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Some of the Best Road Trips in Australia

There’s no better feeling than heading out on the open road without a care in the world. A road trip allows you to travel at the pace that suits you. 

We’ve selected some of the best road trips in Australia for all different types of travellers and gathered some of the best advice from experts in travel so you can drive across the country in comfort. After all it’s not about the destination, it’s the journey that counts.

Mawson Trail, South Australia

When people first think of the best Australian road trips, an image of a 4WD making its way across the arid red centre often springs to mind. But why not stretch your legs and make your way across some of Australia’s most stunning scenery on two wheels instead of four?

Or so says Bicycle SA, who recommend the gruelling yet rewarding 900 kilometre off-road Mawson Trail for those wanting to witness the splendour of the Flinders Ranges.

The trail begins in Adelaide and continues on mostly off-bitumen roads through small towns, forest reserves and spectacular countryside to Blinman.

The experts at Bicycle SA advise that while ‘this ride is an enjoyable challenge, you have to know what you’re in for.’

So if going solo isn’t within your sights or capability this year, sign up for their Outback Odyssey, run every second year, allowing you to be part of a group undertaking the track. You can even tackle a third of the distance if this suits your fitness level better.

Bicycle SA: Bicycle SA is a not-for-profit organisation that advocates for its 6000 members across South Australia. They offer a range of courses on bicycle safety and awareness, as well as practical courses on maintenance.

As part of their mission to see more people biking more often, they offer a variety of different intensity rides across South Australia.

Melbourne to Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

This small strip of paradise, otherwise known as the Mornington Peninsula, is studded with stunning beaches, charming seaside villages, wineries, art galleries and restaurants. Arrive in style from Melbourne and you’ll be spoiled for choice with numerous driving routes and pretty vistas.

The best of which are afforded from Arthurs Seat with its bird's-eye view over the peninsula. From there make your way down for a relaxing hinterland journey or a stunning coastal tour, either way make sure to have your camera ready!

If romance is on your agenda, then you can’t beat driving through the region’s premier vineyards in your very own convertible. There’s no better feeling than the wind in your hair with the top down, your beloved by your side.

The peer-to-peer car rental business DriveMyCar recommends that young couples head out in style with the BMW Z4 hardtop convertible, ‘this is the ultimate car for a young couple getting away, where the journey is part of the experience.’

DriveMyCar: If a luxury vehicle doesn’t quite fit into your budget just yet, even as a rental, DriveMyCar may have the solution.

Their online marketplace consists of a network of members who put their personal car up for rent at affordable prices. This means that the convertible you’ve been dreaming about is a possibility for your next road trip.

Canberra to the Snowy Mountains, Australian Capital Territory

Heading out to the slopes when the first dump of snow lands is a rite of passage for many winter-loving families, couples and groups of travellers.

No matter what the size of your group a trip to the Snowy Mountains offers a once a year chance for most Australians to immerse themselves in a winter wonderland, with days full of skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing.

A popular way to arrive from Canberra is by car, allowing you to negotiate the changing conditions that come with mountainous terrain.

Europcar Australia has you covered with its snow packages and products for locals and visitors wanting to travel to the slopes with ease. Choose one of their specialised Mitsubishi Outlander Fleet to transport you and your gear comfortably.

It comes fitted with ski carrier racks, holding a total of six skis and four snowboards. Europcar’s ultimate snow package comes with the Mitsubishi Outlander as well as a set of snow chains and is inclusive of an additional driver. It’s available in selected Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne locations for rentals of two days or more.

Europcar: One of Australia’s leading car rental services, Europcar offers their extensive range of quality fleet across airport locations, major cities and regional towns. No matter who you are road tripping with, they’re bound to have a model that suits your needs.

Sydney to Blue Mountains

If you’re planning to venture out onto some of the best road trip routes in Australia, you may need to take quite a considerable amount of time to cover the lengthy roads. The one thing you want to know for sure is that the vehicle you choose will go the distance and allow for a comfortable journey.

The experts at Camplify suggest undertaking a shorter trip in a borrowed or hired model first to test it out.

A drive from Sydney to the top of the Blue Mountains is the perfect weekend roadtrip. Smell the Eucalyptus as you ascend the mountain, stopping in at the idyllic villages along the way for a refreshing cup of coffee or browse through antique shops.

Be sure to take a snap of the iconic Three Sisters rock formation and work up an appetite with a bush walk. Book into one of the quaint restaurants in the townships of Leura or Blackheath, before heading back to your RV or campervan in one of the local camping grounds for a good night’s sleep.

Camplify: Australia's largest peer-to-peer caravan hire & RV sharing community, the Camplify community has a range of caravans, campervans, motorhomes and trailers for hire.

It’s a great option for those thinking about investing in a campervan for themselves, or who simply want to sample the lifestyle without the initial outlay. RV and caravan owners can earn a little extra income by renting out their campers when they’re not in use.

The Sunshine Coast

Sharing the best Australian road trip with your kids is the stuff holiday dreams are made of, but without adequate preparation, a dream holiday can quickly become a nightmare.

Consider a shorter drive for your holiday so you can spend more time at the destination and less time on the road being asked, ‘are we there yet?’. Heading to the Sunshine Coast from Brisbane is the perfect route for families.

The 120km coast of Sunshine Coast is reachable in less than two hours from Brisbane and yet offers the whole family an ‘off-the-beaten-track’ adventure. There are enough towns along the way to easily stock up your fridge or esky with snacks before finding the perfect golden slice of beach for the kids to stretch those cramped legs.

If you have very young kids, Travellers Autobarn recommends ensuring that your chosen vehicle has enough room for all of the equipment you’ll want to pack, as well as adequate safety seating for kids under four, which can be challenging to find in a campervan.

Travellers-Autobarn: Founded by passionate ex-backpackers and travellers, Travellers-Autobarn knows Australia and knows campervans. They have a huge range of campervans and vehicles to rent and buy and offer a guaranteed buy-back scheme for those looking to undertake a longer adventure.

For families with kids under the age of four, they recommend the Hi5 Camper, ‘it features two double beds, a total of five seats, has over two metres internal height and allows you to take up to two infants in the van.’

Fraser Island

For road trippers who love to go off the beaten track, you simply can’t go past the natural wonderland of Fraser Island. Take to the sandy highway that runs up the east coast of the island and enjoy relaxing in the ‘Champagne’ rock pools – a naturally formed spa – or photograph the majesty of the Maheno shipwreck.

Ducking inland will allow you to witness the crystal clear lakes with whiter-than-white sand beaches. The tracks through the lush rainforest are rough, so you’ll definitely need a 4x4 for this unique road trip. Road tripping off the beaten track means you need to make sure your gear and supplies are well taken care of.

It’s a heart-breaking experience to find yourself in the most picturesque part of the world with a broken camera, or miles from a restaurant or shop only to find that your esky has been flooded and all your food ruined.

Make sure you write a list of everything you’ll need before you go and that you have the right storage to keep everything safe and dry.

Thule: Storage experts Thule ‘help you transport anything you care for safely, easily and in style so that you are free to live your active life.’

The two things they recommend for a safe and happy holiday are a Thule Roof Box to store everything high out of the way when you’re driving through bodies of water and the Thule Atmos X5 iPhone case for the ultimate protection of your iPhone.

Cairns to Cape Tribulation With year-round warm weather and some of Australia’s most spectacular scenery, the north coast of Queensland makes for the best Australian road trip for those who have a bit more time on their hands. Make your way from the ever-popular Cairns and discover why everyone raves about the Daintree Forest.

The famous forest is beautifully wedged between the coastal ranges and the Coral Sea. The Bloomfield Track connects Wujul Wujul to Cape Tribulation and offers one of the most stunning 4WD routes in Australia, full of mangroves, river crossings, waterfalls and sweeping views of the stunning coast line.

Cape Tribulation itself affords some of Australia’s most secluded beaches and can also be accessed by a sealed road. Given the remote location, consider travelling in either a 2WD or 4WD campervan with kitchen and living facilities for a comfortable trip.

Britz Campervans says that this way you’ll be ‘free from the hassle of finding a meal in the middle of nowhere or worrying about where to stay.’ Britz Campervans: Offering one of the largest fleets of campervans and 4WDs, Britz Campervans has the perfect vehicle for your trip to Cape Tribulation.

Depending on the size of your group, they have a campervan to suit, with options that sleep up to six! By combining your transport with your accommodation, a Britz campervan will enable you to discover the most remote corners of Australia at your own pace. Australia offers a road trip to suit every type of traveller.

From stunning coastal drives to challenging cycle tracks and everything in between, you could spend a lifetime discovering all the natural wonders on offer.

Choose one of these fabulous routes, organise your vehicle of choice and you’ll be out on the open road in no time. Be prepared for the best Australian road trip when you compare travel insurance to find the best coverage tailored to you .