Notorius BIG – The Nullarbor Plain
The plain is, roughly, the bit between Adelaide and Perth. It is the world’s largest single piece of limestone (about 200,000km sq) and it’s one of the continent’s most notorious road journeys. Say it – it sounds foreboding – The Nullarbor. That said, there are plenty of spectacular scenery and wildlife adventures (great seal swimming and shark diving).
Perth to Darwin – The Classic
A smorgasbord of magical sunsets, weird landscapes and crazy wildlife. The route takes you past the Pinnacles; the friendly dolphins of Monkey Mia; the underrated wonders ofNingaloo Reef (whale sharks, April-June); the princely beauty of Karijini and onwards to recharge the batteries with some ‘Broome-time’; then it’s off to the drunkenly-named (surely)Bungle Bungles and a whole lot more raw red scenery in The Kimberley, before Darwin.
Sydney to Cairns – Off the Beaten Track
Many jump on the east coast carousel of booze and beaches (with good reason). But how about travelling between the two cities on an entirely different route, following the backroads, seeing the unseen? Head inland to explore the tablelands, the Great Dividing Range, the spectacular Carnarvon Gorge, countless dusty Outback drives and the remarkable Undara Volcanic National Park, through theAtherton Tablelands and onto Cairns, for all the reef and rainforest action.
Cairns to Perth – Top to Bottom
After a circumnavigation of Oz, the most epic roadtrip is a diagonal line from the tropics to the Indian Ocean. Or do it in the other direction to include a drive up Cape York(though you’ll need a 4WD for the last bit). Australia is criss-crossed with unsealed roads and tracks, and you’ll get a very real sense of getting well away from ‘it’ all. The trip includes the wonders of the Red Centre, plus watch the landscapes change as many times as you change your underwear (hygene standards may differ).
Sydney to Sydney – The Ultimate
No, we don’t mean the Blue Mountains and back. The above are all great roadtrips, but this is the king. Depending on the time of year (if it’s winterish head north, summerish stay south) head off for a complete circuit of this vast sunburnt continent. Hardly anyone leaves Australia thinking they’ve got it covered – yet this is the best chance of seeing the sights comprehensively. Don’t forget to detour up/down the centre (and back).