Route idea #2: The Great Ocean One
An all-time classic for jaw-dropping coastal scenery, The Great Ocean Road west of Melbourne, combines gorgeous vistas of crashing surf and rocky pinnacles (notably the Twelve Apostles) with wildlife-watching opportunities, including whales and fur seals. Try and time your visit around Easter so you can drop in at the Rip Curl Pro surfing competition at the legendary Bells Beach.
Distance 346km; standard car/camper; when to do it: November–April
Route idea #3: The one to the tropical tip
There are some wonderful drives in Australia's tropical "Top End", especially Northern Territory's stunning national parks. The ultimate option, though, is the near 1000km 4WD ride from Cairns to Cape York, the very northern tip of Australia. Passing through remote Aboriginial settlements, virgin rainforest and roaring waterfalls, you'll likely to see saltwater crocs and bizarre looking cassowary birds along the way. If you're pushed for time, the route from Cairns via Mission Beach to the Daintree National Park provides similarly epic tropical scenery in a more modest 390km.
Distance 1000km or 390km (Daintree only); 4WD only; when to do it: May–October
Route idea #4: The city to city one
Melbourne to Sydney can be done in a but-aching nine hours if you stick to the M31 Hume Highway. Instead, take your time and explore the wonders of Wilson's Promontory National Park, before heading north through the rolling and occasionally snowy Snowy Mountains via Mount Kosciuszko, the country's highest peak at 2228m. Between Kosi and Sydney, Canberra makes a perfect pitstop and an opportunity to check out one of the world's quirkiest capitals.
Distance 878km; standard car/camper; when to do it: year-round though July/August may bring snow on Kosciuszko
Route idea #5: The cross-country beast
If you're dead set on crossing the whole continent, the 3500km Savannah Way links Broome in Western Australia to Cairns in northern Queensland, and provides every type of Outback driving from parched desert to humid tropics. While you could feasibly drive this within a week or less, it's best to allow two to three, and stopping off along the way (there are an amazing four UNESCO World Heritage sites to drop in at). While much of the Savannah Way is on sealed roads there are also a few sections requiring four-wheel drive.
Distance 3700km; standard car/4WD; when to do it: May–October
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