*This is a sponsored post brought to you by People's Choice Credit Union*
One fine day, when I get a lot of time in my hands, I will set out on an amazing road trip around Australia and never look back.
Right now, time is a gift I am blessed with sparingly so I travel the fastest way as much as possible.
But Australia, the sixth largest country in the world (in size), has so much to discover and just visiting the main cities won’t do.
Just as a comparison, take a look at how Australia sizes up with the United States of America in terms of land mass:
Well how’s that for size?
So to give me a little bit of preparation (and inspiration), I’ve rounded up 5 road trips around Australia I plan to take in the future.
1.) Sydney to Melbourne (and the Great Ocean Road)
Distance: 867 Kms
The coastal road between Sydney and Melbourne is one of the most scenic and dramatic self-exploration drives to take.
As you drive further south, the change in landscape is also noticeable. From the blues and greens of the New South Wales coast to the stunning coastal cliffs of Victoria.
And while in Melbourne, one shouldn’t miss taking a drive along the Great Ocean Road. I took this road long time ago with my parents when we hopped on a day tour from Melbourne. I remember the drive being as scenic as it looks, but I’m sure the experience is even better when you are self driving. After all, one of the joys of going on a road trip is that you are not confined by anyone’s or any company’s time schedule.
You can stop as much and however long as you like, and this will be handy as a huge amount of nature and wildlife abound the Great Ocean Road.
2.) Adelaide (or Ceduna) to Perth
Distance: 2,693 km
This route is usually taken by train but for the more adventurous, a 9-10 day road trip is the more appealing choice. With lots of camp sites in between and loads of activities to do such as whale watching at Head of Bright, exploring the 200 kilometre stretch of Bunda Cliffs among others, this road trip is a top choice for those wishing to head to the capital of Western Australia in one of the most unforgettable journeys.
What makes this long road trip special is that one will be driving through The Nullarbor Plain, which at 200,000 square kilometres, is the world’s flattest slab of limestone. Located between the borders of South Australia and Western Australia, Nullarbor Plain is almost a third the size of France.
And for the fact loving road trip enthusiasts, you will also be passing Australia’s longest straight section of road the 90 Mile Straight, between Balladonia and Caiguna on the Eyre Highway in Western Australia.
3.) The Savannah Way (Cairns to Broome)
Distance: over 4,000 kms
The Savannah Way is a route of highways and major roads across the tropical savannahs of northern Australia, linking Cairns in Queensland with Broome in Western Australia.
This route has always been recognised as one of Australia’s top road drives and because it also links 15 different National Parks in its route, this journey is definitely one for the adventurous self explorers.
It is estimated that it takes about 48 hours driving time to do this route. Given rest breaks, I would give about a week in total for this drive, though I would personally take a little bit longer as there’s so much to see along the way. I would also recommend a 4X4 if doing this drive as some roads are not sealed, especially if you want to explore in between the 3 main cities on the route (Carins – Katherine – Broome) and visit the fantastic gorges (Windjana Gorge, Geikie Gorge, Tunnel Creek, Lennard Gorge, Bell Gorge, Adcock Gorge, Galvans Gorge, Manning Gorge, Barnett River Gorges).
I also suspect that the change of landscape and scenery in this route will be dramatic. From the lush green foliage of Queensland , to the red earth of Northern Territory, to the golden-red shores of Broome.
4.) Uluru to Kings Canyon , Northern Territory
distance: 306 kms
When I see the phrase “Heart of Australia”, I think of Uluru. Geographically it is in the heart and centre of the country, it’s red, and depending on where the sun shines on it, sometimes it looks as if it’s glowing or beating.
It is prohibited to climb / walk Ayers Rock but Kings Canyon has a lot of walks available at the bottom of the gorge and the views are just as breath taking, and they are also totally different from each other so it will be a varied adventure for both sites.
This 3.5 hour drive should be pleasant, and though I hear it can be dusty (red and clean earth), the road is sealed so it is not necessary to drive a 4X4.
5.) Cairns to Cape York
distance: approx 1050 kms
Cape York Peninsula is also known as the Tip (of Australia) and the drive up from Cairns is known to be one of the most rewarding.
There are two main routes driving from Cairns to Cape York. The first is the extremely gorgeous coastal route via Cape Tribulation, the Daintree Rainforest and the Bloomfield Track to Cooktown. This drive will get you very close (while being on land) to the Great Barrier Reef.
Then there’s also the inland route, which offers a very tropical jungle scenery and via Mulligan Highway which is fully sealed.
I love the views and sceneries of FNQ (Far North Queensland) while driving. The greens are so vibrant and the skies piercingly blue.
I’d actually done a teaser of this drive when we were living in Cairns years ago. We drove up as far as Port Douglas (which isn’t far away at all) and returned, all in one day. It was such a fun road trip. We’d drive, eat, spot a waterfall by the rainforest, swim, hop back in the car, eat (again), swim at the beach, sleep.
By driving from Cairns to Port Douglas, we’d just touched the surface of an addictively fun road trip. I shall return one day and complete the drive all the way to Cape York!
I used to think that road trips are more work and hassle than fun but after I have gone on a number of them (here and overseas), I can definitely say that it’s one of the most rewarding ways to travel. This is where the phrase “The journey is the destination”, comes true to life.
We’ve done road trips on both hired cars and on our own vehicles. Sometimes it’s tempting to hire a car (especially on overseas road trips) but my tip is to compare the cost of the road trip (including gas, insurance, etc) versus buying a car (car loans can be convenient too), and you’d be surprised. Sometimes it can cost more, or equal to purchase a car versus hiring, especially as most long road trips are one-way and car hire companies do charge hefty one-way fees, depending on the state you are in.
Have you done any of the above road trips? What memorable road trip have you had?
This post has been written in collaboration with People's Choice Credit Union.