Coastal Drives in Australia

Australia is home to some of the most remarkable coastlines ever and a road trip is a great way to explore the beautiful scenery in style. Driving can be a liberating experience, especially when you’re cruising along the freeway staring out into some of the most wonderful surroundings in the world. Whether you decide to rent a car for your trip or you have one ready to go make sure you check your route thoroughly and read up on your road safety. Check out some of the best Australian coastal drives in the land down under below and get excited about your trip!

Best Australian Coastal Drives

Sydney To Melbourne Coastal Drive

Start your journey in Sydney’s Royal National Park before taking the long trip south down Australia’s east coast.

There are great stops along the way including the towns of Nowra, Batemans Bay, Eden, Bairnsdale, Walhalla and Foster. You can also make a detour across to Phillip Island for an amazing penguin adventure before hitting your final destination, Melbourne.

Royal National Park. Australian coastal drives. nsw
Royal National Park. Flickr: Andrew Harvey / CC BY 2.0

The Great Tropical Drive

The highlight of the Great Tropical Drive is cruising between two World Heritage areas, the Wet Tropics rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. The route takes you through some of Australia’s well-loved tropical paradise spots and there’s lots of adventures to be had along the one of the most beautiful Australian coastal drives.

There are 26 different ways to do the route which passes through some of North Queensland’s most beautiful places including Mission Beach and the Cassowary Coast, the Atherton Tablelands, Cooktown, Port Douglas and Daintree, Cairns and its beaches, Townsville, Charters Towers and Hinchinbrook and the Gulf Savannah.

The Blue Lagoon, Lizard Island. Australian coastal drives
The Blue Lagoon, Lizard Island. Flickr: Philip Morton / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Great Sunshine Way

Start off at the Gold Coast’s numerous pretty beaches and revel in its many attractions and buzzing nightlife. Brisbane is only an hour away, where you can take in the sights of the subtropical city or walk one of the many bushwalks in the region and hang out beside the natural beauty that is the Brisbane River.

Take a break in the historic town of Noosa and check out its boutique markets before crossing over to Fraser Island. Then it’s on to Bundaberg, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef where there is a host of unique outdoor activities to try out. Australian coastal drives are definitely one of a kind.

Fraser Island. Australian coastal drives
Fraser Island. Flickr: Michael Dawes / CC BY-NC 2.0

Darling River Run

The Darling River Run is a 730 km drive along the coast of the Darling River. Starting at the old town of Walgett in north-western NSW going all the way to Wentworth on the Victorian border of Australia.

Darling River. Australian coastal drives
Darling River

You’ll get a chance to visit the old port towns of Louth, Bourke, Tilpa, and Wilcannia before arriving at Wentworth. The trail is a long drive across the outback and has a mix of terrains for the driver who wants a challenge.

Grand Pacific Drive

Starting in Sydney the Grand Pacific Drive goes for 140 kilometres and passes through the townships of Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and the Shoalhaven.

This gorgeous route passes the historic Sea Cliff Bridge and you’ll end your journey at the coastal wilderness of the Sapphire Coast where there is plenty of natural beauty to bask in from its sumptuous sands to its brilliant adventure trails.

little blowhole kiama new south wales. Australian coastal drives, Kiama Blowhole , NSW
Kiama Blowhole , NSW

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