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Great Aussie roads trips for everyone

Whether you're a seasoned road-tripper or new to the road, take advantage of some well-earned holiday time and great weather by exploring our sunburnt country.

Before you head off on vacation, check out the free online trip planners that are available. State tourism organisations offer a good range of itineraries, as do some car-hire companies such as Driveaway. And don’t forget your sunscreen, plenty of water, first-aid kit and maps so you can go off the beaten track.

Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Length: 244km, one way
Suggested time: It can be done in around five hours (one way, depending on seasonal traffic) but with so many recommended stops, a four-day round trip is ideal.

Consistently touted as one of Australia's finest road trips, this super-scenic drive will take you from surf capital Torquay past the iconic 12 Apostles (a group of limestone rock stacks rising up from the Southern Ocean), ending at the historic fishing village Port Fairy. You’ll drive along clifftops, past beaches, and through lush rainforests. For adventure-seekers, there’s zip-lining through treetops and a climb to the peak of a volcanic crater.
Plan your trip: Visit Melbourne

Sydney to Byron Bay, New South Wales

Length: 780km, one way
Suggested time: You could get from A to B in around 12 hours, but the scenic route is ideally suited to at least a week of travel – and you'll want at least one night in Byron.

Suiting backpackers to luxe-travel enthusiasts, this route encompasses everything from viewing nature at her finest (think humpback whale watching sites, ancient rainforests, and waterfalls in stunning national parks) to surfing at world-class beaches and checking out the vibrant local arts scene. You’ll also find an exhaustive line-up of food choices from fine dining, fish and chips on the shore, and traditional Aboriginal fare to wineries, surf clubs, farmers’ markets and chilled cafes.
Plan your trip: Pacific Coast

Gibb River Road, Kimberley region, Western Australia

Length: Approx. 700km, one way
Suggested time: Prepare to run into roadblocks along the way and drive cautiously. This trip suits five or six days, but you could easily spend two weeks or more exploring the area.

Winding through 700km of the central Kimberley Plateau, from Derby to Wyndham/Kununurra, this formerly expert-level drive has since been greatly improved with more sealed roads, allowing for safer passage. That said, the Derby Visitor Centre recommends use of 4WD vehicles – and no towing during the dry season from May to October. During the wet season, travel can be severely restricted by road closures and flooding. So why tackle it? You’ll see some of the most stunning gorges, canyons and creeks in the world, and the area is steeped in native Australian history – you can get up close and very personal with Indigenous culture along the way.
Plan your trip: Derby Tourism

Epicurean Way – South Australia’s wine region

Length: 400km, round trip
Suggested time: Good for a weekend – especially a long weekend.
Dubbed by the South Australian Tourism Commission as “Australia's great food and wine road trip”, this decadent self-drive will take you through four iconic wine regions with over 250 cellar doors including McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, the Barossa, and Clare Valley. Typical of wine regions, not only can you sample world-renowned wines at the source, you’ll be able to pair them with gourmet local produce. The vineyard scenery is none too shabby, either. Before hitting the road, remember to draw straws and designate a driver!
Plan your trip: South Australian Tourism Commission

Coral Coast, Western Australia

Length: Approx. 1100km, one way
Suggested time: Adaptable to the amount of time you have – you can do a weekend jaunt to Geraldton and back, or spend a month going up and down the coast with plenty of fishing and stopovers along the way.

Starting two hours north of Perth at Cervantes, this lengthy road trip follows the Indian Ocean coastline as far north as Exmouth. You can plan anything from a short trip between Cervantes and Geraldton to a few weeks casually exploring everything the area has to offer. The Coral Coast drive incorporates some iconic WA landmarks and experiences. You can visit the Pinnacles, get up close and personal with the dolphins at Monkey Mia, munch on a famous Carnarvon banana, spend your days drift snorkelling on Ningaloo Reef, or go fishing in Exmouth.
Plan your trip: Australia's Coral Coast

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