The Road Less Travelled: Underrated road trips to take in Australia
Great conversations, sights and a playlist you can sing along to; these are just some of the things you will always remember long after the journey has ended, especially if the journey is one of the Australian road trips. They say that the drive is more important than the destination, but we like to think that the target is worth all the time you spent on the road. And if you’re anything like us, and you’re looking for a road trip to remember, then you’ve come to the right place. Today we’ll tell you all about the most significant road trips you can take in the Land Down Under.
Australian Road Trips
When people hear the word ‘Australia’, the first things that come to mind are wide open spaces, kangaroos, and The Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin. That’s right when it comes to nature and wildlife, Australia is no way short. But with its many roads and sights, you have to ask yourself: “where do I go? Where do I start?” Here are a few of our top picks to drive through Australia:
The Pilbara, WA
Motorists in a rush to get to Kimberly often overlook the fantastic landscape Pilbara offers. The region is best known for its red earth, ancient landscapes, iron ores and other mineral deposits, and its subterranean fauna. Groups looking for a vast open space to drive and a place where tourists are few will undoubtedly enjoy the landscapes, and wildlife Pilbara has to offer.
Route: Start at Newman, then head to Dampier via Karijini and Millstream Chichester Nationa Parks where you can take in the sights of waterfalls, gorges, and swimming holes. You can also stop by Burrup Peninsula and learn more about the Aboriginal people who once inhabited the land.
The Munja Track, WA
For 4WD owners, the Munja Track is a playground. This patch of land consists of dusty roads where you can expect to let your 4WD run free. The route is far from city drivers, and it will just be you, your vehicle and the hard road ahead. At least if you ever make it out of this 220km drive, you can finally say with confidence that you have taken the road less travelled and conquered it. Fair warning for all who wishes to make the trip: beware of bogs and other hazards along the way. It is best to bring with you your kits.
Route: Start your drive at Mt. Elizabeth Station to drive to the Walcott Inlet and drive through the challenging courses, making stops here and there to enjoy the scenery and to swim beneath waterfalls and enjoy the galleries of Wanjina rock art.
Mary River, NT
Fishing enthusiasts are no stranger to the Mary River. The river is home to saltwater crocodiles and barramundi. It’s also another favourite spot for 4WD enthusiasts looking to give their vehicles some action. If you’re not too keen to drive through this terrain, you can always lace up your hiking boots and bushwalk through the fields. You might even consider birdwatching as there are all sorts of birds to see along Mary River.
Route: Ride your 4WD through the Hardies tracks that embrace the landscape and go through floodplains and lily-filled billabongs. As for your accommodations, you have the choice to rough it out in the riverside campground or stay in the Wildman Wilderness Lodge.
East Macs, NT
If you’re looking for a patch of nature along the Northern Territory that hasn’t been entirely infiltrated by tourists, then the East MacDonnell Ranges is the best spot for you. The place is known to the locals as the East Macs, and it is located nearby Alice Springs. Expect to see some Aboriginal rock art at the Trephina and N’Dhala Gorge as well as historic sites like Arltunga where guests can explore ghost towns and gold mines. A great way to enjoy some time away from the city with your family as it can easily be accessed by a regular car.
Route: to get there, head south from Alice Springs and drive through Heavitree Gap and turn onto Ross Highway.
Goog’s Track, SA
This track, named after its builder Stanley Gilbert John Denton, who was more commonly known by his nickname “Goog” runs from North Ceduna to Malbooma. Goog and his family worked on the track until it reached “Drum Camp” where it connected to another road that connects it to the railway. The track comes with a fascinating history to it, and you can find a memorial for Goog and his son who died on or near the road back in the 90s.
Route: The route is best suited for experienced 4WD owners as the path is known for its large dunes and vast open spaces. A great way to blow off some steam after working all week.
Preparation is key
Before you embark on your Australian road trips, don’t forget to make sure that your vehicle is in tip-top shape and that you have packed all the essentials like your toolbox, first aid, and even a container of petrol in case you need it while you’re in the middle of the desert. Preparation is vital when you’re taking on the road less travelled as there will be fewer people there to help you out if you find yourself in a sticky situation.
If you’re not looking just to enjoy the scenery with your mates or your family but don’t have the car for it, then you can always find a reliable car hire in Melbourne. They can set you up with a vehicle of your choice, and all you have to do is pack your bags and pick up the car at the station, no hassle. An advantage of renting a car instead of bringing your own is that you can be sure that the vehicle given to you is in great shape. So, what are you waiting for? Book a few weeks off work and get ready to see a side of Australia that regular tourists have yet to discover!