Road trip in Australia

Western Australia is promoting self-driving tours of the State. The tourist thinking of taking up this offer needs to look at the map of the State with the correct perspective. Interesting places are a loooonnnngggg way apart.

When I had the tour business in Bangkok bringing Thai tourists to WA, and also other places but we will consider WA at present, I would produce itineraries for groups wanting to see parts of the State. Day trips from Perth, the capital city, included the Margaret River area which is over 300km south of Perth. Other overrated trips customers get from reading the media include the Pinnacles north of Perth but described as “desert” so customers head off to see a dry part of the country only to find an area of rocks sticking up out of beach-sand. They also head east to Wave Rock which from the publicity photos looks huge but is a huge disappointment when the group gets there after a three hour bus trip. Getting back to the story and it is about a proposed tour including day trips from Perth with one taking the group from Perth east to Kalgoorlie to have a look at the big gold mine out there, have lunch, drive back to Perth for dinner. This was a Thai customer looking at the map of WA from a Thailand perspective and not realising that just to drive to Kalgoorlie was going to take the whole day.

This dilemma applies to potential customers considering a self-drive tour in Australia.


Sydney Ferries

A much better idea is to drive around the Eastern States, starting in Sydney and spending several days just around the city with world renowned features such as the Opera House, Bondi Beach, Sydney Harbour, wines in the Hunter Valley, and the Blue Mountains before heading south for an easy three hour drive to the nation’s capital, Canberra. Features here include the Parliament House, Australian War Memorial, the hands on science museum Questacon and others if you want to spend more than a day here.

Floriade 03

Floriade, Canberra, October

You then have the option of driving to Melbourne the following day because it is about 600km but between the two cities there is the Murray River with wineries all around Albury, snowfields in the winter, paddle steamers at Echuca,


Paddlesteamer at Echuca

Ned Kelly history at any number of towns if they are into Australian history, so one option is a three hour drive to Albury to see the surrounding attractions followed by another day trip including Kelly gang stuff at places like Beechworth and Glenrowan.


Beechworth, Ned Kelly country.

And then they are in Melbourne. The world has no doubt heard about the attractions of Melbourne including the penguins at Philip Island, the Great Ocean Road, and Puffing Billy in the Dandenongs.

Gt Ocean Rd 01

Great Ocean Road, west of Melbourne

The Western Australians have a problem promoting tourists to take a drive when the drive is just so much better on the other side of the continent.

Sydney to Melbourne is about 1000km. In WA I have done the trip from Perth to Carnarvon several times for work which is this distance and takes all day with the main feature being the incredible BOREDOM.