Australia is larger than you might think - as large as the USA without Alaska and three quarters the size of Europe. It is also extremely diverse with everything from snow-capped mountains to lush tropical forests, the outback desert and rolling green pastures. Coastal road trips will take in wild sweeping beaches and pristine waterways perfect for swimming and kayaking. There are wine growing regions rich with local produce for the wine buffs and foodies, iconic coastal towns like Byron Bay, and historic country towns with charming cottages and friendly pubs. If you jet set from city to city, you'll miss all this.
The best way to experience Australia is on a campervan road trip. That way, you can set your own itineraries, be spontaneous, take the road less travelled, and stop where you want for as long as you want.
With a kitchen in the back seat, you can pull into a stunning location, make lunch and soak in the views. It's the most convenient, affordable and memorable way to dine. And at the end of an adventure-filled day, your home is where ever you park it.
You will soon discover you are part of a community of kindred spirits - folks who like to get off the beaten path, who appreciate the beauty of Australia, and are eager to share a few tips and their favorite camping locations with you. As Edith Wharton once said "One of the great things about travel is you discover how many good, kind people there are."
In this Travel Guide we detail some of the best road trips to help you plan your Australian campervan adventure.
Tropical North: Cairns - Townsville and Townsville - Airlie Beach
575 km | 3 days
This coastal drive winds between two World Heritage listed regions, the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforest clad mountains of the Wet Tropics. Highlights include Mission Beach, snorkeling or diving the Reef, exotic tropical fruit, wildlife, Hinchinbrook Island, and the hikes, swimming holes and waterfalls of Wooroonooran National Park.
Sunshine Coast: Airlie Beach - Brisbane
1,120 km | 4 - 8 days
This coastal drive provides a combination of surf beaches and the tranquil tropical waters along the Great Barrier Reef. Highlights include Island hopping in Airlie Beach, snorkeling or diving the Great Barrier Reef, exploring Eungella National Park, Cape Hillsborough, Agnes Waters, Lady Musgrave Island, whale watching at Hervey Bay, Fraser Island, the Great Sandy National Park, Glasshouse Mountains and Noosa Heads.
Queensland Outback: Townsville - Cunnamulla
1,700 km | 4 - 6 days
From Cunnamulla, travel through the unique landscapes of Australia’s outback before returning east to the coastal city of Townsville. Highlights include bilby encounters, star gazing, museums, outback art, sweeping views, red sand dunes, paddle steamer river cruises, dinosaur footprints, lots of wildlife, canyons and the historic town of Charters Towers.
Grand Pacific Drive: Sydney - Byron Bay - Gold Coast
1,050 km | 5 - 9 days
Highlights include the hippie towns of Nimbin and Byron Bay, unspoiled beaches and pretty coastal towns, surfing, beach camping, the fertile valleys of Bellingen, ancient forests of Dorrigo National Park, kangaroos, glow worm tunnels, the myriad waterways of Myall Lakes, the Hunter Valley wine region, and World Heritage listed Wollemi National Park.
South Coast: Sydney - Melbourne
1,200 km | 5 - 10 days
If you like the laid back coastal lifestyle, surfing, swimming, paddling, catching your dinner on the end of a line, falling asleep to the sound of the ocean, star gazing, and bush walking, you'll love the south coast. Highlights include the rugged coastlines of the Royal National Park, the famous Sea Cliff Bridge, Kiama, the coastal beauty and friendly wildlife of Booderee National Park, a hike up Pigeon House Mountain, diving with seals, the charming town of Tilba Tilba, fresh oysters, whale watching, the waterways and villages of the Gippsland, spectacular Wilsons Promontory National Park, the penguins and wildlife on Phillip Island, and the food, wine and cliff jumping at Mornington Peninsula.
Culture and Coast: Sydney - Canberra - Snowy Mountains - Melbourne
1,450 km | 5 - 10 days
This road trip combines Australia's capital, Canberra, with sweeping plains and mountains, rejoining the coastal route in Victoria. Highlights include the excellent wine, food, art, museums, and festivals of Canberra, spectacular mountain landscapes, cool climate wines, local produce, pretty mountain villages, the autumn colours of Bright, the waterways and historic towns of the Gippsland, spectacular Wilsons Promontory National Park, the penguins and wildlife on Phillip Island, and the food, wine and cliff jumping at Mornington Peninsula.
Great Ocean Road: Melbourne - Adelaide
1,500 km | 7 - 12 days
Great surf, picturesque coastal towns, ocean views around every bend, wine country and some spectacular hikes define this road trip. Highlights include the drive itself, hiking the Grampians, several well-established wine regions, picturesque rural villages, the wildlife on Kangaroo Island, glow worm caves and ancient forests of the Great Otway Naitonal Park, the local produce and vineyards of the Fleurieu Peninsula, the Twelve Apostles and Coorong National Park.
Broken Hill - Outback - Blue Mountains: Sydney to Adelaide
1,800 km | 7 - 14 days
From the rugged Blue Mountain National Park with its infinite walks, through orchards and cute art colonies, into stately country towns with mature trees and grand sandstone architecture, to the unique landscapes of Australia's outback with its vibrant red soil, impossible blue skies and wide open spaces, this road trip is a broad sample of Australian landscapes and communities.
Around Australia: Cairns to Darwin | Darwin to Broome | Broome to Perth | Perth to Adelaide
From the tropical rainforests of Cairns, through surreal desert landscapes and regions rich in Aboriginal culture to the West Coast of Australia, Ningaloo Reef and its whale sharks, and the vibrant city of Perth, through the wineries of Margaret River, the giant trees of Pemberton, the challenging Nullarbor Plain, to the sophisticated city of Adelaide. This is the grandest of adventures!
Red Centre and Tropics: Cairns - Darwin - Uluru - Adelaide
18 Main Terrace,
South Australia 5033 Phone: 1800 216 223
344 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach, Queensland 4802 Phone: 1800 216 223
20 Noble Avenue,
Northgate, Queensland 4013
Phone: 1800 216 223
440 Sheridan Street,
Queensland 4870 Phone: 1800 216 223
2/11 Northview St, Mermaid Waters QLD 4218 Phone: 1800 216 223
273 Elizabeth Street,
Victoria 3058 Phone: 1800 216 223
23-25 Erskine Rd,
Sydney, NSW 2229 Phone: 1800 216 223
14 Langton Street,
Queensland 4814 Phone: 1800 216 223