The Top 5 Sights to See Road Tripping Down Under

5 sites to see road tripping in Australia

Australia is a country that seems to have been tailor-made for a road trip, with vast open spaces across much of the country interspersed with spectacular sights and welcoming towns and cities. There are thousands of people who take a road trip in Australia every year, and one of the great life experiences is to rent or buy a camper van and to head out into the outback. Things can go wrong, and the huge distances without a gas station can catch some people out, but the sights that can be enjoyed on a road trip make up for any challenges.

Here are five of the best sights to see during a road trip Down Under. Whether you're interested in beautiful sites, historical lessons, or something between, Australia has something for every type of traveler.

  • 01 of 05
    Ayers Rock
    Ayers Rock is beautiful up close and afar. James D. Morgan/Getty Image News/Getty Images

    This iconic site has long been one of the most popular tourist attractions in Australia, and the distinctive rock outcropping near the center of Australia's plains are now becoming more commonly known by the Aborigine name, Uluru, as opposed to the traditional English name of Ayers Rock. Most people will want to climb the rock during their visit, but as it is often closed if temperatures get too high or there are difficult weather conditions, so it is best to reach the area early in the morning. There is also a very good dawn viewing platform, which is a great place to see the sun come up over the rock, and also takes in views of the nearby site of Kata Tjuta.

  • 02 of 05
    Australian highway
    Every stretch of Australian highway is perfect for road tripping. James O'Neil/Stone/Getty Images

    This is one of the most iconic sites that is located on the Great Ocean Road, which runs south west of the city of Victoria and is one of the most scenic drives to be enjoyed in Australia. The Twelve Apostles are a series of stone stacks rising from the beaches in the Port Campbell National Park and are limestone stacks that rise to forty-five meters above the beach. Unfortunately, these stacks are vulnerable to erosion from the water washing up against the rock, and there are now only eight of the original twelve apostles remaining, so it is well worth seeing this site while it is still there.

  • 03 of 05
    Fremantle Prison
    Fremantle Prison is a look into Australia's past. Danita Delimont/Gallo Images/Getty Images

    Situated in the town of Fremantle in Western Australia, this prison is one of the legacies that was left by the British colonization of the country, with the prison first built in the 1850s. The first convicts to arrive in the area not only had to build their prison, but had to dig most of the stone from a nearby quarry. Today, the prison is a part of the series of World Heritage Sites known as the Australian convict sites and is the best preserved colonial prison in the country. As well as taking a trip to the prison itself, it is also possible to take a tour of the tunnels below the prison, which includes a combination of walking and paddling by boat.

  • 04 of 05
    Wineglass Bay
    Wineglass Bay is one of Australia's hidden road trip gems. Tim Phillips/Moment/Getty Images

    If your trip is taking you to the island of Tasmania, then Wineglass Bay must be one of the most important sites to be included on your itinerary, as it is a spectacular location. Nestled among green hillsides, the azure blue waters of this beautiful round bay are calm and attractive, and they are made particularly peaceful by the fact that the car park is set well away from the beach itself, so make sure you pack your hiking boots. The beach here is in Freycinet National Park, which is around three hours by road from the cities of Launceston and Hobart.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05
    Wilpena Pond
    Wilpena Pond and the surrounding area is a gorgeous stop on the road. Posnov/Moment/Getty Image

    This natural bowl is located within the Flinders Ranges mountains and is one of the most popular tourist areas in the region. This is a great area for bush walking and exploring the natural attractions of the Flinders Ranges, while those looking for more adventure can climb some of the mountain peaks that are located around the natural edge of the bowl. This is a great introduction to this beautiful part of Australia, and those looking to get a top-down view of the area can also take a trip on one of the airplanes from the dirt takeoff strip here.

    Edited by Melissa Popp.