Australian Road Trips: Explorer's Way and Great Ocean Road

Australian Road Trips: Explorer's Way and Great Ocean Road
Both classic driving routes connect travelers to South Australia’s capital city of Adelaide, named one of the world's “Top 10 Cities to Visit” by Lonely Planet's 2014 “Best in Travel” guide. The “Explorer’s Way” commences in Adelaide, crosses through the expansive Outback, and ends in Alice Springs, Northern Territory. The “Great Ocean Road” winds along the stunning, rugged Southwest coast and bridges Adelaide to Melbourne, located in South Australia’s neighboring state of Victoria.


The “Explorer’s Way” showcases the sights and sounds of the authentic Australian Outback, offering a unique expedition into the Flinders Ranges to view the magnificent Wilpena Pound rock formation, the quirky town of Parachilna, and the opal-mining capital Coober Pedy before arriving at Ayres Rock in the Northern Territory.

The 4WD expedition leads adventurers between steep ridges and peaks, narrow tree-lined gorges, and across the rust red soil, juxtaposing unique geological history with an abundance of wildlife. A full day exploring the Flinders National Park includes a scenic flight over the magnificent Wilpena Pound rock formation, followed by excursions to spot an array of native creatures throughout the many gorges and ancient rock bed areas. A rustle in the bushes may reveal an endangered Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby, Red Kangaroo with its joey, or an emu leading its chicks to the creek bed.

The trek along the Oodnadatta Track—with stops in the tiny communities of Parachilna and William Creek—offers an authentic taste of the Outback with lunch at the Prairie Hotel, showcasing its menu of “feral foods,” including such dishes as emu pâté, kangaroo pastrami, and local bushtucker quandong ice cream.

While intrepid travelers are always looking to “unearth” the world’s extraordinary experiences, drivers along the “Explorer’s Way” do just that by exploring the underground opal capital of the world, Coober Pedy. The region has over 70 working opal fields, affording visitors the opportunity to try “noodling” (or fossicking) for opal firsthand on the Desert Cave Tour at the iconic Desert Cave Hotel—an entirely excavated, underground retreat with cave-like sandstone walls.

Itineraries available through Goway, such as the Adelaide to Alice Springs – 9 Day journey, include eight nights’ accommodation, nine day Hertz car hire, co-pilot kit with detailed driving instructions, and maps.


The “Great Ocean Road” is one of the most spectacular coastal drives in the world and offers an incredible road trip for the ultimate Southwest Australian vacation. Peer out at the vivid blue waters and enjoy the unparalleled landscape of rugged cliffs while en route to the Twelve Apostles and the Grampians National Park, two of Victoria’s most idyllic stops..

Gastronomic highlights along the “Great Ocean Road” include visits to the famous wine regions of South Australia. The Fleurieu Peninsula is one of the most picturesque vine-covered locales, perfect for sampling the boutique bottles at McLaren Vale wineries, harvesting fresh seafood, and tasting seasonal produce at local farmers’ markets. A visit to Penola is ideal to explore the best bottles of the Coonawarra wine region, famous for its terra rossa soil that produces Australia’s signature Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz varieties.

Adventurous stops along the Limestone Coast and en route to Adelaide include the impressive Naracoorte Caves World Heritage site for a chance to venture deep underground (or walk the boardwalk) to witness 350,000 year-old fossil beds. Travelers can also pull off to explore Mount Gambier, built on the site of an extinct volcano, to tour the mysterious Blue Lake.

“Great Ocean Road” itineraries are available through Goway, including the 13-day Melbourne to Adelaide Coastal Drive, and offer round-trip air from Los Angeles or Vancouver via Air New Zealand. The package starts at US$2,471/CA$2,697. Price is based per person, double occupancy, and seasonal surcharges as well as blackout dates may apply.

For complete pricing and package information on the “Explorer’s Way” and “Great Ocean Road” self-drive itineraries, visit

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