5 Australian Landmarks Best Seen By Car
Posted by: Lydia on 27/12/2017
Australia is famous as the land of sun, sea, and sand. But as wonderful as our coastlines are, we’ve also done fantastic things revolving around our roads, from producing iconic cars and raising world-champion racers, to having many fantastic car-friendly landmarks around our Great Southern Land.
From bridges recognised the world over to beloved race tracks, our landmarks are a core part of our story and heritage. We’re lucky in Australia to have it all - and then some - when it comes to sights we can drive to. Here’s a look at five of the best landmarks you can see by car.
1. Albert Park Grand Prix Track
Every year, the Formula One Championship descends on Melbourne. F1 cars screaming around Albert Park Lake at 300 kms makes for amazing TV, but driving the track can be even more fun.
Sure, when the F1 event is on, Albert Park has restricted access. But during the rest of the year, it’s a public road with much of the street track drivable.
F1 fans will pinch themselves when they turn onto the main straight and get to drive by the pit lane. In addition to the F1 circuit itself, Albert Park is a great drive all around with plenty of natural beauty, including some black swans that are always up for a piece of bread and an Instagram pic or two.
2. Great Ocean Road
Whenever someone describes Australia, the ocean will inevitably figure in. The state of Victoria is lucky to have some of the most beautiful and pristine coastlines in the world.
While the Great Ocean Road would be a wonderful drive no matter what, it has something extra-special going for it: the 243 km highway is a fantastic way to reach the world-famous surf spot Bells Beach, which is featured in countless documentaries and movies.
Aside from being a great route to take from Melbourne to Bells, the Great Ocean Road also passes by plenty of interesting towns and other attractions along the way. An unforgettable experience, the entire road can be driven in just three hours, but you’ll surely want to take it slow and cruise the whole way.
3. Sydney Harbour Bridge
The bridge is always a special structure to cross. Even if you’re a Sydneysider who occasionally gets caught in peak hour traffic on it, crossing over the world-famous Port Jackson Harbour is always fun. For anyone who has yet to do it, it's a special moment. If there’s one challenge to the drive, it’s picking just the right time to cross.
Over 150,000 people cross Sydney Harbour Bridge every day. Whatever time of day you go, you’re likely to have company. If you really want to make the crossing special, though, pick the early dawn or twilight on a Sunday evening. You’ll have less traffic and better odds of seeing the sun on the horizon to accompany you on your trip over Australia’s most famous coat hanger.
4. The Tour Down Under Circuit
Australia’s answer to the Tour De France is an outstanding part of our national roads.
At a distance of 860 kilometres, it may be a bit of a tall order for the average Aussie on a bike. But by car, it can make for a beautiful day trip through some of South Australia’s most stunning landscapes.
The biggest cycling event of its kind in the world outside Europe, the Tour Down Under can vary its route a little each year. Regardless, it will always feature Adelaide, beautiful coastal sights, and a trek through some wonderful wine country.
For many Australians and plenty of tourists, a trip to the Outback is a right of passage.
Located 450 kms outside of Alice Springs - a.k.a. ‘just a stone’s throw’ in Outback distance - the trip through the red sands of the Australian deserts to arrive at Uluru is an unforgettable experience.
The famous rock - almost 1 km tall and around 550 million years old - has a special place in the history of Australia’s indigenous community. Driving by at sunset to see all the different colours streak across the rock’s face makes a trip to this Aussie icon a must.
Bonus: All of Australia’s Big Things
As a nation, Australia was set up from the start to do big things. After all, we’re the only country that is also a continent. With all this land and space to ourselves, it’s no surprise that we had room to spare when creating local icons. In addition to the five landmarks above, there are literally hundreds of Australia’s iconic Big Things that are fantastic for a drive-by.
The Big Marlin, The Big Kookaburra, The Big Chook, and of course, the The Big Pineapple;
naming just a few of these sculptures is sure to flood your mind with holiday memories. Sure, you’ve seen a couple, but with more than 200 out there, there’s never been a better time to hop in the car and check a few more off your list.
Aussies have always loved a road trip, and there are so many attractions around the nation to see. With the windows down on a hot summer day and some great Aussie music playing, the only downside to seeing some of our landmarks is that you’ll want to see them all. Visit these fantastic five to start your journey, and you’ll be certain to discover others along the way to enjoy and share with family and friends.
What other Aussie landmarks do you love seeing by car? Let us know in the comments below: