It’s also got some very Instagram-worth photo spots!
It is best to fly in to Perth and before heading down south towards the region. There is a lot of driving to be done on this road trip, but also so many sights to see! I recommend at least two weeks to see all the best spots, however you could manage this trip within a week.
You can either travel around by car or camper van, depending on the style of road trip you want to take. For travellers on a budget, I suggest staying at campgrounds along the way.
Where to Go
Collie is the most surprising destination in Australia’s South West. While it is just a small mining town in regional Western Australia, it is surrounded by so many incredible nature experiences.
Camping in the Wellington National Park and waking up to the sounds of the flowing Collie River is definitely a highlight! Moreover, you definitely can’t miss a visit to the turquoise Black Diamond Lake.
Margaret River is the most popular place in the region. When you visit this area you will quickly know why! With an incredible food and wine scene, boutique shopping, surfing and nature attractions this area has it all.
From Margaret River you can easily make it to places such as Busselton, Dunsborough, Yallingup, Hamelin Bay and Augusta!
Some must see spots from Margaret River include:
- Busselton Jetty
- Injidup Natural Spa
- Stingrays at Hamelin Bay
- Boranup Forest
My favourite place in all of Australia’s South West is Denmark. When you come to this area make sure you go to Boston Brewery and William Bay National Park.
Albany is the place to be if you love hiking and dramatic coastlines!
Make sure you explore the Torndirrup National Park where you can see iconic spots like The Gap, Natural Bridge, Albany Windfarm and The Blowholes. One of the best beaches in all of Australia is in Albany, so be sure to visit Two Peoples Bay. For people interested in hiking, Bald Head and Bluff Knoll are the two most recommended.
For a complete itinerary, check out my in depth guide to taking a road trip through Australia’s South West.
Australia’s Coral Coast Road Trip
Written by: Megan (The Common Adventure)
Length: 2 Weeks
Exploring Australia’s North West region is one of the top road trips in Western Australia. Covering 1,100km of coastline you’ll need a lot of time to visit all the top places along the way.
The best way to road trip Australia’s Coral Coast is to camp along the way. While you don’t need a 4WD to get to all the main spots, it will be necessary if you want to visit any of-the-path beaches along the way.
There are long stretches (without reception) to drive when travelling up north, so make sure you are prepared with fuel, food, directions and road safety.
Where to Go
Australia’s Coral Coast begins in Cervantes, just 2 hours north of Perth. Here you can stop at the incredible Lancelin Sand Dunes and visit the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park.
As you head towards Geraldton you may want to see the Wild Flowers at the Coalseam Conservation Park. However, they are only in bloom between July – October. Geraldton is a great place for history or you could head out to the Abrolhos Islands for some fishing!
From here, head towards Kalbarri, stopping at Hutt Lagoon (the pink lake) along the way. Kalbarri is a great place for beach days, fishing in the River Inlet and exploring the Kalbarri National Park. It is here that you will see the famous Natures Window!
Next up is Shark Bay & Monkey Mia, located on the most western point of the Australian continent. At Monkey Mia you can feed wild dolphins, an experience you won’t want to miss! Don’t forget to stop over at Shell Beach and Hamelin Pool while you’re in the area.
Coral Bay is a further 5.5 hours north, and one of our favourite spots along the Coral Coast. With so many things to do here, you could easily spend your 2 weeks in just this one spot!
The final stop on this road trip is Exmouth. With the Cape Range National Park, plenty of snorkelling, fishing and marine life experiences you’ll love all the adventure activities to enjoy here!
Best Road Trips in Tasmania
Written by: Sharon (Tasmania Explorer)
If there is one part of Australia that is most perfect for family road trips, it has to be Tasmania. Australia’s smallest state packs a big punch and has the added benefit of being the smallest – this means distances between places aren’t long and there is a lot of variety in a small space which is absolutely perfect when road tripping with kids and wanting to avoid constant whinging of “when are we going to get there”.
Tassie Circuit Road Trip
Length: 2 weeks
For the ultimate Tassie road trip, you’ll want to do the circuit. I’ll describe this as starting from Hobart but you can just as easily start at one of the other airports or at the Spirit of Tasmania terminal in Devonport.
After arriving in Hobart, spend some time enjoying the capital’s attractions including learning about Tasmania’s convict past in Richmond and seeing the new at MONA – the museum of old and new art. When you are ready to leave Hobart, I recommend taking the first leg of your journey to Tasmania’s west coast wilderness where you can spend a couple of days in gorgeous Strahan exploring the Gordon River and kids will love the train ride through the wilderness.
Next up, head to Cradle Mountain and explore this World Heritage listed area including a walk around Dove Lake. There’s also a special fairy walk just for kids.
Next up is the north west coast with a visit to historic (and charming) Stanley for a chair lift ride up The Nut and a swim at one of Australia’s best beaches at Boat Harbour. When you’re ready to move on, the wineries in the Tamar Valley await with a visit to Platypus House and Seahorse World to keep the kids happy.
The final part of the circuit is the stunning east coast with well known beach areas at Bay of Fires and Wineglass Bay. Wineglass Bay is a steep one hour walk, but our 4 year old did it so don’t be afraid. If you have time, take a day trip to Maria Island. The wildlife here is amazing! Our kids loved making friends with wombats.
Finally, get up close with Tasmania’s convict heritage at Port Arthur before making your way back to Hobart.
While you could do this trip in a super rushed week, I recommend at least two weeks to make the most of your time in this beautiful part of Australia.
Best Road Trips in Victoria
While Victoria is a small state, it is filled with impressive natural beauty inland and along the coastline. Some of the highlights include the Great Ocean Road, the Grampians National Park and the historic town of Ballarat. No matter what you choose to do here, you’ll certainly be taking an unforgettable road trip!
The Great Ocean Road
Written by: Emma (Our Wayfaring Life)
Length: 2-5 days
The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s premium and iconic road trips. Its coastal location, relative shortness in length (compared to other Australian road trips) and attractions that adults and kids will love makes it a perfect choice for families.
The Great Ocean Road, 175 kilometres from Melbourne and 245 kilometres long, is a popular holiday destination over the summer months. If travelling in the summer school holidays it is strongly advised that accommodation or caravan parks are booked well in advance. 2 – 5 days is a good amount of time for this road trip.
It is also best driven east to west as this puts you on the side of the road closest to the coast with uninterrupted views.
Where to Stay
You will be spoilt for choice for places to stay in any of the towns along the Great Ocean Road with most providing the options of campgrounds, caravan parks, motels and house stays.
Top 10 Attractions
There are also countless places to stop at along the Great Ocean Road.
- Bells Beach, Bells Beach
Start by visiting one of the world’s most famous surf beaches and breaks.
- Split Point Lighthouse, Aireys Inlet
A lighthouse still in operation with tours to the top (moderate fitness required) with 360-degree views.
- Artillery Rocks, Lorne
Visit here to see dramatic rock formations and it is a very popular fishing spot.
- Koalas in the wild, Kennett River
Kennett River is a small town and it has the best viewing for seeing koalas in the wild along the GOR. Follow the dirt road beside the café.
- Cape Otway National Park and Otway Forest Park
Forrest walks, a lake, glow worms, rock pools, waterfalls, stunning coastline and a historic lighthouse are just a few of the things to see in the parks.
- The Redwoods, Beech Forest
An 85-year-old planation of California Redwood trees is now a picnic area also with a 3km walk through the giants.
- Otway Treetop Adventures, Weeaproinah
Tree top walk and ziplines, this is the place for getting your adrenaline pumping and have a whole lot of fun.
- Port Campbell National Park
If there is one reason to visit the GOR it is to see the amazing coastal rock formations and coastline of the Port Campbell National Park. Here the musts are the:
- 12 Apostles
- Gibson Steps
- Loch Ard Gorge
- London Bridge
- Port Campbell Coastal Reserve, Port Campbell
The beach here, the creek running into it, the surrounding parklands and cafes nearby make this a spectacular spot to swim, have a picnic and chill.
- Timboon Ice Creamery
Time for a delicious treat? Timboon is a delightful small town and it has the best ice cream. There are even classes on making the best sundaes.
Best Road Trips in Queensland
As Australia’s second largest state, there is so much to discover in Queensland. As with most of Australia, it is easiest to explore Queensland by car as you make it to some of Australia’s top bucket list destinations!
Cairns to Daintree National Park Road Trip
Written by: Lotte (https://gezondweekmenu.nl/)
Length: 4-5 days
Distance 120km (one-way)
For this trip I highly recommend to rent a campervan, you will have your accommodation with you and this will enable you to stay at one of the many beautiful campsites located along this beautiful stretch of Australia.
Important: during peak season it would be smart to make reservations so you won’t have to drive around looking for a spot after a long and beautiful day of sightseeing.
Another benefit of renting a campervan is that you can do grocery shopping for the entire trip and prepare your own meals. This isn’t just cheaper but often more convenient when traveling with younger children.
Where to Go
There are so many highlights on this Cairns -Daintree National Park road trip, you’ll have a hard time fitting them all in! Start your day by walking along Cairns Esplanade. If you are lucky you will spot some pelicans and lots of other birds. Your kids will also love to take a dip in the public pool located along the Esplanade.
Next up is Port Douglas, which is a lovely beach town and a great stop for a couple of hours. Be sure to visit Flagstaff Hill Viewpoint and St. Mary’s by the Sea. There are several nice campgrounds near Port Douglas to spend the night.
The next morning it’s time to hit the road again and drive north to Daintree National Park. If you have time, allow for a quick visit to Mossman Gorge where you can go swimming (do pay close attention to the warning signs, swimming isn’t always allowed due to strong currents).
Hop on the Daintree river ferry and immerse yourself in the green jungle of amazing Daintree NP. Follow the narrow road and be sure to stop at Mount Alexandra Lookout.
Nice stops with kids are Cape Tribulation Beach and the short and easy Kulki Boardwalk. Keep your eyes peeled while driving (and walking) around Daintree, if you are very lucky, you may spot a cassowary…
Australia is a huge country. So, whether you are local or here for a visit exploring on a road trip is the best way to see as much as possible! Simply choose a road trip that excites you most (and fits into your timeframe) and start travelling!