8 stunning Aussie road trips for adventure travellers

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Sometimes called Watermelon Avenue, this narrow track divides the pink waters of Lake MacDonnell, on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula, with the neighbouring blue-green waterscape. Photo credit: Blond Nomad and Rob Morris for Tourism Australia

When the snow stops and you’re itching for adventure, there’s plenty to find within Australia’s shores. In your home state or across the border, fuel up the tank and hit the open road along coast or red rock and explore the beauty of Australis.

We’ve got 8 road trips that come with a warning. They may take longer than we suggest because you’ll want to stop every minute just to capture the beauty on your camera.

From pink lakes to deep red soil to azure waters. These road trips will colour your life like no other.

Adelaide to Perth road trip, South Australia (10-day journey)

Sometimes called Watermelon Avenue, this narrow track divides the pink waters of Lake MacDonnell, on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, with the neighbouring blue-green waterscape. You can make Lake MacDonnell your final destination from Adelaide, but for a more challenging outback adventure, cruise cross-country along the Nullarbor. Stretching from Adelaide to Perth, this road trip takes at least a few days, so plan ahead for an epic Aussie adventure.

Airlie Beach to Cape Gloucester road trip, Queensland (Day trip)

Oh My God Hill. Cape Gloucester. Photo Credit: Whitsunday Tourism

Queensland’s Whitsundays region is brimming with tiny towns and coastal oases. Head north from Airlie Beach to find Cape Gloucester, a beautiful spot with tall palm trees, secret coves and sweeping views of the Coral Sea. Clocking in at just under a one-hour drive, this route can be made into a day trip, or continue on to Townsville and Cairns for a reef and rainforest getaway.

Perth to Esperance road trip, Western Australia (Weekend getaway)

Eagle Bay, WA. Photo credit: Tourism Australia

Eagle Bay, a secluded escape on Western Australia‘s southwest shores, is just one of the many stops along the jaw-dropping road trip from Perth to Esperance. The 7.5-hour drive offers everything from urban exploring to coastal cruising. The beach paradise of Esperance, home to the sunbathing kangaroos of Lucky Bay, belongs on your bucket list.

The Great Barrier Reef Drive, Queensland (Weekend getaway)

Thala Beach Nature Reserve Resort. Photo credit: Tourism Australia

Tropical adventures don’t come more picturesque than the 300-kilometre (186-mile) Great Barrier Reef Drive. Following the Queensland coast, you’ll have the world’s largest reef system on one side and the Daintree Rainforest on the other. Stop along the way to snorkel in Port Douglas, learn about Aboriginal culture in the ancient Daintree Rainforest and spot saltwater crocodiles in Cape Tribulation. The drive only takes a day or two, but you’re sure to want to stay a little longer.

The Great Eastern Drive, Tasmania (Long-weekend getaway)

Great Eastern Drive Tasmania. Photo credit: Tourism Australia

There are no wrong turns on Australia’s island state of Tasmania; there’s something breathtaking around every corner. As you wind along the coast on the 176-kilometre (109-mile) Great Eastern Drive, make sure you also wander off the main road to enjoy the region’s incredible food, wine and nature.

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The Great Ocean Road (Week of adventure)

The Great Ocean Road. Photo credit: Tourism Australia

In need of some coastal bliss? There’s no better place to find it than along the Great Ocean Road, a seaside road trip full of sweeping views, free-roaming wildlife and laid-back Aussie towns. Spend three (or more!) days winding your way from Melbourne to Adelaide, or Adelaide to Melbourne.

The Road to the Rock, Western Australia (9-day journey)

As Australia’s largest state, Western Australia has endless destinations to explore. Be amazed by the wide-open spaces on the 9-day Road to the Rock road trip. Stop by charming roadside restaurants, explore ancient Aboriginal rock art and cruise the open road as you venture into Australia’s Golden Outback.

The Stuart Highway road trip, Northern Territory (A fortnight of freedom)

Travelling along the Stuart Highway in the Red Centre. Photo credit: Tourism Australia .

There’s something uniquely special about the red earth and vast plains of Australia. Coasting down the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory, it’s just you, the open road and the quiet beauty of the Australian outback.

For an epic journey, take the route all the way from Adelaide to Darwin, stopping at iconic destinations like Alice Springs, Uluru and Kakadu along the way. A thriving, spirited outback centre, Alice Springs is as famous for the personality of its locals and contemporary and traditional art as the natural wonders, including the stunning Larapinta Trail and the MacDonnell Ranges, which surround it.

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