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Australian Road Trips and Scenic Drives

  • Synopsis: Published: 2008-12-31 (Revised/Updated 2013-02-12) - Scenic drives and road trips in Australia include tropical rainforests surfer beaches and colorful coral reefs to red rocky deserts - Mairead Foley.

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Australia is more of a continent than a country, so there's a real
variety of landscapes, and the best way to see it all is behind the wheel. You get anything from tropical rainforests, sun drenched surfer beaches and colorful coral reefs to red rocky deserts and exhilarating outback trails, much of it hidden away from the beaten track and left out by public transport.

The Great Ocean Road:

If you're touching down at Melbourne Airport then you should definitely check out the Ocean Road drive. Taking in the sights of the Victoria coast line in Australia's sunny south east, this incredible drive runs from Torquay to Warrnambool and is the most popular of the lot. Meandering through the lush rainforests of the Otway Ranges, the famous Twelve Apostles landmark and the beautiful cliffs, coves and surfer beaches along the coast, it really is an experience to behold... and you won't need a special car to do it.

Savannah Way:

This one's for the real adventurers amongst you, so if you're landing at Cairns Airport then you should definitely check it out! Running from North Queensland to Broome in Western Australia, it takes in dozens of breathtaking national parks and a number of world heritage sights, not to mention the world's largest lava tubes . You'll pass through ancient indigenous settlements, old gold mining villages and outback cattle ranches as you travel across the country.

Explorer's Highway:

This route is ideal if you're touching down at Adelaide Airport in the South or Darwin Airport in the North. Running between the two cities, the Explorer's highway slices right through the center of Oz, taking in colorful variety of landscapes. You'll cruise through the rolling green countryside of Adelaide, the vineyards of South Australia and the vast red sands of the Simpson Desert, before finishing at the tip of the Northern Territory, where the lush tropical forests of Darwin provide an impressive finale to your journey.

Pacific Coast:

If you're landing at Sydney Airport or Brisbane International then the Pacific Coast drive really is a must. Meandering along the East Coast between the two cities, it takes in the majestic coastline of the Pacific and the awesome ocean views. A popular route for surfers and sun worshiping tourists, it runs alongside countless beautiful bays, beaches and seaside towns. Another handy thing about this route is that it's a reasonable length, so you won't end up paying through the nose for petrol!

Bloomfield Track:

You'll need a four wheel drive for this one, but it's well worth it... running from the Cape Tribulation to Cooktown, it snakes through the tropical rainforests of Queensland, where the coastlines are majestic and the wildlife colorful and quirky. Fuel is pretty cheap in this part of Oz and the route is a reasonable size - so it's a handy little number if you're touching down at Cairns Airport.

Fraser Island:

This is another four wheel job, but it's a great drive, and a must if you're landing in at nearby Brisbane Airport. Head off road to the sandy deserts and tropical forestry of this unique island. Located just off the coast of Hervey Bay in Queensland, it's a once in a lifetime off road experience for the explorer behind the wheel. Again fuel is pretty cheap in Queensland so you can save a few bucks here!

Adelaide to Melbourne:

This route is perfect if you're touching down at either Adelaide Airport or Melbourne International. Starting in the rolling green hills of Adelaide, this route wanders through the beautiful Murray-lands, the Coonawara wine region, the Grampians and finally Melbourne. You'll pass through the spa region and the beautiful goldfields on your way through to Melbourne, and you can top off your journey by enjoying the cool atmosphere of the Victorian capital.

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