Central road

Australia’s best road trips 2022, as Great Central Road wins, we pick the best in NT, Victoria and Tasmania

Easter arrives in mid-April and many West Australians will be heading to the highway to visit friends and relatives. It’s been a long time coming.

But we combine the big catch up with a chance to hit the road. (And many of them fit nicely into the two-week school holidays starting April 8.)

When one of the world’s largest dash cam manufacturers asked Australians to name the best road trip on the continent, a resounding response came…

… (drum roll), and the Great Ocean Road is named the Ultimate Aussie Road Trip of 2022.

In fact, one in four respondents in the Nextbase study voted for the popular Victoria route.

Camera iconGreat Ocean Road, Victoria. Credit: Provided

THE ULTIMATE TOP-10

ROAD TRIPS IN AUSTRALIA

1 Great Ocean Road, Victoria.

2 Broome in Kununurra in the Kimberley, WA.

3 Tasmanian Ring Road, Tasmania.

4 Cairns to Normanton (on your way to the Northern Territory), Queensland.

5 Darwin to Kakadu, Northern Territory.

6 South Coast, including Eurobodalla Shire and Narooma, NSW.

7 Alice Springs in Uluru, Northern Territory.

8 Loop from Longreach to Rockhampton including Emerald and Carnarvon, Queensland.

9 Birdsville Track, Queensland and South Australia.

10 Bright, Falls Creek, Omeo Loop, Victoria.

Nextbase Managing Director Richard Browning said: “With so many Aussies hitting the road this season for a road trip, never has it been more timely to ask, what is the ultimate Australian road trip?

“It was great to have so many Australians having their say, many of whom are very passionate about their favorite road trip. We are delighted to officially confirm once and for all that the Great Ocean Road is the road trip ultimate of 2022 in Australia.

OUR CHOICE

BEST OF THE BEST

Great Ocean Road, Victoria.
Camera iconGreat Ocean Road, Victoria. Credit: Provided

GREAT OCEAN ROAD

The Great Ocean Road has brilliant cliff tops, surf beaches and rainforest. Construction by servicemen returning from World War I began on the Great Ocean Road on September 19, 1919.

How to do

  • Fly to Melbourne, hire a car and drive the 665km Great Ocean Road.
  • It’s about an hour’s drive from Melbourne to the ‘official start’ of the Great Ocean Road in Torquay.
  • Allow time in Torquay to visit the Australian National Surfing Museum.
  • I would then give three days from Torquay to the 12 Apostles and the historic fishing village of Port Fairy.
The 12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria.
Camera iconThe 12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria. Credit: Provided
  • Take your time to see the Twelve Apostles, Lorne, Apollo Bay and Torquay.
  • Stop for some of the beautiful marked walks.
  • Have lunch at the Pond Cafe (Torquay), make a burger at the Bottle of Milk (Lorne), sip a craft beer at the Great Ocean Road Brewhouse (Apollo Bay) and admire the beach at 12 Rocks Beach Bar (Port Campbell).
  • It’s a full day to get back to Melbourne.
Hobart waterfront.
Camera iconHobart waterfront. Credit: Provided

TASMANIA PERIPHERAL ROAD

Allow seven days for this 1160km “Circle Road” from Tassie, beginning and ending in Hobart. Get ready for the beaches along the east coast, the rugged wilderness of the west and Wineglass Bay, Cradle Mountain and the Bay of Fires.

Day-to-day guide

1 Drive from Hobart to Freycinet National Park.

2 Freycinet National Park at Bay of Fires.

3 Bay of Fires in Launceston.

4 Launceston to Stanley.

5 From Stanley to Cradle Mountain.

6 From Cradle Mountain to Strahan.

7 Strahan in Hobart.

Ormiston Gorge
Camera iconOrmiston Gorge Credit: Stephen Scourfield/western australia

ALICE SPRING

TO ULURU

This is the heart of the Northern Territory and the 1135km Red Center Way road trip is awesome. I have done this several times recently. From Alice Springs to the West MacDonnell Ranges (Tjoritja), Kings Canyon (Watarrka) and on to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, it’s a great journey with freshwater pools and gorges

Day-to-day guide

1 Spend the day exploring Alice Springs. There are lots of great galleries in Todd Mall, and visit the Royal Flying Doctor Base and the Araluen Art Centre.

2 Drive from Alice Springs and into the West MacDonnell Ranges. It’s an easy day out, with just 50km to the short scenic walk of Standley Chasm, run by the local Western Arrernte community and recognizable by paintings by Albert Namatjira.

3 Alice Springs to Kings Canyon. You should arrive at Ormiston Gorge after approximately 1.5 hours. It’s a quiet place with ghost gum trees and a waterhole lined with white sand. It’s worth a few hours or more, that’s for sure 9 and we’re in no rush). There’s a five-hour Ormiston Pound walk, but the 20-minute Ghost Gum Lookout trail might just do the trick.

The Mereenie Loop on the Red Center Way (West Macs to Kings Canyon) is the slowest and most exciting stretch of the whole trip – 225km which should take around 4.5 hours.

Walk on the edge of Standley Chasm.
Camera iconWalk on the edge of Standley Chasm. Credit: Stephen Scourfield/western australia

4 Pass the Kings Canyon and Watarrka walk. Rise early for the 4-mile (6.4 km) Kings Canyon Rim Walk (when it’s cool and cool) and admire the sandstone cliffs, palm-filled crevices, valley floor, and desert.

5 Drive Kings Canyon to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. We are back on the Red Center Way, with 320 km to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Check in to Ayers Rock Resort, which offers a range of accommodation from campsites and serviced apartments to fancy Sails in the Desert and Longitude 131.

6 Explore Uluru. Try the 10.6 km basic walk and head to Kata Tjuta.

Uluru
Camera iconUluru Credit: Stephen Scourfield/western australia

7 Drive Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to Alice Springs. It’s 445 km on asphalt, but stop at the Mount Conner lookout, for a good view of the salt lake and that other important Red Center Rock.