10 great Australian driving destinations

Australia is full of diverse landscapes, inspiring road trips and quirky stopovers. See if any of these 10 driving holiday ideas ignite your passion to get out and hit the road.

By Alex Brooks and Carolyn Tate

Australia has more than 800,000 registered caravans and motorhomes, as well as a vast expanse of roads to take to get away from it all. 

An abundance of peer-to-peer and rental websites also allow you to share or hire caravans, campers or trailers to experience a driving holiday. Try:

You can even book private campsites or a trip planner like Designer Journeys, if you don’t like the idea of campgrounds or caravan parks.

Whether you prefer coastal paradises, outback adventures, or cultural discoveries, there really is a road holiday destination for everyone. 

So how do you choose? Let’s start with 10 of Australia’s most scenic caravanning and driving destinations, and you can explore from there.

Great Ocean Road is one of Australia's best known road trips - caravanners need to drive carefully.

Great Ocean Road, Victoria

The Great Ocean Road is a stunning coastal route offering picturesque views of the Southern Ocean along the way. Although it’s only one lane, with dramatic twists and turns, the Great Ocean Road is suitable for confident and careful drivers. Try staying at the  Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park fronting both the beach and the river. 

What to do and see: Visit surfing mecca Bells Beach, the coastal towns of Lorne and Apollo Bay, the lush rainforest of Otway National Park, and the iconic rock formations of the Twelve Apostles.

More information:

Visit Great Ocean Road

Visit Melbourne

Sapphire Coast, New South Wales

Australian Tourism recommends this 6-day itinerary to drive the Sapphire Coast of New South Wales.

The Sapphire Coast stretches from Bermagui to Eden along the southern coastline of New South Wales. It boasts pristine beaches, lush forests, and charming coastal towns, making it a perfect destination for caravan enthusiasts. Enjoy a relaxed pace, and a choice of 20 holiday parks where you can set up for the night, including 18 waterfront properties.

What to do and see: Some of the top spots to visit include Bega Cheese Heritage Centre, Ben Boyd National Park, Bermagui Fisherman’s Wharf, Eden’s Killer Whale Museum, Mimosa Rocks National Park, and Wallaga Lake.

More information:

Caravan & Camping NSW

Sapphire Coast

K'gari (Fraser Island), Queensland

K'gari on the southern Queensland coast is the world's largest sand island, offering a unique adventure for caravanners seeking a more rugged experience. The golden rule here is: never tow a caravan or camper unless they are built for 4WD off-road conditions.

What to do and see: Drive along sandy tracks, explore the Maheno Shipwreck, swim in freshwater lakes, enjoy the panoramic views from Indian Head and The Pinnacles, and spot wild dingoes. (Note: Never feed or approach the dingoes. Dingo attacks are rare but they should be treated with respect.)

More information:

All About Fraser Island

Fraser Coast

Broome, Western Australia

The drive from Perth to Broome will take you 5 to 7 days - or longer if you want to stop to enjoy more of the sights.

Broome's tropical climate, stunning beaches, and rich cultural heritage make it a fantastic destination for caravanning. The Indian Ocean coastline boasts 22km-long Cable Beach, and is a great place to watch the sunset over the ocean.

What to do and see: Join Cable Beach's sunset camel rides, explore ancient dinosaur footprints at Gantheaume Point, and discover the history of Broome's pearling industry.

More information: Broome Visitor Centre

Bruny Island, Tasmania

Bruny is about 60km from top to bottom, but there are no major highways here. Think lots of bends on the main sealed sections, and plenty of tricky gravel roads as well.

Tassie is a top spot to drive around. Bruny Island offers a tranquil escape with rugged coastlines, pristine beaches, and abundant wildlife. You can easily reach Bruny Island via a 15-minute ferry ride from Kettering.

What to do and see: Visit Cape Bruny Lighthouse; taste local artisan cheese, honey, wine, whisky, beer and chocolate; spot rare birds; stroll along Adventure Bay Beach, and visit The Neck for panoramic views.

Read more about Tasmania on Citro:

More information:

Australian Traveller

Caravan Parks Tasmania

Eyre Peninsula, South Australia

Coffin Bay is a stunning South Australian spot to visit.

The Eyre Peninsula boasts beautiful coastal scenery, opportunities for fishing and water sports, and vibrant marine life. This is also the place to visit if you love good food and wine. This is also one of Spida Everitt's top fishing spots in Australia.

What to do and see: Swim with sea lions at Baird Bay, join the Seafood Frontier road trip, cage dive with great white sharks, and visit the stunning Coffin Bay National Park.

More information:

SA Parks

South Australia

Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory

The ominously named Alligator Billabong in Kakadu.

Kakadu National Park offers 20,000 square kilometres of unique outback experience with diverse landscapes, rich Aboriginal culture, and abundant wildlife. Try Aurora Kakadu Lodge Caravan and Camping Park, just 3 hours drive from Darwin.

What to do and see: Visit Gunlom Falls, Maguk Waterfall and Motor Car Falls; experience Aboriginal rock art sites on the Ubirr Walk; take a Yellow Water Cruise, and hike through the park's rugged but stunningly beautiful terrain.

More information: 

Parks Australia 

Parks Australia camping brochure

Blue Mountains, New South Wales

The Blue Mountains is only 2 hours' drive from Sydney.

The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains provide a stunning natural backdrop to a peaceful caravan trip with lush forests, waterfalls, and endless hiking trails. They get their name from the natural blue haze created by the vast eucalypt forests. 

What to do and see: Visit the Three Sisters rock formation, discover sparkling crystals in Jenolan Caves, ride the steep mountain railways at Scenic World, and take a glass-floor cable car over a deep gorge.

More information: Visit NSW

North Coast, New South Wales

Road trips, camping and caravanning make great family holidays for all ages.

The dramatic hinterland and coastal surf of northern New South Wales is restorative and magical. There are beautiful towns like Yamba - check out the Blue Dolphin at the mouth of the mighty Clarence River - which is close to seven nearby surfing beaches, an 18-hole golf course, and a bowling club – all of which bask in the sun of northern NSW year round.

What to do and see: sample the local prawns (the fishing co-ops are a great place to do this - head to a local public wharf and see what’s there) or walk up to Australia’s most easterly point at Cape Byron to see the lighthouse.

More information:

Caravan & camping far north coast

Great Australian Bight, from South Australia to Western Australia

Esperance in Western Australia is at the end of the 1400km road trip from Ceduna in South Australia.

From Ceduna in far west South Australia to Esperance in Western Australia, this mammoth drive is as dramatic as it is isolated. The Esperance Seafront Caravan Park is right on the seafront near a safe swimming beach for the very end of your drive.

What to do and see: Turn off the highway to take a look at the beaches and coastal scenery. Go whale watching. Esperance is perfect for exploring the rugged national parks of Cape Le Grand, the nearby pink lake and the cobalt blue water of the Bay of Isles.

More information:

Great Australian Bight marine park

10 free campsites

More driving holiday inspiration:

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