The best Australian road trips to tick off your bucket list

Grand Pacific Drive


Posted March 08, 2023

Australia's natural wonders are spread far and wide across the country. With so much to explore across the Great Southern Land, these are the must-do Australian road trips.

Australia really is a country that has it all. From the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland to the majestic Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, the food and wine in South Australia, and the art and culture in Victoria, Australia is a country you could explore forever.

Next time you’re planning a on going away, look no further than our own backyard for an adventure of a lifetime and tick these trips off your bucket list.

These are the greatest road trips in Australia.

Before you make tracks, make sure you have peace of mind along the way with RACV Emergency Roadside Assistance.

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Iconic Australian road trips

The Silo Art Trail

Travels through: Victoria

Duration: 3 days 

A relative newcomer to the must-do road trip list, the Victorian Silo Art Trail runs for 700km from Melbourne around northwest Victoria, with the recommended starting destination for those from the CBD around Horsham, roughly three and half hours away. 

For day two, the trail is 200km, and should take roughly two hours. Silo Art Trail stops include the areas of Rupanyup, Sheep Hills, Brim, Rosebery, Lascelles and Sea Lake, where you can admire the works decorating the regional areas in Australia’s largest outdoor gallery. 

Rest your head on the way home at the RACV Goldfields Resort, just 25 minutes outside of Ballarat. 


Brim is home to Victoria's first silo artwork, created by Guido van Helten.
If you don't have time to see all the silos, driving from Rupanyup through to Lascelles lets you encounter five of the main works.
For many road trippers, the silo at Rupanyup is the first they'll encounter along the trail.

The Great Ocean Road

Travels through: Victoria

Duration: 4 days 

Is there a more iconic road trip in Victoria than the one along the Great Ocean Road? No matter how many times you do it, that rugged coastline never gets old.  

From Melbourne, make your way to the coastal town of Torquay, Victoria's surfing capital, where you can surf at famous Bells Beach, hike the Surf Coast Walk, hit the outlets andcatch some shut eye at the RACV Torquay Resort.

On day two, continue along the Great Ocean Road and stop in at one of these great foodie experiences in Lorne or Anglesea. 

Post lunch, admire the cliff tops as you make your way to Apollo Bay, heading past the famous ’12 Apostles’, and finishing in the beautiful town of Port Fairy.

The Great Eastern Drive

Travels through: Tasmania

Duration: 4 days

Whether you hire a car or bring yours along from Victoria on the Spirit of Tasmania, the Great Eastern Drive takes you across the highlights of Tasmania, from the attractions of Hobart to the picturesque sights of Launceston. 

A trip to the Apple Isle is a leisurely drive where you can take in the heritage of Port Arthur, the modern take on art at MONA, the beauty of Wineglass Bay, and the native wildlife of Maria Island. 

Enjoys the splendours of a hike around Cataract Gorge in Launceston, a tour of Mount Wellington, a wine tasting in Tamar Valley, a walk to the Mersey Bluff Lighthouse in Devonport, or even through in a tour of the magnificent Bruny Island.

Cap off your trip with a stay at the RACV Hobart Hotel.


This is what you came for: the sparking turquoise waters along the Great Ocean Road. Image: Supplied.
All aboard! Bring your car from Victoria aboard the Spirit of Tasmania. Image: Supplied.

Grand Pacific Drive 

Duration: 5 days  

Travels through: Victoria, New South Wales

If you’re after incredible coastal views, then taking the scenic route from Melbourne to Sydney as part of the Grand Pacific Drive is the road trip for you. While it might extend the journey from an hour’s plane trip, it’s well worth the experience.  

Along the way, you’ll be treated to some quirky little towns where the regional hospitality is still strong, like Mallacoota, about six hours east of Melbourne. Think picturesque beaches, secluded swimming holes, locally made products, boutique stores, fresh produce, and even Croajingolong National Park with lush hiking trails, native flora and fauna, and stunning beaches 

Continue five hours up the east coast to Jervis Bay, where some of the most untouched and stunning beaches in Australia are found. 

If you have the time, you can take a dolphin cruise, go whale watching, kayak around the bay, hike around Booderee National Park, or just take in the surrounds. 

Perhaps the best part of the Melbourne to Sydney road trip is winding your way around the coast on the stunning Grand Pacific Drive north to Wollongong, where crystal blue waters lap underneath as you sit on an elevated road right above the sea – you truly do feel like you’re on the water’s edge.  

Then onwards to Sydney where there is so much to see and do!  

The Nullarbor Plain

Duration: 6 days

Travels through: South Australia, Western Australia

What could be more Australian than our red desert?

This road trip through the iconic stretch of barron wilderness connects South and Western Australia. The 1,256 km journey along the Eyre Highway takes you through the sandy plains of the longest and flattest road in the country. 

This adventure is best enjoyed in winter to avoid the worst of the desert heat. At that time of year, you can also catch whale migration down south, see the limestone Bunda Cliffs, have a hit of golf at Nullarbor Links - the world’s longest golf course, and see plenty of native animals along the way. 

As fuel, food and rest stops can be far and in-between, make sure you plan your petrol stops with arevo and go over our essential road safety checklist before heading off. 


There are many stops and paths you can take off the Nullarbor Plain. Image: Supplied.
Take time to explore all the majestic city of Sydney has to offer. Image: Jan Breckwoldt Photography.

Gibb River Road

Duration: 7–14 days

Travels through: Western Australia

The 660km Gibb River Road track explores the Kimberley region from Derby to Kununurra. A paradise worth taking some days to explore, this trip of a lifetime is quite remote and requires a 4WD for access. 

Travelling along the northwest of Australia, the trip starts at the famed Cable Beach in Broome, where you can go hiking through the Winjana Gorge National Park - keep an eye out for crocodiles! 

Once you head across the outback’s stunning natural sights from Bell Gorge, go for a swim at Isdell River and see the 50,000-year-old Indigenous rock art near the Yallamia Pool of Upper Manning Gorge, before checking out the spectacular billabongs and splashing waterfalls of Home Valley Station. 

Go fishing in Pentecost River, relax in the thermal Zebedee Springs, explore Lake Argyle and explore the World-Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park. 

If you’re looking to prolong your adventure, you can continue across Savannah Way through the Northern Territory.


Bell Gorge in the magnificent Wunaamin Conservation Park, Western Australia. Image: Supplied.
Explore the beauty of the Northern Territory at the Field of Light. Image: Matt Glastonbury, Tourism NT

Red Centre Way

Duration: Up to 14 days  

Travels through: Northern Territory

Those who have already been to Central Australia are likely to tell you that the massive canyons, red desert sands, and lush forestry within the national parks makes it an unforgettable experience. 

Plus, with so many hidden gems throughout the trip, there's something for everyone.  

The ultimate way to see Central Australia is via the Red Centre Way, a trip from Alice Springs to Uluru via Kings Canyon that delivers unparalleled natural beauty. 

If you’re looking to drive to Alice Springs from Victoria, that’s an extra 25-30 hours, so be sure to factor this into your timeframe. Otherwise, you can head straight to the Northern Territory and hire a car with SIXT.

In Alice Springs, you can immerse yourself in traditional Aboriginal culture and head to one of the many galleries, such as Papunya Tula Artists, Yuba Napa Gallery and Studio and the Araluen Arts Centre.  

From here, head towards Simpsons Gap, where you can spot native wildlife from the cliff tops above, and the West MacDonnell Ranges National Park, which offers secret swimming holes, as well as a 223km long Larapinta Trail. 
Don’t forget the most famous landmark of all. Known as the ‘heart of the Red Centre’, Uluru is recognised as a World Heritage Site and one of the seven Natural Wonders of Oceania – just make sure you catch a beautiful sunrise or sunset at the viewing area.


Get RACV Emergency Roadside Assistance ahead of your road trip. 
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