How Long Does it Take to Drive Around Australia

Jan 1, 2024 | 0 comments

Australia, known for its vast landscapes and iconic landmarks, offers an incredible adventure for those who wish to explore its diverse beauty. One popular way to experience the country’s vastness is by embarking on a road trip around Australia. However, the question arises: How long does it take to drive around this enormous continent? In this article, we will delve into the factors that can influence the duration of an Australian road trip and provide an overview of the typical time frame required for this epic journey.

Factors Affecting the Duration

Several things can affect how long it takes to drive around Australia. These things depend on what you like, how fast you travel, the places you want to see, and the route you choose. Here are some important things to think about:

How Long Does it Take to Drive Around Australia
  • Distance: Australia is really big, with a coastline that goes for more than 25,000 kilometers (15,500 miles). The longer the trip, the more time it will take to finish.
  • Route Selection: The route you pick for your road trip can make a big difference in how long it takes. There are different routes you can take, like the “Big Lap” or “Highway 1,” which go all the way around the country. But if you take detours or visit specific places along the way, it will take more time.
  • Sightseeing and Stops: Australia has lots of amazing things to see, like national parks, beautiful coastlines, exciting cities, and important cultural places. The more time you spend exploring these places, the longer your trip will be.
  • Driving Speed and Rest Periods: How fast you drive and how often you take breaks will affect how far you get each day. It’s important to drive at a safe speed and take regular rest breaks to stay safe and well-rested.

These factors can all add up and impact how long it takes to drive around Australia. It’s good to think about these things and plan your trip in a way that works best for you.

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How Long Does it Take to Drive Around Australia? Typical Duration

Considering the factors mentioned above, the average duration to drive around Australia can range from several weeks to several months. A common estimate for a comprehensive journey is around three to six months, allowing for a more relaxed pace and ample time to explore the country’s diverse regions.

However, it is important to note that this estimated duration can vary widely based on individual travel preferences. Some adventurous souls may choose to complete the journey in a shorter time frame, while others may opt for a more leisurely pace, taking extended breaks at various destinations.

What Is The Best Route To Drive Around Australia?

When it comes to the best route to drive around Australia, there is a main road called Highway 1 that goes all the way around the continent. It’s like the main highway for a road trip around Australia. Most people who do a big lap around the country use Highway 1 as the main route and then take detours to visit the specific places they want to see along the way.

What Is The Best Route To Drive Around Australia?

One important road is called the Stuart Highway, which runs from north to south, connecting Darwin and Adelaide. This highway goes through Alice Springs and is often used by road trippers to detour into the central part of Australia. Some people might also take other inland roads and highways on the eastern side of the country instead of always sticking to the coastline.

Whether you choose to travel clockwise (starting in one direction and going around) or anticlockwise (starting in the opposite direction) mostly depends on where and when you start your trip, how much time you have, and the weather you want to experience or avoid. If you want to have summer weather throughout your trip, you’ll want to be in the northern part of the country from April to September and in the southern part from October to March.

To plan your route, a good idea is to put up a map of Australia and mark all the places you want to visit with pins or stickers. You can keep adding to it as you learn about new places and things you want to include. Some events might be time-specific or require advance booking, so that can also influence your route planning.

While it may sound nice to just jump in the car and go wherever the road takes you, it’s important to have a practical plan. Even if you have a whole year for your road trip, you still need to keep a steady pace to make it all the way around and be at the right places at the right times. Planning major stops and having a general timeline can help. You can also set specific goals for your trip, like reaching the extreme points of the continent (north, south, east, west), the exact center, or the highest point (Mt Kosciuszko). Some of these points may require a good 4WD setup or a walk to reach.

Overall, planning your route and having a general idea of where you want to go will help you make the most of your road trip around Australia.

Tips for a Memorable Road Trip

Tips for a Memorable Road Trip
  • Plan your Route: Research and plan your desired route, taking into account the sights and attractions you wish to visit along the way. Be prepared for unexpected detours or changes to your itinerary.
  • Allow Flexibility: Embrace the spontaneity of the journey and be open to new experiences. Leave room in your schedule for unexpected discoveries and opportunities.
  • Be Mindful of Seasonal Variations: Australia experiences diverse climates and weather patterns across different regions. Consider the seasons and weather conditions when planning your trip to make the most of your journey.
  • Prepare Adequately: Ensure your vehicle is in good condition and well-equipped for long drives. Carry essential supplies, including food, water, spare tires, and emergency kits.
  • Stay Safe and Informed: Familiarize yourself with road rules and regulations in each state or territory you will be traversing. Stay updated on current travel advisories and road conditions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
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Embarking on a road trip around Australia is an adventure of a lifetime, offering breathtaking landscapes, unique wildlife, and diverse cultural experiences. While the duration of such a journey can vary based on individual preferences and circumstances, allocating several weeks to several months is a reasonable estimate. Remember to plan your route, stay flexible, and prioritize safety to make the most of your Australian road trip. So, buckle up, hit the road, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime as you explore the wonders of the Land Down Under.


How much does it cost to drive around Australia?

To travel around Australia for a year and cover approximately 25,000 kilometers, you would need around $25,400. Out of this amount, about $17,400 would go towards paying for powered camping sites, and the remaining $8,000 would be spent on fuel.

Can you drive around Australia in a car?

Australia has a highway called National Highway 1 that goes around the country along the coastline for most of the way. It is the longest national highway in the world, spanning around 14,750 kilometers.

Is Australia bigger than the USA?

The USA is slightly larger than Australia. The area of the USA is approximately 9.16 million square kilometers, while Australia’s area is about 7.68 million square kilometers.

What is the longest driving route in Australia?

The Great Northern Highway is the longest highway in Australia, covering a distance of 3,195 kilometers. It is the main north-south route between Perth and the northern regions of Western Australia.

What is the cheapest way to drive around Australia?

The best and most affordable way to travel around Australia is to hire or buy a campervan and go on a road trip. This allows you to have flexibility in your itinerary, explore lesser-known areas, and stop wherever and for however long you want.

What is the cheapest way to travel around Australia?

Travelling around Australia by public buses and trains is an affordable and environmentally friendly option. The buses in Australia are comfortable and safe, and the roads are well-maintained, providing a scenic tour of the country.

Do I need a 4WD to travel around Australia?

While a 4WD vehicle is not necessary to travel around Australia, having low range gearing can be beneficial to access some of the more remote and beautiful destinations. The most stunning places in Australia are often located in out-of-the-way locations.

What is the best month to go to Australia?

The best time to visit Australia is during the months of September to November and March to May. The weather during these seasons is typically pleasant, neither too hot nor too cold, making it ideal for exploring and enjoying outdoor activities.

Is it cheaper to drive or fly around Australia?

If you have a group of people who can share the fuel costs, driving is usually the cheaper option for travel within Australia. However, flying is faster and more convenient if you want to reach your destination quickly and without any hassle.

Can I drive in Australia as a tourist?

If you are visiting Australia as a tourist, you can drive the same type of vehicle as your current license allows. However, you must adhere to any conditions stated on your overseas license. It is also required to have a current license issued in another country that is written in English.

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