Sign in


Forgotten your Password?

Enter your email address below and we'll send instructions and a link to reset your password


Unlock Sydney's hidden gems

All the latest and greatest places to eat, drink, stay and play in your city.

By signing up, you agree to periodic email marketing from Sitchu to the email address you provided. Terms and Conditions. Privacy Policy.

The Best Road Trips in Australia to Put on Your Bucket List

Buckle up and get set for the drive of your life. These are the best road trips in Australia for the ultimate adventure holiday.

Forget planes and trains, the open road is the best way to explore Australia’s breathtaking landscapes. A place where desert, rainforest and rugged coastlines collide — an Aussie road trip proves that it’s always worth taking the scenic route.

Wind your way through windswept beaches or brave it through bushland on the dirt tracks of the outback, Australia has plenty of open roads waiting to be explored.

So crank up the stereo, stock up on snacks and set off on one of the best road trips in Australia for some bucket-list worthy adventures. 

Best Road Trips Australia: Northern Territory

Explorers Way (Image Credit:

Explorers Way

One of the best outback road trips in Australia calls for a 14-day itinerary, and we're not complaining! This adventure through the heart of the country and the red centre spans from Adelaide to Darwin, unfurling the diverse tapestry of the outback's marvels.

Along the aptly named Explorers Way route, each day offers an exciting chapter: from the underground Coober Pedy and the spiritual grandeur of Uluru to Alice Springs.

You will pass some of Australia’s iconic natural landmarks and discover peaceful swimming spots at Mataranka and Litchfield.


Uluru and Kata Tjuta, Watarrka National Park/Kings Canyon, MacDonnell Ranges, Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles, Nitmiluk National Park and Litchfield National Park

Where to stay

Longitude 131

Best Road Trips Australia: Victoria

Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road

Ask any Aussie, and they’ll tell you that driving the Great Ocean Road is a rite of passage. Stretching 243km along the southern coast of Victoria from Torquay to Allansford, this scenic stretch is home to the rugged rainforests of the Otway Ranges, historic towns and the famous Twelve Apostles.

There are charming beach towns, fishing villages, and waterfalls to discover, plus a 19th-century shipwreck (Loch Ard Gorge) and an iconic lighthouse at Cape Otway.

It also has a storied history; the Great Ocean Road is a tribute to the 3,000 soldiers who worked on the road during WWI.


Bells Beach, Lorne, Apollo Bay, Cape Otway, Port Campbell National Park (where the Twelve Apostles are located), Gibson Steps, Triplet Falls, Teddy’s Lookout and Port Fairy.

Where to stay

La Perouse Lorne, Captain’s at the Bay

Best Road Trips Australia: Western Australia

The Pinnacles

The Indian Ocean Drive

Sitting at a whopping 1200km long, the Indian Ocean Drive is epic in every sense of the word. It follows WA’s Coral Coast from Perth to Ningaloo – a stretch of coastline that is some of Mother Nature’s finest work.

Leaving from Perth, you’ll weave your way through the dazzling beach towns of Cervantes, Geraldton and Monkey Mia. Beyond beautiful beaches with pure white sand, discover the surreal desert towers called The Pinnacles at Nambung National Park and swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef.


Monkey Mia, Ningaloo Reef, Kalbarri National Park, Nambung National Park, Cable Beach, Shell Beach, The Pinnacles Desert

Where to stay

Sal Salis Ningaloo ReefMantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort, COMO The Treasury Perth

Gibb River Road (Image Credit: Paul Moir)

Gibb River Road

The Gibb River Road beckons to those seeking an authentic outback adventure. Famed for its unique 4WD tracks, it's hailed as one of the best outback road trips in Australia.

This route guides adventurers off the beaten path, leading them through rugged ranges into the untouched Kimberley wilderness.

This 660-kilometre passage unveils hidden marvels within the Kimberley's landscapes. Aside from witnessing the enthralling gorge country, explorers can spot Aboriginal rock art sites. Be sure to respect their cultural significance by not disturbing these sacred sites.


Dalmanyi (Bell Gorge), Adcock Gorge, Emma Gorge waterfalls

Where to Stay

APT Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge

Best Road Trips Australia: Tasmania

Cradle Mountain

The Great Eastern Drive

One of Australia's most picturesque and dramatic coastal drives, Tasmania’s natural paradise is a beauty to behold – and the best way to see it is by car. From Hobart to the spectacular Bay of Fires, this road trip hugs the island’s eastern (and most peaceful) coastline.

Meander through galleries and fuel up at Hobart's award-winning restaurants, then, further along the route you can inject a little history into your holiday and explore one of the world’s most significant convict sites at Port Arthur.

Detour at Freycinet National Park to explore its granite mountains, azure waters, incredible wildlife and the perfect curve of sand that makes up Wineglass Bay.


Wineglass Bay, Port Arthur, Freycinet National Park, East Coast Wine Trail, Cradle Mountain National Park

Where to stay

MACq01, The Henry Jones Hotel, Saffire Freycinet

Best Road Trips Australia: Queensland

Noosa Main Beach

The Great Beach Drive

For adventurous types, this road trip has your name written all over it. It begins at the Sunshine Coast’s Glasshouse Mountains, a picture-perfect landscape that caught Captain Cook’s eye when he sailed past in 1770.

If you have the kids in tow, stop at Australia Zoo before continuing to Mooloolaba for sun, surf, and buckets of fresh king prawns. Another half an hour in the car, and you’ll reach the chic seaside haven of Noosa.

Next up is the beautiful Rainbow Beach, a haven for surfers and thrill-seekers. From there, you can 4WD over to the sand dunes  and lakes that make up Fraser Island. The Indigenous word for it is ‘K’Gari,’ which means paradise, and that’s the perfect description.


Glasshouse Mountains, Australia Zoo, Noosa National Park, 75 Mile Beach, Champagne Pools, Maryborough

Where to stay

Glass on GlasshouseKingfisher Bay Resort

Great Barrier Reef Drive (Image Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland)

The Great Barrier Reef Drive

Heading to the tropics, this 140km drive begins in Cairns and ends at Cape Tribulation. The journey through tropical North Queensland takes in not one, but two World Heritage landscapes – the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree – so you can expect eye-popping beauty around every turn.

Snorkel or scuba dive around the reef, and then check out Cairns’ buzzy bars and restaurants. Dart through the Daintree, stop to chase waterfalls and see the towering trees, rivers and trails that make up the rainforest.

Stay overnight in Cape Tribulation, where the lodges are as luxe as the rainforest-meets-reef surrounds.


Daintree Rainforest, Daintree River, Cow Bay, Cape Tribulation, Great Barrier Reef

Where to stay

Silky Oaks Lodge, Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Best Road Trips Australia: New South Wales

Bouddi National Park

The Pacific Coast

As the name suggests, this is the classic coastal road trip in Australia. The picturesque Pacific Highway is bookmarked by two major cities – Sydney and Brisbane – and follows 900km of pristine beaches, seaside towns, unspoilt hinterland and national parks.

While you could do it all in one go, it’s best enjoyed at a leisurely pace. If you’re starting from Sydney, you’ll head north and weave your way through the Central Coast, Port Stephens, Newcastle, Coffs Harbour and the bohemian paradise of Byron Bay.

You’ll cross state borders and cruise by Tweed Heads before ending in the glittery Gold Coast. Charge your phone, because you’ll want to snap everything, from the dolphins, koalas and camels to the rolling hills of the rainforest.


Bogey Hole, Avoca Beach, Bouddi National Park, Newcastle Ocean Baths, Port Macquarie Coastal Walk, Port Macquarie Camel Safari, Big Banana, Wategos Beach, The Pass, Surfers Paradise

Where to stay

Pretty Beach House, The Atlantic Byron Bay, QT Gold Coast

An iconic road-tripping country, the best road trips in Australia rank as some of the world's best. And rightfully so. If you're after more inspo while travelling around, like where to campglamp, or treat yourself to a luxe stay, then we have you covered. 

Our Sitchu editors work hard to deliver you the best products, events and venues that we hope you will love, each one is selected independently. Sitchu may receive an affiliate commission when you follow some links.

Stay in the loop