6 Beautiful Road Trips to Take in a Capital City

Posted by: Lydia on 5/02/2021

Category: General

Southbank district in Brisbane at night

Taking a road trip is a great Aussie tradition, but in the pandemic era, it’s gotten harder to do.

Restrictions against interstate and international travel — and sometimes even against travelling outside of a capital city — mean that many Aussies have had to rework their regular plans for a holiday. Although we all look forward to getting back to a more normal lifestyle in the post-pandemic era, in the meantime we don’t have to give up fun behind the wheel altogether.

There are a number of great road trips even within our capital cities. For locals, taking on one of the following drives can be a great way to blow off some steam and see the city you call home in a new light. For those who live outside a capital city, this list is a great showing of attractions you can put on the itinerary for your next trip to The Big Smoke.

1. Beach Road, Melbourne

Start your journey down this famous road that hugs Melbourne’s southeast coastline at Port Melbourne. From there, you can drive a very leisurely 60kms per hour along a free-flowing stretch of road with relatively few traffic lights, and an array of beautiful views. 

There are various cafes and restaurants that pop up along the way and allow for a pit stop for a coffee or lunch. Once you arrive at the end of Beach Road in the seaside city of Frankston, it’s also possible to extend your coastal journey into the Mornington Peninsula, where famous surf beaches await.

2. Mount Nebo Road, Brisbane

In recent years, Queensland's biggest city has cemented its own dynamic and vibrant identity to rival Sydney and Melbourne, and the city has made a real asset of the bush and rural beauty that surrounds it. It’s a big part of the reason why the Sunshine state generated $12.7 billion in tourism revenue between the 2018-2019 financial year. 

A road trip along Mount Nebo road will offer the perfect example of this, with eucalyptus trees aplenty and the beautiful greenery of Brisbane’s Forest Park reserve also on show. 

3. Perth Hills

The Perth Hills drive is a fabulous way to go from sun and sand in the city to pristine wilderness in just one hour. As well as their natural beauty, the mountain ranges are also a playground of activities. From bed and breakfast retreats and cider breweries to botanic gardens and national parks, this is a region any gearhead could happily visit again and again, and still find something new to do.

4. Adelaide Hills 

Perth is not the only Aussie capital with an incredible mountain range on its outskirts. Beautiful towns such as Aldgate, Crafers, Mount Barker and Hahndorf are all less than an hour from Adelaide’s CBD. 

There’s a number of attractions in the region, including the expansive Epicurean Way — a collection of gourmet eateries and wineries that any foodie will adore. For anyone who loves combining their adventures on 4 wheels with some time on 2 wheels, these hills also offer some of the best cycling in South Australia.

5. The Drive Over Sydney Harbour Bridge

Anyone who has ever been stuck in peak hour traffic commuting to work may not feel the Bridge always qualifies as a beautiful drive. But ultimately, it’s one of the nation’s most iconic creations. Even lifelong Sydneysiders will find — for all the traffic challenges that can come with living in the nation’s oldest city — that a drive across the Bridge remains breathtaking. 

For anyone visiting Sydney, a drive over the Bridge is just as worthwhile as sailing underneath it on one of the NSW capital’s famous ferries. The drive can be a short one, from the CBD over to the North Shore, or a long one that can wind all the way up to the Northern Beaches to make a day of it.

Remember a Short Trip Should Be Safe

Even though you may not be going far on a capital city road trip if you live locally, it’s still necessary to keep your car's condition in mind. If you've recently only been using the car for quick trips in the neighbourhood — a common experience for many Aussies given the work-from-home rules the pandemic has required — then suddenly having your vehicle out for a long haul could put pressure on it. 

Giving your car a run on a freeway is usually beneficial, but if you haven’t done so for a long period of time, now is a good opportunity to do some checks and even consider a mechanic’s inspection. Taking these steps now can help ensure your car is in good stead for your upcoming road trip, and future ones that follow.

Just Get Out and Explore

Right now, many Aussies are dealing with substantial Covid-19 restrictions, or have dealt with them in the recent past. The nature of the pandemic also means circumstances can change fast, and cities and states can go into a new lockdown rapidly if an outbreak occurs. In this environment, it’s always good to be flexible when it comes to planning a road trip.

Especially because just as some new restrictions may come into place, others may ease — meaning you may gain more freedom to expand your road trip if you wish to do so.

But ultimately, unless you’re currently in an area that’s temporarily dealing with a very hard lockdown, then there’s no shortage of great roads and drives to go on. Even if you don't have the time to go on a road trip, there should still be the opportunity to spend a brief stint on a great route, like the Peninsula Freeway in Melbourne or the M1 Pacific Motorway along the Central Coast. A drive like that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face, and sure to have you looking forward to your next road trip when you’ve the chance to take one.

What other beautiful road trips in Aussie capital cities are you a fan of? Let us know in the comments below.

Image: Pixabay