The 5 Best Road Trips to Plan for 2020
Posted by: Lydia on 5/11/2019
2020 brings a new year and new opportunities for Aussies to plan some great road trips. As Australia continues to grow in population and expand its tourism offerings for locals and visitors alike, there’s never been a better time to head out on the open road – whether it’s your first time or your 100th.
From quick jaunts you can do in a day, to long odysseys you can spend a week or more working your way through, the following road trips are perfect for any driver or interest. Here are 5 of the best road trips to plan for 2020.
1. Mildura to Geelong
These two cities are among the best in provincial Victoria. They’re fantastic destinations in their own right, but when a road trip between them is undertaken, it really showcases the diversity of Victoria. Start in Mildura, a city encircled by iconic desert sands, with breakfast along the beautiful Murray River where you can look across the water into New South Wales. After stopping by one of the city’s many art galleries for a browse and mid-morning coffee, hop in the car and head for Geelong.
During your journey, you’ll see the red sands give way to lush greenery, and you’ll arrive in the coastal city by mid-afternoon. Once there, you should still have time for a swim before dinner – perhaps in the Geelong Aquatic Centre if it’s out of season and the ocean’s too cold – and then a stroll through the city’s beautiful waterfront precinct, followed by a drink at the beloved 18th Amendment Bar.
2. The Great Eastern Drive
Unless you already call the Apple Isle home, starting this Aussie road trip requires some extra work. You'll need to hop a plane or transport your car over on the Spirit of Tasmania. But make no mistake, this road trip really is a must-do. Heading along the eastern coast of Tasmania will give you access to beautiful and unspoiled beaches, rivers, and bushland.
Because traffic should be quieter compared to many similar road trips on the mainland, this trip offers you the opportunity to really take your time and enjoy a low-key, stress-free drive on one of the country’s greatest highways.
3. Brisbane to the Gold Coast
The route from Brisbane to the Gold Coast has always been popular among drivers looking to get out of the big city and head down to the Queensland capital of surf, sun, and nightclubs.
This really is a brilliant drive that’s been made all the better recently with the upgrade of the Pacific Motorway.
Works are still ongoing in parts – with the $74.7 million spent on the Coomera upgrade to be followed by 13 other stages of works – so it’s a good idea to check in advance to make sure your planned route is clear. Ultimately, these works will deliver one of Australia's best new motorways, so for any petrolheads who love shows like Mega Structures and Extreme Engineering, this trip in 2020 is a must. It's a great chance for a fun drive and a preview of an upgraded iconic Aussie highway.
4. Sydney to Cameron Corner
This journey is an ideal one to take if you want to remain in just one state – but it's super easy to change your mind. Start in Sydney and head west through the Blue Mountains and into Bathurst. Once you pass the home of the legendary V8 track, you’ll find the road opens up as you drive your way through 1400kms of highway.
This is a big drive – so a stop for dinner and a stay overnight in Broken Hill is wise – before arriving at Cameron Corner, the boundary where New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australia all intersect. It's a great spot to turn around and head for home, or cross the border into another state if time allows for a longer adventure.
5. Darwin to Port Augusta
Going from north to south on this trip will take you through the Outback and some of Australia’s most beautiful scenery. For foodies, this is a marvellous trip, with the tropical climate of Darwin and its surrounds offering an array of bars and eateries with an Asian fusion twist that is seeing the capital of the Northern Territory become renowned globally. Then, as you travel down to Port Augusta, you’ll find some of the nation’s best wine, cheese, and gourmet chocolate to indulge in. It's an unforgettable trip with remarkable food on offer throughout.
Travelling safe and sound
Whether you’re going on a long road trip or a short one, be sure to be well prepared for it in advance. It's true that the travel between Brisbane and the Gold Coast isn’t nearly as remote as between Darwin and Port Augusta – so if your car comes to a stop, you won’t be waiting long for roadside assistance – but anytime you hit the open road, there's the chance a mishap could occur.
So in addition to ensuring your car and tyres are in good shape, also pack some extra food and water (more than you need), and have some first aid supplies in the boot. The odds of getting into a survival situation today are slim, but it’s wise to prepare just in case.
Alongside the terrific road trips we’ve listed here, keep in mind that Australia has many islands off the mainland that make for great visits. Destinations like Phillip Island in Victoria, Rottnest Island in Western Australia, and Magnetic Island in Queensland may take a bit of extra planning to get to, but they can be fantastic add-ons to your road trip. So for any Aussie who has ‘been everywhere man’ and is now looking for a new route, consider adding an island visit to your road trip list in 2020.
What other great road trips do you have in mind for 2020? Share in the comments below: