Australia is filled with natural attractions, from its lush national parks to its stunning beaches. Hiring a car and taking a road trip is a great way to discover the wonders of Australia at your own pace. Whether you’re travelling alone, with friends or bringing the whole family along, there’s a number of ways to appreciate the beauty of Australia’s famous coast.
Check out some cool coastal drives in Australia you can explore today below.
The Great Sunshine Way
The Great Sunshine Way is a famous coastal drive that explores the northeast coast of Australia in the state in Queensland. Spend time on the stunning beaches of the Gold Coast and enjoy the nightlife of the popular holiday destination before hitting the road to Brisbane. Once at Brisbane you can take in the sights of the subtropical city or walk one of the many bushwalks in the region.
Next stop is the historic town of Noosa, where you’ll find great surfing locations and boutique arts and crafts markets. There’s an option to check out World Heritage-listed Fraser Island before you head on to your final stop of Bundaberg. Bundaberg is known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and has a wide range of outdoor activities for all ages and abilities.
Grand Pacific Drive
The Grand Pacific Drive is one of the most famous and most rewarding drives in Australia. Starting in Sydney, the 140 kilometre route heads south past the historic Sea Cliff Bridge as it juts out from the cliffs, next stop Wollongong.
Further south you’ll discover the gorgeous coastal towns of Shellharbour, Kiama and Shoalhaven as well as the hinterlands of the Southern Highlands. There’s also opportunity to visit the national parks of Eurobodalla before the route ends on the beautiful sands of the Sapphire Coast.
Sydney To Melbourne Coastal Drive
Sydney and Melbourne are two of Australia’s most famous cities. This coastal drive will take you south from the Sydney National Park down Australia’s east coast before ending up in Melbourne.
Cross the famous Sea Cliff Bridge on your way down to the shores of Bateman’s Bay. This coastal area is filled with beaches and bays from Jervis Bay to Booderee National Park. Then pass through the shimmering lakes of Eden and the historic villages on the way to valleys of Walhalla before coming to Foster. Once there you can make a detour to Phillip Island, famous for its little penguin inhabitants. Then it’s on to your final destination, Melbourne.
The Great Tropical Drive
The Great Tropical Drive explores some of the best spots in Queensland. Beginning and ending in the tropical city of Cairns, it is up to you how you navigate the this route. There are 26 different ways to enjoy this drive, each with its own unique challenges and rewards.
Some of the attractions you will pass along the way include the Atherton Tablelands, Mission Beach and the Cassowary Coast, Cooktown, Port Douglas and Daintree, Cairns and its beaches, Townsville, Charters Towers and Hinchinbrook and the Gulf Savannah. You will also pass between two World Heritage areas, the Wet Tropics rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.