By Vicky Anscombe on 08 October 2015

Driving across Australia never disappoints. Vast coastal panoramas, vibrant landscapes and lush tropical rainforests lie in store for anyone motivated enough to organise a road trip, and what better way to really experience the country’s stunning backdrops than roaming free, without a plan to tie you down?

This is your chance to break free from a fixed itinerary, scheduled flight times and pre-booked hotel dates and do things at your own pace. From waking up with a new view each morning to pulling over to get that all-important sunset snap, or even spontaneously staying overnight in the grounds of a working vineyard, adventure and exploration are the name of the game.

Route one: The Great Barrier Reef - Brisbane to Cairns

This route will take you through the most unforgettable natural sites in the world, travelling from Brisbane along the Sunshine Coast to the Whitsunday Islands and on to the balmy climes of the tropical north and the Great Barrier Reef, before finishing off in Cairns.

Get your camera out at:

  • Sugar Cane trains and fields while passing through Proserpine near Airlie Beach
  • Sailing around the Whitsundays and the clear blue lakes on Fraser Island
  • Tropical rainforest in Daintree National Park and Cape Tribulation


Route two: Nature's Way - Darwin to Darwin

If you love nature, this is the route for you, as you’ll see plenty of Aboriginal culture and be able to indulge in off-the-beaten-track outback exploration. The route travels through the Northern Territory’s northern tropics, including the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park and Nitmuluk National Park. If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, canoe down the Katherine River, swim in waterfalls at Litchfield and discover the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal rock art at Kakadu National Park.

Get your camera out at:

  • Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve on the Wetlands (this place is great for birdwatchers)
  • The spellbinding Katherine Gorge, winding its way between red sandstone cliffs up to 70m high
  • The natural swimming pools of Gunlom with superb vistas across the Kakadu National Park


Route three: The Legendary Pacific Coast - Sydney to Brisbane

This route offers a seven-day journey that reveals the highlights of Australia’s Eastern Seaboard, from Sydney and Brisbane to the natural beauty of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Nelson Bay and Byron Bay.

Get your camera out for:

  • Nature photos in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, especially during the wildflower season
  • The dolphins at Nelson Bay
  • Cape Byron Lighthouse, Australia’s most easterly point


Route four: Southern Cruiser - Adelaide to Melbourne

This route lets you meander from Adelaide to Melbourne over seven days, getting up close and personal with nature. Highlights include the Princess Highway, incorporating the Great Ocean Road, the Barossa, one of the New World’s greatest wine producing areas, and Torquay, Australia’s surfing capital.

Get pictures of:

  • Seal Bay on Kangaroo Island, home to the world's largest breeding colony of sea lions
  • The coastal Princess Highway, through Peterborough and onto Port Campbell
  • The ocean scenery along the Great Ocean Road from Apollo Bay along the Kennett River


Route five: Western Wonderland - Perth to Perth

To explore the wonders of Western Australia and the Indian Ocean coastline, organise a six-day route that begins and ends in the city of Perth. Along the way, you’ll experience Rottnest Island, Kalbarri National Park and the Pinnacles Desert at Nambung National Park.

Get your camera out for:

  • Kalbarri National Park with its spectacular rivers, gorges and landscapes overlooking the Indian Ocean
  • Beautiful wildflowers (in season) and river views in Avon Valley National Park
  • Views of the Perth city skyline on a Swan River cruise
  • The unusual natural rock formations in the Pinnacles Desert, which look like a sandy 'moonscape'

Perth coastline

Compiled with thanks to Britz and maui

Image credit: Shutterstock

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