Road Tripping Through Country Australia

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARoad tripping in Australia is a mandatory activity for any traveller in the country. Travelling by car, anchored to the Earth of this vast, expansive land provides perspective unattainable by any other mode of transport.

By being connected to the ground, you are able to appreciate the slow and subtle shift in vegetation across the country, meet true blue Aussie characters and observe rural and country town Australia in all its warmhearted but slightly bogan glory.

Traipsing through the Australian ‘outback’ provides a much more authentic and unique experience as opposed to simply driving up and down the populated East Coast. As of 2012, according to the Australian Population & MIgration Research Centre, just 0.34% of the Australian population lived on 84.2% of the land area, at a density of 0.1 persons or less per km – and this land is all in Central Australia.

Of course there is a reason the East Coast of Australia is the busiest section of Australia, for both residents and travellers: there are incredible sights, stunning coastlines, plenty of exciting activities and festivals, and the abundant tourism makes getting doing things and getting around much easier.

However, there is something incredible about travelling to the inland of Australia and experiencing the heart of the country.

I believe one can’t say they’ve truly experienced Down Under if they haven’t planted themselves in the open plains where yelling at the top of your lungs elicits no response; met the quirky but incredibly friendly bar owner of a country town pub; sweltered in the blistering sun and watched the sweat drip down your body past the ripples of heat cascading across the red sand; and sung along to classic hits in a packed car with your head enjoying the breeze as it dangles out the car window.

A word of warning though: I don’t want to glorify this type of trip too much as of course road tripping through Australia can get a little dry – in both senses of the word. The subtle changes in vegetation are beautiful…but they truly are subtle and looking at similar landscapes for long periods of time can quickly become tiresome; the heat – as vital as it is to experience at one point of another – can quickly become very irksome; and sitting in a car for long periods of time can sometimes lead to sore legs and bums, agitated passengers and claustrophobic tendencies a little too easily.

road tripThe key to an exciting and memorable road trip through country Australia is to break it up. Stay in little towns along the way, break frequently for food or activities, and bring plenty of things along for the ride to keep you occupied. Good music, riveting books, and a repertoire of fun car games are an absolute must for Aussie road trips. It is also a great idea to bring along balls, a cricket set or surf boards to give you something active to do to burn off all your pent up car-sitting energy.

Taking it slowly also means you need to leave a fair amount of time to complete a road trip. Try not to rush a trip – you need time to enjoy the little things, and leave enough room for you to be spontaneous and head to unplanned areas that might take your fancy.

Another word of advice to make the most of your country road trip is to go a different route on the return journey. While all of the above aspects are important for travellers to experience, they are never quite as exciting as the initial trip. Doing one trip along the coast and the return journey through central Australia (or vice versa) would provide a remarkable experience that gives you the best of both worlds.

For example, my recent car journey from Sydney to Adelaide was a phenomenal drive through country New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. But taking the longer route back home along the coastline was well worth the extra time to experience a different side of the country and make the most of the beaches along the way.

When done right, a road trip through country Australia could easily become one of the most memorable and exciting journeys you undertake in the nation.


This entry was posted in Australia Wide, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Travel Tip, Victoria and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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