Great Australian Road Trips
line decor
line decor
Ebor Falls

The Waterfall Way: This classic touring drive starts on the mid-north NSW coast at seaside Coffs Harbour and coils its way up through lush rainforest of the Great Divide to the New England Tablelands to finish in Armidale.  Highlights include Bellingen with its strip of cafes, galleries and trippy hippy markets; mountain-top Dorrigo; and the high plateau gorge country.  Of waterfalls there are plenty.

How long? 200 km



Sea Cliff Bridge

Grand Pacific Drive: NSW’s answer to Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, the Grand Pacific Drive, runs along a man-made cliff-hugging ledge between the pounding surf and towering escarpment wall north of Wollongong. A higlight is the 665-metre-long multi-span balanced cantilever bridge that curves around the cliffs 50 metres out to sea. Explore Royal National Park, check out the view from Stanwell Tops, stop for a swim at any number of surf beaches and eat fish and chips at the fishing harbour in Wollongong before visiting the spectacular Nan Tien Temple, the biggest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere.

How long? 71 km

The Alpine Way: An impressive scenic drive through the ranges from Jindabyne to Khancoban on a road originally built in 1955 as an access road for the snowy scheme. From Jindabyne the road begins to climb into the mountains, rising from 930 metres to 1,370 metres at Thredbo and offers stunning views. The road is not suitable for caravans or articulated vehicles and snow chains must be carried between June 1 and October 10.

How long? 111 km


Watch the video: camping with kangaroos in Kosciuszko National Park

Watch the video: offroad in Kosciuszko National Park

Blue Mountains: Head into the mountains from Sydney on the Bells Line of Road from Richmond.  If you’re a history buff, trainspotter or have kids in tow you'll love the Zig Zag Railway at Clarence. Turn back at Lithgow, visit the historic village of Hartley, and climb up steep Victoria Pass into the mountains again, on through Katoomba and the Three Sisters, where you can hook up with Cliff Drive as it winds its way along the cliff edge to Leura before descending downwards towards Sydney to finish the loop.

How long? 160 km

Byron Bay lighthouse

Northern Rivers: This region between Tweed Heads on the Queensland border to Grafton in the south is a diverse area, with white-sand surf beaches, wild world heritage-listed national parks and rainforest, lush, fertile farmland valleys laced with wide fish-filled rivers and an array of interesting villages and regional centres.  Base yourself in Byron Bay and drive the loop to Tweed Heads via Mount Warning, then south through the rainforest and lush rolling hills to Lismore and happy hippy Nimbin, and then back to the coast via Yamba and Scottish Maclean.

How long? 465 km

Oxley Hwy: From Port Macquarie, head west on the Oxley Highway across the Great Dividing Range to Walcha, a slow but incredibly scenic trip through towering tree ferns and dense rainforest.  Stop at Gingers Creek roadhouse for a coffee on the back verandah looking out over the mountain before tackling the remaining half hour or so of bends until the road spills out onto the high plains beyond Yarrowitch.  Strech the legs at Tia Falls and again at Apsley Falls, where the Apsley River spills down a 65m drop into a round circular gorge. 

How long? 185 km

Central Tilba

Southern Gourmet: The stretch of coastline south of Sydney between Nowra and Merimbula is a foodies paradise.  Every village seems to have its own fishermen’s co-op selling fresh catches of day, the lush dairy farms in the hills produce some fantastic cheeses and the fertile fields yield an amazing array of fresh fruit and vegetables and some very good wines.  So grab yourself a blanket, an empty picnic basket, and head south for one of the best gourmet drives NSW has to offer. 

How long? 315 km


Corner Country: This drive takes you up the Silver City Highway to Tibooburra and Cameron Corner; the place where three states – New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia ‑ meet. The mostly unsealed road spears north from Broken Hill, through endless red dust plains studded with salt bush and mulga, emus, mobs of kangaroos and cackling galahs. Highlights include the ghost town of Milparinka; Depot Glen where explorer Charles Sturt was forced to wait out the summer heat in 1845; Sturt National Park, with its startling jump ups; and the red dunes of the Strezlecki Desert and vast gibber plains.

How long? around 480 km

Bourke railway station, now defunct

Kidman Way: The fully-sealed Kidman Way runs almost 800km through outback New South Wales, and is a great introduction to the wide open expanse of western New South Wales, particularly for those who prefer to stay on the bitumen.  Along the way you can visit the scene of some of bushranger Ned Kelly’s more notorious raids at Jerilderie, enjoy the wineries and restaurants of cosmopolitan Griffith and the surrounding Riverina region, learn about the true story behind the legend of the ‘black stump’, discover a rich local history at the copper mining town of Cobar and explore the town that has become synonymous with the bush and the outback — Bourke.

How long? around 800 km

© All material on this site is copyright to Lee Atkinson and may not be used or reproduced without
consent in writing. Contact us. About the author