The Budget-Friendly Road Trips In Australia

By  //  February 11, 2023

Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast looking for new places to explore or a budget-conscious traveler searching for the next best destination, a road trip across Australia is sure to be eye-opening and unforgettable.

Whether you plan to travel solo or with your family, plenty of routes won’t break the bank, from soaring mountain peaks to verdant rainforests, stately national parks and magical coastal stretches.

Here’s an inside look into the most stunning yet budget-friendly road trips in Australia – so you can start planning your next adventure!

1. Brisbane to Darwin via the Kakadu

Kakadu National Park, located in the Northern Territory of Australia, is a must-see destination on any road trip from Brisbane to Darwin. With stunning landscapes and a diverse array of wildlife, it’s no surprise that Kakadu is one of the most popular parks in Australia. 

While travelling from Brisbane to Darwin, you can explore the many wonders of Kakadu National Park while sticking to a budget.

You can start your journey in the city of Brisbane and make your way through some of Australia’s most beautiful landscapes, including lush rainforest, grassy savannas, majestic waterfalls and stunning gorges. 

The winding roads will take you through national parks, such as Lamington and Springbrook, where you can spot native wildlife like kangaroos and wallabies. When you arrive at Kakadu National Park, plenty of activities won’t blow up your budget, from hiking through the bushlands to taking in ancient rock art. 

If you’re looking for a camping experience, stay in one of the park’s many campsites – each stunning, offering views, plenty of wildlife and basic amenities. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the park’s accommodation options, such as cabins and hotels.

2. Adelaide to the Eyre Peninsula

The Eyre Peninsula is an area of striking contrasts, with its spectacular coastline, pristine beaches, and untouched nature reserves that make it the ultimate road trip destination. You can find everything from stunning coastal drives to adventure activities like surfing, fishing and diving. 

With Adelaide as your starting point, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for a budget-friendly road trip. One of the best ways to explore the Eyre Peninsula is by car. Adelaide to Port Lincoln, located on the peninsula’s eastern side, is a 7-hour drive and offers some stunning coastal views. 

Just be sure to plan your journey, as there are plenty of attractions along the way, including a stop at the iconic Red Cliffs lookout. For those wanting a more detailed exploration of the region, you can take local produce and culture stops around Coffin Bay National Park or even catch some waves with a surf lesson at the nearby Streaky Bay. 

Accommodation options are plentiful on the Eyre Peninsula as there are a variety of campsites, caravan parks and beachside holiday houses to suit different budgets. If you’re looking for something extra special, luxury villas and secluded cabins are also available in Port Lincoln, providing the perfect escape from your everyday life.

3. Sydney to Central West NSW

The Central West region of New South Wales is known for its stunning landscapes and interesting attractions, making it the perfect destination for a budget-friendly road trip from Sydney. 

From charming country towns to heritage sites and breathtaking national parks, there’s plenty to explore in this part of Australia. If you’re travelling from Sydney, one of the most popular routes is the Great Western Highway, which will take you through some of the quaint towns and villages in the region. 

A stop at Lithgow is a must for history buffs, where you can explore the fascinating buildings from its industrial past. Alternatively, head to Hartley Historic Village and get a taste of life from colonial times. 

You can take a hike or bike ride along one of the many trails in Blue Mountains National Park, admire the cascading waterfalls of Kanangra Boyd National Park or explore the breathtaking gorges and wildflowers of Oberon. Nature lovers will be spoilt for choice.

For those who prefer something a bit more relaxed, why not take a leisurely drive through the rolling hills of the Central Ranges and explore some of the wineries and vineyards? Or you can also explore Orange’s unique cafes, galleries and boutiques.

4. Canberra and the NSW Riverina

The journey from Canberra to the NSW Riverina is a memorable one. Along the way, travellers will encounter plenty of sites and activities that won’t break the bank. 

First, you’ll start your trip in Canberra, Australia’s capital city. Explore its vibrant art scene with galleries like NGA (National Gallery of Australia), or wander through the National Library of Australia. Take a self-guided tour around Parliament House to learn more about the country’s politics, or visit Old Parliament House for an insight into the nation’s past. 

From Canberra, head towards Yass and Murrumbateman. Here, you’ll find plenty of agricultural attractions to pique your interest. Take a farm tour or visit the local wineries to sample some of the region’s best food and wine. You may even see some of Australia’s native wildlife in their natural habitat. 

Next, make your way to Tumut and Gundagai for a serene experience. Enjoy breathtaking views from the highest peak in the Snowy Mountains, or walk along the banks of the Tumut and Murrumbidgee Rivers. 

5. The Best of Regional Victoria

Explore the scenic beauty of Australia’s Regional Victoria with a budget-friendly road trip. From lakes and national parks to wineries, you can experience all the region offers without breaking the bank. 

Start your journey in Melbourne, the capital city and home of many attractions. Spend time exploring its vibrant culture and trendy cafes before discovering the countryside. 

Head southeast of Melbourne and enjoy a morning spent at Wilsons Promontory National Park. With its sweeping bay views and lush green vegetation, the park offers so many outdoor activities. You can take your pick from walks, swimming, fishing or kayaking. 

Continue your journey to Lakes Entrance, where you can stroll along the boardwalk or relax on the beach. If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a boat and explore the lake system. 

Make a stop at Bright, nestled in the foothills of the Victorian Alps. Here, you can take a winery tour and sample some of the region’s best wines. Bright is also home to cafes, restaurants and local shops that are perfect for browsing. 

Planning your next budget-friendly road trip

A road trip around Australia can be an affordable and satisfying way to explore. It’s a unique chance to mingle with locals, discover new places, and soak up natural wonders you won’t find anywhere else.

Additionally, the convenience of hiring a campervan or motorhome allows you to set your own pace and linger wherever inspiration strikes. Even if you don’t have an extended period of time, a week or fortnight trip of your liking can do wonders for your soul. 

As they say, it’s not about the destination but the journey itself – make sure you take in every part of your next road trip adventure!