12 Best Road Trips in Australia (+ Itinerary Ideas)

Best Road Trips in Australia Daydream Island

Choosing the best road trips Australia offers first requires asking yourself whether you are more interested in coastal drives or Australian outback road trips.

Once that is decided, then all you need to do is pick the perfect Australian road trip itinerary for you, which I think you’ll be able to find right here.

Choosing an excellent road trip itinerary could be somewhat tricky.

But, once you’ve chosen the best Australian road trip for you, you’re well on the way to seeing the wonders of Australia.

Here I show you the best of the best road trips in Australia, so if you want to plan an epic road trip in Australia, you’ve come to the right place.

To make each road trip in Australia even more interesting, I have given all of these road trips a memorable Greek mythological name to make them a bit more enticing.

For example, Great Magnetic Orpheus. Named after the famed musician from Greek mythology.

If you go on one of these fantastic myth-making road trips, you will probably become spellbound by Australia.

Australia is the largest Greek island in the world, so yes, I’m sure you’ll love going on a road trip adventure in Australia, especially if the weather is perfect.

The only problem with Australia is that the country is enormous. So if you want to squeeze in as many beautiful sights in Australia as you can, hitting the road is a very smart move.

A few of the best road trips Australia offers revealed in this list will only allow you to see a relatively small slice of Australia. However, you will still gain some beautiful memories from your road trip experience.

Also, I’m not sure which road trip, but one of these twelve road trips in Australia would have to make it into a list of the top twenty best road trips in the world.

Planning Road Trips in Australia (Itinerary Guide)

The aim here is to give you enough information and itinerary advice to experience some of the best places in Australia within a reasonable doable timeframe — typically around two weeks for each road trip. In some cases a bit shorter, and in other cases a bit longer.

Remember, some of these road trip itineraries will only allow you to see a tiny portion of Australia, so choose your adventure wisely.

The other option is to combine these road trips together, to make a super Australian road trip, which will allow you to see heaps more of Australia.

Try and follow the road trip itinerary recommendations, because any shorter time frames and your Australian road trip will feel too rushed, trust me.

Below is a list of Australia’s best road trips. That’s what many websites say, I know, but seriously, all of these twelve epic road trips in Australia are truly incredible!

All of these itinerary ideas for an epic Australian road trip will please everyone from backpackers to families, especially if you do the drive during summer.

The beach is a big part of Australia, so in my opinion, the best time to go on an epic road trip is in summer because then you can go for a swim.

If you want to go on an Australian outback road trip, you can do that at other times of the year, because it can be warm to hot during many months of the year.

Don’t forget, you can also go for a swim at an outback watering hole in Australia, so an outback road trip is still a fantastic option.

My preference though would be to plan a coastal road trip in Australia. To prove it, I think you’ll find one of these coastal road trip itineraries hard to resist.

Best Road Trips from Brisbane (Coastal Drives)

In my opinion, the city of Brisbane in Queensland has to be the best starting point for going on an epic coastal road trip in Australia.

If you want to experience a fantastic coastal road trip in Australia, starting your drive in Queensland is definitely the way to go.

Queensland has warm weather and fabulous islands, often quite close to coastal roads, so the scenery is magic.

To prove it, the first four Australian road trips on this list are all in Queensland.

1. Best Coastal Road Trip from Brisbane 

Road trip name: The Goddess of Love

Distance: 700 km (435 miles)

Best Road Trips in Australia-Noosa
Noosa Main Beach

Australia Coastal Road Trip Itinerary – 14 Nights required

Brisbane – 2 Nights, the capital city of Queensland.

Catch an early morning ferry from Brisbane to Moreton Island and spend the whole day there.

Walk around South Bank in Brisbane the following day. Have lunch at one of the many fabulous eateries.

Road Trip to Noosa

Early afternoon, drive to Noosa via Mooloolaba and Coolum Beach.

Noosa – 6 Nights

  • Walk to Hells Gates and back again along the National Park cliff-lined coast.
  • Catch a ferry to Noosaville and dine on some delicious fish and chips. Then, take a touristy boat ride past Makepeace Island.
  • Spend a day walking around Doggy beach. Try and make it around the coastline without turning back until you make it back to Hastings street.
  • Spend a sunny day lazing at the beach.
  • Go for a drive one day and stop at three fabulous beaches, including Sunshine Beach, Peregian Beach, and Coolum Beach. Have breakfast at Sunshine Beach. After that, trek up the steep Mount Coolum (208 m high) and enjoy the views. Then drive onto Mooloolaba. Go for a brilliant walk in Mooloolaba past the surf life-saving club along the coast near the marina area, around the bay, and onto the breakwater. Have a drink at the surf life-saving club after you return.
  • Go for a scenic drive to Montville. Go for a walk along the main street. Visit Maleny Botanic Gardens and Noosa Botanic Garden, and seek out the Greek-style amphitheater (Circle of Love).

Road Trip to Harvey Bay

Harvey Bay – 2 Nights

Go on a pre-arranged full-day tour to Frazer Island, the largest sand island in the world.

The native Butchulla people call it K’gari, meaning Paradise. Swim in Lake McKenzie and float down crystal clear Eli Creek. Walk through the rainforests.

Return to beautiful Noosa the next day after your drive to Fraser Island. However, if you’re present during whale watching season (around late July to early November), go on this tour in the morning and return to Noosa later in the afternoon/evening.

Road Trip Sunshine Coast

Noosa – 3 Nights (Make sure you stay at a different place in Noosa this time)

Spend two days doing anything you want, which hopefully includes soaking up more of the sun.

On the morning of your departure, drive to Noosa Lookout and checkout where you’ve been.

Drive to Kings Beach and go for a quick swim if the water looks tempting. Then, drive through the Glass House Mountains, and find the popular scenic lookout.

Drive over the mainland bridge to Bribie Island.

Bribie Island – 1 Night

Bribie Island is 1 hour away from Brisbane Airport.

The Goddess of Love is waiting for you 🙂

2. Coastal Road Trip from Brisbane to the Gold Coast

Road trip name: The Midas Touch is Gold

Distance: 350 km (218 miles)

Gold Coast Sea World

Australia Coast Road Trip Itinerary – 12 Nights required

Brisbane – 2 Nights, the capital of Queensland

Take a walk around South Bank in Brisbane. Have lunch at one of the many fabulous eateries. Find something interesting to do.

Drive to the Gold Coast straight after checking out of your hotel.

Road Trip to the Gold Coast

Gold Coast – 7 Nights

  • Visit one or two Gold Coast Theme Parks like Sea World. Go and watch an entertaining dolphin show. Take a tourist helicopter ride over the Gold Coast strip, and if you are young of heart, have fun at a waterslide park in the afternoon.
  • Spend time at some of the chic beachside suburbs, including Surfers Paradise.
  • Visit Burleigh Heads Beach and Rainbow Bay.

Explore the Gold Coast Hinterland. Visit Lavington National Park, Mount Tamborine, and Natural Arch/Bridge in Springbrook National Park. Enjoy a few beautiful walks.

On the morning of departure, head straight to Byron Bay.

Road Trip to Byron Bay

Byron Bay – 3 Nights

  • Laze around the beaches and relax in the cool town.
  • Walk to the lighthouse and experience the most westerly corner of Australia.

Return to Brisbane Airport directly from Byron Bay.

This Australian road trip is more valuable than gold.

3. Road Trip from Brisbane to the Whitsunday Islands

Road trip name: Paradise Found

Distance: 2600 km (1615 miles)

Best Road Trips in Australia Daydream Island

Australia Coastal Road Trip Itinerary – 15 Nights required

Drive from Brisbane to Arlie Beach (Whitsunday district) during the day.

1 Night – Stop somewhere for the night.

The other option is to fly to Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland. Then take a joining flight straight to Hamilton Island. Alternatively, take a joining flight to Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) airport.

Hamilton Island – 3 Nights (a fantastic island within the Whitsunday Island group)

Airlie Beach – 7 Nights (or maybe you want to stay on another island paradise for a few nights)

  • Make sure you visit Daydream Island for a full day. Try and find the three mermaids.
  • Spend a day on Hayman Island, which has to be arranged before going there.
  • Visit Whitsunday Island and see one of the best beaches in the world, Whitehaven beach.
  • Fly over Heart Reef
  • Visit Long Island.

Noosa – 4 Nights

Now ask yourself, is this Paradise?

4. East Coast: Road Trip from Cairns to Townsville

Road trip name: Great Magnetic Orpheus

Distance: 900 km (560 miles)

You won’t look back after taking this trip.


Australia Coastal Road Trip Itinerary – 16 Nights required

Arrive in Brisbane or Sydney and take a joining flight directly to Cairns.

Cairns – 5 Nights

  • Rent a vehicle in Cairns.
  • Visit Green Island for the day.
  • Visit Fitzroy Island for the day. Spend some time on Nudey beach.
  • Tour the Great Barrier Reef.

Then drive to these locations.

Port Douglas – 2 Nights

Visit the ancient Daintree Forrest.

Mission Beach, Dunk Island, or Hinchinbrook Island – 4 Nights

Explore Dunk Island and Hinchinbrook Island.

Magnetic Island or Townsville – 4 Nights

  • Visit Magnetic Island, situated just 8 km off the coast of Townsville.
  • Visit Orpheus Island.
  • Do a scuba dive at Yongala Wreck if qualified. Pre-arrange it before you arrive.

Cairns – 1 Night

Fly back to Brisbane the following day.

Follow Orpheus, and you will never look back.

5. Road Trip around Alice Springs / Lord Howe

Road trip name: Lord Greek God

Distance: 1500 km (932 miles)

Lord Howe Island

Outback Road Trip followed by Island Stay: 14 Nights required

Sydney – 3 Nights

  • Go to Bondi Beach and do the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk.
  • Catch the Ferry to Manly and spend an enjoyable day there.

Fly to the town of Alice Springs in the middle of Australia — the Outback.

Best Outback Road Trip in Australia

Alice Springs – 1 Night

Hire a 4-wheel drive. Visit a few Art Galleries in the morning and then drive to Uluru. The road trip there will take you about 5 hours to get there. I couldn’t believe it either.

Uluru Resort – 3 Nights

  • Walk around Uluru.
  • On the second day, visit Kata Tjuta. Visit the Valley of the Winds and walk to the spectacular scenic lookout. When I visited, the place lived up to its name. The weather seemed perfect, and I never expected any wind in the area. However, gale-force winds soon greeted me. It’s incredible!

Kings Canyon – 1 Night

Do a guided Kings Canyon Rim Walk (3.5 hours) as soon as the sun comes up or soon after.

Straight after the walk, drive back to Alice Springs and stop for a quick dip at Ellery Creek Big Hole.

Go for a few more short walks at Stanley Chasm and Simpsons Gap if you’re up for it.

Alice Springs – 1 Night

Sydney – 1 Night

Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island – 4 Nights

This beautiful island is World Heritage-listed. To help keep it that way, they only allow 400 visitors at any time on the island.

  • Spend a day climbing to the top of Mount Gower for spectacular views.
  • Feed the fish at Neds Beach.

If you want proof that the Greek Gods rule, this trip is for you.

6. Best Outback Road Trip from Darwin

Road trip name: Darwin and the Devil’s balls

Distance: 2682 km (1666 miles)

This road trip honors Charles Darwin, who went against established religion with an even crazier philosophy.

Could this be one of the best road trips in Australia?

Stay for as many nights as you want. At least Charles Darwin had the courage to go against established religion.

the devils balls

Interestingly, Cyclone Tracy was a tropical cyclone that hit Darwin on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in 1974. It devastated the city of Darwin.

The city recovered remarkably well after that. Did Darwin have something to do with it? You can only wonder.

From here, you can explore the Northern Territory, which is known as The Top End.

See if you can make it to the Devils Marbles.

Best Coastal Road Trips from Melbourne

The most iconic road trip from Melbourne has to be the drive along the Great Ocean Road.

7. Road Trip from Melbourne to the Twelve Apostles

Road trip name: The Twelve Olympians

Distance: 664 km (413 miles)

the twelve apostles

Australia Coastal Road Trip Itinerary – 10 Nights required

Melbourne – 3 Nights, the capital city of Victoria.

Great Ocean Road Road Trip

Take the Great Ocean Road past the Twelve Apostles. Here are the best Great Ocean Road Attractions to see and experience.

Apollo Bay – 1 Night

6 Nights – Do your research and have a great holiday.

Twelve Apostles or Twelve Olympians?

Best Road Trips from Sydney

The best road trips from Sydney would have to include a drive to Port Stephens.

If you wanted to, you could also drive up to Byron Bay. I have done this road trip myself, but I found it a bit too long.

I much prefer to drive to Byron Bay from Brisbane. The best road trip from Sydney is to head north, but not go too far.

8. Best Coastal Road Trip from Sydney

Road trip name: Hermes Opera

Distance: 1000 km (622 miles)

Port Stephens

Australia Coastal Raod Trip Itinerary – 11 Nights required

Sydney – 5 Nights, the capital city of New South Wales.

  • Spend a day at Bondi Beach and enjoy the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk.
  • Catch the ferry to Manly and spend an enjoyable afternoon there.
  • Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and wander around the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.
  • Visit the Blue Mountains. Here are some things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Jervis Bay -2 Nights

  • Drive to Jervis Bay on the southern side of Sydney and check out Hyams Beach, known for its whiter than white sand.

Nelson Bay/Port Stephens – 4 Nights

Blame it on Hermes if you don’t enjoy this trip. Odds are you won’t.

Best Road Trips from Perth

Here are the best road trips from Perth. You can go on a southern road trip or head north to Broome. I’d prefer to go on a south-western coastal road trip from Perth.

9. Road Trip from Perth to Esperance (Coastal)

Road trip name: Go West, Young God

Distance: 1400 km (870 miles)

Esperence Western Australia Queen Fish

Australia Coastal Road Trip Itinerary – 14 Nights required

Perth – 3 Nights

  • Visit Kings Park and Cottesloe Beach.
  • Visit Rottnest Island for the day. Take a photo of a cute furry Quokka.
  • Visit Fremantle at night and go for a drink at Little Creatures Brewery with Cupid (Eros).

On the morning of departure, after breakfast, drive straight to Mandurah.

Mandurah – 1 Night
Margaret River – 2 Nights
Albany – 3 Nights

Esperance – 4 Nights

  • See if you can catch a Queenfish.
  • Go on a day trip to Woody Island.
  • Check out Lucky Bay.

Depart Esperance as early as possible in the morning and spend the whole day driving back to Perth.

Perth – 1 Night

Count yourself extremely lucky if you ever go on this dream trip.

10. West Coast: Road Trip from Perth 

Road trip name: The Greek Gods must be Crazy

Distance: 2000-4500 km (1242-2800 miles)

The Gods Must Be Crazy

21 – 31 Nights required (minimum 3-week road trip Australia)

It all depends on how long you want to stay in certain places.

Drive from Perth to Darwin along the best coastline road trip route you can plan.

Rent a car or a 4WD (smarter option) in Perth and leave it in Darwin. Make sure that you are covered with outback roadside assistance.

It would be one incredible road trip to go on. You will cover over 4,000 km (2,485 miles) easily.

Take in these destinations, which include three World Heritage sites.

  • Shark Bay, Monkey Mia
  • Exmouth, Ningaloo Reef
  • Purnululu
  • Broome (Make sure you also visit Eco Beach, about an hour south of Broome)
  • The Kimberly
  • El Questro Wilderness Park, if you can make it.

Plan your trip carefully and leave your vehicle in Darwin (the city named after Charles Darwin himself) and fly out from there.

If you go on this trip, I’m sure there will be loads of people who think you’re crazy.

11. Best Road Trip in Tasmania

Road trip name: The Golden Apple

Distance: 1200 km (745 miles)

Tasmania is also known as the “Apple Isle” because it has been one of the world’s major apple producers.

Overland Track Tasmania Golden Apple

Australia Road Trip Itinerary – 14 Nights required

Hobart – 2 Nights, the capital city of Tasmania.

Drive to the top of Mount Wellington for some great views.

On an organized tour, ride a mountain bike down the mountain if you’re into that sort of thing.

On the morning of departure, visit Horseshoe Falls at Mt Field National Park. Take the scenic drive towards Arthurs Lake in the Central Highlands.

Drive from Hobart to Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain/Lake St Clair National Park – 7 Nights

Trek the Overland Track through Cradle Mountain over 5-6 days.

Make sure you start the walk before noon because the first day is a challenging long walk. Remember, you have to reserve a spot. Make sure you do this months in advance.

This trip will require a lot of planning on your part, but since it is Australia’s greatest walk, it’ll be worth the exercise.

I enjoyed the experience, especially after it had finished since I found the walk exhausting. Make sure you’re reasonably fit before attempting this hike.

If you’re extra fit, don’t skip climbing to the top of Tasmania’s highest peak.

The mountain is 1,617 meters (5,305 ft) above sea level. I was too exhausted at the time to attempt climbing it, but I envied many other climbers who did it.

They marveled at the island with unbelievable views of the blue sea around the island of Tasmania.

On your last night, stay at the Cradle Mountain Lodge. Be sure to visit the Tasmanian devil sanctuary in the area.

On the morning of departure, spend the day making your way to the Bay of Fires. On your way through, visit Launceston for a short time.

Drive to the Bay of Fires

Bay of Fires and Wine Glass Bay – 4 Nights

Visit Wine Glass Bay (Coles Bay & Freycinet National Park).

Hobart – 1 Night


12. Road Trip from Adelaide (Coastal and Outback)

Road trip name: Star of Greece versus the Devil

Distance: 1700 km (1060 miles)

Best Road Trips in Australia

Australia (Coastal and Outback) Road Trip – 13 Nights required

Glenelg – 2 Nights, a seaside suburb of Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia

Spend the first day in the premier beachside town of Glenelg, only half an hour from Adelaide.

Road Trip – Fleurieu Peninsula

The next day at about 10 in the morning, leave Glenelg and drive towards Kangaroo Island via Brighton road.

  • Go for a walk on Brighton Jetty.
  • Stop at Port Noarlunga and take a walk on the long jetty. Take a closer look at the rocky reef at the end of the jetty.
  • I dare you to swim naked at Maslin Beach, the first official nudist beach in Australia.
  • Make your way to the Star of Greece at Port Willunga and go for a short walk along the beach to pay your respects.
  • Visit the giant Buddha Goddess at Sellicks Hill overlooking the coastline and take a selfie.
  • Take the Myponga scenic drive over the dam and stop at Carrickalinga. If you’re tempted, go for a quick swim in magical crystal clear blue water, or take a short stroll along the pristine sandy beach.
  • Catch the ferry to Kangaroo Island at Cape Jervis. Make sure you will make it to your hotel by nightfall. Ensure you book the ferry beforehand and that you don’t miss it.

Be sure to read my guide on the best Fleurieu Peninsula beaches and attractions.

Road Trip around Kangaroo Island in South Australia

Kangaroo Island – 3 Nights

Spend one day visiting Seal Bay, Remarkable Rocks, and Admirals Arch. Take a tour of Kelly Hill Caves. Find some Kangaroos.

Spend the second day visiting the American River, Island Beach, and Vivonne Bay.

Depart Kangaroo Island on a morning ferry. Your next destination is Victor Harbour.

  • Stop at the charming seaside town of Victor Harbour. Enjoy some fish and chips for lunch.
  • In the afternoon, walk along the causeway to Granite Island and explore the small rocky isle.
  • Go for a short drive along the coast from Victor Harbour to Horseshoe Bay, up to Goolwa, and back again.

Victor Harbour – 1 Night

Start driving to the Barossa Valley (Wine Country) on the morning of departure.

First, drive to the German town of Hahndorf. Spend a couple of hours in Hahndorf and go for a walk along the main tourist street.

After that, make your way to the Barossa Valley.

Barossa Valley Road Trip

Barossa Valley – 3 Nights

Spend the day exploring the most famous wine region in Australia.

Go for a drive to the Whispering Wall in Williamstown for a couple of hours.

Talk to the other person via the wall like a phone if you’re with someone. It is incredible!

On the morning of departure, drive towards the town of Melrose in the Flinders Ranges. Make sure you drive there via the Mount Remarkable route.

Spend a couple of hours at Mount Remarkable. Then, take a short stroll up the mountain. Not all the way, maybe just to the point where you will see a massive rock landslide.

For Greek Gods sake, make sure you don’t fall.

Road Trip to the Flinders Ranges

Finders Rangers – 3 Nights

Spend the first night in Melrose, Quorn, or Port Augusta, at the Flinders’ edge.

  • Wake up early and drive to Devil’s Peak. Walk the trail to the top of the peak and take in the fabulous view. Think about the devil.
  • Once completed, go to the outback town of Quorn and have lunch there.
  • In the afternoon, walk to the top of the spectacular mountain called The Dutchmans Stern. The view is spectacular! Bring something sweet with you to have for an afternoon snack.

Spend the second night in Quorn, Port Augusta, or Wilpena Pound.

Wake up early and drive to Wilpena Pound. Then, do the 10-12 hour return hike to the top of St Mary Peak (1,170m). This is the highest mountain peak in the Flinders Rangers, formed by a massive meteor crash.

Spend the third night in Wilpena Pound or Quorn.

  • In the morning, take a short tourist plane flight over the top of the crater for a spectacular view of the crater. Make sure you pre-arrange this to avoid missing out.
  • Discover an ancient aboriginal site to explore.
  • By 1 pm, depart the Flinders Ranges and slowly head back into Adelaide via the Clare Valley.

Adelaide, City of Light

Adelaide – 1 Night

Finish your road trip by staying for one night in Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia.

Here are some of the best things to do in Adelaide.

This remarkable trip will hopefully give you more respect for the Greek Gods.

Planning your Road Trip in Australia

Should anyone take any of these suggestions on board, good luck, and I hope you enjoy your Australian road trip.

All of these best road trips in Australia will give you an excellent appreciation of this huge Greek Island. Just make sure you do your part and plan everything properly.

An excellent way to honor the Greek Gods with these 12 best road trips in Australia is to spread the word:

“Australia is the biggest Greek Island of all”

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