1 - Perth, Western Australia
We begin our journey on the Southwestern most corner of the Australia continent. Perth and neighboring port town of Fremantle are urban centers of business and culture where you get to experience the best that Australia has to offer. Cream colored beaches waning to crystal blue seas line the coastline while people shop, dine, and entertain themselves in the busy commerce centers within the city. Here, we pick up our vehicle. This will be our vessel several thousand kilometers.
2 - Uluru (Ayers Rock), Northwest Territory
We avoid the urge to travel along the south coast and head directly east from Perth towards the central part of the continent. The road is rough and we appreciate the 4WD vehicle as we pass through miles of savannah, low-laying mountains, lakes, and eventually desert plains where we approach the monolith that is Uluru or it's modern name of Ayers Rock. The native people of the region believe it to have mystical energies. While modern mystics will believe that the enormous stone plateau was once a landing platform for extraterrestrial visitors. There is one thing to be said about the area. It's magnificent in any context.
3 - Townsville, Queensland
We've traversed through Australia's Outback and have seen miles upon miles of Central Australia's rich an diverse landscape. Finally, we've made it to the eastern coast where a majority of our travels will be. Yet, we're stopped in a sleepy little town called Townsville. Can you think of a better way to witness everyday citizens going about their lives? Sometimes the most culturally enriching experiences come from seeing everyday people do everyday things. This is also the perfect stopping point between our next two destinations.
4 - Daintree National Park
We've put several miles on the 4WD and crossed some of most difficult terrain that the Land of Oz could dump on us. It's time to turn in those keys and take the train north to Daintree National Park. We probably could have skipped it altogether but then we'd be missing out on a true tropical rainforest paradise. This is easily considered one of the "must see" spots of Australia; even by those who live here.
5- Magnetic Island/Great Barrier Reef
So all the reviews raved about the Reef tours in Cairns. We're not taking the beaten path, remember? So just a ferry ride from Townsville is Magnetic Island. Here we can explore, hike, fish, and augment our DIY adventure with a tour of one of greatest natural wonders of the world. Despite the Great Barrier Reef laying claim to sunken ships and great surfing locales, it also is the largest underwater ecosystem in the world where many types of seaborne life call the Reef home.
6 - Fraser Island
When it seems as if there isn't much more we can fit into this trip, we pack up our bags, load it up into the trusty 4WD and head further south to Fraser Island. This underrated destination is as close as being on a deserted island as we're going to get. 75 Mile Beach runs along the eastern coast and remains one of the longest stretches of untainted sandy coastline in the world. On the island itself are freshwater lakes and jungle forests to hike and explore. This also marks our final off-road adventure.
7 - Gold Coast/Byron Bay
Traveling further down south we make a stop at Gold Coast to trade our 4WD in for something more economical. This city is the Aussie version of South Beach Miami in the United States and definitely meant for the conventional tourist. Our adventure takes us a few miles south into the New South Wales Territory and a visit to Byron Bay. Which ironically resembles Key West in the United States. The laid back atmosphere is relaxing and heavy coastal culture makes Byron Bay the quintessential Aussie beach town where you can surf alongside friendly dolphins or take a biking tour along the cliffs.
8 - Sydney, New South Wales
No trans-continental, Australian road adventure would be complete without making a stop in Sydney and rightfully so. It not only has the greatest population density of the entire country but also remains a cultural hub and stakes claim to be the country's capital city. It's also the most popular Australian destination. This is why we make this one of our last stops as it's difficult to not play the role as a tourist here.
9 - Victoria Territory
As we make our journey to the Southern most tip of the continent, we travel through the countryside of Victoria. With Melbourne as it's largest populated city and capital, we continue on the closing miles of our epic road trip. The Great Ocean Road runs along coastline for 243km (151mi) and features amazing sightseeing opportunities that make photo opportunities an easy catch. This leg or our journey ends with a rest at Grandpians National Park where camping, trail hiking, and rock climbing locations are abound in Australia's equivalent to The Grand Canyon.
10 - Adelaide, South Australia
Our grand journey ends in Adelaide, South Australia where the laid-back Aussie lifestyle is exemplified. Old mines nearby provide for geological finds while the coastline hosts world renown surf competitions. There's also opportunities for observing wildlife whether it be kangaroo in their natural habitat or whale watching off the coast. Overall, closing out an adventure this great in "Australia's most livable city" rounds out the perfect Aussie holiday.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wassana writes for the Skedaddle Car Hire blog. Since writing for the blog, she has learnt a lot about Australia, and in particular road travel. While she has travelled extensively over Thailand in her own car, she looks forward to a road trip all over Australia one day.