Australia — as I’m sure you’ve heard — is a rather large country with coastal and inland roads that stretch for hundreds, if not thousands, of kilometres. Naturally, the best — and sometimes cheapest — way to get around is in a car. Once you shop around for some car rental discounts, consider taking to these iconic Australian road trips on four wheels.
Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road in Victoria is a 243km stretch between Torquay and Allansford. Built between 1919 and 1932 in dedication of soldiers lost in WWI, it is the world’s largest war memorial, and a simply remarkable driving road to boot. The GOR winds around spectacularly blue oceans and lush rainforests, and past some iconic landmarks like the Twelve Apostles — huge limestone stacks in the sea. The road is also the site of an annual marathon, as well as 104km of walking trails.
Gibb River Road
My personal favourite: a former cattle trail that extends for almost 660km through the Kimberleys region in Western Australia, between Derby and the Kununurra and Wyndham junction. If you’ve ever been curious about what “the outback” is like, this will give you a great impression. You’ll pass through tiny Aboriginal communities full of history, culture, and traditional art, a mass of national parks and gorges, and stay in cattle stations converted to guesthouses (if you don’t decide to pitch a tent!). Driving the Gibb River Road is truly one of the best things you can do in Australia — just make sure you do it during the dry season, as there is often flooding during the wet.
Perth to Adelaide
This is definitely a road trip for lovers of natural wonders. A driving tour from Perth to Adelaide will take you through the Flinders Ranges and Eyre Peninsula, along the coastline of the Great Australian Bight and across the Nullarbor Plain — seriously huge and arid country — and into delightful towns like Albany, Denmark, Esperance, Margaret River — known for its amazing food and wine, and Busselton. See staggering coastline and beaches, caves, desert, and forests of timber and kauri — it’s Australia’s many terrains rolled into one stretch of road.
The Bruce Highway
This 1700km route — named for the former federal politician Henry Adam Bruce — through tropical Queensland is littered with things to do and places to see. Despite the fact it’s the biggest traffic carrier in the state and a dual carriageway, one is able to drive through rainforests and spy the Glasshouse Mountains in the distance — and then divert from the road and go and climb them. On the way, you’ll pass through the Sunshine Coast with its stunning beaches, fields of sugar cane around Bundaberg, quaint country towns like Childers and Mount Larcom, and the children’s delights of Australia Zoo — made famous by Steve Irwin — Ettamogah Pub and its adjoining theme park, and the Ginger Factory near Buderim.
What are you waiting for? Go find your wheels!