Explore Australia off the Beaten Track: Scenic Roads and Road Trips

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The contrasting landscape of crystal clear turquoise waters, stretches of white and golden sands nestled between dramatic cliffs, majestic towering mountains and wavy green hills all describe a single country. Australia is rich in natural wonders, scenic coastal roads, breathtaking views and awe-inspiring horizons and the best way to explore its beauties is by going on an inspiring road trip.

Road trips are a cost-effective and thrilling way to experience everything Australia has to offer, especially if you’re travelling in a group. You can make unpredictable stops and turns, visit beautiful beaches where you can gather around campfire and gaze at the starry sky. Take a look at some of the Australia’s most scenic road trips and start discovering the stunning beauty of the land under in our guide on Australia: off the beaten track.

⇒ Planning a trip to Australia? Check out our Australia travel guide.

The Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Despite being the shortest, the Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most stunning road trips that will take you through picturesque landscape of lush rainforests and sun-drenched beaches. This 243-kilometre-long road stretches from Torquay to Allansford, passing through some of the country’s most popular landmarks.

If you’re travelling as a couple or in a small group, renting a car will ensure that you explore this region at your own pace, discovering the breathtaking and dramatic limestone formations of Twelve Apostles, the Otway Rainforest, Apollo Bay, enchanting secluded beaches and region’s diverse wildlife along your way.

Twelve Apostles, Princetown
Twelve Apostles, Princetown (Photo by Dhruva Reddy)

The Great Tropical Drive, Queensland

The Great Tropical Drive represents a perfect combination of road trip adventure and aquatic exploration. Stretching from Cairns to Townsville, this tropical region of Queensland is rich in natural attractions, among which are the world-famous Great Barrier Reef and the iconic Daintree Rainforest.

Following this tropical road, you will have an opportunity to dive in and discover extraordinary submarine species, stretching white sands of Cape Tribulation, the tropical town of Port Douglas, Hinchinbrook Island and several spectacular national parks, including Paluma Range National Park and Eubenangee Swamp National Park.

Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation
Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation (photo by Chaz McGregor)

The Savannah Way, Queensland

The Savannah Way will take you from one part of the country to the other, following the long and enticing road of 3,700 kilometres from Cairns to Broome. Once you embark on this exciting journey, you’ll start a true Australian adventure that will take you through dry plains, lush wetlands, five World Heritage-listed sites and fifteen national parks.

On your way to the Western Australia, you’ll be fascinated by the most unexpected wonders like the Undara Lava Tubes, the longest lava tubes in the world, a peaceful boat cruise through Cobbold Gorge, the stunning sunsets at Karumba Beach and Boodjamulla National Park, a magical oasis of tranquility. If you’re ready for the ultimate Australian road trip, the Savannah Way is the perfect adventure that will give you a glimpse into Australia’s riches.

The Savannah Way
The Savannah Way (photo by Jeremy Bishop

Sydney to Melbourne

As two of the most popular Australian metropolises, Sydney and Melbourne are inevitable stops of any travel to the land Down Under. However, a road trip will make your journey more authentic and inspiring, while enabling you to see the best of the region. During this eight-day-long road trip, you’ll be able to soak in the laidback Australian charm, by visiting lovely coastal towns, savour superb local cuisine and seafood specialties, admire enchanting turquoise lagoons, get to know the ocean wildlife and enjoy quiet nights at wild camping sites.

Take a quick detour inland to admire the country’s capital of Canberra, try to tame the Australian waves in coastal Narooma and learn more about the Aboriginal heritage on Montague Island. While a car might be suitable for a smaller group or a solo traveller, a comfortable charter bus rental might be more appropriate for a larger group of friends wishing to share this extraordinary experience. You can relax and spot whales in Eden, feed sea eagles in Mallacoota and join the parade of little penguins on Phillip Island.

Read more about what to do in Victoria, Australia

For more information to build your trip around, check out these additional resources:
What To Do and What To Eat In Byron Bay, Australia
Get to Know Australian Food Culture: Classic Australian Dishes
Phillip Island, Australia
Phillip Island, Australia (photo by Laura Fisher-Mitchell

Australia’s lovely coastal towns, sandy beaches, wildlife species and numerous national parks, stunning islands and natural wonders will leave you inspired. By going on a scenic road trip, you’ll be able to explore the best of Australia and share this adventure with your friends. Now’s your chance to see Australia off the beaten track.

South Australia Wine Regions

Wine tasting at Hugh Hamilton

If you’re a wine lover, a great way to see Australia off the beaten path is to take a road trip around the wine regions of South Australia. Surrounding the city of Adelaide are many important wine regions, where a large quantity of the country’s wine production takes place. You’ll be able to visit the Barossa Valley – well known for their Shiraz wine, McLaren Vale – where some really great Grenache and GSM blends can be found, and Adelaide Hills – where white wine dominates.

Want more help planning your winery road trip? Check out our 10-day itinerary for visiting the South Australia wine regions.

About the author

Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and to surf the Internet. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. Most of her free time at home she spends walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography who loves to talk about her experiences. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

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Discover Australia on a road trip and see the off the beaten track routes that will excite you.
Discover Australia on a road trip and see the off the beaten track routes that will excite you.
Explore Australia off the Beaten Track: Scenic Roads and Road Trips

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