Car Rental Australia: Great Driving Routes

Heading on an travel adventure in the land Down Under soon or in the coming months? There are so many driving routes you can explore in Australia; so you will be totally spoilt for choice. You will come across ancient discoveries, charming heritage towns and villages, wonderful scenery and very interesting travel experiences!

For some of the best driving routes you can take in Australia, please read on for more…

Remember, in order to get around Australia independently, at your own pace and with no need to stick to a timetable, your best bet is to hire a car at a great value rate. To this end, check out our car hire Australia page.

The Savannah Way
The long but rewarding Savannah Way is a magical way to explore the diverse beauty of Australia’s Northern Territory.  It stretches from Cairns to Broome at over 3,000km. You will be travelling along the Australia Highway 1. One of the most astounding features of the route that you will see here is the diversity of the landscape. You will come across strange rock formations, hot water springs and cliff gorges, together with some magnificent flora and fauna totally unique to this part of Australia!

It is recommended that you take in the Savannah Way throughout the dry season from April to September. The starting point is Cairns, and going along Highway 1 you will pass along the Atherton Tablelands. This is the Queensland Gulf region, and you will come across the wonderful Innot Hot Springs here. After this you will come across Borroloola along the MacArthur River. Another marvellous attraction in this area is Cape Crawford, known as the lost city, with some unique rock formations, and Mataranka Nature Reserve, which is home to some wonderful thermal springs.

Indeed the Savannah Way Route is home to some marvellous National Parks, such as Nitmiluk National Park and Gregory National Park, which covered over 13,000 sq km, and also Keep River National Park. From here you will be travelling into Western Australia through the Kimberley Region and this will bring you to the historic city of Broome, which was a major pearling location through the decades. The white warm sands of Cable Beach are welcoming after a long journey from Cairns.

The Great Ocean Road
If you are in the Melbourne, a trip along the Great Ocean Road is a must! This driving route stretches for over 270 km and is widely regarded as one of the most scenic driving tours in the world, featuring stunning viewing points over the Victoria coastline. The Great Ocean Road begins in Torquay outside Melbourne, and travels to Warrnambool. To get to Torquay, take the Surf coast for 95km from Melbourne, and if you fancy it, hit the waves with your surfboard.

As you leave Torquay you will be hitting the Great Ocean Road. There are sea views on one side of you together with rich green landscapes of the Otway Mountain Ranges on the other. There are plenty of look out points along the route, so take your time, stop and enjoy the views. The primary attractions to watch out for along this route is the magnificent Twelve Apostles, which are a fine collection of wonderful limestone rock formations that lie off the coastline in the sea. These are positioned on the route between Princetown and Campbell so keep an eye out for them! Why not park off here, head down to the beach and see these magnificent rock structures for yourself! You will come across some of the wonderful coves and secluded beaches of the Great Ocean Road so find your very own one!

Pacific Coast Drive From Sydney
If you are based in the Sydney and would like to take in a scenic driving route, then why not take in the Pacific Coast Drive, along the east coast of Australia.  Popular with surfers, this route stretches for 950km and travels along the Number 1 Australian Highway, of which this part hugs the Pacific Coastline. As you leave Sydney, head for the Central Coast and travel north to Newcastle, and perhaps drop off at the Brisbane Waters National Park.

Along the way you will come across Lake Macquarie, and you can indulge in some watersports here! What is on offer here range from wind surfing to water sailing so enjoy all of these! After stopping off here, you will come across Nelson Bay, and you could take in the Hunter Valley, a prominent wine-producing region of Australia. Further north is Myall Lake National Park. Coffs Harbour is your next pot of call, and you will come across Kempsey and Hat Head National Park. Coffs Harbour is around 580km from Sydney, and one of the biggest attractions here is the Big Banana. Here, you can enjoy waterslides together with ice-skating.

From Coffs Harbour, travel north on the coastal road and you will reach the Iluka Nature Reserve. You could stop off here or travel to Murwillumbah, and then onto Ballina where you could take in a river cruise. Failing that, you could head on straight to Byron Bay, which is one of the most popular surfing destinations in Australia, and 175km south of Brisbane. After more stunning seascapes along this route, you will come to Brisbane in Queensland.

Explorer Highway Driving Tour
This impressive route will take you from Adelaide to Darwin. You are definitely guaranteed wonderful and diverse scenery and some magnificent attractions! It is also known as the Stuart Highway. The Explorer Highway is over 3,200km in length, so be prepared for this wonderful journey by stocking up with adequate water and supplies! You could do this route in around a week, but you could also spend longer at it!

Again, this route is along a section of the Highway 1 that runs from north to south Australia through Alice Springs. One striking feature of this route is the change in landscape. You will begin in the rolling lush green country areas of Adelaide, heading through the steep vineyards of South Australia, the vast red sand area of the Simpson Desert. When you reach the Northern Territory, and in particular Darwin, you will be astounded by the lush tropical rainforest areas.

Some of the magical highlights of the Explorer Highway include Nitmiluk National Park, Cutta Cutta Caves, the imposing MacDonnell Ranges, and the marvellous Litchfield National Park.  The town of Alice Springs, located in the dead centre point of Australia. Whilst here, it is worth checking out the truly spectacular Ayers Rock National Park. At Tennant Creek you will come across the weird and wonderful Devil Marbles, huge boulder and rock formations, deeply immersed in local Aboriginal culture.

Goldfields Region Tour From Melbourne
Travel in the footsteps of the men and women who travelled from near and far to Australia’s very own Gold rush in the 19th Century and thereafter. If you are based in Melbourne, you can do this very route by taking the Goldfields Tourist Route. Just follow the golden ‘G’ signs and you are on your way! All of the main heritage centres, towns and attractions are denoted by said signpost.

The main locations along the route are Ballarat, Creswick, Castlemaine, Bendigo and Ararat. From Melbourne take the Western Freeway and head for Ballarat, a travelling distance of just under 120km. Sovereign Hill Museum is a good place to drop off at and discover for yourself how prospectors lived during these times. The costumes and drama are perfectly recreated. The gold mines at Bendigo are well worth checking out too. The Museum at Central Deborah Gold Mine will allow the visitor to relive times past as a gold prospector.

This route can be achieved as part of a day trip from Melbourne or you could stay for longer by exploring the quaint villages and towns along the region. The choice is yours!

We have covered just 5 driving routes in Australia – there are so many more! Have you been to Australia or are you planning on going there soon? Have you travelled on any of the routes that we have suggested? If you have travelled on other great driving routes in Australia yourself, please let us know your thoughts in the comments box below. Thank You.