If hitting the highway appeals, but a long-haul road-trip with a car load of kids is enough to drive you round the bend, consider a fly drive break to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Kids love to be surrounded by family away from the humdrum of daily chores and commitments, and a well-planned driving holiday is a great opportunity to create fantastic memories.
But Australia is a big country so instead of packing the family in for a long and tiring drive across our great wide land, why not ease the burden and make the journey as fun as the destination with a combined fly drive experience. With affordable flights to capital cities, and car hire waiting on arrival, it’s the perfect compromise.
Each of our capital cities boasts dozens of fantastic drives, within a few hours of town, that families will love. We’ve picked three favourites from each.
1. The Grand Pacific Drive is a spectacular coastal route starting from the Royal National Park in Sydney’s south and travelling through seaside villages and lush rainforest to Wollongong.
2. A leisurely drive following the banks of the MacDonald River as it winds its way through the Hawkesbury from Wisemans Ferry, up the Forgotten Valley to historic Saint Albans, one of the earliest settlements of Australia.
3. The Greater Blue Mountains Drive links spectacular world heritage-landscape to surrounding regions. Branching off are 18 discovery trails taking you into the mountains and valleys, national parks and regional attractions.
1. Follow the winding Dandenongs Tourist Road through tall forests and cool gullies – stopping for Devonshire tea at one of the villages along the way. Walk off your excesses in the gardens or among the trees at Sherbrooke Forest.
2. The Yarra Valley is an easy drive with great scenery and charming towns to explore. Stop at farm gates and roadside stalls to buy seasonal local produce for a picnic at one of the national parks.
3. A circular weekend touring route from Melbourne to Bairnsdale on the Princes Highway, through stunning High Country scenery along the Great Alpine Road to Bright and back to Melbourne via the Hume Highway.
1. Enjoy the country charm and hospitality of the townships to be found among spectacular dams and panoramic views of the Valley of the Lakes, a leisurely one-hour scenic drive south-west of Brisbane.
2. About an hour’s drive north of Brisbane is the Sunshine Hinterland. Nestled among rainforest and green fields of the Blackall Range you’ll find charming towns with galleries and cafes and views to the Sunshine Coast.
3. The Mount Nebo Drive offers a taste of rural Queensland right on Brisbane’s doorstep. Winding its way through the eucalypt forest fringing Brisbane Forest Park, through to Mount Nebo town and Mount Glorious, it’s a local favourite.