Take A Road Trip Down Under
Exploring Australia By Road
Australia offers everything from wild landscapes to bustling urban cities and striking landmarks, all of which you could explore on a road trip down under.
Australia could be seen as a road trippers dream – it’s a vast country packed full of coastal scenery, cosmopolitan cities, and world famous sights such as Ayers Rock, Sydney Opera House and the Great Barrier Reef. Travelling across the world to this fascinating country may seem like a challenge in itself, but if you add in exploring it by road you’ll have a whole other, yet equally rewarding holiday experience. We’re taking a look at some of the realities of travelling down under for a road trip, but first some of the places you could explore.
Exploring Down Under
With such a vast country set out in front of you it can be hard to know where to start when planning an Australian Road Trip. Thankfully, the Internet is full of suggestions from people who have taken the journeys themselves, as well as travel industry experts who can offer advice on possible itineraries and what you can realistically hope to see during your stay.
Virgin Australia has some great road trip suggestions for summer tourists visiting the country, all of which includes details of flights, car hire, and places to stay – great if you are taking a road trip in Australia for the first time. Their suggestions include:
The Princes Highway
Running from Kiama to Eden in New South Wales, this route is an hour and a half south of Sydney and starts around the Wollongong area covering 500 km to Eden. Explore sea caves in Mimosa Rocks National Park, secluded beaches in the Bournda National Park, or sample seafood at Batemans Bay.
Albany to Esperance, Western Australia, National Route 1 – This off the beaten track south west coast route is ideal for paradise hunters. View ancient rock formations such as Castle Rock and Elephant Rock, the flora and fauna of Fitzgerald River National Park, and discover all the southern wine region has to offer.
Australian Road Trip Tips
For entry into Australia you’ll need a passport valid for the length of your stay, an appropriate visa, along with travel insurance. If you plan to visit aboriginal lands, which come under the Aboriginal Lands Trust for leisure and tourism purposes, you’ll also need a transit permit for visiting/passing through the land.
Be realistic when planning your itinerary – Australia is vast and doesn’t have many inland towns of a decent size. If you’re planning a road trip down under it’s important to realise that there can be big distances between pit stops – you won’t pass motorway services every hour. Therefore, it’s best to do a lot of planning before you go – work out what area you can realistically cover in the time you’ll spend in Australia.
You could choose the wine regions of southern Australia, such as the Adelaide Hills or the Clare Valley, or explore the island state of Tasmania, or take a trip down the Great Ocean Road which is near Melbourne. There are any number of ways you can divide up your trip and see some fantastic sights, no matter how long you’ll be driving for.
Plan for the weather – when it’s sunny and warm down south, you could be experiencing hot and humid up north – with an uncomfortable wet season in prospect. If you’re planning on visiting the Northern tropical end of the country try June-August for dryer ‘winter’ months. The weather is more bearable during this period, and contrasts with the colder/grey southern Australian states.
Be prepared, because with such a vast country come remote outback areas, and while you may find some amenities and gas stations along the way, they are not necessarily geared up to tourists, and the basics they need. Make sure you set out each day with a supply of water and food, book a vehicle suitable for the terrain (and with GPS), and have maps and guidebooks as reference for your journey. It’s also worth checking your phone provider’s coverage (it may be limited in remote areas), along with road conditions, and if possible inform someone of your expected arrival time at each stop. Also ensure that your car has spare tyres in case of a breakdown – and make sure you know how to change a wheel.
Australia has so much to offer and a road trip is one of the best ways to explore the country. In Australia, you can feel like a true explorer while on holiday. Just stick to the main roads and start planning well ahead of your trip.