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There’s nothing more romantic than the idea of taking your vehicle off-road and enjoying Australia’s world famous coastline from behind the wheel of a four-wheel drive, but just because you can’t leave the sealed road doesn’t mean you can’t take your car to enjoy some of our country’s most beautiful coastal drives.

We’ve thrown together a list of our Top Six Australian Coastal Drives, in no particular order.

New South Wales
NSW is perhaps most famous for the Sea Cliff Bridge that connects Sydney to Wollongong, skirting the edges of the Royal National Park, and it’s not hard to see why. Under an hour from the Sydney CBD, the Sea Cliff Bridge offers almost uninterrupted views out to the vastness of the Tasman Sea from the comfort of the roadside.

And while the bridge itself makes for a great day trip through the Royal National Park along some of the state’s most scenic roads, if it hasn’t quite quenched your thirst for a beautiful blue vista then consider extending the trip further south through Wollongong and on to the famous ‘Kiama Bends’ and into to Gerringong and Gerroa to stare down Seven Mile Beach.

The unofficial start of the Great Ocean Road in Torquay, Victoria is a mere 90 minutes from the Melbourne CBD, and extends west for over 240km towards Allansford, meaning that there’s plenty of this iconic coastal drive to explore for both locals and tourists alike.

Whether it’s the famous surf break at Bells Beach or the monolithic natural wonders in the 12 Apostles, the drive offers panoramic views out to the Bass Straight, interrupted fleetingly by patches of native seaside flora.

For day-trippers, the best bang-for-your-buck exists between Fairhaven Beach to Lorne, the latter of which is a mere two hours from Melbourne CBD.

An honourable mention must go to the network of roads that snake their way around the eastern fringe of Port Phillip and connect Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs with the glorious Mornington Peninsula.

South Australia
Known for decades as ‘The City of Churches’ it should come as no surprise that the town that played home to the manufacturing facility of Australia’s own car, Holden, also boasts some of the nation’s greatest coastal drives.

Just south of the city’s coastal oasis, Glenelg, begins The Esplanade - a length of road that offers uninterrupted views out to the St Vincent Gulf, and while the views this close to the city are great and can scratch your itch for seaside driving, stretching your legs a little further and beginning the journey at Christies Beach and heading south to Moana offers a little more time behind the wheel, and a little more time lapping up Adelaide’s stunning coastline.

How do we narrow the country’s famed ‘sunshine state’ down to just one epic coastal drive? There are countless ‘iconic’ drives to do, down well-worn roads offering views of the kinds of beaches that end up on postcards, but if you’re looking for uninterrupted water views and epic roads then our suggestion might come as a surprise.

While the beaches in Far North Queensland might be far too dangerous to swim at, that shouldn’t stop you appreciating them from afar and the palm tree-lined, single carriageway Captain Cook Highway that connects Palm Cove to Port Douglas gets our gold star for one of the most iconic coastal drives in Queensland, if not the country.

Western Australia 
To the rest of the country, Western Australia beaches are somewhat of an enigma - whether it’s camels roaming down Cable Beach or the sunset lighting up the WA coastline the west coast is truly unique, and being the largest state in the country, there’s plenty of it to explore.

Like Queensland, Western Australia offers plenty of totally Instagrammable beach lookouts and some famous swimming spots, however finding a stretch of road with coastal views can prove tricky, with preservation of the wild and untamed WA coast a priority.

Serving as the gateway to Esperance, Twilight Beach Road weaves it’s way along the south coast of WA as a wispy, beach track dotted with stunning beach access and breathtaking lookouts. Check it out for yourself!

Perhaps better known for its snow-capped mountain peaks than its stunning coastal scenery, the sheer fact that Tassie is our only island state means that it’s blessed with one of the best coastline-to-land mass ratios of any State or Territory!

Sure, the water might be cold however the Tasmanian surf breaks can be just as wild as the scenery on dry land, which is why it’s not uncommon for surfers to don steamer wetsuits to brave the chilly swells all year round.

It’s our belief that the northern part of the island offers the best scenic coastal drives - the drive from Devonport to the Table Cape Lighthouse is a leisurely one hour cruise along the North Coast of the Island, with stunning views of the Bass Strait.

Northern Territory 
With one of the smallest coastlines in the colony, and far less of it developed and accessible than any other state or territory, finding a decent drive in and around Darwin can prove tricky!

Only a stone’s throw from the CBD and the various tourist treasures that Darwin has to offer, Alec Fong Drive/E Point Drive connects the Darwin Botanic Gardens with East Point Reserve, offering largely unbridled views of Fannie Bay.

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