1. Grand Pacific Drive, NSW
Grand Pacific Drive is definitely designed to wow! Head through the beautiful Royal National Park and down along to the impressive raised motorway known as the Sea Cliff Bridge, which offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Have lunch (and do some whale-watching) at the Scarborough Hotel before venturing into the boho charm of Thirroul and Austinmer for a spot of antiquing.
Leave the Grand Pacific and head up into the scenic wonderland known as the Central Highlands and the iconic country towns of Moss Vale and Bowral. See grandpacificdrive.com.au for details.
2. Around the bay, VIC
Melbourne sits on Port Phillip Bay, and this iconic stretch of water is a must-do trip. On the first leg, meander through to Queenscliff visiting Werribee Mansion, Geelong’s colourful waterfront and cellar doors on the way.
From Queenscliff, cross the bay on the car ferry and take in the Mornington Peninsular towns of Sorrento and Portsea. Find time to climb up to Arthur’s Seat and stroll the boardwalks of Cape Schanck. See visitvictoria.com.
3. Canberra to the Snowy Mountains
Canberra is a three-hour drive from some of the best alpine country Australia has to offer. Launch a Snowy Mountains expedition up the Monaro Highway and, along the way, visit historic Cooma and Tumut, as well as the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme. No trip to this part of the world is complete without a stop at the Murray 1 Visitors Centre on Alpine Way. Head to visitcanberra.com.au.
4. Avon Valley, WA
Go east past Mundaring and John Forrest National Park, with its granite outcrops and rushing waterfalls, and make your way to historic York, home to fine food, antiques and skydiving!
Try a sunrise hot-air balloon ride in Northam, buy some pottery from Toodyay and end in New Norcia, famous for its Benedictine Monastery and delicious bakery! See westernaustralia.com.
5. Overlanders Way, QLD
A lot of rural Australia may claim to be the ‘outback’ but few really define the term as well as the Overlander’s Way, a 1081km stretch of road starting at Townsville and ending near historic Mt Isa, the only city in the region. Follow in the footsteps of the drovers who opened up this land, heading west into the remote regions of north-west Queensland.
Hughenden and Richmond are both gold rush-era towns that are now famous for something else that’s being dug up in the region: dinosaurs! Take time out to visit Hughie, the seven-metre-tall replica Muttaburrasaurus at the Finders Discovery Centre. Travel in April and you may find yourself in Julia Creek for the Dirt ’n’ Dust Festival, a typically wacky outback day of fun that is famous for its mud-snorkelling races. Visit queensland.com/drive.