There’s something about travel that truly brings out the adventurous side in people. From the free-spirited feeling of getting lost in nature and the accomplishment of navigating your way through an unfamiliar destination to the joy of finding a new hobby you love, the road is truly the place to ‘find yourself’ and push yourself beyond your boundaries.

For outdoor lovers, our nation’s open roads hold plenty of delightful activities. If want to build in some fresh-air pit stops on your next road trip, here’s a list of Australia’s best road trip routes for the outdoorsy types.

The hills are alive

That they are, and you will be too after some much-needed R&R in the mountains. Australia has so many incredible mountainous draw cards to explore, so why not partake in a spot of hiking or bushwalking to be ‘at one’ with nature? Be sure to stay on the hiking trails with good signage and make sure you have the essentials – a sturdy pair of hiking or walking shoes, a map, some warm clothes to protect against the elements and plenty of snacks. Hiking is a great way to get your fix of mountain air, get your heart pumping, and is a chance to see some stunning scenery.

Starting small? Why not drive to the mysterious Hanging Rock, located just an hour from Melbourne in the stunning Macedon Ranges? It’s a popular, well-outlined hike for amateurs with exceptional scenery and an eerie history to boot! For more ideas, check out our interview with Neil Fahey, an expert who gave lots of tips for bushwalking in Australia.

Don’t be afraid to rough it

Aussies really are a nation of campers. So many of us love nothing more than packing the car with the essentials and setting up camp in a natural landscape away from the hustle and bustle. When Daryl Kerrigan of The Castle said “how’s the serenity…not a sound”, he was truly speaking to the converted. Of course, it goes without saying that for safety’s sake, you should always camp in designated camping spots, and luckily for us our nation is brimming with them.

There’s something about pitching your tent, rolling out the swag and falling asleep under the stars that is so energising. Plus, a cooked breakfast and warm cuppa from your stove is a great thing to wake up to. Being in the elements, no matter where you are gets pretty chilly at night. Make sure the boot is filled with extra blankets, warm clothes, spare fuel, and plenty of food and water (plus thongs for those questionable camping ground showers!)

Australia is full of idyllic camping spots, so it was hard for us to recommend just one.
The views from the Flinders Ranges, smack bang in the centre of South Australia, is a dream for both bushwalkers and campers alike and waking up to a breakfast grill at Wilpena Pound
camping site is getting back to nature at its finest.

Dive right into new skills

Who doesn’t love our coastline? From the immense Indian Ocean off Western Australia to the pristine Pacific waters of the East Coast and everything in between, the waterscapes surrounding our country offer a smorgasbord of new activities for young and old alike.

Why not take the plunge and book a surfing or scuba diving lesson? You could also have a go at stand-up paddleboarding or explore the underwater world with your snorkel kit. If you’d prefer to stay dry, get your hands on some fishing equipment and throw a line in – Dad or Grandpa would be more than happy to show you the ropes.

The Great Barrier Reef is undoubtedly the ultimate hotspot for exploring the deep blue sea that surrounds Australia, and tropical Cairns is a brilliant base for exploring the surrounding coastline by car.

Keen to catch some waves and discover your inner Point Break style surfie? Yallingup, in the Margaret River region of Western Australia has an exceptional swell, and is a coastal favourite for both amateurs and experienced boardies alike. The journey through the famous Margaret River wine region is magical any time of the year.

The sheer vastness of outdoor activities on offer, no matter where you are in Australia, is a testament to how much we love the outdoors, and Thrifty’s expert team are ready to get you there with our exceptional range of vehicles for your next road trip.