5 of the Best Road Trips You Need to Take in 2016
Posted by: Dan on 18/04/2016
5 of the Best Road Trips You Need to Take in 2016
With statistics in recent years showing that the average Australian spends up to 5 hours a week commuting, there’s never been such a good time get out on the road for pleasure, and take a road trip.
In particular, a trip where you’re able to drive your car like it was meant to be driven, a trip with free-flowing roads, open windows, and the opportunity to stop for a morning swim or afternoon coffee somewhere across the Great Southern Land.
Check out the 5 best road trips you should take around Australia in 2016 to spend time in your car – and enjoy every minute of it.
1. Melbourne to Sydney
The trip between Australia’s two largest cities is a wonderful starting point for a road trip in 2016.
While you can take the trip of approximately 900 kms up to Sydney in around 9 hours (not counting rest and refeuelling stops) via the Hume Highway, the best trip resides in the longer and more scenic Princes Highway.
Travel through the beautiful Gippsland wine region, past Lakes Entrance, over the border from Victoria into New South Wales, and then up via Merimbula, Batemans Bay, and Wollongong. Before arriving in Sydney, you’ll have travelled through some of the most iconic spots and stunning coastal ranges within these two Australian states. This trip is doable in just 15 hours, but you won’t even mind if it takes longer, as all the attractions along the way prompt you to pull over and explore.
2. The Great Ocean Road
Head out from Melbourne westward along the coast to South Australia, and you’ll get to experience one of the great drives in the world. With the Great Ocean Road officially starting at Torquay, you can begin your trip with a visit to the home of Victorian surfing. With the country’s largest surf and beach culture museum, and a number of other attractions that pay tribute to Australia’s boarding heritage, this area is a must-see for those who seek to understand Australia’s love affair with the surf and the sea.
Even if you’re not an experienced surfer, you’ll be tempted to quickly find a board as you drive out of town and head past the world-famous Bells Beach. After you catch a wave, or just observe from the shoreline, you’ll continue along pristine coastline, white beaches, and turquoise water running approximately 250 kms all the way from Bells Beach to just outside Warrnambool (where you can leave the board and instead see humpback whales catching waves at the right time of year).
3. Gold Coast to the Daintree Rainforest
Driving from Queensland’s capital city to the Gold Coast is a tremendous drive that allows you to travel along some amazing coastline, from Australia’s party capital, to the remote beauty of its far northern reaches. Begin by leaving the Gold Coast early one morning, and make your way along the Pacific Motorway to Brisbane – just an hour away – where you can stop in for a coffee in Australia’s third-largest city.
Once you’ve had something to eat and relaxed a bit, begin the trek to Far North Queensland via the A1 Highway. With an estimated 21 hours of travel time – double the time it takes to get from Sydney to Melbourne – the drive is a long one; but it takes you along some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, with cattle stations, banana plantations, the tropical waters flowing from the Great Barrier Reef, and finally the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest, which you can explore upon your arrival at your destination.
4. Sydney to Perth
Going from Australia’s first city, to the most remote capital city in the world via the National Highway is a treat for the eyes – and your vehicle – as you hit the open road ready to explore some rich scenery. While the hot conditions of the Australian desert test your car – make sure you’ve planned for a warm weather road trip – the drive takes you from the Harbour City through the wonderful diversity of Australia’s colours.
Once outside Sydney, you’ll come upon the Blue Mountains and the vivid green and yellow of the NSW Tablelands, then see it contrasted with the striking orange and red sands of the Outback, before arriving in Perth and at the doorstep of the green waters and white sands of the Indian Ocean. A one-way trip of around 40 hours of driving, it’s definitely a lengthy trek cross country, but with such beauty to take in, it will surely be a drive that flies by.
5. Darwin to Tasmania (via Spirit of Tasmania)
Head from Australia’s northernmost capital city to its southernmost. A trip from Darwin to Melbourne via the Stuart Highway will take you through all the richness of the Outback, pass through South Australia, and into Melbourne before hopping on the iconic Spirit of Tasmania ferry to make the trip across the Bass Strait to arrive in Devonport.
From there, disembark and make the 3-hour drive to Hobart. With the entire trip taking around 42 hours (and involving a ferry to traverse the water), this trip is certainly for the confirmed roadtrip guru. However, it’s ultimately an experience that takes you to the top of the country bordered by tropical seas, to the city of Hobart that to many explorers served as a last stop on land before making the trip to Antarctica. The trip is historic, epic, and everything a great roadtrip should be.
What is the best road trip you have taken? What tips and tricks did you use to make the journey go smoother? Let us know in the comments below.