Unforgettable Coastal Drives in Australia

Choosing the best coastal drive down under can do your head in. We know what it’s like—after heaps of digging around, we discovered that Australia boasts more than 50,000 km of spectacular coastlines with drives that’ll knock your socks off.

Our guide shines a light on those ripper routes guaranteed to serve up jaw-dropping views and top-notch adventures. So, chuck on your sunnies; we’re about to hit the road for a fair dinkum trip!

Key Takeaways

  • Australia is home to over 50,000 km of stunning coastlines, offering a wide range of coastal drives that feature breathtaking ocean views, unique wildlife, and picturesque coastal towns.
  • Some top coastal drives include the Pacific Coast stretching from New South Wales to Queensland, Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, known for its dramatic Twelve Apostles rock formations, Tasmania’s Great Eastern Drive with its rugged coastline and turquoise waters, and Western Australia’s Coral Coast, where you can swim with whale sharks.
  • Each coastal drive in Australia provides opportunities for adventure like surfing at Byron Bay or Surfers Paradise on the Pacific Coast; witnessing native wildlife such as koalas along The Great Ocean Road; experiencing off-road driving on 75 Mile Beach on Fraser Island; exploring historical sites like Port Arthur in Tasmania; or enjoying outdoor activities including swimming with dolphins at Monkey Mia during a Broome to Perth road trip.
  • Preparation tips for an unforgettable coastal drive experience include choosing the right vehicle suitable for long distances and varying terrains, planning your route by researching attractions and accommodations ahead of time, making frequent stops to explore local beauty spots off the beaten path, and being ready for weather changes by packing appropriate gear.
  • Exploring local attractions along these routes enhances the journey by connecting travellers with Australia’s diverse landscapes—from lush rainforests and serene bays to vibrant marine life at Ningaloo Reef—and rich cultural heritage visible through indigenous art sites, historic lighthouses, and forts, which provide deeper insight into Australia’s past while showcasing its natural beauty.


Australia’s Coastal Drives: A Scenic Adventure

We offer you a guide to embarking on Australia’s coastal drives, ensuring an unforgettable scenic adventure. These routes showcase breathtaking ocean views, unique wildlife, and picturesque coastal towns.

Driving along these stunning coastal highways allows us to experience the raw beauty of Australia’s shoreline at our own pace. From the iconic Great Ocean Road in Victoria to the sun-drenched beaches of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef Drive, each journey offers a distinct slice of Australian landscape and culture.

Our adventures also lead us through diverse terrains, from lush rainforests along the Grand Pacific Drive in New South Wales to the rugged cliffs and serene bays of Tasmania’s East Coast road trips.

We make frequent stops to soak up panoramic vistas and explore local attractions off the beaten path. Embracing these scenic drives gives us not just a trip but memories that last a lifetime, filled with stories of discovery along Australia’s magnificent coastline.

Top Coastal Drives in Australia

Experience the breathtaking coastal beauty of Australia with top drives such as the Pacific Coast, The Great Ocean Road, Great Eastern Drive, Coral Coast, 75 Mile Beach on Fraser Island, and Captain Cook Highway.

These scenic routes offer an exhilarating beachside journey filled with picturesque views and unforgettable shore excursions.

Pacific Coast (NSW to Queensland)

The Pacific Coast from New South Wales to Queensland offers a mesmerising coastal drive, with stunning beaches and charming seaside towns along the way. You can experience the iconic Byron Bay’s laid-back vibe, catch some waves at Surfers Paradise, or explore the tranquil Noosa Heads.

Marvel at the diverse landscapes as you cruise along this scenic route, passing through lush rainforests, golden dunes, and crystal-clear waters. Don’t miss out on the chance to witness migrating whales off the coast during winter months; it’s truly a sight to behold.

As you journey along this breathtaking stretch of coastline, make sure to stop by local markets for fresh seafood and artisanal crafts. Try your hand at surfing or simply relax on pristine beaches, soaking up the sun.

The Great Ocean Road (Victoria)

Connecting the picturesque coastal drives from New South Wales to Queensland with Victoria’s iconic Great Ocean Road, prepare to be captivated by one of Australia’s most celebrated road trips.

Marvel at the stunning limestone cliffs and rock formations that line this 243-kilometre stretch along the country’s southeastern coast. As you wind your way through lush rainforests, golden beaches, and charming seaside villages, keep an eye out for native wildlife like koalas and kangaroos in their natural habitat.

Witness the dramatic Twelve Apostles rock formations rising majestically from the Southern Ocean as you soak in breathtaking panoramic ocean views. This scenic route is a photographer’s paradise, with countless opportunities for capturing memorable moments on camera against a backdrop of rolling waves and windswept cliffs.

Great Eastern Drive (Tasmania)

Embark on the unforgettable Great Eastern Drive in Tasmania, where stunning coastal scenery awaits at every turn. Marvel at the dramatic sea cliffs, pristine beaches, and charming seaside towns along this iconic route.

Stop frequently to soak up the breathtaking views and explore local attractions, immersing yourself in the natural beauty of Tasmania’s eastern coast.

As you navigate this picturesque drive, be sure to have your camera ready to capture memorable moments against a backdrop of turquoise waters and a rugged coastline. The Great Eastern Drive promises an exhilarating beachside adventure that will leave you with lasting memories of Australia’s captivating coastal landscapes.

Coral Coast (Western Australia)

Embark on a mesmerising coastal drive along the Coral Coast of Western Australia. Pass through stunning beaches, turquoise waters, and surreal landscapes that will leave you in awe.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant marine life at Ningaloo Reef or witness the unique stromatolites at Hamelin Pool. Experience the thrill of swimming with whale sharks or encountering manta rays while exploring this remarkable coastline.

Let the rugged beauty of Kalbarri National Park and the Pinnacles Desert captivate your senses as you venture along this unforgettable stretch of road.

75 Mile Beach on Fraser Island (Queensland)

Discover the natural wonder of 75 Mile Beach on Fraser Island, Queensland. Drive along this stunning stretch of coastal paradise and witness the breathtaking fusion of turquoise waters, golden sands, and lush vegetation.

Marvel at the Maheno Shipwreck, which adds a touch of history to the pristine landscape. Weave through the sandy terrain and encounter iconic landmarks such as Champagne Pools and Indian Head for an unforgettable driving experience that offers unrivalled ocean views.

Immerse yourself in the unique beauty of Australia’s largest sand island as you navigate 75 Mile Beach. Embrace the thrill of off-road driving while exploring this picturesque coastline, ensuring you make time to soak up its raw natural beauty and capture memorable moments against a backdrop of untamed wilderness.

Captain Cook Highway (Queensland)

Connecting two picturesque coastal drives in Queensland, the Captain Cook Highway offers an exhilarating journey along the Coral Sea. With breathtaking ocean views and lush rainforest on one side, this scenic road winds its way from Cairns to Port Douglas.

The drive is dotted with several lookout points where you can stop for photo opportunities or simply take in the mesmerising coastal scenery. As you cruise along this iconic highway, be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife like wallabies and birds that often make appearances near the roadside.

With some of Queensland’s most renowned natural attractions nearby, including the Daintree Rainforest and Mossman Gorge, a road trip along the Captain Cook Highway promises an unmissable adventure amidst stunning landscapes.

Tips for an Unforgettable Coastal Drive Experience

Ensure you choose the right vehicle, plan your route carefully, make frequent stops to explore local attractions, and be prepared for any weather changes. For more tips on making your coastal drive unforgettable, keep reading!

Choosing the right vehicle

Selecting the appropriate vehicle for your coastal drive is crucial. Consider a sturdy and reliable car with good fuel efficiency, especially for long stretches between refuelling stations.

Ensure that the vehicle has ample space to carry luggage and provisions for an extended trip. Also, opt for a vehicle with a high ground clearance if you plan to explore off-the-beaten-path locations such as 75 Mile Beach on Fraser Island or Gibb River Road in the Kimberley Region.

When embarking on Australia’s coastal drives, choose a comfortable and air-conditioned vehicle to cope with varying weather conditions along the route. It’s important to take into account any special features, such as four-wheel-drive capability or towing capacity, based on your planned activities during the journey, whether it’s camping or water sports equipment transportation.

Planning your route

Selecting the right route is crucial for an unforgettable coastal drive. Start by researching the top coastal drives in Australia and choosing one that aligns with your interests and time frame.

Consider factors such as road conditions, attractions along the way, and weather patterns when planning your route. Plot out your stops ahead of time to ensure you don’t miss any must-see locations or scenic viewpoints.

Additionally, use reliable maps or GPS systems to navigate unfamiliar roads and stay on track throughout your journey.

Once you’ve decided on a route, account for driving times between destinations and factor in ample time for sightseeing and rest breaks. It’s essential to have a flexible itinerary that allows you to adapt to unexpected discoveries or local recommendations along the coast.

Making frequent stops

To fully appreciate the beauty of Australia’s coastal drives, we recommend making frequent stops along the way. Pull over at designated lookouts to soak in stunning ocean views and capture memorable photos.

Take short walks to explore hidden beaches and discover unique wildlife. Don’t miss a chance to interact with friendly locals, indulge in fresh seafood at seaside cafes, or simply sit back and enjoy the soothing sound of crashing waves.

By pausing frequently during your coastal road trip, you’ll create lasting memories and experience the true essence of Australia’s breathtaking coastlines. Plan your next stop now and get ready for an adventure that will leave you awe-inspired by nature’s wonders.

Exploring local attractions

As we explore the local attractions along Australia’s coastal drives, be sure to visit the stunning beaches, charming seaside towns, and vibrant cultural sites. Take a break at the iconic Byron Bay lighthouse in New South Wales or wander through the bohemian markets.

Discover unique wildlife at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium or stroll along Bondi Beach for a taste of laid-back Australian surf culture. Explore Tasmania’s Port Arthur Historic Site and experience convict history while taking in breathtaking coastal views.

Don’t miss out on Western Australia’s Cable Beach, with its pristine white sands and camel rides into the sunset.

Immerse yourself in the diverse local arts scene by visiting galleries, museums, and indigenous cultural centres. Dive into Australia’s rich history by exploring historic landmarks such as old lighthouses, forts, and shipwrecks along our picturesque coastlines.

Preparing for weather changes

When embarking on a coastal drive in Australia, we must prepare for weather changes by packing suitable clothing and gear. Checking the local forecast before setting out ensures that we are ready for any unexpected weather conditions along the way.

It’s important to bring sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses for sunny days, as well as waterproof jackets or umbrellas for potential rain showers. Being prepared allows us to fully enjoy our coastal road trip without being caught off guard by changing weather patterns.

As we set off on our unforgettable coastal drives in Australia, it’s important to be mindful of the changing weather conditions along our route, ensuring that we are equipped with all the necessities for a comfortable and enjoyable journey ahead.


Other Must-See Coastal Drives in Australia

Experience the vast expanse of the Nullarbor Plain in Southern and Western Territory, or venture into the rugged beauty of the Kimberley Region on Gibb River Road. From the iconic Red Centre Way to stunning coastal routes like Sydney to Brisbane and Broome to Perth, Australia offers an array of unforgettable coastal drives waiting to be explored.

Discover more hidden gems as you traverse through this diverse and breathtaking landscape.

Nullarbor Plain (Southern & Western Territories)

Crossing the Nullarbor Plain offers a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. We recommend taking this drive as part of your Australian road trip for its vastness and unique beauty. You’ll witness the world’s longest straight railway track, towering sea cliffs, and stunning ocean views.

Wildlife enthusiasts will be thrilled with the opportunity to spot kangaroos, emus, and whales off the coast during their migration season.

Prepare for an awe-inspiring journey through one of Australia’s most iconic landscapes. Enjoy the feeling of freedom on this epic coastal drive that stretches across Southern and Western Territory, making it an unmissable experience for those seeking unforgettable seaside drives in Australia.

Gibb River Road (Kimberley Region)

Gibb River Road in the Kimberley Region offers an adventurous drive through rugged, remote landscapes. Unpaved gravel roads and river crossings are part of the journey, making it essential to have a reliable 4WD vehicle for this off-the-beaten-track experience.

Along the way, be prepared to be mesmerised by stunning gorges, lush oases, and Aboriginal rock art sites. This coastal drive is not just about the destination but also about embracing the wilderness and immersing oneself in Australia’s raw natural beauty.

Red Centre Way (Northern Territory)

Embark on a mesmerising journey through the heart of Australia with the Red Centre Way in the Northern Territory. Marvel at ancient rock formations, including the iconic Uluru and Kata Tjuta, as you traverse this remarkable route.

Discover the stunning landscapes and cultural heritage of Indigenous Australians, immersing yourself in their timeless connection to this sacred land. Be captivated by striking sunsets and starlit nights, creating unforgettable memories along this awe-inspiring coastal drive.

Uncover the raw beauty of Australia’s Outback while traversing the Red Centre Way. Delve into an extraordinary adventure filled with rich history, breathtaking scenery, and profound spiritual significance.

Sydney to Brisbane (NSW & Queensland)

Embarking on the Sydney to Brisbane coastal drive promises an awe-inspiring journey through diverse landscapes and captivating scenery. As we traverse the New South Wales coastline into Queensland, travellers are treated to picturesque beaches, charming seaside towns, and lush national parks.

The route offers ample opportunities for delightful detours, inviting exploration of hidden gems along the way. With a myriad of enticing stops such as Port Stephens, Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay, and the Gold Coast, this road trip beckons adventurers to soak in the sun-drenched beaches and savour the laid-back coastal lifestyle.

Travellers can relish the freedom of driving at their own pace while discovering mesmerising lookouts, indulging in fresh seafood at waterfront eateries or simply unwinding on tranquil shores.

Broome to Perth (Western Australia)

Embarking on the scenic coastal drive from Broome to Perth in Western Australia offers a captivating journey through stunning landscapes and diverse terrains. Begin your adventure in Broome, renowned for its pristine beaches and rich history.

As you travel south towards Perth, be prepared to witness breathtaking sunsets over the Indian Ocean, explore ancient gorges at Karijini National Park, and marvel at the unique rock formations of the Pinnacles Desert.

The route also presents opportunities for wildlife encounters with friendly dolphins in Monkey Mia or spotting migrating whales along the coast.

Hobart to Freycinet (Tasmania)

Embarking on the coastal drive from Hobart to Freycinet in Tasmania offers breathtaking views of rugged coastline, pristine beaches, and charming seaside towns. As we cruise along this scenic route, we are greeted by the stunning landscapes of the Tasman Peninsula and its dramatic sea cliffs, including the famous Port Arthur Historic Site.

Continuing our journey, we reach the iconic Wineglass Bay at Freycinet National Park with its crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches, providing a perfect spot to unwind or embark on a leisurely hike.

The picturesque road trip is dotted with opportunities to indulge in fresh local seafood at quaint eateries and explore hidden coves along the way. Witnessing the ever-changing scenery as we wind through this coastal paradise truly makes it an unmissable experience for any traveller seeking awe-inspiring natural beauty.

Discover the Beauty of Australia’s Coastal Drives

Embarking on a coastal road trip in Australia promises breathtaking ocean drives and remarkable journeys. Capturing the essence of Australia’s picturesque coastal tours creates unforgettable memories.

Exploring the beauty of Australian driving roads reveals exhilarating beachside drives that should not be missed. Unmissable coastal car trips showcase the ultimate seaside experiences, making them truly memorable.

Discovering these scenic routes reveals the true essence of unforgettable coastal drives in Australia.

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