The 3 best road trips on Australia’s east coast

A rental car is your greatest companion when your heart is aching for one of Australia's best road trips.

Temperatures are rising across Australia this summer, so find respite from your inner-city scorchers by rolling down the windows of a rental car and basking in the coastal breeze. Take some time out for one these unbeatable Australian road trips.

1. The Legendary Pacific Coast Touring Route, Sydney to Brisbane

Let's kick this off with an all-time classic.

This iconic road trip will see you on your way from one of our Sydney-based pick-up points to a drop-off depot in Brisbane. With a rough minimum of 13 hours driving, taking this scenic route up the coast over seven days allows for plenty of time at each destination along the way. 

Along this road trip you'll get to enjoy some of the best coastal and inland experiences NSW and Queensland have to offer, including:

  • Water sports at Central Coast's Terrigal and Avoca Beach.
  • Tasting of Hunter Valley's vineyards' specialty semillion and shiraz wines.
  • Riding a camel or swimming with dolphins in Port Stephens.
  • Bushwalking through Bindarri National Park or white water rafting down the Nymboida River.
  • Finding inner peace at one of Byron Bay's holistic spas or secret swimming holes.
  • Having the time of your life at any of the Gold Coast's theme parks.

After this unforgettable, jam-packed journey, you'll be aching for your next chance to hit the road.

2. Great Ocean Road, Melbourne to Adelaide

Appropriately named, this peaceful drive along the south-eastern coast will take you from Melbourne to Adelaide (or vice versa), soaking up the seaside glory of Victoria and South Australia alike over the course of five days (roughly 13 hours driving minimum).

From our central Melbourne location, you'll head southwest out of town for roughly an hour before arriving in Lorne.
Check in to a bed and breakfast or one of Lorne's luxury beach-side hotels and then get amongst the local culture. From galleries to Victoria's first ever cafe, there's plenty to do in Lorne whether you fancy the beach or not. 

Further down Great Ocean Road, you'll spot the Twelve Apostles – towering limestone stacks off the shore of Port Campbell – as you head into Port Fairy. From the Port you'll get to see Australia's largest fur seal colony and more marine wildlife on a range of boat tours.

Continuing west, you'll cross the border into South Australia at Nelson and follow the coast north-west to Robe, where you can dine upon incomparably fresh local lobster.

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From Robe, drive north through the Coorong region to Victor Harbor for a short overnight stay. The next day, be sure to make the most of South Australia's McLaren Vale wine region. Set your tongue tingling with the tannins of the local shiraz – but remember to designate a sober driver for the final leg of the journey into Adelaide. 

You can return your rental car at either our Richmond or Adelaide airport location.

3. Great Eastern Drive, Hobart to Launceston

If you're looking to well and truly get out of town for five days, and fancy yourself particularly active, get yourself to our Hobart airport location to arrange wheels for your journey up the sheltered eastern coast of Tasmania.

While five days should give you a fair bit of time to get around (at least seven hours of which you'll have to spend on the roads), making extra time to allow for long treks and full enjoyment of all that's on offer is recommended. 

Your first day will have you driving north out of Hobart to the town of Triabunna. From here, we recommend you hop on the ferry to Maria Island. In this national park, you can challenge yourself to a number of difficult mountain hikes and bushwalks, and stay overnight at the old penitentiary before catching the ferry back the next day.

Further north, you can rest your weary legs at the boutique vineyards in and around Swansea – or go berry-picking if you've still got a bit of walking left in you.

On day three, you'll loop around to the Freycinet National Park. Get up close with the local marine life as you snorkel off a pristine white beach, or gain a new perspective while abseiling down the Hazards. At the end of the day, get ready to dine like royalty on fresh seafood and local wines at the Freycinet Lodge.

Your journey will continue through to Saint Helens, Tasmania's second largest fishing port. This is a great spot to stay for the night before heading out to the Bay of Fires in the morning.

The Bay of Fires is a string of sugar-white beaches with impossibly clear waters, broken up by rocky headlands, coastal bush, and shimmering lagoons. This area has previously been titled the world's hottest travel destination by Lonely Planet for its purity and tranquility. 

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Once you've finished working on that perfect tan, you can drive roughly two and a half hours inland to return your rental at our Launceston location

The perfect road trip wouldn't be possible without four wheels to get you around. For perpetual memories in Australia's finest states, turn to East Coast Car Rentals and start moving today.

About the Author

Chester is a foodie and loves to explore the great land of Australia. He is currently blogging for East Coast Car Rentals.

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