7 Summer Road Trips To Take In Australia
Big skies, endless roads, red dirt and wide oceans. Road tripping around Australia is one of the best adventures you could have in this world. And good news, there’s over seven million square kilometres of coastal or outback beauty ready to be explored behind the wheel of your car. Check out all the best road trips in Australia to take this summer.
Time: 13 Hours
This 1400km run is an unbeatable summer road trip to take in Australia. Famed for its ever-changing landscape through the Atherton Tablelands, the Great Barrier Reef Drive, Port Douglas (make sure you stop off at Mossman Gorge), the Old Telegraph Track, you’ll be driving all the way to Australia’s most northern tip. With countless camping sites and swimming spots like Fruit Bat Falls and Elliot Falls, you’ll be hard-pressed finding a more quintessential summer drive. Note, you’ll need a 4WD for this one.
Time: 10 Hours
It’s Australia’s most popular summer road trip for a reason. While this coastal strip definitely isn’t the longest, it’s the type of leg you’ll want to stretch out over a week or two to really make the most of it. With two big coastal cities bookending this driving streak, you’ll be able to explore the many summer-perfect villages and towns this part of Australia has to offer. The start of this one will take you through the lush hinterlands of Far North NSW and you could quite literally take a dip at every beach you pass. Take a scenic detour through Angourie, soak up South West Rocks and don’t miss Nambucca Heads—one of the most overlooked places in NSW but by far the prettiest.
Time: 3 Hours
If you’ve only got a day to spare, Waterfall Way is a summer road trip packing a whole lot of punch. Start this one at Coffs Harbour and head inland to the high country of Armidale. The name doesn’t lie either with this road trip taking you through several stunning sites to see and a number of breathtaking waterfalls. You’ll get to snake through Dorrigo National Park which will lead you to Crystal Showers Falls Walk, the majestic lagoon of Dangar Falls, the Gondwana-spiked valleys of New England Falls which will bring you to the mammoth double-cascade of Ebor Falls and then passing through Oxley Wild Rivers National Park will take you to the 220-metre tall Wollomombi Falls.
Time: 5 Hours
To be perpetually surrounded by the vast ocean, 75 Mile Beach is a summer road trip with constant “wow factor”. Located on the action-packed Fraser Island, this strip brings out all the stops with shipwrecks, a beautiful swimming spot known as the Champagne Pools and insane volcanic rock formations you’ll never want to stop taking photos of. It’s been dubbed the sand highway so as you might guess, a 4WD is the only way to get around here.
Get the full guide to Fraser Island here.
Time: 6 Hours
It’s the bucket-list road trip of Australia so if you haven’t ticked this one-off, you’re truly missing out. No other 4WD course takes you through World Heritage Listed rainforest, countless orchards, mountain ranges and conservation parks. If you’ve got a trailer or caravan, you will definitely want to leave them at home for this undulating road trip. There are a plethora of enchanted swimming spots to slide into on this road trip including Emmagen Creek (you’ll be able to kick back and relax inside the Daintree Rainforest after a cheeky dip) and Masons Swimming Hole, conveniently located just behind Masons Cafe.
Time: 30 Minutes
What this summer road trip lacks in length, it makes up with serious beauty (and the most stunning swimming spots in Australia). This stretch is perfect for the weekend adventurer and takes you on an epic sail from Airlie Beach all the way through to the Whitsunday Coast hinterland. Make you pack your short and sweet trip with a pit stop at Cedar Creek, a hike through Conway National park which is filled with ancient rainforest and secluded beaches.
Time: 5-10 Days
To really run out your wheels on a summer road trip filled with luxury and an aquatic holiday like no other, the island hopping thoroughfare around Magnetic Island To Orpheus And Hinchinbrook Islands will leave you absolutely speechless. With boat transfers between each island, this road trip will have you crossing over oceans, dotting around bays and zipping past cane fields. Your big highlights here include hitting 23 different beaches on Magnetic Island (also nicknamed “Maggie”), brilliant fishing on Orpheus and the infinity pool at the top of Zoe Falls on Hinchinbrook Island.