AUSTRALIAN DRIVE ITINERARIES
With lush rainforests, pristine white beaches and plenty of city attractions, Australia is the ideal country for an unforgettable road trip. Whether you fancy camping in the cooler climate of the south or enjoying luxury hotel stays up towards the north, Australia has something for you.
In recent years, I’ve travelled Australia all the way from Perth to Brisbane via Adelaide, Melbourne, Tasmania and Sydney on an amazing self-driven road trip.
I’ve used my knowledge and experience to carefully craft the recommended drive itineraries for you, which include drive stops, distances, costs and accommodation. So, get planning and organise your trip!
If you love the idea of lush, unspoilt rainforests, mirror-like lakes and winding mountain roads, a Tasmania road trip could be just what you need.
- Distance: 1,510km (circular route)
- Time: 3 weeks
- North-east (Devonport to Mt.William National Park)
- East coast (Bay of Fires to Port Arthur)
- South-east (Hobart, Bruny Island & Ross detour)
- Centre (Lake St. Clair-Cradle Mountain)
- West (Queenstown & Strahan)
2. Perth to Adelaide
While this south coast journey involves crossing the monotonous Nullarbor, it also includes gorgeous beaches, ancient forests and amazing national parks!
- Distance: 3,500km
- Time: 3-6 weeks
- Southwest WA (Perth to Hamelin Bay via Margaret River)
- Southern Forests WA (Pemberton)
- South coast WA (Walpole to Esperance via Bremer Bay)
- Eyre Peninsula SA (Baird Bay & Port Lincoln)
3. Adelaide to Melbourne
This fun and scenic road trip includes the famous Great Ocean Road rock formations and rainforests, as well as the unique city of Mount Gambier, which is set on an extinct volcano!
- Distance: 1,000km
- Time: 1 week
- Adelaide to Coorong National Park
- Mount Gambier
- Great Ocean Road
- Geelong to Melbourne
4. Melbourne to Sydney
There are so many lakes, national parks and beautiful coastal towns along this stretch of coastline that you’ll be totally spoilt for choice.
- Distance: 1,123km
- Time: 1-2 weeks
- Melbourne to Phillip Island
- Wilsons Prom to Gippsland Lakes
- Eden to Batemans Bay
- Jervis Bay
- Wollongong to Sydney
5. Sydney to Brisbane
This classic east coast Australia road trip includes a diverse array of drive stops, from lively Newcastle and Byron Bay to quirky rural towns like Bellingen.
- Distance: 925km
- Time: 1 week
- Sydney to Newcastle
- Port Stephens to Myall Lakes
- Port Macquarie to South West Rocks
- Bellingen to Coffs Harbour
- Byron Bay to Brisbane
6. Great Ocean Road
This famous Australian road trip hugs the craggy Victoria coastline from Torquay to Allansford and starts just a 90-minute drive west of Melbourne.
- Distance: 243km one way + 105km from Melbourne
- Time: 3 days or more
- Holiday towns such as Lorne, Torquay & Anglesea
- Rainforest in Great Otway National Park
- Limestone rock formations such as Twelve Apostles
7. Grand Pacific Drive
Sydney’s answer to the Great Ocean Road is the beautiful Grand Pacific Drive, a scenic coastal route from the Royal National Park down to Kiama.
- Distance: 140km one way + 56km from Sydney
- Time: 1-3 days
- Royal National Park & Bald Hill Lookout
- Sea Cliff Bridge
- Coastal suburbs such as Austinmer & Thirroul
8. Nullarbor Plain
If you’re travelling between Adelaide and Perth, you’ll need to cross the almighty Nullarbor, a name that literally translates as “no trees”. Road houses are few and far between, so use my guide to plan your trip carefully.
- Distance: 1,202km
- Time: 3-4 days
- 90 Mile Straight
- Eyre Bird Observatory
- Madura Pass Lookout
- Buried telegraph station ruins under Eucla sand dunes
- Great Australian Bight & Bunda Cliffs
9. North Coast NSW
While North Coast NSW and the Northern Rivers region are part of the well-travelled and well-developed east coast, they’re also home to lots of smaller towns and attractions that are well worth a visit. This set of short drive itineraries will give you plenty of ideas!
- Quirky boutiques in tiny Gladstone
- Nambucca Heads painted break wall
- Bohemian Bellingen
- Historic and charming Ulmarra
- Scottish-themed Maclean
- Tea Tree-stained Lake Ainsworth
10. Sapphire Coast Drive
Between Sydney to Melbourne, a fantastic scenic detour from the Princes Highway is the Sapphire Coast drive in far South Coast NSW. It includes a series of beaches, forests and charming coastal towns.
- Walking tracks & beaches in Merimbula
- Tathra Memorial Garden lookout
- Views across Bega River
- Scenic Cuttagee Lake
- Bermagui Harbour
- Mirror-like Wallaga Lake
Plan Your Trip – Best Travel Resources
If you're planning a trip in Australia, here are the travel companies I'd recommended using. Please note that if you book through these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps me to keep producing free content for this website. Thank you!
HotelsCombined compares all the big hotel comparison sites and displays the cheapest offers for each hotel. You'll find a wide range of accommodation types too, including hotels, hostels, apartments, holiday parks and homestays.
If you'd like to stay in a local's home for free while they're away, in return for looking after their pets, house sitting is a great option. I secured plenty of house sits through Aussie House Sitters when I travelled Australia.
Rather than scour different tour companies, just search for your destination on Get Your Guide. It'll bring up a compilation of available activities and tours, so you can compare what's on offer and pick the best option for you.
For worldwide house sitting, I'd recommend Trusted Housesitters. You can even choose a membership that includes house-sit cancellation insurance and accident and third party liability protection.
For foreign currency transfers, I'd recommend using an online currency specialist to avoid hefty bank fees. I've been using Wise since I moved to Australia, as they're transparent with rates, simple to use and your money moves across quickly.
If you need a local person to take care of your pets during your holiday, use this link or the discount code LISA2754 to receive $10 credit towards your first booking with PetCloud, whether that's for a house sitter, pet visits or pet host.