The Most Scenic Roads in Australia
The best roads and most scenic roads in Australia number in the tens of thousands. Wildlife, rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, dense forests and snow-capped mountains (at least in winter) make up some of the sights.
Seeing them all could take a lifetime. We’ve narrowed down the search for some of the best in Australia.
The Great Alpine Road – Victoria
Relatively new for a road, it was constructed in 1998. The Great Alpine Road sometimes gets overshadowed by the famous Great Ocean Road. Spectacular scenery, mouthwatering local produce and forests turning to the coast. In winter, the road receives snow and considerable ice – from the Queen’s birthday weekend in June to the first weekend in October, snow chains are required.
Scenery: Snow-capped mountains (in winter), crystal-clear lakes, alpine forests.
Ideal Vehicles: Nissan GT-R (not during snow season) / Subaru WRX STI – smooth turns, cool air and short, fast straights perfect for AWD turbo boost.
Anzac Parade – Canberra, ACT
Anzac Parade is an Australian icon. Memorials to Australian service men and women line the Parade, such as the Korean War and Australian Vietnam Forces memorials. One of the best roads stretches from The Australian War Memorial to Lake Burley-Griffin with Parliament House views.
Scenery: War Memorial, Parliament House, Lake Burley-Griffin, numerous historic memorials.
Ideal Vehicle: Honda Odyssey – show the whole family Australian history with frequency stopping and getting in and out.
The Tarkine Drive – Tasmania
A dramatic wilderness through wild Tasmania. The Tarkine Drive is located in the north-west of the state and although only 60km, has numerous picnic and photo opportunities. Think hot coffee from a thermos in untouched wilderness, looking over stunning scenery. One of the best roads in Tassie. You may even spot a Tasmanian Devil!
Scenery: Tasmania’s prehistoric and untouched forests, coastal views.
Ideal Vehicles: Toyota Landcruiser / Land Rover Range Rover – off-road ability makes the side tracks of the Tarkine Drive more accessible, plus added comfort for all passengers.
Mount Panorama – New South Wales
No doubt most people think of the famous motorsport event but it’s actually a public road. Of course, it’s only open to public traffic when no racing events are being held. The Bathurst 1000 is held in October so make sure to check the latest information. The actual race track is 6.2km and quite steep – 174 meters in vertical difference. Note that due to its popularity, police regularly patrol the area. The Nissan GT-R earned its ‘Godzilla’ nickname here.
Scenery: National Motor Racing Museum, famous race track,
Ideal Vehicles: Too many to list for this famous road: Porsche GT3, Nissan R32 GT-R, Holden GTSR, FPV Falcon GT.
Lasseter Highway – Northern Territory
The Lasseter Highway has stunning views of Australia’s iconic Uluru. Now fully sealed, it’s accessible for more vehicles. The highway takes travellers through the Red Centre, named for its red desert sands. Temperatures can soar in summer and heavy rains are likely between November and March so plan your trip accordingly.
Scenery: Uluru, red deserts, gigantic Australian night starry night skies, wildlife.
Ideal Vehicles: Toyota Hilux / Landcruiser, Nissan Patrol – nice to have solid 4×4 ability to explore off the beaten track.
Seppeltsfield Road – South Australia
Barossa Valley wine country. The Seppeltsfield Road is ideal for wine and gourmet-food lovers. One of the best roads for photographers, the road holds a section of the Tour Down Under bike race in January. Make sure to stop for an Instagrammable-photo on the palm tree-lined stretch near the prestigious Seppeltsfield Winery.
Scenery: Australia’s most famous wine region, vineyards, historic buildings.
Ideal Vehicles: Jaguar E-Type, Porsche 911, Ferrari F40 – iconic and classic sports cars.
The Gibb River Road – Western Australia
One of Australia’s most revered and best roads for 4WD fans. The Gibb River Road is a picturesque ‘off the beaten track’ option for those with a love of the outback. It stretches through the Kimberley Ranges in the north-west of Australia. Sights include rugged gorges, desert cliffs and creeks. The road is heavily corrugated in some areas and subject to flooding in the wet season.
Scenery: Rugged Kimberley region wilderness, Aboriginal rock art and wildlife
Ideal Vehicles: Jeep Chreokee, Ford Everest, Toyota Prado – 4×4 and high ground clearance are ideal here.
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