Hooray! Today is the first day of Australian Sleep Awareness Week. 

Although this special event ends on Sunday, July 12, you can celebrate the message on every road trip by taking regular rest stops. 

Before you drive 

Worried that stopping to take a break will eat into your holiday time? Check out these three important stats by the Sleep Health Foundation before you rev up the engine:

  1. An estimated 25,920 people get injured from car accidents caused by driver fatigue every year 
  2. Driving after not getting enough sleep can be as dangerous as having a blood alcohol reading of 0.05 per cent
  3. In Australia, 18 per cent of adults sleep less than six hours each night on a regular basis 

"When people are tired they are unable to judge speed and at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel," said Professor David Hillman, president of the Sleep Health Foundation. ""Good sleep health is a key requirement for preventing illness and maintaining wellbeing." 

Prioritise resting and getting ample sleep before driving on a long road trip, and aim to pull over and stretch every hour or so. 

Let's celebrate with rest stops

Here at East Coast Car Rentals, we care about your safety and want you to have a positive journey behind the wheel. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of the best rest stops along popular routes on the East Coast. 

This part of Australia is so picturesque that author Paul Smedley, who wrote the book Budget Rest Areas Around Australia, told the Daily Telegraph "the east coast, especially in Queensland, provides the best rest areas without doubt". 

Hume Highway

– Wingello camping area: This site has toilets and plenty of shade. Best of all, BBQs are available to have a picnic lunch on route amidst the trees. 

– Mundoonan No. 2 rest area: Picnic tables under awnings will keep you sheltered from the rain, while mobile phone service on this site may prove to be very useful. There are also disabled access toilets.

Princes Highway

– Genoa Rest Area: Located near the town of Mallacoota, which hugs the coast of Victoria, this site has electric barbecues and is near a river with swimming holes. 

Pacific Highway

– Nerong Waterholes rest area: Just off the highway, nestled among a pretty green forest, is this rest stop with toilets, phone service and sheltered picnic tables. 

Bruce Highway 

– Gordonvale rest area: Dip your toes into the Mulgrave River right next to this rest area, with running water and toilets on site. It's free to park and camp here – and since it's only 25 kilometres from Cairns, you can stay here and enjoy all the sunny city has to offer.