Winter Road Trip Ideas to Take Away the Chill


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With the summer sun having headed on its own vacation, we’re rounding up our top ideas for winter road trips so you can join in on the fun! Wherever you are in Australia, there’s an awesome winter road trip just waiting for you, and what a great way to shake off the cold.

Before we dive in, how confident are you in your packing skills? Find some great packing car trip holiday tips here. You might also want to check out the 5 holiday road trip hacks everyone should know. Now, let’s jump straight into our favourite winter road trips! 

This image shows an icy pine tree in front of a road with a car on it that is doing a winter road trip vacation.

Vacationing in Victoria, our top winter road trip

The incredibly popular and serenely scenic Great Ocean Road is a must mention vacation getaway.

What we love is that this stretch of road offers so many beautiful spots to stop off that you can really make this trip work for you. You can take it slow and visit each of the beautiful towns and lookout points. Or, you can make it a weekend winter road trip to one particular spot. 

You’ll be sure to experience some of the most incredible coastlines Australia has to offer while exploring the 243km of road. There are plenty of lookouts and towns along the road so plan ahead where you want to stay over so you can get the most out of this winter road trip.

Interestingly, this road was built by soldiers after they returned home and it’s dedicated to those who bravely fought in World War I. Be sure to take a few months of silence to breath it all in and say thank you.

PS: Remember to check out these Top Tips for Protecting Your Car from Winter Weather before you set off!

This image shows the ocean with interesting rocks that you might see on a winter road trip vacation.

Whale watching in Western Australia

If you’ve never experienced the miracle that is whale watching, why not consider a winter road trip to Albany, the whale watching capital of Australia. 

With several protected whale watching viewpoints, you’ll get to experience some beautiful coastline scenery. Just note that the whale watching season is between June and October. So if that’s what piques your interest then you can plan for that timing – which is right now! 

The history of this place is wonderfully rich and you’ll even find a museum in one of the former whale stations. Luckily it’s been out of production for a very long time because commercial whaling was banned way back in 1978.

You can find some more West Coast Australia road trip ideas here.

This image shows a whale's tail in the ocean, something that you might see on a winter road trip vacation.

Away from whales and towards New South Wales 

If you’re into nature and live anywhere near NSW then this winter road trip is the perfect vacation. The Blue Mountains is an wonderful winter road trip idea, packed with exquisite mountain paths to explore on foot. 

If you’re up for an adventure then you’re in the right place because you’ll find some uniquely fabulous activities here. If you enjoy galivanting after dark then try spotting glow worms in the underground caves. Otherwise there’s plenty of walking paths to explore the natural beauty of the endless vistas which are sure to take your breath away. 

And if you’d prefer to catch your breath on a quiet retreat, you can indulge in the more luxurious side of the Blue Mountains with a wilderness retreat. It’s hard to go past Love Cabins – look at these amazing photos.

PS: No matter which route you choose, make sure you bring snacks for the drive; here’s the best healthy practical car snacks for kids.

A winter road trip for the foodies in South Australia

If you’re a foodie then you’ve probably already heard of the Prairie Hotel in the Flinders Ranges. Now is the time to make it your vacation destination on a wonderful winter road trip.

This historic hotel was originally opened in 1876! That’s wild, and even wilder when you see what it looks like. At the Prairie Hotel you’ll find an on-site gourmet restaurant, bar and an art gallery. And if that doesn’t sound like enough of an adventure, well there’s more. It’s ideally located for exploring the Flinders Ranges, the largest mountain range in South Australia.

Here are the 10 best things to do while you’re in this world-renowned area.

An unassuming winter road trip in Tasmania

You might not be familiar with Cradle Mountain in Tasmania. If you’re not, it’s definitely time to be… It’s the sixth tallest moment in Tasmania and offers breathtaking scenery and adventure.

Cradle Mountain has a lot to offer, like the gorgeous Dove Lake. First time and hardcore hikers alike love this spot because there’s a bunch of beautiful hiking trails and it’s filled with wildlife. You’ll be able to see wombats, echidnas and, if you’re lucky, a platypus or Tasmanian devil!

If that’s not hair-raising enough for you, well what about a 65km walk through the Tasmanian wilderness? Yes, that’s a long walk; in fact it’ll see you through six days of exploring beautiful, natural world heritage.

Check out these unmistakable signs you’re driving in Australia (yes, some are quirky).

Dipping into the divine in Queensland

There’s something special about waterfalls, and if you agree that a picnic spot surrounded by spectacular waterfalls is time well spent then look no further than Cedar Creek.

This spot is less of a getaway adventure and more a day trip. With an abundance of wildlife, you’ll find beautiful rock pools with fish, turtles, lizards, butterflies and a whole lot more. 

And if you’d like to add a bit more to your journey, Conway National Park is right around the corner. You’ll find a peaceful coastal park with rainforest-clad hills, secluded beaches and panoramic outlooks, perfect for a winter road trip getaway. 

This image shows a platypus in a lake, something that you might see on a winter road trip vacation.

Do none of these destinations do it for you? Check out our list of family road trip destinations, plus our ultimate Australian road trip ideas for even more! We’ve even listed more of our favourite winter weekend getaways that are perfect to get you ready for spring.

Wherever you go, go safely

One of the best things about car insurance is no matter where you go it travels with you. So you can adventure far and wide with the comfort of car insurance. 

At PD we have plenty of options so you can find the right fit, starting with comprehensive car insurance offering you the most protection. Then we have its younger siblings, Third Party Fire and Theft and Third Party Property Damage.

Our three cost-effective policies give you the flexibility to choose what works best for your budget and individual needs. 

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