How to Plan A Coast to Coast Trip of Australia

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How to Plan A Coast to Coast Trip of Australia

When the weekend comes around, it’s a great Australian tradition to wind down the windows, blast some tunes, and cruise down the highway.

The great Aussie road trip is a time-honoured tradition that we all undertake. In fact, data from Real Insurance has revealed their customers plan to drive over 10,500 km on average per year. To put that in perspective, that’s more than the distance to drive from Brisbane to Perth via Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide and all the way back. That’s a lot of driving!

Even in winter, there are plenty of sunny destinations to visit in Australia. It doesn’t matter if you’re going West to East, North to South, or any other point on the compass. The basics remain the same, and the best way to make the most of it is to plan your trip ahead of time.

Planning your route

How to Plan A Coast to Coast Trip of Australia

Planning your route not only means that you’ll be able to get the most out of your trip, but the act of searching for the sights you want to see will allow you to get the lay of the land better. Using sites like Trip Plan, you can get a brief overview of the direction, and a simple search on Trip Advisor allows you to take a look at the most popular destinations wherever your route takes you.

Some people prefer to keep things light and easy on planning at the itinerary level, but even then you’ll need to ‘prepare to be unprepared’ by packing and budgeting correctly, and making sure any unexpected circumstances don’t throw the whole trip into disarray.

Packing essentials for car maintenance

How to Plan A Coast to Coast Trip of Australia

As part of your travel essentials, you’ll need the basic long-distance travel items (clothes, food, water, toiletries, phones, power, and a sense of adventure), but you should always save space for some basic maintenance equipment for your car.

No matter where you’re heading, there’ll be stretches of nothingness across the horizon, with no stops or people to be found for kilometres. If you’re unlucky to break down during one of these moments, the absolute last thing you want to is to be unprepared and reliant on luck.

For that reason, before you even consider taking a road trip, make sure you’ve got these essentials covered:

  • A first aid kit: Snake bites, splinters, or just a sprained ankle; life on the road is no different from life at home, but without neighbours or access to other people if you’re in a remote location. If there’s an emergency, you need something to keep you safe until emergency services can arrive (which could take anywhere from minutes to hours).


  • An LED flashlight or road reflector: Broken down at night? You’ll need something to get the attention of other drivers, who could potentially crash into a stationary car or not notice somebody in need of help.


  • An empty jerry can, jumper cables, and a spare tyre: These are all for the eventuality of an easily solvable car failure, but one that requires parts. A jerry can, means that you can siphon fuel or bring some back from a petrol station to your car, jumper cables will allow a good Samaritan to help you out with a power situation, and a spare tyre ensures that a sharp rock won’t be the reason your road trip gets cancelled prematurely.

Sights to see on an Australian road trip

How to Plan A Coast to Coast Trip of Australia

The best way to find the sights to see is to figure out where you’re going (or your end destination), and then cruise the options along the way. Take a look at destination sites such as Trip Advisor, Australian Traveller and can help you get a feel for your trip if you’re stuck for destinations. If you’re feeling more spontaneous keep an eye out for famous landmarks and attractions while you cruise the highway with a sense of adventure.

Remember not to jam-pack too much into your trip, or any slight inconvenience will mean that you’ll be behind for days on end and might need to skip parts you’d rather not. Instead, allow yourself to have some downtime – then, if a certain attraction catches your eye, you can stay there for a couple of days, or take a load off after a long drive and take a breather for a day.

Remember that while an Australian road trip can be a lot of work, escaping into the natural splendour of this great land is an experience you cannot afford to miss. So get planning and have the adventure of a lifetime!


Tatiana Day is a dedicated mum of three beautiful children who keep her on her toes!

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