30th January, 2012

5 Secrets to a Great Australian Road Trip

Australia is a wonderful destination for visitors, with around 5.6 million tourists arriving on its shores every year. One novel way to enjoy Australia and experience all that it has to offer is by taking a road trip. These five road trip secrets will prove equally useful to those on a thousand mile journey around the continent and those who are undertaking a shorter self-drive tour from one city to another.

Secret 1: Prioritise Accommodation

After a day on the road, travellers can kick back in luxurious and comfortable lodgings, and soon again be ready for a full night out. Good accommodation is vital for any holiday, but especially on road trips when you’ll be travelling long distances during the day. Whether you’re driving to Sydney, through the Outback, or the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise, accommodation in Australia can present good value and excellent levels of luxury and enjoyment.

Secret 2: Start Planning with the Basics

Your journey will be enjoyable if you start planning with the basics in mind. How long do you have and who will be taking the trip with you? Australia is a very large country, and distances can be significant.

  • Check distance charts carefully, and be sure to find out the actual distance by road, which can vary from the direct distance from Point A to Point B.
  • Consider and prepare for the weather conditions of the places you’ll be visiting.

Secret 3: Plan for Some Amazing Views

Australia has an endless range of great destinations for self-guided road trips. Some of these include:

  • The Great Ocean Road. Voted as one of the best scenic coastal drives in Australia, the Great Ocean Road spans nearly 250 km of the state of Victoria’s coastline.
  • The coastal areas in Queensland. The Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Cairns, and many more destinations number among the must-see coastal areas in Queensland. After your scenic drive, kick back at one of the Surfers Paradise resorts or hop on a boat and see the Great Barrier Reef for yourself.
  • The Red Centre. It’s not just the coastal areas that offer amazing views. With Uluru at its centre, the Red Centre includes places such as Alice Springs, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Kings Canyon, Finke Gorge, and MacDonnell Ranges.
  • National parks and heritage protected areas. Road trips are one of the best opportunities for exploring Australia’s abundance of national parks and heritage protected areas. Some of these include the Blue Mountains (NSW), Kakadu, the Tasmanian wilderness, and the numerous marine parks in Queensland.

Secret 4: Take Your Time

Stay flexible and take your time. There is so much to see in Australia that you’ll wish you made more time for every place. If you have plenty of time, don’t skip the smaller towns as they can be superb places for incredible finds or unique local experiences.

Secret 5: Safety on the Road

Australia is a very safe country, but as with any other destination, care should be take on the road.

  • Vehicle. Choose a vehicle that suits your needs on the road. Cars tend to be larger in Australia when compared with Europe or some other countries. If you’re taking a long trip, consider a wagon, van, or a four-wheel drive for more space and suitability for rugged terrain.
  • Unfamiliar roads. Plan ahead with maps and electronic guidance systems for unfamiliar roads.