5 Long-Distance Road Trips in Australia for Families

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Experience the diversity of Australia’s breathtaking landscapes on one of these five long-distance road trips, which are both spectacular and family-friendly. In this article, you can explore the Kennett River koalas and the sparkling sand dunes of the Outback.

Great Ocean Road

Children can play on the beach at the 12 Apostles Rocks on the Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road in Victoria is famous for its surreal coastal scenery, such as the magnificent towering limestone rocks known as the 12 Apostles, which stand firm amidst the crashing waves. This beautiful route offers endless sightseeing and activities suitable for all ages and interests.

Join a surf lesson at the world-famous Bells Beach in Torquay, the site of the annual Rip Curl Pro surfing competition, where powerful waves crash against the majestic red dirt cliffs. After your lesson, you can enjoy some fish and chips on the beach or indulge in something sweet at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery on the way to Anglesea.

At Lorne, the Qdos Fine Arts exhibition hall is nestled on the hillside amidst tropical rainforest, where you can take a walk to Erskine Falls. Don’t miss the Cape Otway Lighthouse or the sparkling blue sea and golden cliffs at Loch Ard Gorge. Watch out for koalas in the trees at Kennett River and experience ziplining through the Otway Fly forest.

Renta car and explore the 244km winding route from Geelong to Warrnambool in a few days. Although it is possible to complete the journey in a day, you will need at least three days to fully experience it. During this trip, try to spend a night at the family-friendly Freshwater Creek Cottages & Farm Stay.


MONA: one of the world’s leading contemporary art museums, suitable for the whole family

With plenty of activities and attractions, a long road trip in Tasmania is sure to make you fall in love with this beautiful and peaceful island state of Australia. Starting from the capital city of Hobart, you will find MONA (The Museum of Old and New Art), which is often considered as the world’s leading contemporary art museum. This vibrant and famous space features many interactive exhibitions and sensory-stimulating activities for children.

From Cradle Mountain to the panoramic Wineglass Bay, you will definitely have a chance to swim in nature, hike a short section, and cycle through spectacular landscapes, whether you visit all the landmarks or not. You will have many opportunities to stop along the way, including delicious restaurants and farms that offer cooking experiences and insights into local cuisine. Stay at MACq 01 Hotel overlooking Hobart Harbour before embarking on your long-distance adventure.

Eastern Coast

Explore the world’s largest coral reef with your loved ones

The East Coast of Australia holds some of the country’s greatest treasures, from cities like Sydney tothe natural wonder of the Great Barrier Reef. The entire stretch from Melbourne to Cairns, or vice versa, would take several weeks by car, but you can also break up the coastal journey into smaller segments. You can start from the bustling port of Sydney, travel to the serene surfing town of Byron Bay, and end at Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island with miles of sparkling white beaches.

Some must-do activities along the East Coast include a day trip to the world’s largest coral reef, a tropical cruise around the beautiful Whitsunday Islands, or a family surf lesson in Noosa. Along the way, you will come across numerous national parks, including ancient tropical rainforests with long hiking trails that lead to scenic coastal viewpoints. Book a few nights at the family-friendly Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut in Cairns.

Perth to Margaret River

Enjoy wine tasting while the kids play in the beautiful vineyards

Any long-distance family road trip starting from Perth should stop at Rottnest Island. This nature reserve is only a short ferry ride from Perth and is home to the quokka, a small pouch-bearing animal famous for its friendly yet curious nature. Then, you can head south to the Margaret River area, which takes three hours by car and should be split into multiple days for the best experience.

Famous for its vineyards, there are many places to stop along the way. Many wineries not only serve excellent food made from local produce but also have playgrounds on their property. Continue driving to discover beautiful white sand beaches, green forests, and vineyard valleys. Additionally, there are cave tours, SUP paddling, and wildlife encounters for those who want more adventure. Spend the night at the family-friendly Bussells Bushland Cottages in the town of Margaret River.

South Australia

Visit Kangaroo Island and witness rich wildlife

For a vacation suitable for everyone, South Australia is an ideal destination. A long-distance road trip starting from the capital city of Adelaide will take you to the diverse South Australia region. The area has many wild white sand beaches, rugged cliffs, arid deserts, and busy urban culture. Observe ancient sand dunes and rock formations while enjoying fresh seafood on the Eyre Peninsula. Another option is to drive to McLaren Vale or Clare Valley for wine tasting.

In addition, hiking through the Flinders Ranges National Park is an experience for nature lovers. When it comes to long-distance road trips in South Australia, you can’t miss Kangaroo Island, one of the places that allows you to observe the wildlife of native species such as seals, sea lions, kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas. To get to Kangaroo Island, a car ferry runs regularly from Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula, and it takes about 45 minutes. Book a peaceful stay at Jalilla Village on Kangaroo Island.

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