It is our sincere hope that you will be able to leave the lights of the big cities behind to experience the thrill of the open road at least once during your visit to Australia . Happy trails!
The following route suggestions are not so much detailed itineraries as they are Australian road trip icons that will allow you to experience something of the essence of this amazing continent.
Through the Red Centre: Adelaide to Darwin
The 3000 kilometres from the ‘City of Churches' to the ‘Top End' will give you the chance to experience everything from rolling vineyards, through harsh desserts, to tropical scenery. Your route will take you through Alice Springs , the city at the very heart of the continent. From here you can make a detour to probably the most recognisable of Australian landmarks: Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock).
A dirt road through history: The Oodnatta Track
Most people have the quintessential Australian image of an outback dirt road leading off into the distance buried somewhere in their minds. The Oodnatta Track, between Maree and Marla in remote South Australia gives the truly adventurous the chance to make that image a reality. Used by Aboriginal people as a trade route for thousands of years it also brings you a little bit closer to the pre-settlement history of Australia . The track is about 600 kilometres long and should only be tackled if you are sure that your vehicle will be able to cope with the conditions. (Four wheel drive vehicles are recommended but not essential)
A driving endurance test: Crossing the Nullarbor
Many Aussies hope to someday drive the 2700 kilometres from Adelaide to Perth so that they can say: ‘I crossed the Nullarbor'. The Nullarbor (meaning ‘No Trees' in Latin) Plain is a vast flat and treeless landscape stretching from Ceduna in South Australia to Norseman in Western Australia . Crossing it is a true feat of driving endurance and stickers and certificates to this effect may be purchased at roadhouses along the way should you ever attempt to do it!
Going over the top: Darwin to Broome
The Northern part of the continent, and especially the Kimberly region, can in a sense be seen as the last wild frontier of Australia . Tackling the 2000 kilometres from Darwin in the Northern territory to the historic pearling town of Broome in Western Australia (and making frequent detours off the beaten track) will enable you to see something of this enigmatic and isolated region.
Queensland Natural: Brisbane to Cairns
Queensland has so much of offer: Stunning coastal vistas, beautiful coral reefs and breathtaking tropical forests. Driving the 1700 kilometres from Brisbane to Cairns will give you the chance to experience all of the above and much more. Probably the best thing about this route is the fact that it goes through several of the towns from where the Great Barrier Reef can be accessed, making this part of the world the closest thing to ‘Diving Heaven' imaginable.
Maritime Marvel: The Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road winds its way for about 200 kilometres from the outskirts of Melbourne to Warnambool. Along the way it passes by the hidden beaches, small coves and sheer cliffs that will confirm the ‘great' in its name! One of the highlights of the road is the so called ‘Twelve Apostles' a collection of limestone stacks just of the shore near Port Campbell. There are currently only eight of them left (one of them crumbled into the sea as recently as 2005!) but they still present a quintessential Australian photo opportunity! There are many small villages along the road where you can enjoy some of the seaside hospitality that this part of the world is famous for.
It is very difficult to sum up the appeal of the Australian experience. What is not in doubt however is the fact that the joy of conquering the open road is at least part of it. We trust that the itineraries and suggestions we made above will enable you to experience something of that joy!