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Australia’s scenery is vibrant and varied and full of vast landscapes and spectacular seascapes.
With snow-capped mountains, tropical rainforests, dusty deserts, expansive coastline and cosmopolitan cities, Australia is an epic destination with plenty of adventure to be had.
One of the most varied landscapes on Earth, Australia is bursting with iconic, world-famous natural monuments. You’ve seen these on TV and in magazines, but now it’s time to see them in person.
Renting a car in Australia is the best way to see the sights. It allows you to get off the beaten track and explore more. Driving in Australia is quite a pleasant experience too. Once you get out of the cities, you’ll most likely have the roads to yourself. With very little traffic and wide open roads, there’s a great sense of freedom. There are also plenty of opportunities to pull over, stretch your legs and take in your stunning surroundings.
So what are you waiting for? It is time to start planning your epic Australian road trip and get excited about the adventure of a lifetime.
While renting a car in Australia is pretty straightforward, there are definitely a few things you can do to ensure your rental process runs smoothly:
1. Planning on really getting off the beaten track? Check your car rental agreement as many do not allow their cars to be driven on dirt or gravel roads.
2. Driving distances are vast in Australia, so make sure your rental agreement includes unlimited mileage.
3. Check to see if your car rental company provides a first aid kit in its cars. Australia is full of creepy crawlies that bite and sting, so having a basic first aid kit will help, especially if you are far from any clinics or hospitals.
4. The number of emergency services in Australia is 000.
Running between Winton, in western Queensland and Laverton, in Western Australia the Outback Way takes you through the heart of Australia. Starting in Winton and heading west, you’ll drive through Boulia in Queensland and into the Northern Territory before reaching Alice Springs and Uluru (Ayers Rock). You’ll then cross into Western Australia and through the Aboriginal communities of Warakurna and Warburton and finally on to Laverton.
This route is 2,800km long and can take up to two weeks, or more, to complete. If you are renting a car in Australia to drive The Outback Way, it is recommended that you hire an SUV with four-wheel drive.
This isn’t just one of the best road trips in Australia, it is one of the most iconic roads in the world. The Great Ocean Road spans 243km between the city of Torquay and the village of Nelson in the state of Victoria.
Behind every bend is a jaw-dropping vista. From sheer cliffs to pristine beaches, pounding surf to secluded bays, this coastal route is incredibly scenic. It also passes the famous Twelve Apostles, seven dramatic rock formations off the shore of Port Campbell National Park. This is your postcard-perfect shot, so make sure you have your camera ready.
Want to do the most epic drive of all around Australia? Then you need to do The Big Lap. Just as the name would suggest this 15,000km route circumnavigates this vast country. This road trip follows Highway One and takes in seven state capital cities and skirts the coastline between Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Broome, Perth, Esperance, Adelaide, Melbourne and Hobart.
It will take at least six months to drive the whole lap and if renting a car, you’ll need an all-wheel drive vehicle.
Looking for adventure? Head out on the Savannah Way. This 3,700km route links the historic pearling town of Broome in the Kimberley region of Western Australia with Cairns in tropical North Queensland. This magnificently scenic road trip takes you on a journey through the natural wonders of Australia’s tropical savannahs and the Northern Territory’s Top End. In case you didn’t know, the top half of the Northern Territory is called the ‘Top End’ and the bottom bit is called the ‘Red Centre’.
En route, you’ll have the opportunity to explore 15 national parks and five World Heritage areas. Landscapes range from tropical rainforest to vast grassy plains. You can swim in waterfalls and gorges, and admire ancient rock art and visit remote cattle stations. This route is a great way to experience the many landscapes of Australia.
For a classic coastal road trip, follow the 900km Pacific Coast route all the way from Sydney to Brisbane. You’ll visit many cool destinations including the Central Coast, Port Stephens, Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, Ballina and Byron Bay. This is the ideal Australian road trip for surf and beach lovers. Along the way, you can stop off at laidback surfing beaches and attractive seaside towns, but you can also nip into the pretty hinterland and picturesque national parks too.
There are so many incredible landmarks along the Grand Pacific Drive so factor in plenty of stopping time to capture those Kodak moments. Beginning in Royal National Park in Sydney and running 140km south to Shoalhaven in New South Wales, this scenic coastal drive weaves through rainforests and through charming coastal cities. It also takes you over the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge which sweeps over the clean, aqua waters of the Pacific. It is an exhilarating drive over an engineering masterpiece.
The Red Centre Way is an unforgettable drive from Alice Springs to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and Watarrka National Park. On this road trip, you’ll drive through the heart of Australia and its Red Centre.
Witness the ever-changing colours of the Outback and uncover the raw beauty of Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Watarrka/Kings Canyon. Discover the majestic beauty of the Tjoritja/West MacDonnell Ranges and take a refreshing dip in one of the many waterholes. This is also a great route to take to learn more about Aboriginal cultural practices and how the features of the landscape are significant to the Arrernte people.
A short section of this route is on an unsealed road and you will need a four-wheel drive vehicle. If your car is two-wheel drive, take the completely sealed loop option instead.