As the Australian summer approaches, the opportunity for an epic road trip grows ever greater. Those gentle, sweeping curves of the open Australian highway beckon to the adventurous explorer, so we at East Coast Car Rentals thought it would be fitting to reveal some of the best driving experiences to be had in New South Wales. By hiring a vehicle – from a compact perfect for you and your partner to a full-on minibus ideal for a pack of mates, we have the right set of wheels for you.
The Grand Pacific Drive
The Grand Pacific Drive is as glorious as its name suggests. Starting out on Sydney's southern edges in the Royal National Park, a stunning spectacular which happens to be the second-oldest National Park in the world, you'll head out along tight, winding roads along sheer cliff-tops and over the nerve-jangling Sea Cliff Bridge. You'll soon reach Thirroul, a quaint seaside town, so relax with an ice cream before heading on to Wollongong, a vibrant city where you can hang out for a day or two, stock up and then get back on the road. From here on in, it's all unadulterated beauty – from the shimmering beaches at Shellharbour to the endless golden coastline of Kiama. Take in the magnificent sea and river waterways of Batemans Bay before heading on the the capital, Canberra, which promises a limitless itinerary of things to see and do.
Greater Blue Mountains Drive
Relatively new on the road-tripping scene, the Greater Blue Mountains Drive stretches for 1200 kilometres, so you'll need a week or two to see it all, but it'll be worth it. This drive is different in that it's specifically designed to cater to every taste – you can choose from one of no less than 18 planned 'Discovery Trails', each one different to the last. You'll delve deep into the mountains and cross lush valleys, visit national parks and see everything else the Australian countryside has to offer. If you prefer more secluded, quiet pastimes such as hiking, having a picnic or riding a bicycle through the unspoilt landscape, then this is the road trip for you. You can take it at your own pace – sightseeing, relaxing or perhaps a spot of fishing. That's the beauty of it – there is so much to see and do, the Greater Blue Mountains Drive encourages a return, as you can choose a different trail to the last you took, offering something new with each visit.
Darling River Run
The Darling River Run is one that takes you into the unknown outback – but don't fear. Its 730-kilometre length snakes along the Darling River from the town of Walgett, all the way to Wentworth on the Victorian border. You'll travel some of Australia's oldest roads on the Darling River Run, traversing across great expanses of open countryside dripping in historical culture. You can immerse yourself in the indigenous heritage of the route, soak up the atmosphere in the rustic towns dotted along the path – some alive with life, others long-abandoned. Highlights include the eerie sculptures carved up on Broken Hill, the weird and wonderful array of wildlife throughout the drive and the wonderful Living Desert Sanctuary.
100 Mile Diet
An odd name for a road trip, admittedly, but the 100 Mile Diet ticks all the boxes for a memorable drive. It's so-called because its route takes in some of the finest produce, vineyards and dining in New South Wales. Eat locally grown food along every inch of this trip, stopping at the Leaning Oak Winery for something wet. You could even choose to prepare your own food at the Urban Graze Cooking School, knowing that it'll have been made with only the freshest and juiciest ingredients. Either way, you won't need to pack a picnic for this trip!