Let me introduce Russ Calvert. He runs a boutique private tour company called Bush To Ocean Road Tours. They operate tours between Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road in Australia. His Pulped Travel guest spot is aimed at showing off some of Australia’s best road trips. This incredible country has lots to offer travellers of all budgets and interests, but who could turn down the chance to ride down the stunning coastline and spectacular scenery the land ‘Down Under’ has on its doorstep?
It is no surprise that Australia is a tourist hotspot for road trips. The roads are good, the country is relaxed and it has all the facilities expected by travelers. Unless you go into the depths of the Australian Outback or some of the wilder inhospitable coastlines far north, driving around Australia will take you through internationally renowned harbours, wine regions and an ever-changing landscape.
Although most international visitors opt for their own hire car to take them on their journey, there’s no reason why you can’t opt for a private tour for some parts, so you can sit back and soak in the scenery. And, these five trips are some of Australia’s best…
The Great Ocean Road – Victoria
The southern coast of Victoria offers the awe-inspiring Great Ocean Road. Here you can drive the winding roads that will take you to surfing mecca Bells Beach; experience the rainforest canopies of the Otways; and admire the stunning shorelines of coastal rock and ancient limestone structures. The region offers many private tours of the Great Ocean Road too, so take some time out and let an experienced driver guide you.
From Torquay to Warrnambool, the 243 km stretch of clifftop driving will guarantee you fall in love with Victoria. If you’re left wanting more, from Warrnambool to Ballarat is a short drive, where you embark on another iconic Victorian drive of the Goldfields and Spa Country.
The Goldfields – Victoria
To get a taste of regional life in Australia, drive from Ballarat, the heart of the Gold Rush and Eureka Rebellion through to the lush forests and stunning gardens of Macedon, and the eerie climb of the famous Hanging Rock, before ending in Melbourne.
Allow 3 -4 days for Central Victoria, with the best time of year to explore being in Spring or Autumn. Be sure to visit Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill, a re-created gold mining town, before heading to Daylesford and Hepburn Springs for the mineral springs and spas. Along the way is the historic gold mining town of Clunes, where you can stop in for lunch before driving on towards Newstead, Maldon and Bendigo townships.
Many Victorian period hotels are along the way, as well as memorials for those who led Australia to democracy, before finally finishing the journey in one of the world’s most liveable cities, Melbourne.
The Pacific Coast – Queensland
The 6 day drive between Brisbane and tropical Cairns includes the World Heritage listed Fraser Island and the Great Barrier Reef. This coastal drive offers breathtaking views overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Divert to the intriguing Paronella Park, Crater Lakes National Park and take the opportunity to look at the Great Barrier Reef up close in a glass bottom boat.
For those adventurous out there, hire a 4WD to discover Lake McKenzie and the cliffs of the Cathedrals. When to go? Keep this drive for the dry season, between May and October. Wet season usually means cyclones, heavy rain and an ocean full of jelly fish.
The MacDonnell Ranges – Northern Territory
Allow a full week to drive the Red Centre. From Alice Springs to monumental Uluru and the Kata Tjuta rock domes, this almost 1,000 km drive will be the drive of a lifetime. The spiritual heart of Australia offers a rugged beauty that can only be comprehended when looking at her. Striking gorges, waterholes, silence and isolation will remind you to be still. Road conditions are good, even in the Outback, but are subject to flooding during the wet season (Oct-Apr). During winter, temperatures rarely drop below 20 Celsius.
The Great Southern – Western Australia
This 1,476 km drive stretches from Blackwood River Valley and goes to Cape Arid National Park. Allow 5 days to drive through forests, undulating hills and experience the sandy white beaches along the coastline. Explore the Valley of the Giants 131 ft. high tree top walk, go whale and dolphin watching on the coastlines of Bremer Bay, and enjoy the coastal wilderness and crystal waters of Two Peoples Bay.