Driving through the backroads of Australia, covering vast expanse of natural landscapes and unique scenery, is an experience itself. With gorgeous coastal roads and high altitude panoramas, Australia is known to be a driver’s delight. Whether you ride around with your family in a SUV or rev up the motorcycle engines for a solo trip, it has got something for everyone.
The roads are quite safe as well, and you’ll find all the necessary amenities throughout your journey. And for tourists who are on a short vacation, taking a scenic route between cities is probably the best way to explore the whole country. So with that said, let’s take a look at the best drives Australia offers; roads which draw and delight natives/tourists alike all through the year.
Captain Cook Highway & Bloomfield Track, Queensland
This drive from Cairns to Cooktown, Queensland is littered with an array of picturesque views all through journey. Starting off with startling, never ending sea views until Port Douglas, it leads north to an up and close peek into Daintree Rainforest. After Cape Tribulation though, it’s all creek crossings and tricky terrains which are super fun to traverse in an SUV. The best part of the trip is panoramic 255 kilometer view of Trinity Bay, all the way from Rex Lookout. Don’t forget, you also get to take in the best of Great Barrier Reef from close quarters – totally worth the journey.
Image used via Wikimedia Creative Commons
Sydney To South Coast
The usual road to bustling Melbourne is sure to put a downer on everyone’s mood, what with he traffic and totally uninspiring background. But the south coast on the other hand is absolutely enchanting with a coastal drive that is bound to capture your imagination. Just take the road from the Royal National Port, South Sydney, through a 140 kilometer grand pacific drive, all the way to Kiama. You’ll come across the magnificent Sea cliff bridge, and Stanwell tops. When the road ends, you proceed onto iconic spots like Jervis Bay and Hyams Beach, Bateman Bay and the kangaroos at Pebbly Beach, Pambula, and finally Eden. When you’ve had enough of leisure and fun, just hop on over to Victoria and get to Melbourne. Not bad for a city to city drive!
Meerenie Loop Road, Northern Territory
No drive around Australia is complete without a venture into the outbacks, and with the Meerenie Loop Road, you can scratch off all iconic spots in one journey. Starting off on a loop from Alice Springs, you can circle around Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon and the West MacDonnell Ranges (aka the West Macs) through all their majestic beauty.
Renowned for a diverse and arresting landscape, this is the perfect starting point to take in the best of outbacks from bare deserts and rocky ramparts to iced up water holes and hidden gorges. You also travel through the best of both worlds, bitumen and red dirt, in an outback adventure of a lifetime. A photo with that Big red rock is worth the trip by itself. And Mt Sonder lookout, bang opposite Glen Helen Gorge isn’t a bad spot either.
Great Alpine Road
Scenic drives doesn’t necessarily mean just roads, coasts and beaches, for it’s easy to forget that Australia is home to quite a few mountains too. Starting off from Wangaratta in the North, to Bairnsdale in the East, this 303 kilometers stretch is open all year round, passing through some of the most breathtaking mountains in the country, the Australian Alps, fertile valleys, luscious forests, historic towns, free flowing rivers, acclaimed vineyards, and more.
Alternatively, you can just start off in Melbourne and finish in Bairnsdale, or do a loop back to the capital.
The Great Alpine Road, a vehicular masterpiece. Image used with permission from Canvas Factory
Great Ocean Road, Victoria
A list on Scenic drives can’t be made without the mention of The Great Ocean Road. Probably the most famous road in Australia that rarely underwhelms a visitor, this drive draws in thousands everyday with every patron making a beeline for the range flushed oceanic vistas between Torquay and Warrnambool. While its popularity can make it a bit of annoyance with bottleneck traffic on weekends, midweek drives especially on winters are highly recommended.
The Bay of Martyrs, near Peterborough, is just as amazing as the widely pictured Twelve apostles. So don’t miss out on nature’s sunset filter for an unforgettable photo op!