Road trips around Australia to add to your bucket list

Sophie Haslett
Assistant Content Editor

Originally from London, Sophie re-located to Sydney in 2015 and hasn't looked back since. With a love of travel, fashion, food and fitness, she is constantly on the lookout for the next weekend adventure or the next cafe or bar to fall in love with. She shares her lifestyle, fitness and travel tips with The Guide.

"Grab a few girlfriends, a map, your trainers and hit the open road."

With daily sunshine, long hazy summer days and a new diary to fill, January is the perfect time to plan a road trip. And luckily for us, in Australia there are so many beautiful places on our doorstep just begging to be discovered. Grab a few girlfriends, a map, your trainers and hit the open road. Here are a few of my favourite day and overnight trips in Oz.

Wedding Cake Rock, Royal National Park - For a sunny day trip

56kms from Sydney – around 1 hour 15 minutes drive

If it’s epic Instagram shots (and views) you’re after in a relatively short space of time, Wedding Cake Rock in the Royal National Park is the place for you. Just over an hour from Sydney, the gloriously picturesque cliffs are accessible by a steep walking track, which can get pretty muddy. Once you get there, though, it’s totally worth it. I went earlier this year, before they roped off the fragile edge of the formation (because safety!), but it’s still possible to capture the gorgeous views on camera from behind the fence. I’d recommend doing it as early as possible in the morning – for obvious reasons, Wedding Cake Rock gets pretty busy!

Byron Bay – For a chilled mini break

165kms from Brisbane – around 2 hours drive

Byron Bay is one of the best road trip destinations – period. Whether you’re keen to tap into the coastal town’s relaxed beachy vibes, up for sampling some of Byron’s unrivalled brunches (I’m talking about you, Bayleaf Café), or you just want to get out of town and enjoy a more chilled pace, Byron is a haven for girls trips whatever the weather. I fell in love with its pretty-as-a-postcard views and spent three hazy days there during Splendour In The Grass music festival last August. I’ve already booked to go back next year.

Blue Mountains - For an active weekend

129kms from Sydney – around 2 hours drive

I’ve spent many a long weekend in the Blue Mountains with various friends and family this year, but I never tire of its beauty. For me, there’s nothing better than setting out for a long walk like Wentworth Pass and then snuggling up in a cute lodge nearby to cook a big dinner and drink some red wine. At the risk of sounding clichéd, I often return from the Blue Mountains with a renewed sense of clarity and peace. It’s like mindfulness, butwithout the pricey meditation classes or apps.

Seal Rocks – For a camping experience

275kms from Sydney - around 3 hours 15 minutes drive

There’s no better time of year to hit up Seal Rocks and a campsite like Treachery Camp than at this time of year. With gorgeous white sand beaches, spots available to light camp fires and a site inspired by the wilderness – campsites in this neck of the woods are the real deal. Fill a couple of cars with friends, pack your tent, a guitar and plenty of hot chocolate. One of the best weekends you can have while spending close to nothing.

Tasmania – For an adventure holiday

720kms from Melbourne – around 1 hour 15 minute flight

With its views that will take your breath away, delicious wine, cheese, scenery and crystal clear waters, Tasmania remains one of my favourite places in Australia without a shadow of a doubt. A recent trip saw me see in my latest birthday atop Wineglass Bay, before returning to the vibrant bustling town of Hobart to enjoy some seafood and local wine. A trip to Tasmania isn’t complete without heading to Bruny Island – a place that encapsulates much of what Tasmania is brilliant for, with the most beautifully preserved natural environments and stunning cliff top views. I’d also recommend travelling up to Mount Wellington for views of Hobart and hills that wouldn’t look out of place in Lord of the Rings. It’s all about the walks here, but keen sailors will also love what Tassie has to offer.

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