Australian Road Trip Tips
January 22, 2014 7:21 PM

Where epic road trips are concerned, Australia is difficult to top. Long open roads await, with spectacular cities and scenery to admire along the way, from vast red desert to deserted idyllic beaches of white sand and azure-blue water, and international cosmopolitan cities to traditional Outback towns.

Australia is an enormous country, so the options for road trips are endless. There’s advice on the official Australia tourism website here, and to help those completely lost by all the choice, here are four of the best:

The Great Ocean Road, Victoria

This self-drive route is perfect for those who don’t have much time, as it’s very close to Melbourne, one of the country’s major travel hubs. This route follows the incredible road that winds its way around the dramatic cliffs of Victoria’s coast, with rugged rock formations like the 12 Apostles and London Bridge en route. The road can be covered in a couple of days, depending on how long you want to stay in the pleasant seaside towns along the way.

Uluru, Northern Territory

The ultimate Aussie icon, Uluru – formerly Ayer’s Rock – is a sacred site to the native Aboriginals and is a truly awesome visual. Driving from King’s Canyon to Uluru will afford travellers with a sense of the wilderness of the Australian Outback without being too far from Australia’s most central city Alice Springs. A 4x4 is a necessity.   

Indian Ocean Drive, Western Australia

The west coast is one of the most beautiful stretches of shore in the country, so well-worth the extra travel time. The new Indian Ocean Drive makes a day-trip up the coast from Perth, Western Australia’s main city, an easy journey – those with more time can continue up the coast for a real adventure.  

Grand Pacific Drive, New South Wales

Another coastal route, this road features the amazing 665-metre cantilever bridge that reaches 50 metres out to sea from the steep cliffs. Along the route there are seaside towns, surfing beaches and the Royal National Park, meaning travellers can make as many stops as they like along the way.
Of course there are countless other driving routes, including off-the-beaten-track journeys in the north of tropical Queensland, and fertile scenery along the roads of the southernmost state of Tasmania. Whatever journey you choose to undertake, there are practicalities to consider:

  • Choose your vehicle: Be sensible when it comes to selecting your means of transport – many areas of Australia demand a 4x4, so do your research before you go. For shorter road trips along well-maintained roads, an iconic vehicle could make it a journey to remember – for example, if you have your biker’s license, check out Harley Davidson sales that might just convince you to unleash your inner Hell’s Angel!

  • Be safe: Many road trippers who are unfamiliar with Australian terrain forget to take the necessary precautions. If heading into the Outback, carry lots of water and extra fuel – it’s possible to drive for hours without spotting any signs of life. Those long, empty stretches of road make for tiring driving conditions, so you’ll need at least a couple of insured drivers in the car. If you’re alone, make sure you pull over in a safe place for some rest if you feel your eyelids begin to droop.

  • Climate change: If heading into the mountains in Victoria or New South Wales, remember that the temperature can drop dramatically, so bring a few extra layers.

  • Cover yourself: Insurance is a must on any road trip, so read the small print and make sure you’re fully covered for all eventualities. 

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