The landscape of Australia is as spectacular as it is diverse, and one of the best ways to discover this amazing country is from behind the wheel. Leaving the city behind rewards drivers with a variety of wildlife and natural wonders that can’t be found anywhere else. From lush rainforests to painted deserts, a road trip in Australia has surprises at every turn, so it’s better to invest in a compact crossover SUV for the multitude of terrains they have.
The Great Ocean Road
The popular scenic drive runs along some of the most beautiful coastline in Australia. Starting in Torquay, this 243 kilometre drive includes the famous Twelve Apostles limestone rock formations. The road traverses beaches, cliffs and rainforests and provides spectacular views of Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean. There are beautiful seaside towns and villages to explore, and secluded beaches to discover. The final touch will be enjoying the sunset at Port Campbell, which is a perfect way to end the day.
Known as the “Adventure Drive”, Savannah Way winds its way through no less than 15 National Parks and five World Heritage areas along Australia’s Top End. The 3,700 kilometre route starts in Cairns, and features some of Australia’s most unique natural wonders before finishing at the pearling town of Broone. Along the way drivers will see abandoned gold mining towns as well as ancient indigenous settlements. Highlights include tropical tablelands in Queensland and the Undara Volcanic National Park, which feature the longest lava system in the world.
Running between Darwin and Adelaide, this road slices right through the middle of Australia. The landscapes first change from the vineyards of the Barossa Valley to the red sand of the Simpson Desert, before turning to a rich tropical forest in the Northern Territory. The route follows the trail of John McDouall Stuart, who was the first European to cross the country from the South. Sites that should not be missed include Aboriginal rock art in the Kakadu National Park and the 36 domes of Kata Tjuta, which are sacred to the indigenous people.
The Bloomfield Track
At only 30 kilometres in length, the Blookfield Track may be the shortest drive on this list, but it still has plenty to offer. A 4WD is mandatory here, as the route was designed with few bends and switchbacks to minimize environmental disruption. This means that the hills are steep, and after heavy rain the track can be impassable. The highlight here is the spectacular Bloomfield Falls that gives the track its name. Amazing wildlife can be spotted on this drive including crocodiles and cassowaries, and be sure to take a swim in one of the natural waterholes you will find along the way.
Kosciuszko Alpine Way
This spectacular drive runs for 175 kilometres through the dense forest and pristine wilderness of the Kosciuszko National Park. This is an area of beauty and contrast. Snow-capped mountains are skirted by fields of vibrant wildflowers, and sparkling mountain lakes are surrounded by giant boulders. The drive out of Canberra has several quaint villages where drivers can stop off to take a rest and enjoy the views.