Carlita's 2012 'Great Aussie Road Trip' to Perth

Carlita | Road Trip Tales
Carlita | Road Trip Tale
42 hr | 4,038 km
A group of friends and I decided that, before we all settled down and had kids, we’d embark on the ultimate road trip across Australia, starting in Sydney and finishing in Perth. What started as a huge group of keen pals, quickly dwindled down to myself, my best friend and her fiancé. After stocking up on emergency petrol, caffeine and snacks, the three of us piled into a jeep and set out to bisect Australia in seven days.
  • 3 best mates
  • 7 nights
  • 4 chicken parmi roadhouse dinners
  • 1 locust swarm
  • 1 big galah
Sydney to Balranald
We left on Boxing Day, with our sights ambitiously set on Perth. The aim was to get there on New Year’s Eve, so we had to cover a fair few kilometres each day. We shot down Princes Highway, soon stopping at the Big Merino in Goulburn. After taking a few snaps, we jumped back into the Jeep and continued our journey. By nightfall we’d made it to Balranald. A big first day to set the tone for what was to come.
Carlita - Road Trip Tales - We met the Big Merino
Visiting the Big Merino
Balranald to Port Augusta
We woke up early and continued our journey west, driving through Mildura and Murray Sunset National Park. I remember being struck by the park’s salt plains, glistening a beautiful violet and stretching ‘till they met the horizon. We crossed the South Australia border and reached Port Augusta just before sunset, but first had to endure a swarm of locust. With the car covered in black gunk, we made a beeline for the town’s car wash.
Carlita - Road Trip Tales - ossing the South Australian border
Crossing the South Australian border
Port Augusta to Eucla
The first pitstop for the day was ‘The Big Galah’. A reassuring sign lay behind the huge bird stating that we were halfway across Australia. We were making great time! From this big thing, we continued westwards to the Nullarbor. We’d all been looking forward to our next stop, Cactus Beach, a sight famous for its incredibly bright pink salt lakes. After a brief yet breathtaking stop, we wandered back to the car and continued driving, arriving in Eucla in the late afternoon.
Carlita - Road Trip Tales - We found paradise at Cactus Beach
We found paradise at Cactus Beach
Eucla to Kalgoorlie
From Eucla, we headed for Kalgoorlie, driving along Australia’s Golden Mile. As it was another 10 hour day of driving, we enjoyed a relaxing roadside break amongst the trees of Dundas Nature Reserve in Norseman, after which we switched drivers and headed up past the old goldfield known as Lake Cowan.
Carlita Road Trip Tales Traversing Australias Golden Mile
Traversing Australia's Golden Mile
Kalgoorlie to Perth

Our final day of big drives was ahead of us. As the home stretch was an almost straight line to Perth, we swapped the driving often so we wouldn’t get fatigued. We excitedly hit Mundaring State Forest, knowing that we’d get to Perth in time. Rewarding ourselves for making our ambitious deadline, we headed out for a bike ride around Rottnest Island before celebrating New Year’s Eve together on the mainland.

It may have been a speedy trip, but it showed us Australia is oozing with so much natural beauty. You can see incredible sights from the comfort of your passenger seat or a short stroll from your car. Now with kids among two group of friends, I cannot wait to take them on a similar adventure around our beautiful country.

Carlita Road Trip Tales Picking up essentials before setting off on longest straight stretch of ro
Picking up essentials before setting off on the longest straight stretch of road in Australia

Road Trip Tales
are Member-shared memories, providing a sample of their route. Some highways and routes may no longer be open today. If you would like to emulate Carlita's journey, use the multi-place map. above, or create your own route using our trip planner and our road trip guides.