In the past couple of years, cheap airfare prices have given road trips the run for their money. And while nearly one in four Australians are regularly flying to domestic destination, self-drive holiday is still the king.
Despite the recent growth in air travel, the vast majority of people would rather still have a classic road trip and get to their destination by car. As a matter of fact, roughly 72% of Australians still prefer self-drive holidays to flying, according to data provided by Tourism Research Australia.
As you can see, Australians simply love a good holiday road trip. More than 900,000 kilometers of highways and roads take you through some spectacular scenery, fantastic mountains and of course, endless plains. So if you’re planning a trip this summer, here is a short list of road trips to fill your vacation with new adventures.
Grand Pacific Drive, New South Wales (70 kilometers)
Most roads you drive because they are the closest route to get somewhere, but there are some peculiar roads people drive simply to have fun like the far-reaching curves of Sea Cliff Bridge on Grand Pacific Drive. The coast-hugging route offers you a number of places to stop for a swim and grab a few bites of fish and chips by the sea side. And if you own a convertible, here you have a perfect opportunity to drive for a couple of hours and get immersed in the beautiful environment.
Great Beach Drive, Queensland (200 kilometers)
If you want to have an ultimate summer road trip, grab a hat, few towels and a bottle of sunscreen and hit the beach on one of the best coastal highways in Australia. The road is actually just above the water mark on the beach, and you can also pull over wherever you wish and take a swim. The Great Beach Drive also offers a number of camping spots, so you’ll have a chance to have fun with your whole family and explore the local scenery.
The Murray, Victoria (620 kilometers)
Who told you that some of the best beaches in Australia have to by the sea? If you want to go against the grain, you should sit in your car and follow the Murray River to discover some the best sandy river beaches on the continent. And the best thing about it is that you won’t have to deal with all of those costal crowds, and you’ll be able to fully concentrate on your family. And don’t worry: if you experience any difficulties with your car along the way, companies like RoadsideVIP have mechanics all over the country that can solve all your problems in an hour or so.
The Great South West Edge, Western Australia (1130 kilometers)
Normally, winters are rather rainy in Western Australia, so summer is definitely the best time for a trip along the coast. If you select the Great South West Edge, you’ll have the opportunity to go underground and look through the caves beneath Margaret River, climb some of Australia’s tallest trees and watch professional surfers ride the continent’s best waves. Even though you don’t actually need a 4WD to explore the coastline, it can still take you to some remote, rarely-visited national parks, where basically nobody goes.
So finally, why do so many people travel by car instead of simply taking a two-hour flight and arriving to their destination far more quickly? In spite of the availability of in-vehicle DVD players, smartphones, tablets and other devices, most people still think that a road provides a great opportunity to talk more and bond with their children.
Last year, a survey of more than 1,000 Australian citizens, commissioned by Jax Tyres revealed that around 66% of people cite road trips as some their “fondest family memories.” And while we all know that traveling with children can be frustrating at times, the survey also revealed that only 15% of people got into arguments with their families during a trip.
It’s true that some people simply want to escape their mundane daily routines and unwind for a few weeks each year. However, the family road trip will always be a popular holiday option, because people would rather have a genuine family experience while creating lasting memories in the process, rather than spending a few uninteresting weeks overseas.