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Driving Holidays Inland - Part 1

By:
David Chandraraj
 

Australia is a huge country with a wide range of landscapes and climates from the tropical north to the cool forests of Tasmania. If you are driving, there are many options inland, each with their own qualities. Catering for either active holidays or a relaxed exploration of nature, we have compiled some of our favourite inland destinations that offer variety to every type of traveller.   

Litchfield National Park, NT (90 min drive from Darwin)

With a sealed road into and through the National Park, this is one of the easiest places to visit. While you can rush through in a single day, we suggest two full days to see the waterfalls, swim in some of the designated waterholes (except for temporary closures due to crocodiles or high waters) and take in nature slowly. There are several bushwalking options, and the termite mounds are a must see. If you plan to stay overnight, there are 2WD and 4WD camping options or some accommodation near Bachelor, which is on the most popular route to enter the Park. Dry season is from May to October with lower levels of humidity, dry sunny days, and cool nights. Wet season between November and April can have increased humidity, higher temperatures, rains, and storms. It does, however, bring with it a different experience – light shows of afternoon thunderstorms, swelling rivers and waterfalls, and beautiful landscapes and wildlife. 

Dubbo Region, NSW (Just under 5-hour drive from Sydney)

While the western plains Zoo seems to be the major draw card and worth visiting, Dubbo region offers a thriving regional centre and a diverse collection of towns and villages on the quintessential road trip in the Aussie outback. For those who seek some active exploration, history, art & culture, natural beauty, relaxation or even an opportunity to observe planets and stars at the Dubbo observatory - you can find something in the region. For wine lovers, Mudgee is only 90 min drive from Dubbo centre and suitable for a day trip. Wellington, which is 45 min away, is a charming town with history and natural beauty. Wellington caves and walking trails can keep you active or wondering the marvels of our prehistoric past. Within about an hour’s drive there are some historic towns such as Gulgong (a 19th century gold rush town), Stuart Town or Canowindra that has the Age of Fishes Museum. For the zoo trip, we recommend hiring bicycles to ride around the zoo, if you are able to do so!  

Grampians National Park / Gariwerd, VIC (3-hour drive from Melbourne or 5 hours from Adelaide)

A popular destination for recreation and tourism since the mid-19th century, Grampians appeals to campers, bush walkers, hikers, rock climbers or simply if you are interested in spectacular views of the sandstone mountains, wildflowers, and waterfalls. You can swim with a backdrop of mountains either at Lake Bellfield (10 min drive from Halls Gap) near the picnic area or in the Venus Baths swimming holes (easy stroll from Halls Gap). Many of the hiking trails lead to spectacular lookouts and some of them lead you to waterfalls or Aboriginal rock art, some of which date back over 20,000 years. We would recommend 2-3 days to cover a wide range of lookouts and waterfalls and check out the Brambuk Cultural Centre to learn about thousands of years of history and culture of Gariwerd.  Grampians is one of the oldest wine regions and Grampians Grape Escape is a food and wine festival held in early May every year in the village of Halls Gap, a gateway to the National Park. We would recommend visiting in Autumn or spring to take advantage of the mild weather. 

Scenic Rim (About 90 min drive from Brisbane) 

With more than 30,000 acres of parkland, the Scenic Rim region has breathtaking scenery and is in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. There are many small villages with their own characteristics in this region. Throughout you will find farmstays, camping grounds, hidden country cottages or glamping options for accommodation. In terms of exploring the region, driving is the best way to get a sense of what nature has to offer in this region and walks along some of the trails provide the opportunity to spend time together in the outdoors regardless of skill level. Apart from easy walks, there are many outdoor adventure options such as trail running, mountain biking, horse riding, rock-climbing and off-road 4WD driving. Be sure to enjoy the culinary culture of the region with local fresh produce from surrounding farms. This is one of those places you would want to visit more than once and enjoy what it offers in portions. 

(From the 6th of March 2022 a massive 22 farms and producers from across the Scenic Rim are welcoming visitors!)

 

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