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Drive Yourself Wild: Australia’s Famous Self Drives

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Drive Yourself Wild: Australia’s Famous Self Drives

story by: Inspire Magazine

The quintessential Aussie road trip is an awesome way to explore the country. From the legendary Pacific Coast Drive in New South Wales to the Great Southern Touring Route in Victoria, you’ll find an adventure and plenty of stunning scenery around every corner.

VICTORIA – THE GREAT SOUTHERN TOURING ROUTE
Hailed as one of the most scenic drives in all of Australia, the spectacular Great Ocean Road is a destination you don’t want to miss.

 

Home to dazzling rainforests, beautiful beaches and astonishing natural landmarks including the famous 12 Apostles – magnificent rock stacks that rise up from the Southern Ocean. You can drive between the Surf Coast in Victoria and the Shipwreck Coast in either direction. It’s best to start in the surfer town of Torquay and work your way west – this means your views won’t be obstructed by traffic travelling in the opposite direction. You can then make your way back to Melbourne inland via the Grampians National Park and Ballarat.

THE FLINDERS RANGES OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Keen to have an iconic Australian Outback experience? Then the Flinders Ranges in South Australia are your perfect travel destination.

Just 4.5 hours north of Adelaide, the Flinders Ranges show the best the Outback has to offer, from Aboriginal rock art to magnificent rock walls and striking gorges.
The most famous landscape here is the Wilpena Pound – this ancient rock formation has resulted in two distinct mountain ranges, which are best viewed from above. It’s well worth the splurge on a scenic flight – you’ll never have seen anything like it before!

If time permits, head to Coober Pedy, the heart of Australia’s opal industry. Here, you can see how these treasures are discovered – and you might even get to go ‘noodling’ (searching) for opals yourself.

SYDNEY TO BYRON BAY – THE PACIFIC COAST DRIVE
Arguably Australia’s most famous touring route, the Legendary Pacific Coast Drive connects the stunning harbour city of Sydney with its welcoming neighbour to the north, Brisbane.

With plenty of fun to be had between the two bustling cities, start your journey in Sydney and travel north to Port Stephens, also known as ‘the dolphin capital of Australia’. Jump on a dolphin watch cruise or see humpback whales on their annual migration from May to November.

Continue along the coast to Coffs Harbour where there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained. Hit the waves, hop on a cruise, experience the Skywalk in Dorrigo National Park, ride a camel on the beach and get your picture taken in front of another Aussie icon, the Big Banana! Next stop for nature and wildlife lovers is Port Macquarie, home to the Koala Hospital and Study Centre – the only hospital in the world dedicated to treat sick and injured wild koalas.

Finally, you can’t help but fall in love with the charms of Byron Bay which boasts a vibrant village and bohemian atmosphere. A must-do is a visit to the historic Cape Byron Lighthouse on the most easterly point of mainland Australia.

WILD WILD WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Looking to step into a world of awe-inspiring beauty and discover places found nowhere else on earth? Then Western Australia is the place for you.

EXPLORE THE MARGARET RIVER REGION IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Thanks to its proximity to Perth, Western Australia’s Margaret River region is a fantastic place to enjoy a road trip.

The route for the Ultimate Road Trip Down South takes you from Perth along the South Western Highway, passing boutique breweries, beautiful national parks and friendly cellar doors in this popular Aussie wine region.

One highlight is a guided tour of the famous Margaret River wineries. Treat yourself and let someone else do the driving for this portion of the trip – fortunately there are some great local operators to choose from. Stopoff at Boyup Brook – WA’s country music capital – or if you are visiting between the months of June and October, head out on a whale watching cruise to catch the gentle giants in action.

AUSTRALIA’S ABORIGINAL PAST
If you just have a few days for your trip and you’re a keen culture vulture, you might want to dive into Australia’s Aboriginal past. Travel from Perth to Kojonup, the ‘place of stone axe’, where you can learn about some of the earliest interactions between Aboriginal Australians and European settlers. The suffix ‘up’ means ‘place of’ in the local dialect, and you’re likely to encounter it frequently on your travels. Journey even further to Yallingup, the ‘place of love’, where you can hear some of the traditional Dreamtime stories that form the basis of Australia’s most ancient culture, told at the Wardan Aboriginal Centre.

As you make your way through the Valley of the Giants – home to some of Australia’s oldest and largest trees – check out the local galleries that feature the work of talented local artists.

BREATHTAKING CORAL COAST
Follow a self drive route along Western Australia’s Coral Coast and experience the region’s world-class coastal attractions, breathtaking scenery, wildflower trails and warm hospitality. The Coast starts only two hours drive north of Perth at Cervantes and follows the beautiful Indian Ocean coastline as far north as Exmouth.

With a Mediterranean climate in the south and subtropical climate in the north, take a journey through 45,000 years of history and 1,100km of stunning coastline to discover uninterrupted stretches of white sandy beaches and untouched coral reefs metres from the shore.

Feeling inspired? Get in touch with your local HOT holiday specialist to find out more about sunny Queensland. Call 0800 838 747, click here for HOT deals to Aussie or come instore.

Click here for all Inspire Australia articles.

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