Some of the best times on our holidays have come on the drive to each destination. From packing the car with lollies and in-car entertainment, to turning the music up and navigating twisting roads with the wind blowing in your hair, there's nothing quite like a scenic drive through Australia.
With so many classic road trips on offer in our vast country, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best. Take your pick and set off on your most memorable holiday yet – you can thank us later.
The Great Ocean Road
This is arguably Australia's ultimate road trip. It can be travelled in one day, but you certainly wouldn't be able to experience the multitude of activities and sights the Great Ocean Road has to offer. It's best to set aside a few days, or simply drive at your own pace, spontaneously picking where you'd like to stop.
The Great Ocean Road will see your car tyres rolling right along the coastline from Torquay all the way to Warrnambool. On the journey, you’ll see the famous Twelve Apostles, southern right whales on their ocean migration between Australia and Antarctica, and dozens of quaint and delicious local eateries.
Adelaide's Nature and Sea Vine Trail
This 775km route will carry you all the way from the gorgeous Adelaide Hills through McLaren Vale, Victor Harbor and Seal Bay, then onto the Rocky River and back to Adelaide. Combining beautiful coastal landscape and cityscape views with historic sites and gorgeous wildlife, you can take as little or as long as you wish to complete this picturesque journey. However, the recommended time is around five days, with overnight stays in whichever town you fall in love with.
Highlights include wine tasting opportunities at over 60 cellar doors in McLaren Vale, an adorable colony of New Zealand fur seals amid rocky cliffs at Seal Bay, and taking a ferry across to Kangaroo Island once you arrive at Cape Jervis.
The Pacific Coast – Sydney to Brisbane
This thrilling Sydney to Brisbane road trip covers 930km over a recommended eight-day itinerary, beginning in Sydney, then travelling through Port Stephens, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay and Tweed Heads, before ending up in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. This route is perfect for a surfing road trip or those who simply wish to experience the stunning beaches of Australia.
Activities on your drive include looking out for a pod of the 160 resident bottlenose dolphins in Port Stephens, as well as putting on a brave face and conquering the sand dunes of Stockton beach, which can get up to 30 metres high. Learn to surf in Byron Bay and, once you end up in Surfers Paradise, dine in style at the towering Q1 Resort. It's up to you whether you'd like to travel onwards to Brisbane, or turn around and head back down to some of the attractions you may have missed on the way up.
But before you set off…
Prior to starting any road trip, it's crucial to do some pre-journey vehicle checks. Important things to check off include making sure your tyres are at the correct pressure, their tread depths aren’t too close to the wear limiters, and your fuel, oil and water are at acceptable levels.
The NRMA has teamed up with Destination NSW to make sure you can see the absolute best that NSW has to offer by road this year. Check out the video below for our top tips on keeping your car road-trip-ready.
Image credit: Mark Watson