Road trips in Australia are in a league of their own because most people do not realize that Australia is actually a large country. Almost as big as the continental United States, Australia features a variety of different climates and landscapes. One great way to explore the coasts and Outback of Australia is to take a road trip. Whether you’re planning on taking an extended road trip involving long distances through the desert regions in the center of the country or just want a short jaunt lasting only a couple of hours, planning ahead is critical. No matter what kind of road trip you plan, you will definitely visit some beautiful places.
The first thing you need to do is decide on what places you would like to visit in Australia and how much time you have to spend on your road trip. With 16,000 miles of coastline and five million square miles of land, there are plenty of choices. You can choose to explore deserts, tropical rain forests, beaches, or even alpine regions.
You also need to decide on the time of year you want to plan your road trip. Weather conditions can make or break your condition. For example, Northern Australia is a tropical region, and when the wet season begins, rivers have been known to flood and roads have been washed away. If you’re traveling across the Outback, in the summer season temperatures have been known to hit over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be a real killer if your air conditioning fails in the middle of the trip.
If you don’t want to create a road trip route from scratch, there are several popular options to choose from. One popular road trip route is the Great Ocean Road. This 150 mile long road in the state of Victoria extends all the way from Torquay to Warrnambool. The road not only provides access to many landmarks in the area but is itself a landmark – built by soldiers in 1919 and 1932 to memorialize the casualties of World War I, it is the world’s largest war memorial. As the name implies, the Great Ocean Road follows the coastline, providing breathtaking views of the ocean and beaches- make sure you don’t miss the Twelve Apostoles.
Another road trip option is crossing the Nullarbor Plain. Nullarbor means ‘no tree,’ which describes this area very well – it is a flat, almost treeless piece of land in southern Australia. The most interesting thing about the Nullarbor is that it is largest single piece of limestone in the world, measuring in at 77,000 square miles.
Perhaps the most popular of all road trips in Australia is the drive along Highway 1 (Pacific Highway) in Australia’s East coast. There are many things to see and do along the way including superb camping, trekking, sun worshiping, city visiting and partying too (read Brisbane to Sydney and Sydney to Melbourne for tips and ideas).
What other things should you consider? A map of Australia, travel insurance if you don’t have it, packing appropriate clothes depending on the season you’ll be traveling in, food, water and a first aid kit if you’re heading into the outback, and making sure you camper van or car is well maintained for your trip ahead. So get your checklist, poise your camera, and hit the road because Australia road trips are some of the most exciting in the world!
[photo credits from Flickr: Outback (Casadequeso) , rest (lind_rOm)]
Have you done any road trips in Australia? Where to? How did you plan it? Please share this post if you liked!