Top 10 Family Road Trips in Australia: Exploring the Land Down Under

Uluru, Australia

Australia, with its vast landscapes and diverse attractions, is the perfect canvas for unforgettable family road trips. These journeys offer not just a vacation but an adventure where families can bond, explore, and create cherished memories together. In this guide, we’ll take you on a road trip across the Land Down Under, highlighting the top 10 family road trips that encompass stunning coastal beauty, tropical adventures, outback odysseys, island getaways, rainforest retreats, desert discoveries, wine country escapes, and Tassie adventures.

Great ocean road, beach in Australia

Why Choose a Family Road Trip in Australia

A family road trip in Australia provides numerous advantages. It offers flexibility, allowing you to customize your itinerary to suit your family’s interests and pace. It fosters bonding as you share new experiences and create lasting memories together. Road trips also provide opportunities to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations and discover hidden gems that might be missed when flying between major cities. Australia’s reputation for safety and the warm hospitality of its people make it an ideal destination for families seeking adventure and cultural enrichment.

Preparing for Your Family Road Trip

Planning is key to a successful family road trip in Australia. Start by selecting the right vehicle for your family’s needs, ensuring it has ample space and adheres to child car seat regulations. Pack essentials like comfortable clothing, snacks, first aid supplies, entertainment, and a detailed road map or GPS device. Familiarize yourself with Australia’s road rules and emphasize the importance of safety while on the road, such as seatbelt usage and speed limits.

Top 10 family road trips in Australia

Great Ocean Road, Victoria: 

  • Overview: The Great Ocean Road is an iconic coastal drive known for its dramatic ocean views, lush rainforests, and impressive rock formations. 
  • Highlights: Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, Otway National Park. 
  • Recommended Itinerary: Melbourne – Apollo Bay – Port Campbell – Melbourne. 
  • Distance: Approx. 150 miles. 
  • Recommended Days: 3-4 days.
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Sydney to Brisbane Pacific Coast: 

  • Overview: This road trip takes you along Australia’s eastern coastline, passing through beautiful beaches, charming towns, and vibrant cities. 
  • Highlights: Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie. 
  • Recommended Itinerary: Sydney – Brisbane. 
  • Distance: Approx. 600 miles. 
  • Recommended Days: 7-10 days.

The Red Centre Way, Northern Territory: 

  • Overview: Explore the heart of Australia’s outback, journeying through vast deserts, ancient rock formations, and stunning national parks. 
  • Highlights: Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kings Canyon, West MacDonnell Ranges. 
  • Recommended Itinerary: Alice Springs – Uluru – Kings Canyon – Alice Springs. 
  • Distance: Approx. 680 miles. 
  • Recommended Days: 5-7 days.

Nullarbor Plain, South Australia to Western Australia: 

  • Overview: Crossing the vast Nullarbor Plain, this road trip offers a unique opportunity to experience Australia’s remote and untouched landscapes. 
  • Highlights: Bunda Cliffs, Eucla, Eyre Bird Observatory. 
  • Recommended Itinerary: Ceduna (SA) – Norseman (WA). 
  • Distance: Approx. 1,200 miles. 
  • Recommended Days: 7-10 days.

The Great Alpine Road, Victoria: 

  • Overview: This alpine road trip takes you through stunning mountain scenery, charming villages, and offers outdoor adventures for the whole family. 
  • Highlights: Mount Hotham, Bright, Omeo, Lakes Entrance. 
  • Recommended Itinerary: Wangaratta – Bairnsdale. 
  • Distance: Approx. 250 miles. 
  • Recommended Days: 4-5 days.

Cairns to Cape Tribulation, Queensland: 

  • Overview: Journey through the tropical paradise of Far North Queensland, exploring the Great Barrier Reef and ancient rainforests. 
  • Highlights: Port Douglas, Daintree Rainforest, Mossman Gorge. 
  • Recommended Itinerary: Cairns – Cape Tribulation. 
  • Distance: Approx. 125 miles. 
  • Recommended Days: 3-4 days.

The Eyre Peninsula Circuit, South Australia: 

  • Overview: Explore the stunning coastal landscapes and unique wildlife encounters on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. 
  • Highlights: Port Lincoln, Coffin Bay, Nullarbor National Park. 
  • Recommended Itinerary: Port Augusta – Ceduna. 
  • Distance: Approx. 1,000 miles. 
  • Recommended Days: 7-10 days.
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The Gibb River Road, Western Australia: 

  • Overview: Venture into the rugged Kimberley region, experiencing ancient gorges, pristine waterfalls, and unique Indigenous culture. 
  • Highlights: El Questro Wilderness Park, Windjana Gorge, Bell Gorge. 
  • Recommended Itinerary: Derby – Kununurra. 
  • Distance: Approx. 410 miles. 
  • Recommended Days: 7-10 days.

The Grand Pacific Drive, New South Wales: 

  • Overview: This coastal road trip offers stunning ocean views, iconic landmarks, and charming coastal towns. 
  • Highlights: Sea Cliff Bridge, Kiama Blowhole, Royal National Park. 
  • Recommended Itinerary: Sydney – Wollongong – Jervis Bay. 
  • Distance: Approx. 200 miles. 
  • Recommended Days: 3-4 days.

The Tassie East Coast Drive, Tasmania: 

  • Overview: Discover the natural beauty of Tasmania’s east coast, with its pristine beaches, stunning national parks, and historic towns. 
  • Highlights: Freycinet National Park, Bay of Fires, Maria Island. 
  • Recommended Itinerary: Hobart – Launceston. 
  • Distance: Approx. 340 miles. 
  • Recommended Days: 5-7 days.
Bay of Fires, North East Tasmania, Australia

Australia's Top 10 Family Road Trips Summary

Embarking on a family road trip in Australia is an opportunity to create lasting memories, explore diverse landscapes, and bond with loved ones. From the iconic Great Ocean Road to the remote beauty of the Nullarbor Plain, each road trip offers a unique adventure for families of all sizes and ages. So, fuel up the car, pack your bags, and hit the open road to experience the breathtaking landscapes and cultural treasures that the Land Down Under has to offer.