Road Hopping Around Australia | There is nothing quite like exploring the wide open spaces, amazing natural wonders, beaches and deserts in Australia, including remote uninhabited inland regions, commonly referred to as ‘the outback’ or ‘the bush.’ Add to that the cosmopolitan, highly sophisticated urban attractions of the great cities, such as Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, and the road trip of a lifetime is beckoning. Here are three of the most recommended routes.
Great Ocean Road, Victoria
The Great Ocean Road follows the southern coastline of Victoria, running from Bellarine Peninsula near Geelong to Portland near the border with South Australia. Visitors to Melbourne can pick up a rental car and make the most of the truly stunning views this road trip affords. The entire route takes in beautiful surf beaches, lush rainforests and local towns. The section between Port Campbell and Peterborough has the major iconic rock formations known as The Twelve Apostles; a collection of limestone stacks offshore at Port Campbell National Park.
The Fleurieu Peninsula, Southern Australia
West of Melbourne towards Adelaide (about 465 miles by car) are the attractions of South Australia, including the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide, which features some of the most awe-inspiring scenery on offer in the country. Both the west and south facing coasts are home to keen surfers, particularly at Waitpinga, Middleton, Seaford and Moana. Overseas licenses are generally valid for driving a rental car in Australia for up to three months so affordable car hire offers visitors a cost-effective way to get about.
Snowy Mountain Drive, New South Wales
New South Wales is Australia’s most densely populated state. It contains the largest city, Sydney, and the coast is lined with beachside communities. Inland are the mountain ranges of the Blue Mountains and the Snowy Mountains, nicknamed the ‘Snowies’ by locals. The Snowy Mountain Drive wins the prize for being one of the most exceptional journeys in the area. On this road trip there are glimpses of the highest mountains in Australia, particularly diverse flora and fauna and the chance to visit a variety of historic and cultural towns. The Alpine Way from Jindabyne to Khancoban is a treat; the Snowy Mountains Highway between Tumut and Cooma, the Elliot Way from Tumbarumba to Cabramurra and the Monaro Highway running south from Canberra all pass through impressive and attractive landscapes.
Car Rental in Australia
As there are no tolls on bridges or roads outside of the urban areas of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, car rental is one of the cheapest ways to travel. Australians drive on the left, speeds and distances are measured in kilometers (three fifths of a mile) and fuel is sold by the liter (a quarter gallon). There are multiple car rental outlets in major cities and it’s possible to find a wide range of rental vehicles from major international rental companies, however, in smaller towns it can be difficult to find car rental plus one-way fees often apply. Arranging for car rental before arriving makes sense, as car rental coupons and discounts can offer significant savings on rental costs.