When the bitumen beckons, where should you go? When it comes to road trips, Aussies are spoilt for choice. This list is by no means exhaustive, but should provide a little inspiration.
NT: Central Arnhem Highway
The word adventure barely scratches the surface when describing the journey from Katherine to Nhulumbuy. Over more than 700km you’ll encounter dirt, bog, buffalo, horses, donkeys, snakes, waterways, and multi-coloured scenery. This route travels through sacred indigenous land, and you will need a permit from the Northern Land Council. It’s remote country, so remember your jerry cans.
WA: Gibb River Road
One of the country’s most iconic 4WD journeys stretches out over more than 600km between Derby and El Questro Wilderness Park. Stop in at Windjana Gorge, Mitchell Plateau, Bell Gorge and Home Valley Station. There’s a reasonable distance between service stations, but bring extra fuel supplies if you plan on detouring.
QLD: Cairns to Cape York
An absolute must-do, this journey of more than a thousand kilometres is packed with lush wetlands scenery, rugged outback landscapes, and plenty of colourful characters to meet along the way. Hit the road and you’ll see why Cape York is often referred to as Australia’s ‘last frontier’.
VIC: The Great Alpine Road
If you’re mountain mad, Victoria’s High Country has you covered for peaks and valleys. Start in Wangaratta and head up through Beechworth for a taste of bushranger history and on to Dinner Plain. Finish up in Metung in Gippsland, after stopping at Mount Hotham and Mount Kosciuszko Lookout.
SA: Explorers Way
A true pioneering route, this journey stretches 3000km from Adelaide to Darwin. If you don’t fancy taking the journey on in full and crossing the border, there’s still plenty to discover within South Australia. Get your intake of fruit during a stop in the Clare Valley wine region, then head into the Flinders Ranges and the outback.
NSW: Grand Pacific Drive
To feel that ocean breeze in your hair, head out on this classic trip that starts in the Royal National Park, less than an hour south of Sydney’s CBD. This scenic 140km coastal route will take you through Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama, and Shoalhaven. Heading back, go through the Southern Highlands or head to Victoria along the Sapphire Coast.
TAS: North West Trail
There’s no doubting the pristine nature of Tasmania, and this trips takes you through 200km of coastal scenery into its wilderness heartland. Travel from Narawnatapu National Park just east of Devonport to Burnie. Keep an eye out for wallabies, wombats, and pademelons. Don’t forget to stop in at the town of Penguin, and get a photo with its ‘big’ namesake.
More Outdoor Adventures
- With summer coming up, hit the road and discover these four weekend escapes.
- Covering 219km of primarily offroad tracks and roads, NT's Binns Track makes for an epic road trip.
- No road trip bucket list is complete without a journey to the Red Centre.
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