Inland landscapes of Australian continent are as expansive and diverse as one can imagine, and they are a perfect backdrop for a family vacation. Just like in the US, the phenomenon of road trips is thriving in the Land Down Under and it is the intrinsic part of its culture. If you ever get a chance to jump into a four-wheeler with your family and drive across the spectacular landscape of the world’s youngest continent, here’s the Australian road trip every family should take at least once.

A matter of vehicle

If you do not live in Australia, chances are you will have to rent a car or a camper. It’s good to know that renting a camper van or a car in Australia is a breeze. Every major city has a variety of rent-a-car companies that will be eager to offer a whole array of vehicles suitable for different terrains and different budgets. All you need is a proper driver’s license, passport or any other type of ID.

If you are from Australia, chances are you already own a truck or recreational vehicle like campervan.

A matter of preparation

Whether you rented a 4×4 or a casual mini-van, a crucial factor in preparation for this road trip is to be properly equipped. Even when you are taking one of the most frequented and “crowded” road trips in Australia, terrain can be treacherous and conditions can turn on you just like that.

Therefore, make sure you are equipped with all the essential “survival” gear – a first aid kit, a toolbox with all the necessary tire repair tools, such as tire air compressor and tire pressuring monitor. Make sure you have a physical copy of a detailed roadmap – electronic devices can malfunction sometime and you can’t beat paper. You’ll also need to stock on water bottle which should be kept in a portable fridge. Finally, invest in a reliable satellite phone for emergencies.

Start off with Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road is a beloved name for the most popular Australian road trip among families. It is a stretch of coastline bound highway between Warrnambool and Melbourne (well, technically, it ends in Torquay). If you can, start off your trip in Warrnambool and work your way to Melbourne. The 250-kilometer long drive will take you through the most breathtaking coastal scenery befit of a fantasy movie and charming coastal towns with friendly residents.

If you have enough time for a bit of R&R along the way, visit a beachside resort and enjoy an incredible dinner which you can wash down with a premium wine from local vineyards. It’s an amazing opportunity to relax with your partner as your kids storm the beach for the afternoon.

Melbourne to Sydney

You can spend the night in one of the resorts or go directly to Melbourne and enjoy the allure of this family-friendly town for the evening. After a good night’s rest, you can embark on a much longer journey from Melbourne to Sydney. Even though this is not a part of Great Ocean Road, it might as well be considered the next step on a bigger family road trip.

The road between these two colorful Australian metropolises will take you at least nine hours and it’s somewhere between 900 and 1000 kilometers long, depending on the route you decide to take. Therefore, a road trip of such caliber will give you enough time to enjoy a number of fun bonding activities with your family. Don’t try to rush it and beat the record to reach Sydney! Enjoy all the natural sights along this stretch between Victoria and New South Wales and turn it into a two-day adventure.

Just make sure everyone feels comfortable enough during the long driving sessions. Seat cushions, toddler car seats and make sure everyone is equipped with a pocket poncho such as Go Travel that can replace a bulky umbrella. All these are important additions that can turn a long drive into a glide across the clouds.

On the one hand, you can head inland and pass through Alpine and Kosciuszko National Parks with a comfortable over-nighter in Albury or Canberra, the capital of Australia. However, there is always an option to stay consistent with Great Ocean Road and go a longer way – along the coastline. The coastal route between Melbourne and Sydney is just as spectacular as the one between Melbourne and Warrnambool. You will get a chance to witness incredible colorful sunrises and visit a string of beautiful coastal towns and stunning rainforests.

Once you finally reach Sydney, the most popular and the biggest city on the continent, treat yourself and your family with a weekend filled with urban adventures – from dazzling tours of iconic landmarks to awe-inspiring visits to the Zoo and Aquariums.

Australian scenery offers an abundance of mesmerizing sights with topographical and biological patchwork that will make you feel as if you are visiting a different planet. Its sheer scope will leave you speechless and you will have an opportunity to really savor all the surrounding beauties with your family, reflect on the experience and strengthen the family bonds.

Olivia Williams

Olivia is psychologist and entrepreneur from Brisbane. Mother of two beautiful children and proud owner of two silly boxer dogs. She is passionate writer, a traveler and conscious consumer, seeking healthy and sustainable products to incorporate into the lives of her family. Her motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world”.
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