Top 5 Australia Roadtrips That You Have to Do

written by local expert Anna Faustino

Anna is a co-founder of Adventure in You and has been traveling the world for the last 9 years. She has spent time living in Thailand, Mexico, Indonesia, and Spain and is our local expert in these areas. Her expertise on travel, gear, and building businesses have been featured on Foundr, Business Insider, Yahoo Travel, and more.

Ever since I can remember, Australia has been a destination that I’ve been itching to go to. Everyone that I meet seems to rave about it, highlighting its beautiful beaches, barren deserts, and remote lands. During my travels, I have met countless Australians who all say the same thing- the best way to see their country is by going on a roadtrip. To give you a little bit of travel inspiration, here are the top Australian roadtrip routes to help you get started on planning.

Great Ocean Road

Distance: 664 km
Length: 3 days (can be done in 1, but we recommend 3!)

The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s best roadtrip destinations. While there are a lot of tourist buses that do this route in one day, we recommend taking your time and spreading it out over three days. The route usually starts in Torquay, Melbourne which is located an hour away from the main city. Undeniably, the most famous attraction during this entire drive are the 12 apostles, a group of towering limestone rocks located right next to each other.

Sadly, due to erosion and the constant battering from waves, there are now about 8 left. Nonetheless, it is still a sight to see and worth visiting. Aside from the scenic drive along the coast, other highlights during this Australian roadtrip are the small seaside towns along the way, famous surfing beaches, as well as wildlife reserves that you can visit during your trip.

Great Ocean Road Itinerary

Day 1: Torquay- Apollo Bay

Day 2: Apollo Bay- Port Fairy

Day 3: Port Fairy- Melbourne (You also have a few inland routes available if you don’t want to backtrack


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Red Center Way

Distance: 1135 km loop
Length: 5-6

Taking you through some of Australia’s most iconic destinations in the outback, the Red Center Way route is one of the best roadtrips to take in the region and is something we definitely recommend you make time for. Travel through towering gorges, sandy deserts, and valleys to see amazing wildlife in Uluru and Kings Canyon, and towns like Alice Springs. During the journey, you can stop along the way to swim and cool off, swimming in incredible water holes. The beauty of driving yourself through the outback is that you can stop anywhere you please, pitching a tent or staying in nearby wilderness lodges. If you’re going to be in Australia for a little while, you can even consider buying a campervan to always have somewhere homey to stay on your roadtrip adventures.

You can also check sites like Gumtree for reliable cars to take on a roadtrip. Naturally, the highlight of this entire roadtrip is seeing Uluru, also known as Ayer’s Rock which is a huge sandstone monolith located in the Red Center. Seeing the sunset and watching the sky change in various shades of red and orange while gazing out at this massive rock is absolutely magical and will be the highlight of your Red Center Way roadtrip.

Red Center Way Itinerary

Day 1: Alice Springs to Glen Helen

Day 2: Glen Helen to Kings Canyon

Day 3: Explore Kings Canyon

Day 4: Kings Canyon to Uluru

Day 5: Uluru and Kata Tjuta

Day 6: Uluru to Alice Springs

Related: Awesome Outdoor Adventures in Australia


Driving the East Coast: Brisbane to Cairns

Distance: 1714 km
Length: 6 days

If you want to drive through Australia’s most pristine beaches, we recommend hitting the East Coast, driving from Cairns to Brisbane. This route will take you through a few scenic highlights from Fraser Island, the Whitsundays, and the Great Barrier Reef.

This drive will also take you through Queensland which is known as the adventure capital of Australia, offering a variety of activities like skydiving, bungee jumping, and rafting. The best part about this particular Australian road trip route is the activities that you can do along the way. Starting off in Brisbane and ending at the Great Barrier reef where you can opt to scuba dive or snorkel while enjoying all the attractions along the way.

Brisbane to Cairns Itinerary

Day 1: Brisbane-Fraser Island

Day 2: Fraser Island to Bundaberg

Day 3: Bundaberg to Rockhampton

Day 4: Rockhampton to Mackay

Day 5: Mackay to Townsville

Day 6: Townsville to Cairns

Read More: 15 Stunning Airbnbs in Brisbane


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Pacific Highway: Brisbane to Sydney

Distance: 940 km
Length: 5 days (can be extended longer)

This popular road trip route takes you through two of Australia’s largest cities, Brisbane and Sydney. This stunning route takes you from one beautiful beach to the next as you drive along the Pacific coast. A few highlights are seeing the Gold Coast, Hunter Valley, Byron Bay, and Lennox Head. If you travel during the right period, you can also stop anywhere along the route and go on a whale watching trip to chance upon the humpback whales’ migration towards Antarctica.

The best part of this route is that you’re able to stop anywhere you want (given you have your own transport), exploring the many beautiful islets and coves along the way. While in Hunter Valley, why not check out some great things to do? Hunter Valley wine tours are a great way to spend a day away from your car and let someone else do the driving for a change while you taste the unique hot climate reds and delicious Semillons the region is known for!

If you want to carry on road tripping from Sydney, another fantastic route is the Sydney to Melbourne coastal drive which has heaps of beautiful sights along the way. If you do make it to Melbourne, check out these awesome Airbnb apartments in Melbourne.

Brisbane to Sydney Itinerary

Day 1: Brisbane-Byron Bay

Day 2: Byron Bay-Coffs Harbour

Day 3: Coffs Harbour-Port Macquarie

Day 4: Port Macquarie- Port Stephens

Day 5: Port Stephens- Sydney

Read More: Incredible Gold Coast Airbnbs


Adelaide to Perth

Distance: 2697 km
Length: 9 days

Although this trip is technically one of the longest in distance, doing it in a span of 9-10 days is totally feasible. It is almost always included in top Australian roadtrip lists due to the variety of scenic routes that you can see along the way. With the Nullarbor Plain being one of the most memorable ones amongst them all. For those that are unfamiliar with this area, it is a large arid area with no trees on site. You can literally drive for hundreds of kilometers (it is Australia’s longest straight road) without seeing anyone.

Despite the barren-like atmosphere, it is a sight to see! A few highlights of this route are Kalgoorlie, a visit to Cape Le Grand National Park, and Wave Rock. Upon reaching Perth, if you have more time, you can consider heading to Margaret River to check out their vineyards, restaurants, and beaches.

Adelaide to Perth Itinerary

Day 1: Adelaide to Port Augusta

Day 2: Port Augusta to Ceduna

Day 3: Ceduna to Nullabor Plain

Day 4: Nullabor Plain to Eucla

Day 5: Eucla to Caigun

Day 6: Caiguna to Norseman

Day 7: Norseman to Coolgardie

Day 8: Coolgardie to Merredin

Day 9: Merredin to Perth

Read More: Incredible Airbnbs in Perth for an Amazing Stay


Hopefully, these itineraries have helped you plan your next trip to Australia! While I purposely chose routes that you can do within a week or less, if you are purchasing a car, you can most definitely combine these trips as you travel all around Australia.

Looking for more articles on Australia and New Zealand? Check out a few of our top posts

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Australia Roadtrip | Traveling to Australia and going on a roadtrip? Check out these 5 awesome roadtrip itineraries taking you through some of the best places in Australia #australia #roadtrip

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