As the capital city and within close proximity to many of Australia’s other highlights, Canberra provides the perfect starting point for a self-drive itinerary. So, after three glorious days exploring, adventuring and relaxing in Canberra (check out your three-day Austravel itinerary here), it’s time to experience the rest of the country…
Here, Austravel share their top self-drive itineraries from Canberra. Prepare for palm-lined boardwalks, white-sand beaches, majestic mountains and an abundance of fantastic food and wine (and that’s just for starters).
Canberra, Sydney, Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley & Port Stephens
The three-hour drive from Canberra to Sydney couldn’t be easier. Once there, explore the city on foot or bike, making sure you don’t miss the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge – both iconic Sydney hotspots.
From here, escape to the contrasts of the magnificent Blue Mountains (just a couple of hours away), before exploring the lush vineyards of the Hunter Valley, where you can sample the local food and wine. Finish off your experience with the coastal seascapes of Port Stephens or head back to Sydney and continue your journey by plane to Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef or beyond.
Canberra, Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef
Take the short drive from Canberra to Sydney and spend a few days soaking up the city’s sights before hopping on a flight to Queensland’s Tropical North.
Stay in the quaint beach town of Port Douglas, a stone’s throw from Cairns and a gateway to one of the world’s most breath-taking natural wonders; the Great Barrier Reef. Hop on a boat which will whisk you out to some of the best diving and snorkelling sites on the planet. Prepare to be blown away by the fluorescent corals, tropical fish and magnificent marine life that dwell in the deep. Underwater cameras recommended.
Canberra and the Pacific Coast
After exploring the buzz of Canberra and Sydney, why not discover the Pacific Coast for the perfect city-beach combination? Stop and take in the breath-taking views and striking coastlines as you go (you might be stopping quite often, mind). For a true Australian road trip experience, stagger your drive with a few nights in Port Stephens, Coffs Harbour and Byron Bay. Then, from Brisbane fly to your next stop or continue driving up the coast to Cairns and the Tropical North by road.
Port Stephens; a gorgeous, salt-splashed beach town where you can hire a kayak, go whale and dolphin watching and enjoy unbelievable sunsets. It also has easy access to Port Macquarie’s Sea Acres Rainforest Centre, a gigantic rainforest reserve. Here, stroll along the boardwalk to your hearts content, enveloped by palm trees and luscious green shrubs.
From Port Stephens, head further along the coast to the energetic and lively spot of Coffs Harbour where activities and natural beauty are aplenty. Discover the Solitary Islands Marine Park, a nationally protected area that stretches along 75 kilometres of beachy coastline. Its turquoise waters attract hundreds of unique species of fish, dolphins and whales.
Finally, the world-renowned Byron Bay is calling; home to heavenly beaches, an aqua-blue ocean and tropical rainforests teeming with wildlife. Whether you want to jump on a surfboard or relax on the beach, this holiday haven has something for everyone. If you want to escape to paradise, you’ve hit the jackpot with Byron Bay.
Canberra – Melbourne Coastal Route
From Canberra follow the coast south to tranquil Gipsy Point Lakeside to relax for a few days surrounded by a chorus of nature and the coast. From here, trace the ocean to the shore side village of Metung where you can explore the surrounding Gippsland Lakes before heading to Wilson’s Prom – a natural paradise seemingly hidden away from the rest of the world. Stop off on Phillip Island to get up close to the wildlife, including the famous Penguin Parade and koala treetop walk. Next, continue on your journey to Melbourne, via the Yarra Valley wine region.
There’s no place that combines contemporary style with historic culture in the way that mellow Melbourne does. Stroll down the city’s beautifully artistic laneways, stopping to snap some memories along the way. And don’t miss the Royal Botanical Gardens; 94 acres of greenery in the heart of the city, bursting with colourful plants and nature.
© Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency
Canberra to New Zealand
Canberra is the perfect stopover between the UK and the wide-open spaces of New Zealand. Spend three nights in the cultured capital of Australia, exploring the city on foot or from a hot air balloon (check out Balloon Aloft tours). Choose from an endless selection of day trips into the national parks, forests and mountains surrounding Canberra, all of which offer the perfect taste of rural Australia before heading to New Zealand.
Fly with Singapore Airlines from Canberra to Wellington, New Zealand’s ‘cool-little capital’, and take time to explore the city and embrace its relaxed aura. From there, road trip through some of the North Island’s focal points, including experiencing traditional Maori culture in Rotorua, and wine tasting in the beautiful town of Napier; surrounded by some of New Zealand’s oldest and most beautiful wineries. Your trip-of-a-lifetime will wind up in Auckland; the glorious waterfront city, bustling with life and activities. Make sure you explore its breath-taking beaches and neighbouring islands.
Austravel’s Travel Designers know Australasia like the back of their hand. Let them tailor-make your perfect itinerary, with everything from flights to hotels and car hire to touring.
Visit austravel.com or call 0808 274 9482
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