With the end of the semester approaching, now is the perfect time to start planning some adventures for the holidays. Australia has so much to offer, with some of the best destinations just up the road from universities across the country. So, to celebrate the end of assessments and exams, why not take a short road trip over this uni holiday season. Here are the best places to take a road trip from each state and territory!*
*If you don’t have your own car, consider a rental from JUCY Car & Campervan Hire.
There are plenty of exciting destinations only a few hours’ drive from Canberra, like Bateman’s Bay on the coast if what you’re after is some sun, surf, and sand. Or, if you’d rather connect with a different kind of nature, Kangaroo Valley is less than three hours away and boasts beautiful waterfalls.
If you’ve been studying in Canberra but want a change of pace over your uni holidays, consider taking a drive up north to the heart of the big city in Sydney. From Circular Quay to The Rocks, to all the incredible arts and cultural attractions, there’s so much to see and do in Sydney. Make it a two day trip and stay overnight at Veriu Central to have easy access to the entire city.
Alternatively, if you’re from Sydney and want a countryside get away, it’s less than a three hour drive to the beautiful Blue Mountains where you can stay in luxury at the Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley Resort. Here you can enjoy a rest by the fireside in a private villa, situated amongst 7,000 acres of protected wilderness. Bring some friends and try the myriad of activities the resort offers, like swimming, horse riding, and 4WD safaris. And don’t forget to enjoy the gourmet meals offered by the resort’s restaurants.
If you’re based in Sydney or Northern NSW you might also consider taking a road trip to Newcastle for their annual pride festival which runs until the 6th of November. What better way to celebrate the end of exams than at the Pride Fair Day and after party on the 5th!
Further north, or as a road trip south of the Queensland border, spend a weekend in Byron Bay to hit the beach and soak in the eclectic atmosphere. If you want to stay overnight, The Oasis Apartments and Tree Houses offer a relaxing retreat surrounded by nature, the perfect place to destress after a long semester. You can even get a discount if you use the promotion code GALTA!
For those studying in Darwin, it’s only a short two and a half hour to Bamurru Plains, a safari lodge by Wild Bush Luxury. At Bamurru Plains, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a nature documentary. A no-tech resort, it offers a chance to really unplug and relax. Or, if you want a holiday but would rather skip the drive, try a staycation at Palms City Resort along the coastline of Darwin.
If you’re based in Alice Springs for your studies, you can take a short day trip to hike through the East MacDonnell Ranges. Or, bring your friends and drive an hour out to Arltunga Historical Reserve to explore the old ghost town, a relic of a gold rush in the 1930s.
If you want to take a break from your studies in coastal central Queensland, there’s nowhere better for a holiday than the Whitsundays. From universities in Mackay, Townsville, and Rockhampton, the Whitsundays are within three to five hours driving along the coast; stop into small towns on your way through to break up the drive and support some local businesses. Stay in an island resort on Hamilton Island or find accommodation on the mainland in Airlie Beach and take day trips out to the Whitsunday Islands. For a luxury stay in Airlie Beach, consider Water’s Edge Resort. Alternatively, stay at Magnums Accommodation to get a feel for the local culture and a taste of the Airlie Beach nightlife, all at an affordable price.
Anyone finishing up a semester in Cairns can take a short drive up the coast to Turtle Cove Beach Resort, an adults-only resort for the LGBTQIA+ community and allies. Continue your road trip north to Port Douglas and stay at Meridian Port Douglas or Mediterranean Port Douglas, both only a short walk from restaurants and shops. Otherwise, head south instead and visit the cute coastal town of Mission Beach. Find your perfect accommodation, from holiday cottages to bungalows, with Mission Beach Holidays.
If you’re studying further south in Queensland, consider a road trip to the beautiful Sunshine Coast. Spend a few days by the beach with a stay at Sandcastles Mooloolaba or The Lookout Resort in Noosa, or adventure in the hinterland and explore the mountainous scenery from the Montville Misty View Cottages or Glass on Glasshouse.
Finally, consider driving south from Queensland into northern New South Wales to experience the beauty of the Tweed Valley at Mt. Warning Estate, located in the foothills of the Wollumbin National Park.
From Adelaide, celebrate the end of your semester by driving an hour into the gorgeous Barossa Valley to experience protected nature, exquisite Australian wine, and an escape from the city. Gather a group of friends and stay at Benbullen Retreat, a luxury homestead with five bedrooms and space for up to ten guests.
From any university in Tasmania, take a drive through the state’s beautiful scenery to stay in the heart of Tasmania at Cedar Cottage Meander. This is a perfect destination if you’re passionate about the environment, located near World Heritage wilderness and with an emphasis on being eco-friendly. If you’re a foodie, Cedar Cottage offers a dining experience with fresh Tasmanian produce. Enjoy local arts, culture, and cafes in the nearby town of Deloraine or take part in outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, and caving.
For anyone finishing up their studies in Melbourne, there are lots of road trips to get out of the city after completing a long semester. Drive a couple of hours down to the scenic Phillip Island and stay at Amaroo Park Phillip Island. With its central location, you’ll have access to the best of shops and natural scenery. If you would rather go north into the mountains than to the beach, The Trawool Estate in Victoria’s High Country is a perfect road trip destination from Melbourne. This is a great trip for foodies, with a restaurant serving farm-to-table dishes made with local produce.
Drive out towards the Yarra Valley and spend a few nights at Araluen Boutique Accommodation, where you can treat yourself to an in-room spa, a BBQ, and a stroll through the landscaped gardens. Or head west to Daylesford, known as the capital of Victoria’s Spa Country, and immerse yourself in a lavish getaway at Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel.
If you’re studying at one of the many universities in Perth, there are plenty of road trips you can take to celebrate the end of assessments. Drive out to Mount Helena and stay at Amaroo Retreat & Spa where you’ll have access to the gorgeous scenery at Lake Leschenaultia, Wooroloo Regional Park, and guided nature walks through Karakamia Sanctuary. Or head a few hours south to the wine region of Margaret River. If you want to stay in town, consider spending a night or two at Margarets Forest Holiday Apartments, which is within walking distance to local shops, cafes, and galleries. For something a little more out in nature, Tree Chalets provides private accommodation with outdoor baths and wood fires, settled amongst 90 acres of bushland. Or, stay at Tanah Marah’s beautiful lakeside accommodation.
With so many options awaiting you, submit that final assignment, pack your bags, and get on the road to some of the best destinations Australia has to offer.