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THE SAVANNAH WAY
This stretches right across the country from Cairns to Broome and is one of Australia’s most intriguing national drives. The 3,700km trip links 15 national parks and five World Heritage area and is recognised as one of Australia’s top 10 drives with a reputation as the “ultimate unique self-drive adventure”. Don’t believe us? Well numbers don’t lie and each year about 40,000 travellers hit The Savannah Way, and about 85% of those are Australians.  From Cairns, the tropical rainforests give way to the food bowl of FNQ, Atherton, where you’ll find the Undara National Park (undara.com.au). As you head west you reach Ravenshoe, Queensland’s highest town. We have to tell you to also head to Mt Surprise. It’s a tiny town where you’ll be able to experience the Undara Lava Tubes – the longest and largest lava tubes in the world and a geological wonder providing insights into the ever-changing climate of the past 200,000 years. From there, head to Cobbold Gorge (cobboldgorge.com.au) and try for gold in Georgetown before heading onto Normanton, the home of Krys the 8.63m “King of the Savannah” (actually it’s a statute of Krys, who is the largest recorded saltwater croc ever killed). From Normanton it’s onto the Barramundi capital of Australia, Burketown and then onto the spectacular Katherine Gorge and Katherine, from which you can continue through the Kimberly region and out to Broome or you can head north to Kakadu and Darwin. The choice is yours and probably depends on how much time you have.  
savannahway.com.au  

THE NULLARBOR
This one is another epic and you shouldn’t tackle it unless you have at least a week up your sleeve.  You can go in either direction but if you’re starting in Adelaide, it’s worth swinging past Port Lincoln before embarking on your excellent adventure, which only officially begins once you leave Ceduna, which is the last of the ‘big towns’ you’ll see before getting across to the other side. Known as the gateway to the Nullarbor Plain, the seaside hamlet offers views of the Eyre Peninsula and the Southern Ocean. Stop at the Ceduna Foreshore Hotel (cedunahotel.com.au) for a beer and views of the town’s jetty. From there on, you’ve got a 1209km drive and although you’ll encounter small clusters of houses every few hours, there are no real population centres until you get all the way to Norseman in Western Australia.  
Indeed, the Nullarbor is a treeless arid expanse and looks like something from Mad Max but that’s a good thing because perhaps the best part of this trip is that no matter where you stop, everyone is up for a chat: They want to know what you’re up to and where you’re headed (most of the people you’ll meet will be backpackers in search of an authentic Australia experience). Take the tiny roadhouse community of Cocklebiddy in WA as an example. It has a population of eight people, 25 budgies, seven quails, a dog and a million kangaroos – brilliant, right? You should also know that almost every service station in the Nullarbor comes with a bar, restaurant and motel rooms for exhausted drivers – and the South Australian ones even have pokies (poker machines).  
nullarbornet.com.au 

QUEENSTOWN TO MILFORD SOUND
If you’re heading to NZ to make the most of the snow then odds are you’ll be spending a bit of time in Queenstown, the adrenaline-junkies’ playground. But instead of just hunkering down for the whole season, make the circuitous trek to Milford Sound in the Fiordland National Park, which is a Heritage-listed marine reserve and one of New Zealand’s top tourist destinations. Head south through Kingston and Lumsden – they have rolling pastures and stacks of great fishing spots – and then get round to Mossburn, the deer capital of New Zealand. Then you’re on the road to TeAnau, which is the main jumping-off point for Milford Sound but is a worthwhile destination in its own right.  
fiordland.org.nz 

PAIHIA TO AUCKLAND
If you want to, you could complete this circuit of New Zealand’s North Island in under 12 hours but, depending on how many stops you want to make and how far off the beaten track you’re prepared to venture, you could string your trip out over week or even a fortnight. Start off in Paihia, sailing, fishing or kayaking and then head around the coast to the Karikari Peninsula, where you can take a tour of New Zealand’s northern-most vineyard. Follow the road west to Awanui, a launching pad for an excursion into the far north. After that, it’s a straight shot down the west coast to Auckland, stopping off at Ninety Mile Beach in Ahipara and Maori enclaves in Kohukohu and Rawene. Also, the Kai Iwi Lakes are great for water skiing and swimming.
auckland.com  



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