Australia has expansive landscapes with teeming wildlife and scenic horizons just waiting to be ventured into and explored.
Many Aussies take for granted the splendor that their country holds. If you’re from down under, let that stop with you! The range of what Australia has to offer can best be appreciated by touring the country overland. So, why not go and discover some of your homecountry’s hotspots by embarking on one of Australia’s longest road trips?
Grab a backpack, fuel up your car and make sure you’re covered for unexpected damage to your vehicle, and pick up your roadmap. Let’s take a look at the longest full-fledged Aussie road trips you shouldn’t be missing out on. We think they’re all worth taking at least once in your lifetime, so you may want to add a couple (or all) of these to your bucketlist!
The Big Lap
When big Aussie road trips are the topic of discussion, there’s a sort of silent reverence and awe for the sheer immensity of the Big Lap. It’s not something that anyone chooses to undertake on a whim, considering it takes months, if not years, to fully engross yourself in the route’s entirety.
But if you’re adamant about venturing this great route, you’ll visit pretty much all that Australia has to offer. It’s not a feat that everyone can boast.
The route includes:
- Seven of Australia’s biggest cities
- The Great Outback and small rural towns
- Lush, glorious rainforests
- Gorgeous shores and beaches
- Stretches of red-sand earth
- Ancient rock formations
If you find yourself in between job-searching (or soul searching) or have a stack of cash piled up, or are happily retired – this is one trip for the books. Find yourself a 4WD, enough cash to fuel the 15,000-kilometre road trip, and the right attitude. This right here is the pinnacle of Australian road trips.
Gibb’s River Road
Road trips don’t have to come in massive proportions and take you forever to complete. Maybe you just want a weekend getaway to explore the beauty surrounding Kimberley and Wyndham. If you resonate with that, then the Gibb’s River Road route can be a fulfilling road trip for you.
It drives deep into the remote wilderness – so ensure you have a 4WD ready. There, you’ll see sacred Aboriginal sites, outback stations, ancient gorges, loud waterfalls, and a history full of the Australian spirit. A particularly fascinating highlight is the Bell Gorge – a multi-tiered waterfall that rushes and rages down layered sandstone. And the best part is: you can take a refreshing dip in these natural water holes.
The Savannah Way
Also called “Australia’s Adventure Drive”, you’d know for certain that this road trip is among the creams of the crop when it comes to an exhilarating itinerary. This drive connects Cairns in the northeastern tip around Queensland to Kimberley in Western Australia, which rounds off to around 3,700 kilometres. Definitely not a stroll down the park!
It showcases the tropical marvels of the savannahs scattered across the northern part of Australia, as well as the Northern Territory’s Top End. Besides that, you’ll also pass by fifteen national parks, five World Heritage sites (such as the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforest), wide-open beaches, and breathtaking gorges.
The Great Alpine Road
Drive past the fascinating, blue-coloured lakes of the 500-km Great Alpine Road that crosses Victoria through Metung, where the Gippsland Lakes area is found.
On the Great Alpine Road, you can drive right into Australia’s mountain roads, with views of deep valleys, sparkling waterways, and farmyard plantations popping out every few miles. If you want to have a rest from all the natural wonders around the area, there are a couple of quaint rural towns with a rich history too, namely Bright, Omeo, and Beechworth.
The Great Ocean Road
From Torquay to Allansford, this road trip destination winds 243 kilometres along the coastlines of Australia. At the other end, you get to see landmarks such as the Twelve Apostles, dense rainforests, ochre cliffs, and even shipwrecks.
To find some of these stunning locations, head to the Loch Ard Gorge to spot the 19th-century shipwreck, the Island Archway.
Pro tip: Start in Torquay to admire the full breadth of the scenic ocean views along the coastline.
The Nullarbor, SA
The Nullarbor’s nearly treeless plains that span WA to the Eyre Peninsula in SA is one trip to drive if venturing into the southern side of Australia appeals to you.
This route brings you to the Great Australian Bight, where jaw-dropping sea cliffs glisten along the sparkling waters. If you want to spot Australian wildlife, this route gives you the best bet in finding prolific Australian wildlife that we all know and love. Think of kangaroos, emus, and dingoes – they’re all scattered around this 1256-kilometre stretch.
This route can be a desolate and remote road trip spot, so be sure to prepare for basic accommodation and sufficient supplies of fuel and water to keep you safe.
If one of the longest road trips in Australia listed above has tickled your fancy, you can refer to our tips for taking road trips to start building your journey! Think about the type of vehicle you want to use, what you need to bring, and whether you would like to undertake your road trip solo or with others.
If the latter, be sure to choose the right companions for your overland adventure – whether it’s your partner, family members, or friends. This is not always as easy a decision as it seems, as the people who accompany you on your road trip can literally make or break your experience.
Have you taken any of these epic Australian road trips, or do you have a different one to recommend? Which one is your favorite? We’d love to hear about it, so let us know in a comment below!