For any Irish person visiting Australia, there are two rites of passage - your first encounter with a huntsman spider and the great Australian road trip. Of these two classic Australian experiences, we definitely prefer the road trip. As Australia is absolutely huge, unless you have 12 months to spare, it’s best to choose one route to concentrate on. Read on to discover three great Australian road trips that will give you memories to last a lifetime:
1. Western Australia – Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin
How long it will take: The route begins 3 hours south of Perth at Cape Naturaliste and winds 200 km south to Cape Leeuwin. Give yourself at least 3 to 4 days to take it all in.
What you can’t miss: This trip along the western coast begins at Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. The road dips inland to the Margaret River Wineries, home to some of the best wines in the world. Eventually you reach Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, which winds past caves and beaches. The end of the road at Cape Leeuwin marks where the Pacific and Indian Oceans meet. This is a favourite spot for whale watching.
Best places to stay along the route: We recommend staying in Dunsborough and Augusta, or one of the many beach resorts along the way.
2. Melbourne to Adelaide on the Great Ocean Road
How long it will take: The Ocean Road snakes its way through national parks and world-class beaches all the way to Adelaide. It’s at least a 10 hour drive, but allow 6 to 8 days so you can make stops along the way.
What you can’t miss: We’ve written about the Great Ocean Road before as it is one of Australia’s best known road trips. The route begins at Torquay, just South of Melbourne, and takes in the South-eastern coast. The road passes world-famous surf and winds through Great Otway National Park with its lush ferns and waterfalls. Near Princetown, you’ll pass ocean-ravaged limestone cliffs, whose tall rock pillars stand more than 50 metres out to sea.
Best places to stay along the route: There are numerous towns along this famous route and plenty of B&Bs and caravan parks to stay in. Rest your head in larger hotels in Lorne, Apollo Bay, Warnambool or Portland.
3. Eastern Australia – Rainforest Way
How long it will take: This 650 km circuit drive around New South Wales and Queensland passes through 14 World Heritage national parks. The drive breaks down into seven one-day routes.
What you can’t miss: Over 23 million years ago, volcanoes lining the border of New South Wales and Queensland erupted, spewing lava all over the region. Millions of years later, a lush landscape with unbelievable geological formations and subtropical rainforests remains. One of our favourite one-day routes is the Tamborine Circuit. Start from Nerang on Queensland’s Gold Coast and head south west towards Lamington National Park. Don’t miss O’Reilly’s Green Mountain section where you can do a 16 metre high tree top walk and participate in a Glow worm tour.
Best places to stay along the route: Tamborine and Lamington are great places to stay but you’ll find plenty of smaller B&Bs and hideaways along the way.
Even more Australian road trips
These three iconic road trips are just for starters. Other popular Australian road trips include the Red Centre in the Northern Territory, a trip from Brisbane to Cairns, or exploring Tasmania. Remember to be prepared for your journey. Brush up on your bush survival skills, particularly if you plan to travel to more remote routes. A fantastic continent for the iconic road trip, Australia has some extensive roads, but in more remote areas, the great pavement can often turn into a small dirt track – but we should be well-used to that in Ireland!
Planning a road trip to Australia
If you’re thinking of visiting Australia, why not call us on 01 8047188 and have one of our agents help you plan your trip. Alternatively, some of our Australia deals are available online for you to check out!
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