Self Drive

AU Australian Highlights

Australian Highlights. 21 days/20 nights. Start: Sydney - End: Darwin.

  • Day 01: Sydney - Canberra
  • Day 02: Canberra - Merimbula
  • Day 03: Merimbula - Lakes Entrance
  • Day 04: Lakes Entrance - Philip Island
  • Day 05: Philip Island - Melbourne
  • Day 06: Melbourne
  • Day 07: Melbourne - Apollo Bay
  • Day 08: Apollo Bay - Mrt. Gambier/Coonawarra
  • Day 10: Adelaide
  • Day 11: Adelaide - Port Augusta
  • Day 12: Port Augusta - Coober Pedy
  • Day 13: Coober Pedy - Ayers Rock
  • Day 14: Ayers Rock
  • Day 15: Ayers Rock - Alice Springs
  • Day 16: Alice Springs
  • Day 17: Alice Springs - Tennant Creek
  • Day 18: Tennant Creek - Katherine
  • Day 19: Katherine - Kakadu National Park
  • Day 20: Kakadu National Park
  • Day 21: Kakadu National Park - Darwin
day 1

Sydney - Canberra

1 Day

315 km

There is a choice of two driving routes for you to choose from today. The shorter one takes you directly to Canberra via the Hume and Federal Highways. The more scenic but slightly longer route takes you firstly south through the Royal National Park and onto the Grand Pacific Drive with spectacular coastal scenery. Travel across the impressive Sea Cliff Bridge and through rainforests and quaint coastal villages to reach Wollongong. Then join the Hume and Federal Highways to reach Canberra. Canberra is situated in the Australian Capital Territory and is home to many galleries and museums and the artificially created Lake Burley Griffin.

day 2

Canberra - Merimbula

1 Day

335 km

Leave Canberra and travel to Queanbeyan and then the historical village of Braidwood. Continue on through the small township of Nelligen and onto Batemans Bay, a picturesque coastal village. Take the coast road through Broulee to Moruya, and then continue on the Princes Highway to Narooma and the quaint village of Tilba Tilba. There are more coastal roads to explore on your way to Merimbula as you travel via Bermagui and Tathra.

day 3

Merimbula - Lakes Entrance

1 Day

268 km

Travel through Eden and explore the Ben Boyd National Park and Eden Whaling Museum before continuing further. Driving south on the Princes Highway, you will pass Cann River and Orbost, situated on the banks of the Snowy River, before travelling on to Lakes Entrance. Lakes Entrance is a unique area with rivers, lakes and lagoons joining 90 Mile Beach. Explore the nearby village of Metung.

day 4

Lakes Entrance - Philip Island

1 Day

305 km

From Lakes Entrance travel on south to Sale, a supply and residential centre for the Bass Strait oil fields. Pass through Morwell, Leongatha, Inverloch and Wonthaggi. This will take you through lush pastoral hills of the Gippsland region. From Wonthaggi the scenery once again, takes in the southern coast line all the way to Phillip Island, home to Australia's famous Little Penguins. The famous `Penguin Parade' occurs each evening at sunset and should not be missed.


day 5

Philip Island - Melbourne

1 Day

142 km

Leave Phillip Island today and take the short journey into the city of Melbourne. It's only a two hour drive to Melbourne this morning and your journey will take you across the Eastern suburbs of the city.

day 6


1 Day

An entire day for you to explore all that Melbourne has to offer, great shopping, great food and a sensational nightlife.

day 7

Melbourne - Apollo Bay

1 Day

187 km

On leaving Melbourne, cross the West Gate Bridge and take the Princes Highway to Geelong, the largest provincial city in Victoria. From Geelong travel to Torquay, the start of the Great Ocean Road, and recognised as the surfing capital of Australia. Stop at the nearby famous Bells Beach. After Torquay follow the coast road through Anglesea to the picturesque town of Lorne. Make sure you head out of Lorne to the beautiful Erskine Falls. The road winds around the coast between Lorne and Apollo Bay and this stretch of road has been described as one of the most beautiful and breathtaking drives in the world.

day 8

Apollo Bay - Mrt. Gambier/Coonawarra

1 Day

402 km

Today travel through the Otway National Park and continue on the Great Ocean Road. See the amazing rock formations of the Twelve Apostles, which are huge stone pillars sticking out of the surf, carved over time by the ways of the sea. Travelling on past Port Campbell you will see London Bridge - the broken arch. Continuing the ‘Shipwreck Coast’ begins, from Port Campbell and onto Warrnambool and on to Port Fairy. From Port Fairy, travel via Portland along the coast directly to Mount Gambier.

day 9


1 Day

444 km

From Mount Gambier, travel on through Robe and Kingston and towards Adelaide, travelling along the Coorong National Park skirting Lake Albert and Lake Alexandria. Travel to the towns of Tailem Bend and Murray Bridge. From Murray Bridge take the Freeway directly into the heart of Adelaide.

day 10


1 Day

Adelaide is a well planned, attractive city, known in Australia as the City of Churches; there are many fine old colonial buildings around the city and lush green parks. Relax and wander around this beautiful city. Catch the tram down to the beachside suburb of Glenelg with its elegant hotel, boutique restaurants and traditional fish and chip shops. Another option is to take a day tour to Kangaroo Island or to the Barossa Valley.

day 11

Adelaide - Port Augusta

1 Day

317 km

It's a very pleasant drive today out of the city of Adelaide and takes around 4 hours. There are two routes available for this journey. One takes Highway One through Port Pirie. However a more scenic route is to Clare, then onto Gladstone and then Wilmington. The wineries around Clare are well worth a visit. Port Augusta, at the top of Spencer Gulf, is a busy seaport town which is the last major centre along the road linking Western Australia with South Australia.

day 12

Port Augusta - Coober Pedy

1 Day

539 km

Leaving Port Augusta travel north on the Stuart Highway into the real outback and desert of Australia. Travel on to the unique township of Coober Pedy. The name ‘Coober Pedy’ is Aboriginal for ‘white fellow's hole in the ground’. This is extremely appropriate as most of the population live underground in dug-outs to protect them from the severe summer temperatures, often reaching 45C.

day 13

Coober Pedy - Ayers Rock

1 Day

727 km

It’s a long drive so a very early departure. Leaving Coober Pedy, continue travelling north on the Stuart Highway and pass through Kulgera, and then continue north another 75 km to Erldunda and then turn off to Ayers Rock and Yulara Resort. Suggest a tour out to the Rock and just drive slowly around it before heading to “Sunset Strip” to see the famous Ayers Rock.

day 14

Ayers Rock

1 Day

An entire day at leisure to explore all that the region has to offer. Take a walk around the Rock, a visit to the Cultural Centre, a Harley ride around the Rock or a scenic flight. This afternoon try a picnic lunch at the Olgas and a walk through the Valley of the Winds before viewing another spectacular sunset.

day 15

Ayers Rock - Alice Springs

1 Day

456 km

This morning you can see the sunrise over Ayers Rock before leaving Ayers Rock and take the return trip to Alice Springs via the Lasseter and Stuart Highways.

day 16

Alice Springs

1 Day

Enjoy a full day of leisure in Alice Springs today, to explore the attractions and the surroundings areas or to simply rest up after the long drives of the past few days. The Alice Springs Desert Park provides a great opportunity to observe the bird and animal life in the desert, and is well worth a visit.

day 17

Alice Springs - Tennant Creek

1 Day

530 km

Leaving Alice Springs, travel through the small towns of Aileron, Ti Tree and Barrow Creek. 96 kilometres south of Tennant Creek are the Devils Marbles. The Marbles consist of hundreds of huge round boulders, precariously balanced one on top of the other. Tennant Creek has an interesting founding story in that legend has it that the town was formed when a beer wagon broke down and drivers stayed to drink the cargo – and never left!

day 18

Tennant Creek - Katherine

1 Day

673 km

Another long drive and suggest an early start. 24 kilometres out of town is ‘Three Ways’, this is the intersection of the Barkly and Stuart Highways. Continue north through this scrub and desert land to Daly Waters and Mataranka. There are thermal springs at Mataranka, a great spot to stop and relax for a while. From Mataranka it is only 110 kilometres on to Katherine, the major intersection between northern, southern and western routes. The Katherine Gorge is located 30 kilometres from the town centre; here the river flows between towering walls of colour.

day 19

Katherine - Kakadu National Park

1 Day

299 km

Take the included 2 hour Katherine Gorge Cruise this morning. After the cruise depart Katherine heading north approximately 92 kilometres to the small town of Pine Creek. Depart Pine Creek and join the Kakadu Highway. Pass the Mary River Roadhouse before arriving in Cooinda.

day 20

Kakadu National Park

1 Day

This morning take your 1.5 hour cruise on Yellow Waters for views of colourful birdlife and the ever present crocodile. Visit the Bowali Visitor Centre which is 2.5 km from Jabiru. The scenery of Kakadu is dramatic and the area has prolific wildlife and birdlife. In addition, the aboriginal rock art is amongst the finest rock art in the world and there are 120 known galleries in an area of 5 square km on the escarpment, with some paintings carbon dated back 23,000 years. The most accessible sites by road are at Ubirr Rock and Nourlangie Rock.


day 21

Kakadu National Park - Darwin

1 Day

247 km

Depart Kakadu via the Arnhem Highway and pass the Bark Hut Inn, a great spot to take a break for morning tea or a cool drink. En route, take a cruise on the Adelaide River to see the jumping crocodiles or stop at Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre. At Fogg Dam you can also view the prolific birdlife before the final stretch into Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory. Note your car is booked until tomorrow and should be dropped off at the city or airport, by the same time as it was picked up on Day 1, to avoid any additional charges.


- All stays (room + local sales taxes) in hotels accordingly to the chosen categorie and the route.
- Rental car with GPS, adapted to the number of travelers, one driver. Multiple or underage drivers possible with supplement.
- Only for selfdrives as published: roadbook of the route
- Local roadmap or traveling through serveral states: a road atlas
- Travel documentation, such as folders, brochures, and more. *Subject to availability - If not possible, links to downloadable information will be provided.*

Not Included

All services mentioned such as: 

- Passeport and ESTA - charges
- Flights, airport taxes, fuel surcharge, security fee, and more
- Cancellation insurance, travel insurance, luggage insurance, and more.
- Possible costs for a (new) Belgian - European drivers licence, if the current one does not state "Drivers Licence" in English.
- Warrant costs for rental cars, hotels and more.
- Resort fees, Urban fees, Facility fees, and other, which are counted by some hotels and need to be paid locally.
- Fuel for the rental car(s) and parking costs 
- Charges for tollroads en toll bridges
- Admissions to the national parks and attractions, extra excursions, and more.
- All personal spendings (Food & Drinks), souvenirs and more