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Great Aussie road trips

Australia is made for road tripping.

Coast-hugging touring routes, rainforest-clad paths, inland adventures, and so much more.

We’re highlighting the boundless beauty with this super collection of road trips. There are two per state as well as the NT.

Prepare for trails full of visual feasts and enthralling encounters.

Touring routes in QLD

Great Barrier Reef Drive

Where: Cairns to Cape Tribulation.

Distance: 140km one way along the Great Barrier Reef Drive (Captain Cook Highway).

In a nutshell: This coast-clutching route exposes two of Tropical North QLD’s signature attractions: reef and rainforest. It all comes to a head at Cape Tribulation – accessed via a cable ferry – which is famous as a rare meeting point of two World Heritage sites: The Wet Tropics of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef. On the journey, expect to encounter plenty of paradise-like beaches and gorgeous greenery.

Must-see attractions: Palm Cove, Ellis Beach, and Daintree National Park and its two distinct sections: Mossman Gorge and Cape Tribulation.

BIG4 parks along the way (south to north):

Want more North QLD highlights? Find them here.

Just wow. The Great Barrier Reef Drive. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Sunshine Coast Hinterland

Where: Brisbane to Montville.

Distance: 100km one way along the Bruce Highway and Steve Irwin Way.

In a nutshell: While sparkling waterways are a hallmark of this famous region, its hinterland is just as impressive. Lush rainforest, famed national parks and their towering peaks, charm-rich towns, and welcoming wineries all feature on the path. And the beauty of this drive is that you can follow the inland route to get there and combine it with a path that incorporates the coast on the way back.

Must-see attractions: Glass House Mountains, D'Aguilar, and Kondalilla national parks, Maleny Botanic Gardens & Bird World, and Flame Hill Vineyard.

BIG4 parks along the coastal return route (north to south):

See more parks in the Sunshine Coast.

Kondalilla makes for a rewarding pit stop (refreshing dip optional). Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Touring routes in VIC

Great Ocean Road

Where: Torquay to Warrnambool.

Distance: 255km one way along the Great Ocean Road.

In a nutshell: One of Australia’s most famous touring routes was built as a memorial to those who died fighting in World War I. A succession of astounding coastal vistas and sparkling beaches contrast with glorious rainforest, and some of Victoria’s most-loved holiday destinations are dotted along the way. A bucket-list experience.

Must-see attractions: The rock-star like Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, and dazzling waterfalls and rainforest within Great Otway National Park.

BIG4 parks along the way (east to west):

There's eye candy at every turn along the Great Ocean Road.

Great Alpine Road

Where: Wangaratta to Metung.

Distance: 305km one way along Great Alpine Road and Swan Reach Road.

In a nutshell: An assortment of stunning, diverse scenery makes this an irresistible route. Be wowed by majestic mountains and alps, colourful vineyards, and expansive forests before reaching glittering waterways. The drive slices through vibrant towns and sleepy townships that add to its rich allure.

Must-see attractions: Mt Buffalo and Alpine national parks, including Mt Hotham and Mt Feathertop. Charm-packed Bright is an essential stop, as is the old-gold town of Omeo.

BIG4 parks along the way (north to south):

Or extend the journey to nearby Lakes Entrance. More here.

Expect an assortment of dazzling scenery when travelling the Great Alpine Road. 

Touring routes in NT

Nature's Way

Where: Darwin loop via Kakadu, Nitmiluk, and Litchfield national parks.

Distance: 875km along Stuart, Arnhem, and Kakadu highways.

In a nutshell: This route links captivating national parks, led by World Heritage-listed Kakadu along with Nitmiluk, Elsey, and Litchfield. Be enchanted by their bountiful natural treasures, and couple this with visits to inviting townships, refreshing springs, and other Top End delights.

Must-see attractions: Ancient rock art and Yellow Water Billabong in Kakadu, Nitmiluk Gorge and Leliyn/Edith Falls in Nitmiluk, termite mounds and Florence Falls in Litchfield, and Berry Springs Nature Park.

BIG4 parks along the way (north to south):

Kakadu is an essential stop along Nature's Way. Credit: Tourism NT/Sean Scott.

Red Centre Way

Where: Alice Springs loop via Tjoritja/West MacDonnell National Park, Kings Canyon, and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Distance: 1175km along Larapinta Drive, Namatjira Drive, Luritja Road, Lasseter Highway, and Stuart Highway.

In a nutshell: Witness some of Australia’s most mesmerising, iconic, and significant natural creations, including rock formations, gorges, and watering holes. Central Australia’s famous red desert sands are a signature of this unforgettable, epic touring route, which is rich in Indigenous history and culture.

Must-see attractions: The many highlights of Tjoritja/West MacDonnell National Park (including Simpsons Gap and Ormiston Gorge), Kings Canyon, Mt Conner, and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

The Red Centre Way bursts with rich, vivid colours. Pictured: Kings Canyon. Credit: Tourism NT.

Touring routes in WA

Best of the South West

Where: Perth to Albany via the coast and return inland via Kojonup.

Distance: 1185km along the Kwinana Freeway, Forrest Highway, Old Coast Road, and Bussell, Brockman, Vasse, South Western, South Coast, and Albany highways.

In a nutshell: A first-class mix of exceptional coastline, dramatic formations, towering trees, stunning caves, and fabulous wine regions are just some of the many highlights of this terrific trail. Along the way are vibrant towns and cities that ensure this touring route is one that is best served unhurried.

Must-see attractions: Busselton Jetty, Walpole-Nornalup, Leeuwin-Naturaliste, Torndirrup, and William Bay national parks, Margaret River Wine Region, and the National Anzac Centre in Albany.

BIG4 parks along the way (north to south):

Want to know more about what to see and do in South West WA? Be inspired here.

Spectacular scenery dominates the Best of the South West drive. Location: Pemberton. Credit: Frances Andrijich.

The Indian Ocean Drive

Where: Perth to Kalbarri and return.

Distance: 1140km along Brand and North West Coastal highways, Port Gregory Road, and George Grey Drive.

In a nutshell: This is a road trip for the ages, encompassing a raft of mind-blowing scenic wonders from eye-catching, colourful formations to mesmerising coastline. Witness amazing sunsets, feast on delectable seafood, and soak up fascinating histories. It’s a long drive but one that is chock-full of rewards.

Must-see attractions: A sequence of national parks holds incredible treasures: the Pinnacles Desert in Nambung, spring wildflowers in Lesueur, limestone caves in Stockyard Gully, and Nature’s Window in Kalbarri. Hutt Lagoon (Pink Lake) is not to be missed, either.

BIG4 parks along the way (south to north):

Hutt Lagoon is among a litany of Indian Ocean Drive highlights. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

Touring routes in NSW

Waterfall Way

Where: Coffs Harbour to Armidale.

Distance: 190km along the Pacific Highway and Waterfall Way.

In a nutshell: This is a path bursting with spectacular scenery. Expect to encounter World Heritage national parks, swathes of seemingly never-ending rainforest, and a handful of enthralling waterfalls among more. And the two cities that mark the route’s start and end points warrant extended stays thanks to their many excellent attractions.

Must-see attractions: Dorrigo National Park’s Skywalk lookout and Crystal Shower Falls, Dangar Falls near Dorrigo, Ebor Falls in Guy Fawkes River National Park, and massive Wollomombi Falls in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park.

BIG4 parks at start/end points:

Waterfall Way lives up to its title. Pictured: Dorrigo National Park.

Grand Pacific Drive

Where: Royal National Park to Jervis Bay.

Distance: 170km along Princes Highway, detouring at Lawrence Hargrave Drive for the Sea Cliff Bridge.

In a nutshell: Sparking coastal vistas abound on this snaking path that begins south of Sydney in the world’s second-oldest national park. The sparkling water views contrast with towering coastal cliffs and rainforest-dominated vistas. A highlight is the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge, which exemplifies the breathtaking beauty for 665m. Time-honoured holiday hotspots are dotted along the way.

Must-see attractions: Royal National Park, Symbio Wildlife Park, Nan Tien Temple, and the Kiama Blowhole.

BIG4 park along the way: BIG4 Easts Beach Holiday Park in Kiama.

Looking to extend the journey? Check out South Coast NSW holiday highlights here.

The landmark Sea Cliff Bridge shows off this path's plentiful goodies. Credit: Destination NSW.

Touring routes in TAS

Great Eastern Drive

Where: Orford to St Helens.

Distance: 175km along Tasman Highway.

In a nutshell: Embracing Tasmania’s enchanting east coast, the drive unveils a litany of bedazzling scenery. Expect to witness beautiful beaches, majestic mountains, rows of vineyards, quirky formations, and iconic national parks while indulging in fresh and tasty homegrown produce.

Must-see attractions: Maria Island, Freycinet National Park and its hero attraction, Wineglass Bay, Bicheno Blowhole, and Binalong Bay and the Bay of Fires.

BIG4 parks along the way (south to north):

Views like this are constant along the Great Eastern Drive. Credit: Lisa Kuilenburg.

West Coast Wilderness Way

Where: Cradle Mountain (visitor centre) to Lake St Clair via Zeehan, Strahan, and Queenstown.

Distance: 275km along Belvoir Road, Murchison Highway, Henty Road, and Lyell Highway.

In a nutshell: It’s no stretch to say this drive encounters some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet, including sections of the enormous Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Towering peaks, tapestries of rainforest, and sparkling lakes and rivers all feature alongside captivating heritage towns and plenty of other surprises.

Must-see attractions: Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair and Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers national parks, the timeless streetscape of Zeehan, Montezuma Falls, the West Coast Wilderness Railway, and the ‘moonscape’ scenery around Queenstown.

BIG4 park along the way: BIG4 Strahan.

Learn more about Strahan and surrounds here.

West Coast Wilderness is a route filled with visual splendour. Credit: Jason Charles Hill.

Touring routes in SA

The Epicurean Way

Where: McLaren Vale to the Clare Valley via the Adelaide Hills and Barossa.

Distance: 220km (various routes available).

In a nutshell: Incorporating some of Australia’s most famous wine regions – McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, the Barossa, and Clare Valley – the Epicurean Way is all about indulgence, glorious scenery, and relaxation. Prepare for a taste of the good life.

Must-see attractions: Aside from the many iconic cellar doors, highlights include Port Willunga Beach, the German-themed town of Hahndorf, Mt Lofty Botanic Garden, and Mt Crawford Forest Reserve.

BIG4 parks along the way (south to north):

Where to stay in Adelaide: BIG4 West Beach.

Indulge in the good life. Pictured: d'Arenberg Cube, McLaren Vale. Credit: Louise Edebone.

Southern Ocean Drive

Where: Adelaide to Mt Gambier via Kangaroo Island.

Distance: 650km (not including Kangaroo Island ferry crossing), taking in the coastal route via Princes Highway just after Tailem Bend.

In a nutshell: Explore two treasure-stuffed regions – the Fleurieu Peninsula and the Limestone Coast – with their mix of stunning, dramatic landscapes. Be greeted by long stretches of astonishing coastline and glistening beaches, captivating caves, vivid lakes, and much more. And a side trip from Mt Gambier to the Coonawarra wine region and Naracoorte Caves is highly rewarding.

Must-see attractions: Kangaroo Island, Victor Harbor, Coorong National Park, Cape Jaffa, Tantanoola Caves, and Mt Gambier’s Blue Lake.

BIG4 parks along the way (north to south):

The Southern Ocean Drive dazzles. Location: near Lady Bay, Fleurieu Peninsula. Credit: Isaac Forman.

Isn’t it time you went on a road trip? Plan your touring route adventures with BIG4 now. It all starts here.

Please note: All distances are approximate and don’t include detours. On any road trip, it’s advisable to stop regularly for breaks. Don’t drink and drive but do have fun.

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