With over 35000 kilometres of coastline, Australia boasts hundreds of picturesque coastal drives to discover. Whether it’s winding through lush tropical rainforest in the north or rugged seaside cliffs in the south, Australia’s magnificent and ever changing coastline makes for some of the most spectacular road trips.
If you’re travelling on a budget, one of the best ways to explore Australia’s coastline is by caravan or campervan. Caravan road trips allow you to create your own itinerary, travel at your own pace and save hundreds on accommodation (that can be spent enjoying activities along the way!). If you’re planning on hitting the open road this summer but you’re still not sure where to go, we’ve come up with a list of our favourite Aussie coastal drives – all with excellent camping spots – to help you plan your trip.
The Pacific Coast drive from Sydney to Brisbane stretches across 900kms of remarkable coastline and seaside towns. Jam-packed with activities, there are more things to see and do than you could possibly accomplish in one trip! Visit the historic city of Newcastle, see dolphins in Port Macquarie, take pictures in front of Coffs Harbour’s ‘Big Banana’, enjoy the relaxed beachside atmosphere of Byron Bay and soak up the sun in Surfers Paradise. Between the major stops there are loads of wildlife parks, secluded beaches, rainforest walks and camping spots to check out. The Pacific Coast is the perfect road trip for those who like lots of stops and activities along the way.
Great Ocean Road
One of Australia’s most well-known coastal drives is Victoria’s Great Ocean Road and it certainly lives up to the hype. Starting from Torquay just south-west of Melbourne, the jagged coastline travels through lush rainforest and along rocky cliffs with sensational ocean views all the way to Warrnambool. The 243km road can be done as quickly or as slowly as you like, depending on how many stops you want to make – and there are plenty! From natural rock formations like the Twelve Apostles to rainforest walks in the Otway, not to mention numerous seaside towns and beaches to visit along the way, the Great Ocean Road is a breathtaking coastal drive with tonnes of camping spots to choose from.
Grand Pacific Drive
Just one hour south of Sydney, the Grand Pacific Drive is a breathtaking coastal road travelling through the Royal National Park and along the southern coastline to Wollongong and beyond. Experience impressive views from Bald Hill, drive across the amazing Sea Cliff bridge and visit quaint seaside towns like Kiama and Shoalhaven. With a wealth of activities along the way from exploring beaches, wine tasting, visiting art galleries and wildlife parks, the Grand Pacific Drive is a lovely drive with a great range of camping spots and tourist parks.
Captain Cook Highway
Queensland’s Captain Cook Highway is a stunning stretch of road travelling from Cairns to Port Douglas. Showcasing the best of north Queensland’s sensational coastline, the Captain Cook Highway curves between tropical rainforest and remote beaches. With plenty of things to do from rainforest walks, visiting local markets and swimming the Great Barrier Reef, you’ll never fall short of activities on this trip. And once you get to Port Douglas there’s no need to stop there! Keep heading north to visit the beautiful Daintree Forest and experience some of the most amazing camping spots from the rainforest to Cape Tribulation.
East Coast Escape
Tasmania’s beautiful east coast is one of Australia’s most scenic coastlines. Travelling from Hobart to the Bay of Fires, the dramatic landscapes and pristine beaches are unlike anything else you’ll see in Australia. To get to Hobart from Melbourne and back with your car take the Spirit Of Tasmania ferry to continue your road trip journey. And there are loads to do along the way; visit the fairy penguins in Bicheno, hike in the Douglas-Aspey National park, spend a relaxing day on one of Swansea’s beaches, sample local Tasmanian produce and sleep under the stars in one of the many campsites. A gorgeous road trip that is a must-see for any traveller.
Indian Ocean Drive
Western Australia’s newest coastal road, Indian Ocean Drive, offers a new way for travellers to head from Perth to Geraldton via the western coastline. Boasting immaculate West Australian beaches and beautiful native bushland, the Indian Ocean Drive is a definite must-do trip. Visit the Jurien Bay Marine Park for swimming and snorkelling, the ancient rock formations in the Pinnacles Desert and the fascinating stromatalites (earth’s oldest living life form) on Lake Thetis. With plenty of quiet camping spots along the way, this is the perfect coastal drive for nature loving travellers.
With so much land to cover, road trips are one of the best ways to discover everything Australia’s coastline has to offer. Stopping in small towns, discovering hidden beaches and tasting fresh food on your travels are experiences you can only enjoy when travelling by road. If you’re planning a road trip this summer and in need of a new caravan or campervan, head to Gumtree where you’re sure to find the perfect camper to get you on your way. From there, there’s no limit to where your road-tripping adventures may take you!