Who doesn’t love a good road trip, especially those scenic drives on long stretches of winding roads? We definitely do! For Neil and me, this is one of our favourite ways to explore a new destination. We truly believe that nothing else brings out the destination’s personality and character more than a good road trip. So naturally, we are always looking out for opportunities to hit the road. An Australia road trip itinerary has always been constant on our ever-changing travel bucket list and in 2019, we are all set to fulfil this dream!
A stunning and vast country to explore, a trip to Australia definitely needs some advance planning. Since our primary intention is to self-drive in Australia with a campervan in tow, we thought of putting together some of our most favourite drives the country offers. Given its size, there are innumerable possible routes one could opt for, and we have to admit we had a hard time shortlisting only a few for ourselves. But we have finally managed to narrow it down to these 4 road trips in Australia. So this article is all about our wishful bucket list of the best campervan routes in Australia we are looking forward to exploring in the coming year!
Best Road Trips in Australia
The Great Ocean Road Drive
If there’s one stretch of road that Australia is known for the world over, it is undoubtedly the Great Ocean Road. Touted to be one of the most scenic drives in the world, the Great Ocean Road lies along the southeast coast of Australia. Covering a distance of about 243 Km, this road is best experienced with a self-drive car, preferably over a few days so as to truly cherish the drive. The drive technically starts from Torquay, just outside of Melbourne and ends at Nelson.
The beauty of the Great Ocean Road drive lies in not just the landscapes you get to see, but the pit stops you make on your way. The first thing that pops up in our mind at the mention of this road is the iconic Twelve Apostles. These limestone rock structures jutting out of the blue ocean is a sight to see and remember! But there’s a lot more to explore on this route beyond that. Apollo Bay is a popular stop on this drive, where you could also stay over for the night. Grab a beer, sit by the beach and revel in the gorgeous views lying in front of you.
Cairns to Brisbane Drive
Starting at Cairns in Northeast Australia, this coastal drive gives a beautiful glimpse of the country’s varied landscape. Residents of Queensland will unanimously agree that this is one of the best drives in this part of the country. And once you embark on this journey, you’ll soon see why! Covering a whopping distance of more than 1600 Km, this drive is not for the times when you want a quick getaway.
Start your drive from Cairns, which is your gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, before driving southwards towards Whitsunday Islands, Fraser Island and Noosa. While Whitsunday is known to have one of the best beaches in Australia (Whitehaven Beach), the Great Barrier Reef opens you up to a world, unlike anything you may have seen before. Most experienced road trippers from this part of the world suggest that you keep about 10-14 days for this drive. Expect to come across numerous pristine beaches while driving along the beautiful Australian coastline. Every day is a new adventure on this drive as you discover hidden beaches, waterfalls and lush rainforests. While you are on this route, considering taking this scenic flight to explore Whitsunday and get a bird’s eye view of the stunning landscape!
Brisbane to Sydney Drive
Popularly known as the Pacific Coast drive, this iconic route takes you between two of the biggest cities in Australia. Over 900 Km long, the drive from Brisbane in Queensland to Sydney in New South Wales takes you through changing landscapes ranging from beaches to lush hills, accompanied by quaint little towns peppered across the length of the drive.
One of the biggest highlights of this route is the Gold Coast, located a little more than an hour from Brisbane city. Known for its long stretches of golden sandy beach and some of the best spots to indulge in water sports, a trip to Australia is incomplete if you haven’t visited the Gold Coast. This drive is also popular for catching a glimpse of the beautiful Humpback Whales, as they migrate to and from Antarctica. If you’re craving for a bit of pampering, you could also head to the luxurious wineries at Hunter Valley and sample some of the best local wines.
Adelaide to Darwin Cross-country Drive
We’ve kept this one for the end because this is one drive that’s not meant for the faint-hearted. Cutting through the width of the country, starting at the south, all the way up to the north, the drive from Adelaide to Darwin covers a distance of 3000 Km. If this piques your curiosity and brings out the adventurer in you, make sure to keep at least 10 days in hand if you want to really explore a different side of Australia.
As you start driving up north from Adelaide, the dramatic change in the landscape becomes obvious. The ocean and delicate sandy beaches give way to the rugged Australian outback. Given the massive distance this drive covers, there is absolutely no dearth of things to see. One of the wackiest experiences on this route is visiting a place called Devil’s Marbles, which is literally a collection of naturally-formed round boulders in the middle of nowhere! Another fascinating experience on this drive is visiting Uluru, located bang in the centre of the Australian landmass. Characterised by unique rock formations in barren lands, Uluru will show you a glimpse of Australia very few
Apart from the new experiences we’re expecting Australia to floor us with, we are really looking forward to our first road trip on a campervan. We’re arming ourselves with all the information and resources we can before we take the plunge because we know it’s going to be so different from our usual road trips. Here is an exhaustive road trip packing list that we are using as a point of reference. But the conveniences of travelling on a campervan surely surpass the challenges we may face. If a campervan road trip in Australia is on your mind too, check out this website for a great selection of used campervans and start planning with us! If you want to read about more road trips in Australia, here is an interesting one from Perth to Jurien Bay.