Down in Oz, going walkabout is as old as the Aboriginal people who first made their way to the Land Down Under some 50,000 years ago … give or take a few. These days it not as easy for city blokes and temporary tourists to just drop what they’re doing and head out into the bush for a wander.
But that doesn’t mean that you and your mates can’t have a go at Australia’s endless natural splendours. Whether you were born and bred in Brisbane or travelled by air from Thailand, getting out to the outback, by way of the “great Aussie road trip” is one of the best ways to see some of the vastness of this island continent.
Regardless of how much time you have – two days, two weeks or six months, where and how far you’re going has to be your first consideration. Have a squint at the World Wide Web and whittle down your options to exactly what you want to see. Then start mapping out an itinerary day by day. Be realistic about how far you can travel and be mindful of what the road and weather conditions might be. Next, decide on what type of conveyance is most suitable for your road trip. In Oz, it’s possible to rent anything from a Lamborghini to a Land Rover, if you fancy four wheels. Or if two wheels is more your style then you can choose anything from a Honda to a Harley. The size of your party, how far you’re travelling and the quality of roads you’re travelling on will likely determine the model and make of your transport. Keep in mind that the outback has an extensive network of roads, but in remote areas they can become little more than a pair of well worn ruts in a dirt road. So plan accordingly.
Great Ocean Road (Victoria)
The Great Ocean Road between Melbourne and Adelaide is considered to be one of Australia’s great road trips. It winds its way between the two great cities along some of the most spectacular sections of Victoria’s coastline. Along the way you can watch the surfers at Bells Beach riding the great swell that roll in off the Southern Ocean and have a squint at the dramatic rock sculptures carved over millions of years, called the 12 Apostles. If you time it right you can catch a glimpse of the southern right whales from the shoreline in Warrnambool. If you’re so inclined, you can take in the
Great Otway National Park. There you can walk among the towering trees of the rainforest, have a gander at the breathtaking waterfalls and discover secluded beaches on the shores at Cape Otway.
If you’ve got the time and fortitude, Australia’s got the road trip. If you’ve got nothing else planned for the next nine months or so why not take a stab at Highway 1. It’s only the longest highway in the world. If you manage to conquer all 25,000 kilometers of it, you’ll have circumnavigated the entire continent of Australia on the road that takes you around the rim of our planet’s smallest continent but largest island.