Whether you are an Aussie looking for a reason to explore your own backyard or someone who has never visited Australia before, you'll find there are plenty of reasons to rent a car and hit the road. From busy cities to remote, outback towns - Australia is a land of contrasts. Crossing the country would involve a journey of almost 4000km by road - here are some of the things you may discover along the way.
Australia's iconic outback is one of the main reasons that visitors choose to explore the country by road. Expanding thousands of kilometres and encompassing five states, the quirky towns and strange landscapes of the outback are truly unique. One of the best places to experience the outback is in one of New South Wales' most famous towns - Broken Hill. Visit the ghost town of Silverton and catch an unforgettable sunset at the Living Desert.
If Australia's outback is the main reason why people visit, the country's stunning coastline is not far behind. It is easy to see why such a large percentage of Australia's population lives along the coast when you visit coastal areas like Tasmania's Bay of Fires and Western Australia's Cape Le Grand. You'll struggle to choose a favourite beach in Australia, but the rocky shores of the Great Ocean Road and the palm-lined beaches of Far North Queensland that skirt the Great Barrier Reef might come close.
A road trip to Australia is not like driving anywhere else in the world. You can go hours without seeing a sign of a town, and the only thing passing you on the open highways are the massive road trains. To really feel like you are in the middle of nowhere, consider crossing the Nullarbor from South Australia to Western Australia, or follow the famous Stuart Highway through the heart of the country.
While there may be fewer cities in Australia compared to other countries, each of Australia's major metropolitan centres has its own unique character. There is much more to discover beyond the busy harbour in Sydney and the graffiti-covered laneways in Melbourne. From the colourful 'River City' of Brisbane to the churches and unique architecture of Adelaide, you'll find plenty of great attractions in Australia's cities. To see one of the country's best city skylines, visit the glamorous Gold Coast.
While some of Australia's islands are off limits to rental cars, others you can actually include on your road trip itinerary. Explore the popular Kangaroo Island, or watch the penguins come ashore at Victoria's Phillip Island. In Far North Queensland, some companies allow you to visit the picturesque Magnetic Island, while in Tasmania you can sometimes travel to Bruny Island.
Drive for long enough in Australia and you never know what wildlife you might see. Kangaroos are common, and in the outback you'll see plenty of emus travelling in large groups. You'll be lucky to catch a glimpse of the elusive cassowary in Far North Queensland, but along the Great Ocean Road, you may be able to spot a koala in the trees.
Australia is not short of a national park. With hundreds on offer, it's simply impossible to visit them all. Choose from classics like the Daintree National Park, the Blue Mountains National Park or the famous Uluru- Kata Tjuta National Park. To experience the natural side of Australia, visiting the parks is the best way. It's also a good idea to include some of Australia's less-visited parks - like the picturesque Wollemi National Park or Albany's Torndirrup National Park.
Australia is home to one of the world's oldest living cultures. Across the country, you can easily visit sacred cultural sites and see examples of Aboriginal rock art. One of the best places to learn more about the Aboriginal people is Kakadu, with fascinating areas like Nourlangie and Ubirr easily accessible to visitors.