Must See Places on Your Campervan Trip Around Australia
Many people dream of travelling all the way around Australia. If you were to travel the entire circumference of the country via the ring road, you would travel 14,500 kilometres. While you could do it in five days the average time it takes is around six to twelve months – if you really want to see the major attractions.
Before you start your once in a lifetime adventure you need to decide what time of year you’re travelling. If you’re travelling during the winter then head north from Sydney, whereas if it’s summer then travel south towards Melbourne and onwards.
What about each state?
Australia has very distinct seasons, with northern Australia having a tropical climate. That means May to October is the best time to in the northern region. The East coast gets very busy in summer due to the Christmas and new year’s holidays, which pushes the prices up, but if you’re free camping that won’t make much of a difference. Southern Australia and Tasmania are better to travel in the warmer months as they get very cold in the winter. We’ve compiled a list of the must-see places on your road trip around Australia starting with WA.
Albany, Western Australia
Albany in WA has an abundance of natural attractions including Torndirrup National Park, which is 20 minutes from the town’s centre. The national park includes the Bald Head Walk Trail which is a 12.5 kilometre return trek of the Flinders Peninsula and features some incredible attractions. Amongst those attractions is Stony Hill and Peak Head, The Gap and Natural bridge and Cable Beach. The Gap and Natural Bridge are incredibly impressive rock formations so make sure your camera is charged so you can take some photos. The town is also home to amazing beaches like Little Beach in Two People’s Bay Nature Reserve and Nanarup Beach. Nanarup Beach is a little bit quieter and well worth a visit. You can also discover Albany’s history at the National Anzac Centre which is an amazing museum.
Alice Springs, Northern Territory
If you want a true Aussie adventure you have to visit the outback. Alice Springs is home to many museums and you’ll need at least three days to really enjoy the Desert Park. Alice Springs is home to beautiful landscapes and wildlife. The Desert Park has three habitats which are connected by pathways and it’s a great place to discover the outback and learn about the Indigenous people.
Atherton Tablelands, Queensland
The Atherton Tablelands is just 90 kilometres southwest of Cairns and has interesting and unique villages such as Herberton, Mareeba and Yungaburra. You’ll experience the sights of volcanic lakes, waterfalls, national parks and can learn all about the local history and world heritage listed sites. If you want to learn about the Australian pioneers then visit the Historic Village in Herberton. Nature lovers will love the volcanic lakes such as Lake Barrine, Lake Eacham and Lake Tinaroo. You may even spot a platypus around Peterson Creek Walking Creek in Yungabarra.
Blue Mountain, New South Wales
The Blue Mountains is just a 90km drive from Sydney and is one of Australia’s most impressive UNESCO sites. Active travellers will enjoy the opportunity to get out of their campervan and stretch their legs on one of the many walking tracks which offer amazing viewing opportunities. Originally the area was settled by coal miners but overtime it became a retreat for Sydneysiders wanting to travel for a day trip to escape the heat. There are plenty of places to stop for coffee and dozens of lookouts to check out when you’re in the Blue Mountains.
If you’re travelling north from Sydney in your campervan rental then Cairns is a must stop. Cairns is the perfect destination when you want to catch some sun and relax. The city even has a free swimming pool, playgrounds and other wildlife attractions right in the centre. Cairns is also just a short distance from the Great Barrier Reef which is a must for anyone travelling around Australia. If you don’t like the idea of snorkelling then you can take a 45-minute boat trip from Cairns and just chill out on the beach.
Coober Pedy, South Australia
Further south, Coober Pedy, is a small town in South Australia’s outback. It’s renowned by being an opal mining settlement and most of the community live in underground houses. People live underground due to the heat. It really is quite the site and the town has an eerie feel but it’s certainly very interesting to visit. To learn more about the region’s history visit the opal mining museum. If you’re feeling lucky you can even have a search for opal yourself.
Flinders Range, South Australia
While you’re in South Australia be sure to check out the Flinder’s Ranges. They span 1800km to the Northern Territory and you’ll spot many animals and plants that aren’t found anywhere else in Australia. The Flinders Ranges are a great place to take photos and go bushwalking. The landscape has been described as some of the most beautiful in the world.
The Grampians, Victoria
The Grampians National Park encompasses many small towns and villages including Halls Gap which has numerous campsites and caravan parks so you’ll be able to park your campervan and recharge it for the night. The Pinnacle Lookout overlooks many peaks of the national park and you’ll get up close and personal with kangaroos and emus.
Great Ocean Road
Take Great Ocean Road back to NSW. It is a 243 kilometre stretch that extends from the Torquay coastline to Allansford near Warrnanbool. Originally the road was built as a memorial to those who lost their lives at sea in World War I. Along the way you’ll see The Twelve Apostles which is one of Australia’s most well known landmarks.
Lightning Ridge, New South Wales
When you’re back in NSW visit Lightning Ridge which is a unique town and also was an opal mining settlement. There are some pretty unique views so visit Nettleton’s First Shaft Lookout to watch one of the most beautiful sunsets in Australia.
Of course, there are so many more places in Australia you could visit on your road trip but these are just some of the highlights along the way. If you do have time, try to stop as many places as possible! It really is well worth it, and you’ll have memories to last a lifetime.