“Blue you sit so pretty west of the one/Sparkles light with yellow icing just a mirror for the sun”.
It may have been in reference to the joys of hitting the tarmac stateside, but Anthony Kiedis and his Red Hot Chili Peppers were on to something when penning the pleasures of some good old road trippin’, and few places can compete with Australia as the ideal destination. Gaze through smiling eyes as you set out on any of the following five excellent adventures.
1. Great Ocean Road
Great in both name and nature, there is barely any other place to start. Within touching distance of Melbourne on the south coast, the Great Ocean Road is a 151 mile odyssey of wide-eyed wonder. It is possible to drive the whole distance comfortably in a day, but you’ll want to take your time to stop and take in the sights of the Surf Coast Highway.
Start off at the surf town of Torquay, and be sure to catch some waves at world-famous Bells Beach. Continue on as the dramatic coastline leaps out in front of you in a cascading cacophony of rock, sand and water, epitomised by the stunning Twelve Apostles. Take in a picturesque sunset and stay at any number of the coastal towns you find along your way.
2. Blue Mountains
Situated close to Sydney, the Blue Mountains offer an awe-inspiring road trip destination. The major connecting roads total some 750 miles for your discovery, while getting away from the core loop will see you find an abundance of back roads to get in and amongst the mountains and valleys of the national parks.
Be sure to jump out of your car and get involved with some of the activities on offer in the area, which is a haven for rock climbers and mountain bikers. Hiking is highly recommended, as you bid to seek out dazzling viewpoints from places such as the Giant Stairway.
3. Lasseter Highway
The Lasseter Highway is an entirely different proposition from the Blue Mountains, for its flatness throws up magnificent 360-degree views of pure unadulterated horizon.
Watch out for the emus as you steer your way through an ocean of land. It’s not all flat, as there’s another trick hidden up its sleeve, for the Lasseter Highway will take you to the majestic Uluru.
4. Lake Mountain Road
Despite not actually having a lake to speak of, Lake Mountain Road more than makes up for this with spectacular scenery. The area is a cross-country ski resort, and part of the Great Dividing Range, which spans more than 2000 miles in the east of Australia.
Likened to a scene from the Lion King, Lake Mountain is also a treat for the enthusiastic drivers out there, thanks to its winding nature. The challenging climbs make it popular among road cyclists too; just don’t tire yourself out too much before getting back behind the wheel!
5. The East Coast
That’s right, the whole thing! If the coastal way of life sounds exciting to you, embark upon the road trip of a lifetime on the Aussie east coast. Sandwich yourself between the Great Dividing Range and the ocean, as you make your way from beach to beach to beach.
The stretch between Brisbane and Cairns is something of a gold mine for travellers, boasting countless attractions and activities. The islands of Fraser, Magnetic and the Whitsundays are all a tropical dream, while the Great Barrier Reef requires no introduction.
Who was it that said life’s not a beach..?