From the Coral Coast to rugged landscapes, blue-hued mountains and culinary cruises around the best vineyards, there is a road trip in Australia to suit any taste.
Victoria – From Melbourne to the Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most stunning road trips that traverse the coastal roads of Victoria. It stretches for more than 250 kilometres and is famed for its natural beauty and landmarks. Most famously the Twelve Apostles.
Navigate it from the capital, Melbourne, heading west, passing the surf towns of Torquay and Bells Beach. You’ll also drive through Apollo Bay, Lorne and Anglesea. They are all picturesque beach towns ideal for a seaside pit stop over fish and chips with a beach view. Along the drive, you’ll see iconic Aussie wildlife like dolphins, kangaroos, and southern right whales, which are all common in the area.
From the Great Ocean Road, you can explore some of the most famous sights in southern Australia. Including the Great Otway National Park. Not only does it boast lush forests and magical waterfalls. It’s also where you’ll find the oldest surviving lighthouse in mainland Australia, Cape Otway Lighthouse, dating back to 1846.
Curiously did you know much of the road was built by soldiers post-WWI? The stretch from Allansford and Torquay was created to honour their colleagues who lost their lives and is listed as an Australian National Heritage site. This is one of the most beautiful road trips in Australia and a must for road trip enthusiasts.
Western Australia – From Perth to the Coral Coast
The Coral Coast region truly is an incredible corner of the Earth. Not only is the Coral Coast road trip incredibly scenic. It also lets you uncover two World Heritage-listed sites in one trip. Stretching along 1,100 kilometres of breathtaking coastline north of Perth, it weaves its way up to Ningaloo Reef. An area home to stunning bays, wildlife and rugged landscapes.
It’s all about the natural beauty and beaches here. Turquoise waters sit next to arid outback red dirt landscapes. Stretches of white sandy beaches are home to whale sharks, stingrays and turtles. And untouched coral reefs teeming with marine life and are made for snorkelling.
Along this road trip, you’ll find some of the best of Western Australia’s natural attractions. From the Pinnacles, Kalbarri National Park, and Shark Bay’s World Heritage area to Monkey Mia famous for its bottlenose dolphins.
All are linked by the Coral Coast Highway that continues north passing through Carnarvon to reach Ningaloo Reef. It’s one of the largest and most accessible reefs on Earth. Experience some of Ningaloo’s top spots. With snorkel trails, swimming beaches, fishing spots and surf breaks at Bluff Barrel, the Tombstones, Three Mile Camp and Gnaraloo Bay.
South Australia – From Barossa to the Clare Valley
Feast your way through South Australia with a culinary road trip from Adelaide through the wine regions of Barossa and Clare Valley. Navigate your way to some of Australia’s best wineries, restaurants and artisan produce. It’s vineyard hopping at its best.
Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s most famed vineyard regions, with thousands of hectares of meticulously maintained vineyards. Some of the old Shiraz vines here date back to the first days of the Barossa settlement in 1842. Today Barossa boasts more than 160 boutique wineries and 80 cellar doors, including Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Yalumba. The dining and accommodation options are also superb, with the boutique to very chic sleepovers.
Further north, between the towns of Auburn and Clare, is a stunning 40-kilometre corridor of the Clare Valley that’s only a 90-minute drive from Adelaide. It’s home to over 40 cellar doors and wineries, boasting some of the best Riesling in Australia. Along with this route is the historic town of Mintaro and Martindale Hall. A short 20-minute drive from Clare, the hall is one of the prettiest country mansions in Australia, a miniature version of Britain’s Chatsworth House made famous in Downtown Abbey.
New South Wales – From the Blue Mountains to Mudgee
If you’re looking to experience some of Australia’s most beautiful scenery, the Blue Mountains are definitely worth visiting. A UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, Blue Mountains is known for its soaring sandstone ridges blanketed in native bushland. And is only a two-hour drive from Sydney.
The mountains get their name from the blue haze that often surrounds them, and they’re home to several different natural landscapes of forests, cliffs, and waterfalls, including the Three Sisters. Road tripping from Sydney through the Blue Mountains to the foodie haven of Mudgee offers up clifftop adventures, stunning scenery and even glow worms.
Head west from Sydney to Katoomba and its iconic Scenic Railway. This aerial cable car travels through the Jamison Valley, offering a stunning landscape vista. Elevated forest boardwalks are ripe for hiking. Next, head to the Capertee Valley, taking the Great Western Highway through Mount Victoria.
World Heritage-listed Capertee Valley is the second-largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon. This region houses three national parks – Wollemi, Gardens of Stone and Capertee. And features an array of walks, including the 10 kilometres trails at Pantoneys Crown. Heading into the Central Tablelands, take the scenic route from Capertee to Mudgee, stopping by the historic town of Rylstone. Mudgee has its own wine region and a growing reputation as one of Australia’s best food destinations. With award-winning wineries, destination dining, and an annual food festival. So naturally, expect an abundance of delicious local produce to be sampled. If combining nature and food are your passions, this is the road trip for you.
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