The Ultimate 10 Day Ontario Road Trip Itinerary for Outdoor Adventure

Most travelers to Ontario focus on three destinations: Toronto, Ottawa, and Niagara Falls.

While there’s nothing wrong with them, I don’t feel they showcase the incredible and beautiful wilderness this province has to offer. So instead, in this itinerary, I will take you to three of my favorite national / provincial parks on this 10 day Ontario road trip.

At Georgian Bay Islands National Park, you will watch the most spectacular sunrises. In Killarney Provincial Park, you will hike The Crack for phenomenal views of the La Cloche Mountain Range. In Algonquin Provincial Park, you will canoe by day and sleep under the stars by night.

If you like an active vacation and lots of incredible scenery, this is the perfect Ontario road trip itinerary for you.

Your Perfect 10 Days in Ontario: Road Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – 3: Georgian Bay Islands National Park

Georgian Bay Islands National Park is one of my favorite places in the world. I spent 13 summers at an overnight camp located within the national park.

The park is known for its incredible sunsets, windswept pines, and rocky geography. The park protects 63 islands and the largest, Beausoleil Island, is home to several activities for visitors.

How to Get Here

On Day 1 drive from Toronto Pearson Airport to Georgian Bay Islands National Park. First, you will need to get to Honey Harbour Boat Clubs Marina, which is located about 2 hours north of Toronto. From the marina, it is a 20-minute boat ride to Beausoleil Island.

If you are staying in roofed accommodations on the island (see next section) you can take the Parks Canada DayTripper boat shuttle. If you are camping on the island, you will need to arrange a boat taxi to the island.

Where to Stay

There are four options for accommodation in the national park: Cedar Spring campground, primitive camping, oTentiks, and cabins.

  • Cedar Spring Campground – The campground has 45 sites for tent camping that are close to flush toilets, showers, and other facilities.
  • Primitive Camping – There are eight campsites on the island for tent camping that are more secluded and don’t offer any facilities. I like Honeymoon and Tonch North the most. The campsites at Honeymoon and Tonches can be reserved online in advance, however the other campsites are first-come-first-serve.
  • oTENTik – The park has a few semi-permanent tent structures that you can rent for a minimum of two nights. They sleep up to four people. You’ll have a proper bed (bring a sleeping bag) and roof over your head, with flush toilets nearby.
  • Cabins – There are also two sets cabins that can be rented for a minimum of two nights: one set at Cedar Spring (each sleeps 6 people) and one set at Christian Beach (each sleeps 4 people). The cabins offer beds, a picnic table, cookware and other gear.

In all of the above, you should reserve online in advance.

How Long to Stay  

I think three nights is the perfect amount of time to spend in Georgian Bay Islands National Park.

That will give you two full days to enjoy the park. From my experience, the park can see thunderstorms / overcast skies persistent for an entire day, but usually not multiple days in a row.

Having the extra night means you decrease the probability of missing out on an awesome sunset due to weather.

What to Do

Hiking: Beausoleil Island has numerous trails for hiking. The trails on the south side of the island are flat and wide, with sugar maples above and pine needles under your feet.

The trails on the north side of the island are rocky and less defined. I find these trails a lot more beautiful, but be sure to watch for the trail markers as it’s easy to get lost here.

My personal favorite hike is Fairy Trail. This is a loop trail around Fairy Lake, a lake in the top-center of the island. I also love the hike to the lighthouse, which is a stop along the Georgian Trail on the west side of the island. 

Biking: Bikes can be rented at the visitor center. Many of the trails on the southern part of the island are flat and wide enough for biking.

Swimming: There are some awesome swimming spots throughout the islands. Beausoleil Point (the most southern point of the island) is probably my favorite place.

A sandy beach stretches out from the shoreline underneath a foot of water, which makes playing frisbee or other games really fun. Honeymoon also has a decent beach, but it would be one of the busier places to swim in the park.

Sunset Gazing: Georgian Bay offers some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. The sunsets are best on the north coast of the island, in my opinion.

Additional Resource

I have a comprehensive guide to visiting the Georgian Bay Islands that can help you with planning your time in the park.

Day 4 – 6: Killarney Provincial Park

Killarney Provincial Park is perhaps the most beautiful park in Ontario. The water ranges from jet black to Gatorade blue; the rocks range from pink granite to shimmering white quartz.

Located on the northern shore of Georgian Bay and stretching across the La Cloche Mountain Range, Killarney protects a truly special pocket of Ontario wilderness, making it an essential stop on your Ontario road trip.

How to Get Here

On Day 4 drive from Honey Harbour Boat Clubs Marina to Killarney Provincial Park. The drive is just under 3 hours, but I think the incredible beauty of Killarney will make up for the drive time.

Optional Detour: Along the highway to Killarney, you will pass a turn for Killbear Provincial Park. This stop would only require an extra ~20 minutes of driving each way.

The park is small and there isn’t much to do that couldn’t be done in Killarney or Georgian Bay Islands, which is why I don’t dedicate more time to it in this Ontario itinerary. That said, the Lookout Trail (1.5 hours return) is excellent and worthy of a quick detour.

Where to Stay

There are four options for accommodation in the provincial park.

  • George Lake Campground – The campground has numerous sites for car camping and has washroom and shower facilities.
  • Backcountry Campsite – If you are comfortable hiking or paddling to a campsite, Killarney offers excellent backcountry campsites. There is only one campsite per lake in the park, which means reservations need to be made well in advance (4-5 months in advance) if you are to get one of the nicest campsites.
  • Yurts / Cabins – At George Lake Campground, there are two cabins and six yurts available for reservation. The cabins sleep five people and the yurts sleep six people.
  • Killarney Mountain Lodge – This lodge is located just outside the park and offers many cabins of different sizes. I stayed here when visiting Killarney with my parents and really enjoyed it. The lodge is located right on the shore, there is a great restaurant and a huge common room with comfy leather chairs and a stone fireplace. Perfect after a long day in the park!

In all of the above, you should reserve online in advance.

How Long to Stay  

Since you will likely arrive in Killarney Provincial Park in the afternoon after three hours of driving, I recommend staying for three nights.

This will allow you to have two full days in the park: one for canoeing and one for hiking.

What to Do

Hike The Crack: The Crack is the most popular hike in Killarney. It’s a little over 6 km return, yet it requires 4 hours of hiking because it is so strenuous.

There is a lot of steep hiking to do. The view from the top is incredible, but you’ll be wiped afterward.

Hike Silver Peak: Silver Peak is the highest point in Killarney and offers stunning views of the many lakes below. Beyond the lakes, you can see all the way to Georgian Bay.

The trailhead is a little tricky to access as you’ll need to rent a canoe and paddle to it. Definitely get a map with your canoe rental! The hike itself requires 5-6 hours, so this is a full day activity and you’ll want to get started early.

Canoe from George Lake to Killarney Lake: Rent a canoe from George Lake and go for a paddle. Two quick portages will bring you to Killarney Lake, which is the perfect place to have a picnic lunch.

There is some stunning geography in this area of the park. There are several cliffs of varying colors – white, black, brown, and pink. George Lake can get windy, especially in the afternoon, so ensure you wear your life jacket and stay by the shore if the wind starts picking up.

Additional Resource

I’ve written a blog post with everything you need to know about visiting Killarney, which should help you plan this part of the trip.

Days 7 – 9: Algonquin Provincial Park

Algonquin Provincial Park is Canada’s oldest provincial park. Covering nearly 8,000 sq km, this park is bigger than some European countries!

There are over 2,000 km worth of canoe routes. Needless to say, canoe camping and Algonquin go hand-in-hand!

How to Get Here

On Day 7 drive from Killarney to Algonquin Provincial Park. The drive is 3.5 hours, but the area around Algonquin gets busier if you’re driving on a weekend. I recommend getting started on this drive early in the morning.

Optional Detour: The drive will take you through the town of Huntsville, which is a very popular town for cottagers in the summer.

There are some cute cafes, thrift shops, and camping gear stores in the downtown area. If you have time to stop for a quick lunch here, I recommend it!

Where to Stay

Backcountry Camping: For Algonquin, I highly recommend doing a canoe camping trip and staying at backcountry campsites. If you are new to canoe camping, Algonquin has excellent outfitters you can rent you with all the gear you need.

I’ve worked with the company ‘Algonquin Outfitters’ before and they are excellent. You can even hire a canoe guide to take you, which I highly recommend for beginner canoeists.

Your outfitter will be able to help you choose a canoe route that is well suited for your abilities. In addition, they can help plan out meals and ensure you’re well prepared for an amazing adventure.

Lodges: If backcountry camping is not your preference, there are also three lodges in the park. I haven’t stayed at any of these lodges myself, but I’ve heard great things about Killarney Lodge (not to be confused with Killarney Mountain Lodge in Killarney Provincial Park).

Additional Options: There are also options for car camping, yurts, and other types of accommodation. The Algonquin Park camping webpage has details on all of the options. 

Though, again, I recommend canoe camping in Algonquin. It’s an essential part of the Canadian summer.

How Long to Stay  

In this Ontario road trip itinerary, I’ve budgeted three nights in Algonquin Provincial Park.

If you’d like a taste of canoe camping, you could reduce this to two nights. Whereas if you’re feeling ambitious or already love backcountry camping, you could adjust to four nights.

What to Do

Canoe Camping: Spend your days paddling under the sun and your nights staring up at the stars. Collect firewood and cook your meals over a fire. Take breaks to swim in the lake or lay out on the warm rocks. You may even be lucky enough to see a moose.

Backpacking: If you decide you’d like to backcountry camp, but aren’t interested in canoeing, there is a 2-night backpacking trail that is really nice. The Highland Trail is a 36 km loop with nice campsites along the way. 

Canoeing: Even if you don’t go out for a multi-day canoe trip, you can still rent a canoe for a day and explore some of the lakes. The lodges typically have free canoe rentals. Otherwise, you can rent a canoe from one of the park’s outfitters. 

Hiking: There are a few awesome hiking trails in Algonquin. Barron Canyon is a popular short (2 km) hike with a great view. Centennial Ridges is less busy and longer (10 km) but also offers excellent views.

Photography: Algonquin is a super popular destination for landscape and wildlife photographers. There are some locals who run photography tours in the area, which will take you to lesser-known areas of the park.

Additional Resource

The best resource for anything Algonquin-related is the Friends of Algonquin website.

Day 10: Back to Toronto

On the final day, you’ll leave Algonquin Provincial Park and drive back to Toronto.

Depending on what you have next on your trip (a flight departure, perhaps) you may have time to stop in Gravenhurst for lunch on the drive back. The town was nearby the camp I used to work at, so I spent many days off here. The Oar Restaurant is really good and has an outdoor patio!

Additional Information for Planning an Ontario Road Trip

Weather: This itinerary is only suitable for travel in the summer or early autumn. Generally, by early June the weather has warmed up for the season (20 C) and will peak at 30-35 C in late July.

Bugs: Mosquitoes and Black Flies are often an issue early in the season, and will be the worst in Algonquin Park in June and early July.

Best Time to Go: For the reasons above, I think the best time to travel in Ontario is early August. The weather is still very warm, but the bugs are almost non-existent by then. However, if you’re comfortable with a couple of bugs in the early evenings and cooling temperatures, any time between mid-July and late-August would be suitable.

Packing: As you’ll be doing a lot of outdoor adventuring, it’s important to have decent outdoor clothing (especially if you will be canoe camping in Algonquin). I have a canoe camping packing guide in this post that you can use for planning, as well as this road trip packing list!

About the Author

Mikaela is the voice behind Voyageur Tripper, a blog dedicated to outdoor adventure travel. Mikaela spent several seasons working as a hiking and canoeing guide throughout Canada. She now balances weekend adventuring with a full-time job, and writes stories, resources, and travel guides for her blog. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook to follow her travels.

Pin this 10 Days in Ontario Road Trip Itinerary for Later!

Want to plan the perfect Canada road trip? Travel Ontario! This Ontario road trip itinerary covers 10 days in Ontario, hitting the following best places to visit in Ontario: Georgian Bay Islands, Killarney Provincial Park, and Algonquin Provincial Park. Tons of Ontario nature, landscapes, hiking await!

7 Epic and Truly Off the Beaten Path Road Trips

You could road trip America’s Route 66, Australia’s Great Ocean Road, or Iceland’s Ring Road — but how about a truly special and off the beaten path road trip that explores some of the world’s less commonly visited destinations?

I asked travel bloggers to contribute their favorite road trips around the world and they delivered some really far-flung gems spanning a whole bunch of continents. Check them out below.




By Lauren of The Traveller’s Guide By #ljojlo

New on the road tripping scene is Chile! This long and skinny country makes it hard for even the most directionally challenged person to get lost, making it the perfect place to enjoy this type of travel. Over 4000km in length, deserts in the north, glaciers in the south, Chile has something for everyone!

However, the infrastructure is not available as it is in other countries if you want to campervan Chile. However, this did not stop us taking on this adventure. Having the freedom to park up anywhere, within reason of course, and enjoy the natural beauty that is Chile made this trip one to remember. We were fortunate enough to experience the Atacama Desert in the north, while also venturing as far south as the Lakes District before returning to Santiago, allowing us to get a real feel of Chile over our 18-day adventure. Here are our top 5 stops while road tripping Chile.


 Situated a hop skip and a jump outside of Chile’s famous San Pedro de Atacama is the incredible landscape that is Valley Of The Moon. Unlike anything I have seen before this is a must stop because its beauty will take your breath away.

 San Pedro De Atacama – the town itself and the most tourist orientated place in Chile must be on your list even if you don’t like tourist hot spots. Just arriving into this small town is interesting as bitumen roads turn to dirt as you enter the centre. I feel you go back in time by enjoying the mud hut infrastructure and the dirt roads.  Another stop that is like nothing I have seen before.

Termas Geometricas are by far the best hot springs I have ever visited. While expensive these hot springs are formed within the natural valley with beautiful red boardwalks allowing you to access over 17 pools with ranging temperatures. Indeed an afternoon I won’t forget.

We were lucky to stumble upon a beautiful road in the North Coast that winded itself through the mountains of the Atacama Desert to the coast of Chile between the towns of Antofagasta and Taltal in the north. With contrasting environments meeting, this is a perfect place to experience on your road trip.

Staying in Lake Panguipulli overnight on the bank of this beautiful lake within the Lakes District was another remarkable experience. We could not get enough of the picturesque views and the stark difference to the Atacama Desert in the north.

Other honorable mentions must go to the La Portada Arch just north of Antofagasta, camping on the beach at Taltal, Santiago and its great free walking tours, Volcano Villarrica and of course Valparaiso for the incredible street art.


Karakoram Highway, Pakistan

By Joan of Against the Compass

What used to be part of the ancient Silk Road, which connected China with the Indian subcontinent, is now the Karakoram Highway. At 1,300km, it is the highest paved road in the world, over 4,600 meters high at Khunjerab Pass, the Pakistan-Chinese border. The Karakoram highway begins in Islamabad (the capital of Pakistan) and ends in Kashgar, Xinjiang province, China.

The Karakoram Highway is internationally famous for being one of the most scenic roads on Earth, as it literally goes through 7,000 & 8,000 meter peaks, which means that, even if you are not into hiking, you are able to enjoy some of the highest mountains in the world from the window of your car or hotel.

Both sections of the road (Pakistan and China) are incredibly beautiful but, if I had to choose one, I would definitely choose the Pakistani part. Why? Basically, because, on the Chinese part, there are an endless number of restrictions, as the road goes through a disputed territory and, in the best part of it, you can’t even get out of the car. On the other hand, in Pakistan, you can do whatever you want and, most importantly, the road goes through the safest part of the country. 

In my opinion, these are the 5 best places to stop. First, check out Gilgit .The capital of Gilgit-Baltistan, located 500km from Islamabad, is the gate to the most striking mountainous area in Pakistan and the perfect base to explore all the surrounding valleys, including Astore, Naltar, Ghizer and trekking to the Nanga Parbat Base Camp. 

 Minapin, a small village composed of 300 houses. This is actually where the trail to the Rakaposhi Base Camp starts, a 2-3 days’ trek (Base Camp: 3,600m, Peak: 7,900m). Even if you are not into trekking, you can just spend a few days there, enjoying the mountains and collecting cherries from the multiple plantations. 

After that, check out Karimabad. The most touristic town in Pakistan, Karimabad is home to a UNESCO World Heritage fort and the best views of both Rakaposhi (7,900m) and Diran (7,266m) peaks.

Next up is Passu. Surrounded by arid, steep and sharp mountains, Passu is also home to the most dangerous walking bridge in the world. A perfect place from where to do day treks and visit the Batura glacier, one of the largest glaciers in the world, outside the polar regions, Alaska and Canada. 

Lastly, go to the Kunjerab Pass. Located at 4,600 meters, Khunjerab Pass is the highest border crossing in the world, to the extent that it has become a major tourist attraction, which you can visit even if you have no intention of entering China.

Mongol Rally

By Alice of Teacake Travels
If you’re a) crazy b) a daredevil and c) up for pretty much anything happening to you…then you need to do The Mongol Rally. Run every year by The Adventurists, your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to drive from the UK to Mongolia. The thing is, there’s no support, no backup and no set route.

You can do it on a motorbike or in a car, but the engine must be 1.2L or less! Me and 4 other brave girls made our way to Mongolia via the southern route in a hardy Toyota Yaris and had a blast! It was incredibly challenging but we made it to the end; triumphant, exasperated and forever changed.

If you choose to go down rather than up, I highly recommend going through Montenegro, Macedonia, Turkey, Georgia, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and finishing up in Russia after Mongolia.

A word of warning which needs to be taken seriously: there is a time limit set by The Adventurists for this trip, so if being in a car for very long hours to get to your next destination is not for you, don’t do it. We wished we could have stayed in some countries longer, but we just didn’t have time.

I want to go back and explore so much more of the stunning mosques in Uzbekistan. I want to go back to the mountains of Georgia and eat all their bread and cheese! Sleeping in a yurt in Mongolia and seeing millions of stars was priceless. Being gifted humungous melons by truck drivers in Kazakhstan is an experience very close to my heart.

And if you choose to drive back to the UK (we did!) then go back the Northern route and see Ukraine. It’s an incredibly friendly, creative and fascinating country. We spent almost 3 weeks there and want to go back there to hang!

Good luck adventurer.


By Nikki & Michelle of Cheeky Passports

Armenia may not be a popular destination when you’re considering road trips, but it has surely been one of our favorites so far! Although visiting the country can be a little challenging, a road trip across Armenia provides the intrepid traveler with the opportunity to discover a very different and unique country which is still under-explored.

Our trip started off on the border between Georgia and Armenia, which we crossed in our 4×4 vehicle. After getting through border formalities, we made our way on the pot-holed roads to the Debed Canyon, the only road to take you from the north of the border to other parts of the country. The canyon itself is perfect culture lovers. It is packed with tiny villages, old churches and monasteries which you can stop at and explore.

Our stop for the night was Dilijan, a resort town with a mild climate nestled in between the mountains and forests of North Armenia. The next day we made our way downwards towards Yerevan exploring the monasteries on the way. Indeed, we have never seen as many beautiful monasteries as we did in Armenia, many of them hidden away in remote locations on top of mountains or lost in vast canyons.

The road from Yerevan down to the south of Armenia towards Jermuk took us close to the border with Turkey and through the wine region of the country – Khor Virap Monastery and Noravank Monastery are the highlights here. The next day we drove further south across the Vorotan Pass and on to the town of Goris passing by Tatev Monastery and the mysterious archeological site of Zorats Karer (known as the Stonehenge of Armenia).

We used a different route to get back to the north of the country driving through the Vardenyats Pass where we stopped at the Orbelian’s Caravanserai, the best preserved caravanserai in the country, and then on to the beautiful Lake Sevan where we visited the Noratus Cemetary and feasted on delicious lake fish in one of the many fish restaurants lining the lake shores.

If you’re looking to drive in Armenia, be aware that livestock take priority over vehicles even on highways! A 4×4 vehicle is essential since the roads are in a bad state, but, if you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure in Armenia, we highly recommend exploring the country by car!


By Rishabh of Gypsy Couple

One of the most marketed tourist destinations in India, Rajasthan remains on the top of the list for tourists wanting to experience the best in Indian Hospitality. It helps that most of its destinations are well connected. However given the charm of the Rajasthan countryside, we would recommend a road trip as the best way to explore this Indian state. The ideal route would be to cover Jaipur – Mandawa –  Bikaner – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur – Kumbalgarh – Udaipur & back.

The main advantage of taking this route is that the drives are long enough to enjoy them and short enough to not be fatigued. Also, all the destinations mentioned have a rich history of their own and afford short trips to nearby locations for a complete cultural immersion. India is a country of Gods and Goddesses and on a road trip it is hard to miss the numerous temples on the road thronged by thousands of people a day. There are interesting stories for each one of them and it is a fascinating experience to sit in a local roadside restaurant (called dhabas) talking to the locals about their folklore over a cup of tea or a plate of sweet dish.

There are also monuments erected in the memory of a local hero or saint ( pir baba) who transcends religion and community biases and has followers who come to pay obeisance to them. However the most interesting part about road trips is the ruins. The region was previously divided into many small fiefs and kingdoms and the site of numerous wars. The remnants of the period include many palaces and forts, which have managed to find themselves in a dire state either as a result of the pre independence wars or because of the lack of upkeep post independence. All in all a ride through one of the most colorful states of India can be an explosion of taste, sight and experiences, one not easily replicated.


By Katherine of Tara Lets Anywhere

This road trip starts from the capital city of Manila to one of the best islands in the Visayas region down south.

The first pit stop is Albay, where you can see the perfect cone-shaped Mayon Volcano and Cagsawa Ruins and even go on a fun ATV ride along the gullies of the active volcano. Next stop is Sorsogon, an underrated sister province of Albay. Here you can go island hopping in Matnog and visit and swim on a marine sanctuary.

After Sorsogon, you need to cross your ride to the sea via a roro (roll on/roll off ferry) to reach Samar, where you can visit Biri Island. Biri Island has interesting rock formations and even natural lagoons. A few hours away from Samar is Kalanggaman Island, a recently discovered beach destination with a long sand bar. It’s one of the most photographed locations in the country. You can stay overnight in Kalanggaman Island to beach bum and snorkel.

If you have more time, you can proceed to Sambawan Island in Biliran, which is just about 3 hours away. Sambawan Island is currently a secret gem and is highly recommended for those looking for a scenic place to stay, with its sapphire beach and diving spots.
This road trip will take at least a week to finish.

South Africa

By Ian of Escaping Expectation

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve become a bit obsessed with South Africa after visiting last year. One of the top attractions is the Garden Route, a popular and scenic stretch of the south-eastern coast of South Africa that stretches from Mossel Bay (4 hours from Cape Town) in the Western Cape to Port Elizabeth.

It’s a great way to see everything South Africa has to offer: breath-taking vistas, sweeping beaches, lagoons and ocean views, lush forests, diverse vegetation, scenic hikes, and more adventure activities than you can imagine. The Mediterranean maritime climate means that you can visit any time of the year!

So hop in your rental car, set the GPS, roll down the windows, turn up the radio, and get ready to experience one of the best road trips in the world!

Mossel Bay, known as the Jewel of the Garden Route, the quickly growing cozy coastal destination is our first stop. It’s referred to as the “do stuff” destination because it offers a great mix of adventure and family activities, culture, and local cuisine. And if you want to knock shark cage diving off your bucket list, this is the place to do it!

Next, go on to Wilderness: renowned for its hospitality, tranquil sea and beaches that stretch on forever, and its natural beauty. It’s still got a rustic feel and is the perfect location for nature enthusiasts, water sport adventurers, and vista-seeking photographers. Wilderness is home to some of the best hikes on the Garden Route – the most popular is the Half-Collared and Brown Hooded Kingfisher trails.

After than, head on to Knysna. You can’t miss the Knysna Heads – two huge sandstone cliffs guarding the mouth of the lagoon – one of the most striking geological features along the entire South African coast! They’re also a great place to watch the sunset! Knysna is full of great up-and-coming restaurants… our favorite is Ille de Pain. Seafood lovers must try the world-renowned oysters… we recommend Sirocco.

Next up is Plettenberg Bay. Re-connect with nature here and visit nearby Tsitsikamma National Park, Monkeyland, or the Robben Nature Reserve. This is also where you’ll find the highest commercial bridge bungee jump in the world – another bucket list item – book yours today through Face Adrenaline.

One of the last stops along the Garden Route is Jeffreys’ Bay, home to the worlds perfect wave! This surfing town has become internationally renowned, with its never-ending summer, stunning beaches, picture-perfect shells, and laid-back lifestyle. The Billabong Surfing Festival takes place here every July. It goes without saying, but you need to take some surfing lessons while you’re here! For those that prefer land – it’s also known for its plentiful and beautiful seashells – collect some as souvenirs!


12 Australia Road Trips to Add to Your Bucket List

The mistake is often made — myself included — in thinking that Australia is a small island.

Really, it only looks that way because our Northern hemisphere-centric maps artificially squeeze Australia’s size. In fact, it’s about 80% of the size of the continental U.S., making it perfect for long extended Australia road trips.

While many people who plan a road trip in Australia stick to cities on the East and the Great Barrier Reef, venture off the beaten path a little to see the best Australian landmarks: wonders of the Outback, tropical rainforests, national parks, hidden waterfalls, and so much more you never knew Australia had.

So hop in your car, pack up your car, and take the Australia road trip of your dreams!

The Top Australia Road Trips 

Adelaide to Darwin

By Tom of The Travelling Tom

As far as I’m concerned, the absolute best way to travel is to road trip around Australia is by car. There’s so much to see that you would be missing out otherwise! Perhaps the best road trip in Australia is from Adelaide to Darwin. On this trip, you cut through the heart of the country, as you make your way to the tropical North.

Admittedly, it’s not an easy trip. At over 3,000 km (1,800 miles) it’s a beast of a drive! However, that just means there’s more places to see! Surprisingly, for a route that takes you through Australia’s outback, there’s a lot of them!

You can visit the underground town of Coober Pedy, which is the site of the world’s largest opal mine. The temperatures here are so hot that living underground is a necessity! 

One of the best parts of the trip is going to the Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park. Here, you get to see one of the most iconic images of Australia, Uluru (Ayers Rock). It’s an amazing sight and a must visit!

As well as Uluru, there’s also Kata-Tjuta and King’s Canyon that you can explore here as well. Both are great destinations in their own right and are somewhat overshadowed by Uluru. Make sure you walk through both Kata-Tjuta and King’s Canyon as the views are spectacular and you really get to appreciate the gigantic scale of the place!

From Uluru onwards there’s a few more interesting places to explore. Not far from Alice Springs are the Devil’s Marbles, which are freestanding boulders that look like they have carefully place in position. Yet, they are the result of thousands of years of erosion!

The Mataranka Thermal Pools are about halfway between Alice Springs and Darwin. They’re a great place to stop and relax for a few hours if you’re sick of being in your car.

Finally, before you reach Darwin, you can visit Nitmulik National Park which has some beautiful scenery and great hikes. Checking out Katherine Gorge here is an absolute must!

It’s a long trip that takes about a week, but it’s more than worth it! Seeing the landscape change from arid desert to tropical plants is incredible. You’ll see things you won’t see anywhere else in Australia. The East Coast is great, but get off the beaten track and road trip around Australia and you’ll be greatly rewarded!

Brisbane to Sydney and back

By Emily of Australia Up Close

Road tripping from Brisbane to Sydney is the perfect way to see a swath of Eastern Australia’s most picturesque coastline. Make it a loop by returning to Brisbane via the alternative inland road, and you’ll also experience some of the region’s best small towns and impressive interior landscapes on one long Australia road trip.

This route might not have the same reputation as the Great Ocean Road, but it’s a favorite among locals and a rite of passage for anyone who grew up in Queensland.

The 1,000 kilometres (620 mile) drive involves at least 10 hours on the road one-way, so you’ll want to pace yourself and spread the driving out over at least 5 days. It’s not difficult – there are plenty of pit stops to make along the way.

From Brisbane, head south via the Gold Coast Highway, crossing the border into New South Wales to visit charming Mullumbimby and iconic Byron Bay, known for its swimming beaches and cafe culture. Be sure to visit the Cape Byron lighthouse, Australia’s easternmost Point.

The small town of Ballina just south of Byron is a good place to rest for the night. If you’re wanting to tick some ‘giant objects’ off (pretty much essential on an Australia road trip), here is your first: Ballina’s Big Prawn.

Continuing south, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie are both worthwhile stops on your way to Newcastle, one of Australia’s most underrated cities, in on the Northern NSW road trip section.

Spend a few days here to visit the Ocean Baths and walk along the beaches and wharves, admiring the inner city’s heritage architecture, antique shops, and museums dedicated to its industrial past. The final leg of the drive takes you through the gorgeous Central Coast before arriving in Sydney.

Also worth visiting is Blue Mountains National Park, which you can incorporate into your itinerary either by taking a short detour on the way into Sydney, or visit on the way back if you’re returning to Brisbane. Katoomba and Blackheath are both beautiful little towns with quaint bed-and-breakfasts and access to the area’s best hiking and lookout points.

For a nice contrast to the coast, take the inland route back to Brisbane via Tamworth (Australia’s country music capital), Armidale and Stanthorpe, all lovely country towns.

Darwin to Uluru

By Melissa of Camp Essentials

A road trip through Australia’s red center is an epic journey.  Across some 2000 km, you’ll experience the beauty of Australia’s outback, including spectacular landscapes, amazing wildlife encounters, and learn about Australian history including Aboriginal culture and how locals live in the harsh environment of the Australian outback.

Start in Darwin where you can spend a few days before starting the road trip.  Head down to the lagoon on Darwin’s Waterfront for swim or a picnic.  Close by you can visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Bombing of Darwin Museum at Stokes Hill.  There are also some great restaurants around here too.  If you happen to be in town on a Sunday or Thursday night don’t miss the Mindil Beach night markets.

Your first stop after leaving Darwin is the Top End’s Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks.  Here you’ll see spectacular waterfalls, swim in freshwater rock pools and marvel at massive termite mounds.  The area is best visited with a 4WD, but you’ll access plenty of wonderful sites with a standard vehicle.  Also don’t miss a cruise on Yellow Water to see some amazing wildlife including some of the biggest crocodiles you’ve ever seen!

The next major stop is Katherine where you will see the beautiful Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge.  The gorge is stunning and as well as cruises in the gorge there are plenty of walking trails, hidden waterfalls, and aboriginal art to explore as well as swimming in the hot springs.

Alice Springs is another great town on this road trip.  A visit to the school of air is well recommended where you can see how kids in outback Australia do their schoolwork. Other great attractions in town include the Reptile Centre and the Kangaroo Centre.

Of course, the most iconic sight on this road trip is Uluru – but also go a little further and don’t miss the mighty Kings Canyon.  Make sure you bring some good walking shoes, because the best way to explore these stunning areas is on foot.  Don’t miss a sunrise and a sunset here – the colors are spectacular.

With almost 2,000 km on this road trip, expect to have some long days driving.  However, you will be surprised how fast it goes with so much to see along the way.  Allow at least two weeks to do this trip.

Adelaide to Melbourne

By Holly of Globeblogging

While it may not be the most direct route, driving between Adelaide and Melbourne via the Great Ocean Road is one of the great Australian road trips.

While the 243 kilometers of the Great Ocean Road is a spectacular display of the Victorian coastline, much of the stretch of road between Adelaide and Melbourne follows the coastline if you choose to take it. 

If you are taking your time on the drive then Victor Harbor is worth a stop after leaving Adelaide.

At the right time of year, it is known for its sightings of whales and is surrounded by National Park.

You can also take a horse-drawn tram out to Granite Island, in the middle of a marine park.

It offers a great launch point for a drive through the Coorong National Park which runs along the coast and offers some fabulous views.

Robe is a potential spot to stop for the night. Between Robe and Port Fairy, the road will divert inland for a time.

Call in at Mount Gambier to check out the spectacular Blue Lake.

Approximately 280 kilometers from Melbourne is the little fishing town named Port Fairy, home to the oldest licensed hotel in Victoria which puts out a good meal.

Port Fairy is one of the best places to visit in Victoria in summer, with a lot to do without being too crowded.

From here take a walk to check out Griffiths Island, which has a breeding colony for the Short-tailed Shearwater and a lighthouse that is picturesque even though it isn’t open to the public. 

This stretch of coastline between Port Fairy and Cape Otway is known as the Shipwreck Coast, and is the watery grave of over 600 ships. As such the coastline is populated by a number of lighthouses.

The Split Head lighthouse, star of television and film at Airey’s Inlet is open to the public, offering views of the Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary wrapping around the point.

It is also worth a visit to Cape Otway to see the heritage-listed lighthouse which has the honor of being Australia’s oldest working lighthouse.

The National Park offers the opportunity to walk through rainforest and see a number of waterfalls. 

Naturally, the Twelve Apostles need to feature on any Great Ocean Road itinerary.

While several of the limestone pillars standing off the coast have collapsed into the ocean, it is still a popular tourist attraction.

It is best to plan your trip in order to be there early, not only because the tour buses get there from Melbourne in the mornings.

It can be like Disneyland queues on the coast, but because the sun is over the ocean in the afternoon, making the light challenging for good photos.

The nearby towns of Lorne and Apollo Bay offer accommodation and photo options. 

One thing is for sure, once you are on this stretch of road you will find there is no shortage of things to see.

It is best to plan plenty of time, it’s easy to underestimate how long it can actually take!

Outback Queensland

By Emma Riggs of MY RIG Adventures

One of the most rugged and iconic experiences you can set out to do in Queensland is a loop through the Outback.  Get ready for vast landscapes and wide, open spaces. 

It’s important to be mindful that you will be entering a hot and dry part of the country, so picking the right time of year is crucial.  The cooler months in the middle of the year are ideal (from May through to August). 

The daytime temperatures will be warm and even hot as you head further west, but be prepared for very cold nights.  Be sure to pack warm clothing for night time as well as a wide-brimmed hat, T-shirts, and sunscreen for during the day.

Heading off from Rockhampton, head west through Emerald and out to The Gemfields.  Yep, you guessed it – the first stop is all about fossicking for Sapphires!  As you turn off the highway, you’ll be entering a world like you’ve probably never seen before. 

You will likely notice lots of signs pointing you in the direction of ‘fossicking parks,’ ‘tag-along-tours’ and ‘gem shops.’  The best way to tackle The Gemfields is to head to a Fossicking Park, where your Miner’s Licence and equipment is all included for you in your entry cost.  The staff are more than willing to teach you how to find Sapphires and identify them for you as well.

Once you’ve had your gemstone fix, continue west to Longreach, the real gateway to Outback Queensland.  Longreach is famous for a few things, but most notably the QANTAS Founders Museum.  QANTAS is a huge commercial Australian Airline, which interestingly started at roots level in the middle of the Outback. 

The Museum is huge, with many interactive attractions included.  You can even walk out onto the wing of a Jet and stand in one of the massive engines (don’t forget to get your photo taken!).  For the full Australian Outback experience, be sure to also do the Stockman’s Hall of Fame, which is right across the road to the QANTAS Museum.

Making your way further west still, you will run into the town of Winton.  Here you’ll find the biggest piece of Australia’s Dinosaur Trail – the Australian Age of Dinosaurs. 

Even today, they are still digging up ancient dinosaur fossils and bones out there as we speak.  There are three other parts to the Dinosaur Trail, the second is about an hour south of Winton in Opalton. 

After you’ve completed the first two parts of the dusty Dinosaur Trail, it’s time to continue west to Julia Creek for a well-earned Artesian Bath.  The tiny little town, with a population of 500 has put itself on the map with its four recently built Artesian Bath Houses. 

Located at the local Caravan Park, you can book yourself in for a 45-minute private session where you’ll get to sip on champagne while watching the sun set over the Outback plains.  The claw foot baths are filled with steaming hot water straight from the Artesian Basin below.

Now it’s time to turn right and start making your way back towards the Queensland Coast.  Along the way you will be able to complete the final two parts of the Dinosaur Trail in the towns of Hughenden and Richmond. 

From there, if you take a slight detour north for 60km you can hike down into the gorgeous Porcupine Gorge.  Although it’s only a 1km walk down into the gorge, do not be deceived – it’s a very steep climb to get back up, especially in the heat of the day!  In fact, some people call it ‘Australia’s mini Grand Canyon.’

While that wraps up your Outback Queensland experience, there is still a 400km drive back to Townsville on the coast.  So, take your time and make sure you’ve always got plenty of food, water, and fuel.

Top End

By Shandos of Travelnuity

When most people think of visiting Australia, their thoughts drift to Sydney, Melbourne, the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru. Most of which take forever to fly to from nearly anywhere in the world (and are separated by huge distances).

But there is one place in Australia that is closer to the rest of the world: the Top End. With flights from Bali or Singapore taking just a few hours (far less than from Sydney or Melbourne), it’s an ideal destination to head to for just a quick trip. And the best way to experience this fairly compact region? On a road trip around the Top End!

Darwin will be the first stop on your trip, as it’s the location of the international airport and all the hire car companies. More of a large country town than a city, it’s still worthwhile spending some time here to check out the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, World War II historic sites and the twice-weekly Mindil Beach Sunset Market. 

But next it’s time to head out of town and grab a taste of the Outback. Top of your list should be Kakadu, the huge national park that’s only a couple of hours down the road from Darwin.

Home to a huge expanse of wetlands, the edge of the Arnhem Land sandstone plateau and thousands of years of Aboriginal culture, there’s so many must-visit sites. Don’t miss the wetland cruises at Yellow Water, the rock art at Ubirr Rock and Nourlangie, or exploring the gorgeous gorges and waterfalls at Gunlom, Maguk, Jim Jim or Twin Falls (4WD required). 

For a more chilled out waterfall experience, head back to Darwin via the Litchfield National Park. Must-do waterfalls are Florence, Wangi and Buley Rockpool. All are easily accessed on sealed roads with a 2WD hire car. The last is my favorite – it’s like a natural outdoor spa, particularly if you visit midweek and manage to have it to yourself.

If you’ve got extra time on your trip, it’s only a few hours further south to Nitmiluk or Katherine Gorge. Take a boat ride up the series of gorges, or hire a canoe and take your time exploring the sandstone cliffs, sandy beaches, and Aboriginal rock art.

Oh, and of course I’ve got another waterfall recommendation for you: Edith Falls, not far north of the gorge, where you can camp right next to the waterhole in Outback style!

The Limestone Coast

Contributed by Natalie & Steve of Curious Campers

If you have driven along the Great Ocean Road or are heading west across Australia, make sure you explore the Limestone Coast between Mount Gambier and Adelaide in South Australia. You could drive the 550 kilometers it in a day, but don’t. There is so much to see it’s worth taking your time.

Mount Gambier is a picturesque town built around a volcanic landscape. Its centerpiece is the Blue Lake that sits in a dormant volcano. During summer, the water turns iridescent royal blue, it is a spectacular sight.

There are many other craters, caves, and sinkholes in the area. The best known are Piccaninnie and Ewens Ponds. They are both world-renowned dive sites. Ewens Ponds is also suitable for snorkeling. Underwater visibility can be as much as 80 meters and the underwater gardens are beautiful.

The Coonawarra is one of South Australia’s best-known wine regions. It is definitely worth visiting a few of the nearly 50 cellar doors to try the local product. Katnook Estate, Wynns Coonawarra Estate and Leconfield Wines are amongst the most popular wineries.

The next stop is Naracoorte. The World Heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves not only have many ornate structures, they are also home to a significant fossil collection. Guided tours are available.

From Naracoorte, turn east towards the seaside town of Robe. It has beautiful white beaches, stunning coastline, lakes and bushland to explore. Get off the bitumen and onto the sand at Long Beach. With 17 kilometers of coastline you’re bound to find a little patch of sand to call your own.

Back on the road, on your way to Meningie you’ll drive alongside the Coorong National Park. It is a large system of lagoons and sand dunes. If you have camping gear it is an interesting place to spend a night. The birdlife is fantastic. 

If you are not packing a tent, from Meningie you can access lookouts and walking trails through the Coorong. Meningie sits on the shore of Lake Albert and is a great spot to stop and have lunch. The local bakery is sensational. 

The final stop before Adelaide are the Adelaide Hills. While only 30 minutes from Adelaide, it feels a world away. Dotted with historic villages, great wineries, and wonderful views, the Adelaide Hills are a great spot to explore year-round. 

Visit Cleland Wildlife Park and feed kangaroos and emus and cuddle a koala. They really are as cute as they look! The Mount Lofty lookout, five minutes away, has fantastic sunset views across the city.

Your final destination, Adelaide, is a gem. It lacks the hustle and bustle of Sydney and Melbourne and his home to a thriving boutique bar and restaurant culture. Just 20 minutes from the CBD are a strip of beaches perfect for cooling off in summer. Adelaide is also the launching pad for two more iconic Australian road trips – the drive across the Nullarbor Plain or heading North to Darwin.

Brisbane to Cairns

By Keri of Our Globe Trotters

The stunning eastern coastline of Queensland stretches for an incredible 3000kms, and the drive from Brisbane to Cairns alone, just shy of 1,700kms.

  The main highlight most visitors come to Queensland to experience is the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef that stretched along most of the Queensland coast; however, there are plenty of fabulous stops on dry land too.  

Whilst conservatively you could cover the drive in 7-8 hour stints in 3 days, you’d be doing yourself a huge injustice not to allow yourself at least 2 weeks to take on this incredible coastal journey – plus time to be spent at either end in Brisbane and Cairns.

The first stop as you head north just 1.5 hours away is the Sunshine Coast, a string of beach suburbs that have now merged into one stretching from Caloundra to Noosa Heads. It is a hugely popular beachside escape for Australians so it can be quite crowded but there are still quieter spots to be found.

Head inland to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and dramatic Glass House Mountains. Base yourself a couple of nights in Noosa to explore the surrounding region.

You can continue up the Bruce Highway for much of your journey north, or those with access to a 4WD can take an even more scenic coastal route known as the Great Beach Drive, from Noosa North Shore all the way up to Fraser Island, an incredible journey for wildlife lovers – those camping equipped can make several stops along the way.

If you aren’t keen on self-driving, there are many companies that can help get you over to the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island.

If you’re sticking to 2WD, 1770 (yes that’s a town!) and Agnes Water make stunning stops where you can catch reef cruises and enjoy the beautiful beaches, Yeppoon and a day trip out to great Keppel is another alternate to try further north. Don’t miss a stop at Bundaberg on your way north to try the infamous Bundaberg Rum distillery tour. 

Our next mustn’t miss stop is Airlie Beach as a launching point to the incredible Whitsundays. You will not believe how white the sand is until you see it! This is tropical Queensland at its best – charter your own yacht and find your stretch of island paradise, or head with a commercial boat service to Daydream Island or Hamilton Island – very popular honeymooning destinations. 

The next driving stretch is quite long, from Airlie Beach to Cairns so a stop in the regional city of Townsville is in order; Townsville is the gateway to Magnetic Island and further reef tours. 

Take the final leg to Cairns through the more scenic Atherton Tablelands route to experience the lush and fertile lands, fresh produce, and incredible waterfalls. 

It is truly one of the most spectacular and rewarding drives in the world for beach and nature lovers.

Your final stop is also a great destination: there are so many great things to do in Cairns that it could deserve an itinerary of its own!

Western Australia

By Amy and Nathan of Two Drifters

In 2013, we flew to Australia, bought a campervan, and headed up Australia’s west coast. We also eventually drove all the way to Sydney, but no region of that huge, beautiful country was quite as wonderful as Western Australia. This is much more remote and far less touristed than other parts of Australia. But it is epically beautiful, and one of the best places to road trip around Australia.

The ideal WA road trip starts in the capital city of Perth. A few days spent there should be enough to see the main sites. Don’t miss Rottnest Island off the coast (home of the adorable Quokka) or the hip town of Fremantle

Driving up the coast, you’ll want to stop next at the Pinnacles of Nambung National Park. These bizarre earth formations will fascinate you. 

Next up, stop anywhere along the endless coastline. The beaches here are just lovely, and you can enjoy a stunning Indian Ocean sunset.

Many hours of driving (it’s a big state) will take you up to Kalbarri National Park, one of our favorite places on our whole trip to Australia. There are breathtaking coastal cliffs on the ocean as well as the inland national park, which is all desert, red rocks, and fantastic hikes. Take a few days to have adventures here. 

Continue north and visit the idyllic area of Shark Bay and Monkey Mia. The water here is turquoise and stunning, and at Monkey Mia you can see a daily dolphin feeding. 

Finally, your last stop will be Exmouth, WA. This is at the very tip of the northwest and is a fantastic place to go snorkeling and, for the brave, whale shark swimming. If you only have time to visit one region of Australia, we highly recommend WA! 


By Dawn of 5 Lost Together

Tasmania (Tassie) is the land of rugged landscapes, sparsely inhabited towns and huge swaths of parkland waiting to be explored. We spent 10 wonderful days exploring Tasmania and hitting all the major hot spots on the east coast.  

Start in the capital Hobart, a city rich in history and culture.  You don’t want to miss the Saturday Salamanca Markets, driving up to the top of nearby Mt Wellington and the wandering the heritage streets of Battery Park.  

road trips in australia

Next stop should be the Tasman Peninsula where the main attraction is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Port Arthur, the best preserved convict site in Australia.  This open air museum is full of fascinating historical buildings and stories.  The day we visited was a dreary rainy day, perfectly setting the tone for this place of horror and hardship.  The Tasman Peninsula also offers up some incredible geological formations and Fortescue Bay in the Tasman National Park is a great wilderness spot to camp and hike.  

Continue to head north along the eastern coast to one of the most photographed spots in Tasmania: Wineglass Bay at Freycinet National Park.  This sandy wineglass shaped bay set within rugged pink and white boulders is just as pretty in person as it is in photographs.  You can see fairy penguins at Bicheno as you cruise up the coastline.  

It is worth the extra time to get to the breathtaking Bay of Fires where you will have the secluded boulder-strewn beaches mostly to yourself.  The turquoise waters may be chilly, but they will beckon you in.  

Next up is the second largest city in Tassie, Launceston where you will want to spend some time at the lovely Cataract Gorge.  You can also explore the nearby wine region of the Tamar Valley, while also feasting on the fresh produce and foodie delicacies of the Cradle to Coast tasting trail.  

Last stop should be the beautiful Cradle Mountain.  As you ascend into the National Park the landscape changes into a misty, eerie brush land.  Dove Lake is the best place to get your shot of the iconic Cradle Mountain.  The early evening is a great time to spot wombats in the grasslands.

 Enjoy the mountain air and wilderness before routing back to Hobart.  Tassie makes for a great road trip in Australia.  Be flexible and allow yourself to get off the beaten path, wander aimlessly and soak in the fresh island air.  

East Coast 

By Dane of Holiday From Where

I recently finished a road trip around Australia’s east coast from Melbourne to Cape Tribulation in the Daintree Rainforest. In a straight line, it is about 4000kms so you can expect to do some driving, but there are so many amazing sites and things to do that you never actually drive much more than a few hundred kilometres in a day. There are so many more, but these are a few of the must-see spots.

If cities are your thing then Melbourne is a must see. It is by far the most cultural city in Australia and also very beautiful. From museums to the botanical gardens it has almost everything you could want from any modern city. It is also just a short drive to the Great Ocean Road which is a must-see if you’re in the area.

road trip around australia

 After Melbourne head to Buderoo, which is a national park southwest of Wollongong. It starts about 30-45 minutes inland and continues for a few hours. It is scattered with amazing rainforest walks and several different waterfalls and swimming holes.

About 2 hours north of Sydney is Nelson Bay. It is home to a range of different beautiful beaches and mountains. There is a hiking trail to the top of  Mt Tomaree where you can get an incredible sunset view over the beaches and mountains.

Next up is Byron Bay. This one is actually my hometown! It’s an incredibly beautiful town with some of the most amazing beaches in Australia. It is a perfect place to try surfing for the first time or if you have surfed before there are amazing beaches all around the area! The lighthouse walk to see the sunrise or sunset is highly recommended as you will either see the sun rise over the ocean or set over the mountains.

Noosa Heads is another small town a lot like Byron, it can be quite touristy but that is normally pretty easy to ignore once you step into the beautiful Noosa National Park and take the long walk around the points and beaches. With beautiful beaches and natural rock pools to swim in it is a really nice beach stop.

Next up is Wallaman Falls, north of Townsville. There’s an incredible 268 meter high waterfall that breaks into a large pool. The rocks can be slippery but it you are brave enough you can go for a dip. Although not recommended if you are not sure footed.

Finish up at Cairns/Port Douglas. This region is your access to the Great Barrier Reef, Palm Cove, The Daintree Rainforest and a ton more amazing natural wonders in Australia. This is a must-see. It is a long way north but totally worth the drive!

Brisbane To Thredbo

By Matt of Fittness AU

A road trip from Brisbane (Queensland) to Thredbo (NSW) is a popular drive for those looking for the ultimate Aussie ski holiday. Or, if you’re planning to go during summer, Thredbo is popular for adventure activities like hiking and mountain biking.

The direct drive could be done in 15 hours (1,394 km / 866 mi) and takes you along a great deal of the beautiful east coast of Australia. Although it’s best to take at least 5 days for your trip so you can stop and enjoy the sites along the way.

Here’s a great route to take for this epic Australia road trip. As you leave Brisbane, make your first stop in Byron Bay. Just 2 hours south of Brisbane, this is a popular holiday spot with a beautiful main beach. Either walk along the beach up to the lighthouse, or stay overnight and head to the Beach Hotel for a drink and a party with live music most nights.

Next up on the road trip is Port Macquarie, just 4 hours south, a gorgeous beachside town worth a stop to relax, go for a swim, and enjoy a local meal at one of the local Surf Clubs overlooking the ocean.

After that, you’ll head to Newcastle – Australia’s second-largest regional center after the Gold Coast. Its rich mining history has been overtaken by its popularity as a coastal hotspot for Sydneysiders looking for a weekend getaway. Take in the beautiful beaches and coastal walkways before you hop back in the car.

Stop off in cosmopolitan Sydney to experience Australia’s most populated city. Visit the Opera House and perhaps even climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge for an adventure? A night or two in Sydney won’t disappoint with an almost unlimited amount of restaurants, bars, cultural activities and natural hotspots such as Bondi Beach.

Your last stop before reaching Thredbo is Canberra. The nation’s capital is the place to be to discover more about Australia’s history, whether of its war heroes, aboriginal culture, or political upheavals. You can even sit in on a Parliament meeting at Parliament House or take a guided tour.

The last stretch of driving from Canberra to Thredbo is exciting as you take in the natural surroundings of mountains and forests covered with crisp white snow.

Be sure to get a good night’s sleep so you can hit the slopes of Mt. Kosciuszko early!

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