Top Roads of Australia and New Zealand

In anticipation for our evening Down Under (see post), we are moving from the lovely, diverse country of Argentina to feature our fun friends in the South: Australia and New Zealand. For the next two weeks, tune in to hear about these incredible, adventure-filled destinations! This Week: Top Roads of Australia and New Zealand.

Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road runs westward from Torquay (near Melbourne) to the small town of Warrnambool in Victoria, and features some of the world’s inspiring coastal scenery along Shipwreck Coast. Dubbed an Australian National Heritage, the track covers 243 km (151 mi), and was built as a memorial by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932. Hug the coast through seaside resorts, dune-colored cliffs, and the lush canopies of Otway National Park. See koala, kangaroos and emus at Tower Hill. There are ample panoramas of oceans and parks to enjoy: the Bay of Islands, Point Addis, Teddy’s Lookout at Lorne, to name a few. Don’t miss the magnificently carved limestone and sandstone rock formations seen at The Grotto, London Arch, Loch Ard Gorge and the Twelve Apostles. If you go in winter, you may be lucky enough to spy whales and their calves off of Logan’s Beach in Warrnambool. Total driving time: 5 hours. Recommended tour time: 1-2 Days.

photo by Edwin.11

Golden Highway

The Golden Highway, or State Highway 84, runs between Dubbo and Newcastle in New South Wales. The road takes you through the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, fertile Hunter Region wine valleys and a series of remarkable national parks. There’s plenty to do on this inland route: wine and cheese tasting; olive oil tasting; golfing; visiting a rodeo; and checking out the Dubbo Observatory. More of an adventurer? Don’t miss the chance to spelunk in the Wellington Caves, picnic in the 140 hectares (346 acres) of the Hunter Botanic Gardens, bird-watch in Pilliga Forest or stargaze in Warrumbungle National Park. Total driving time: 5 hours and 30 minutes. Recommended tour time: 2-3 Days.

photo by Aidan-Sally

Rainforest Way

The Rainforest Way is a circular series of roads that extends through South East Queensland to New South Wales. It passes through a number of National Parks and runs along the extinct volcano Mount Warning. A road for naturalists, visitors can explore the rural landscapes of the Great Dividing Range, wander through rainforests in Lions Road, or take a scenic drive through the Tambourine Circuit. Stop by Minyon Falls that drops over 100 meters (328 ft) or drive out to Tweed Range and its 919-m high (3015 ft) Pinnacle Lookout onto the rim of Mount Warning’s magnificent caldera. Total driving time: Varies. Recommended tour time: 3-5 Days.

Southern Scenic Route

The Southern Scenic Route connects Queenstown to Dunedin in New Zealand. Officially opened in 1988, it remains a relatively unknown tourist road that exhibits some spectacular natural attractions of the islands—beaches, mountains, lakes and forests. Some amazing sights are Fiordland National Park, Te Waewae Bay, Purakaunui Falls, Otago Coast Forest and the tiny fishing village Taieri Mouth. There are ample activities on offer in the area, from camping, mountain biking, fishing, spotting wildlife (seals, seabirds, dolphins) and chancing on the Maori tribes in the South. Total driving time: 3h30-4 hours. Recommended tour time: 1-2 Days.

Planning a Trip to Australia and New Zealand? Willamette Intl Travel works with clients to customize any itinerary to suit their needs and check off that bucket list! Call us at 800.821.0401 or email

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Filed under Australia, Features, New Zealand, Oceania, Travel by Car

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