Best Short Scenic Drives in Australia

There are many incredible road trips that you can do in Australia from long epic road trips that take you across Australia to shorter scenic drives that only take a few hours.  If you want to take a road trip in Australia but don’t have a lot of time, read on for 5 of the best short scenic drives in Australia.

1) Hobart to Freycinet

The Hazards best drives in Australia

Contributed by Kate of The Wanderlust Chronicles

Freycinet in Tasmania is a must see for travellers who want to experience the purity and beauty of Australia’s nature. Freycinet is an easy 2-and-a-half-hour (200km) drive along the Tasman Highway (A3) with some very picturesque landscapes to make your journey memorable. Along the way, stop at Little Swanport to admire the beautiful isolated beaches. Once you reach the Coles Bay area make sure to sample some world-famous Tasmanian oysters at the Freycinet Marine Farm. End your road trip at Freycinet National Park where you can experience the flame red boulders at The Hazards (pictured) and Wineglass Bay. Though the drive is easy, we recommend staying overnight so you have enough time to explore the area. The world-class Freycinet Lodge is a great overnight option. This roadtrip is perfect in summer and winter so it is a great option for travellers looking to experience the natural beauty of Tasmania.

2) Western Tasmania – Cradle Mountain to Strahan

Cradle Mountain one of the best drives Tasmania Australia

Contributed by Sharon from Tasmania Family

If you are looking for a short drive with lots of variety which will make you feel like you have gone back in time, the two hour drive from Cradle Mountain to Strahan is a must do!

The journey starts in Cradle Mountain which is worth a couple of days to visit the picturesque Dove Lake and surrounds. The first thing you will come across on the journey is the Alpine Plateau. This desolate area has harsh weather conditions and the landscape is breathtaking. There can be snow at any time of year. The landscape then changes as you get to the coast to thick ancient rainforests and you will really feel like you have come to the edge of the world – which is an attraction you can visit up the coast at Arthur’s River. From this point, there is no land until you hit Argentina making it the longest uninterrupted section of ocean on earth. The scenery will change again in towns such as Queenstown where mining has taken its toll. At the end, Strahan is the perfect place to explore more of Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area with a scenic railway and Gordon River cruises especially recommended.

3) The Painted Silo Trail, Victoria


Contributed by Jane from Wicked Walkabout

Passing through the lovely country towns of the Wimmera and Mallee Regions of Victoria, the Painted Silo Trail is a glimpse into the local history. Covering over 200 kms from the little town of Rupanyup to Patchewollock, the Silo Trail consists of six grain silos from the 1930’s, each one is uniquely painted by a different artist. Each one features local people from youth to farmers who have lived in the region for generations.

An ideal starting point for a drive along the silo trail is Horsham. It is a medium sized country town with plenty of accommodation. ​​ The trail can be done in a day from Horsham quite easily and there is a number of low-cost campsites and country towns to visit along the way. ​

From Horsham, it is a 40-minute drive (50.9 km) to the first painted silo in the township of Rupanyup where the Silo Trail begins. Read more about the Painted Silo Trail here.

4) Melbourne to Grampians National Park

best drives from melbourne australia

Contributed by Carolina from Carolina: Cruising Past 70

We were in Melbourne babysitting my youngest grandson. Who knew we would be treated to a road trip for all seasons? We took this 3-hour drive (one-way) to the nearest Australian national park, the Grampians. Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty with one of the best indigenous rock sites in a striking series of sandstone mountain ranges, the Park boasted of the MacKenzie Falls, the Balconies off Reid’s Lookout, and the Boroka Lookout. They all did not disappoint.

But they were all quite expected, unlike the five other things that are now treasured memories of that special journey: Ballarat, the halfway town with rich architecture from its history of Australian gold, the wattle trees, Australia’s national tree, in bloom all along the way, together with awesome cheese platters we discovered in idyllic vineyards, and the Gariwerd Motel‘s hospitality with the best surprise of all: waking up to kangaroos, one with a joey, right outside our room!

5) Sydney to Dubbo

Sydney to Dubbo road trip

Contributed by Kirralee of Escape with Kids

This road trip takes you from Sydney’s urban jungle, over the Blue Mountains and out across the flat sheep-covered plains of central New South Wales. The total distance is about 400km, taking at least 5 hours. You could do it in one day, but it’s more relaxing if you can break the trip up overnight.

For the first leg of your journey get out of Sydney and breathe some of that fresh mountain air. Stay overnight in the spectacular Blue Mountains, visiting Hassans Walls Lookout near Lithgow or go fruit picking at the Bilpin Fruit Bowl. On day two head through the Wolgan Valley, making a stop at tranquil Lake Windamere. Mudgee is known for its delicious wines, so squeeze in a winery visit or two.

Dubbo itself is home to the glorious Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Hire a bike or a golf cart and tour the 6km circuit of this beautifully designed zoo.

Read more about taking the Sydney to Dubbo drive here.

Hopefully, this post has inspired you to take an Australian road trip even if you only have a day or less.  And to make sure you have everything you need before you get going, check out my road trip packing list.

Have you done a road trip in Australia? What do you think are the best road trips and drives in Australia?

Need more inspiration for road tripping in Australia? Check out some of our other articles:

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