6 Great Road Trips

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We recently picked the brains of some travel bloggers to find 5 Great Road Trips. We got some great feedback on other great road trips that we left off.

Kellie Netherwood @DestnUnknown

Kellie Netherwood (@DestnUnknown) from mydestinationunknown.com

Western Australia: Coast & Outback

Nature's Window, Kalbarri Gorge, Western Australia

Nature’s Window, Kalbarri Gorge, Western Australia

If Western Australia were a country, it would be the tenth largest in the world. It’s size and diversity makes it an ideal road trip destination for both those with time on their hands or those after an adventure that fits into a shorter time frame. A two-week itinerary I recently enjoyed begins and ends in Perth and captures the essence of Australia’s largest state in under 5,000 km and two weeks on the road.

It provides the perfect contrast between coast and outback, beginning along the dramatic west coast, turning inland towards Karijini National Park and returning to Perth through characteristic outback towns. It showcases the state’s diversity with dramatic sunrise and sunsets, hiking opportunities, contrasting and constantly changing landscapes and swimming and snorkelling opportunities. Karijini is the main attraction, possessing all the characteristics of the iconic Australian outback: unsealed and dusty roads, gum trees reaching to the skies, spinifex carpeting the red soil, kangaroos hopping across the landscape, night skies filled with stars or lightning displays and a deafening but therapeutic silence.

Erik Smith @eriksmithdotcom Dick Jordan (@eriksmithdotcom) from onmyfeetorinmymind.com/

New Zealand’s South Island

New Zealand Sunset

New Zealand Sunset

You can’t go anywhere fast while road tripping on New Zealand’s South Island, and the reason isn’t the condition of the roads. A rough circle of the South Island runs a little over 2,300 kms, but the possibilities of drifting off that route and finding so much surreal beauty that filmmakers have often used this as a setting for fictional lands. Fortunately, it is a real country with gorgeous mountains, sheltered coves, countless hiking possibilities, friendly little towns, and more adventure sports than one thought possible. The southeast corner of the island holds the still undiscovered beauty of The Catlins, with it’s lighthouses and waterfalls, and the southwestern corner features the famous Milford Sound Road. Up in the north, near Nelson and Blenheim, is the heart of New Zealand’s world famous wine industry. So much of the drive is close to the ocean, offering sunrises and sunsets over the ocean. While sparsely populated, a rebuilding Christchurch and underrated Dunedin offer plenty for the urban dwellers. The real pleasure of the island is the ability to follow just about any road and find unspeakable, unspoiled beauty, and plenty of friendly and welcoming faces when you return to civilization.

Chris: The North Island isn’t too shabby either.

Dick Jordan (@talestold) from talestoldfromtheroad.com

Canadian Rocky Mountains

Pyramid Mountain

Pyramid Mountain

“Get off the road.”

“Just get off “The Damned Road.”

That’s way “The Cowboy” said I should do.

I would have gotten an entirely different perspective on the Canadian Rocky Mountains if I had ditched my rental car, climbed on a horse, and followed him into the backcountry.

But if “The Damned Road” didn’t exist, I would have never met “The Cowboy,” nor would I have been able to easily reach that section of the mountainous spine that runs north from New Mexico to British Columbia.

And I did get out from behind the wheel, now and again, to let my legs take me to where the scenery was even more spectacular than that visible through the windshield.

Chris: This is definitely one of my favorite routes. I have driven all or part of the road from Banff to Jasper 3 times and it never gets old.

Andrea (@destinationeu) from rearviewmirror.tv

Northern Germany

Berlin's Brandenburg Gate

Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate

There are countless options for road trips around Germany. You can do a self-drive tour of Germany’s famous castles or drive the Romantic Road but one of my favourite trips is a road trip across Northern Germany which takes you from Cologne to Berlin past World Heritage listed sites (Cologne Cathedral,
Town Hall and Roland on the Marketplace of Bremen, Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin), Hanseatic cities, hipster neighbourhoods and great shopping boulevards. The route you take will depend on your travel style but there are some amazing cities to stop at along the way before finishing in dynamic Berlin. I suggest an itinerary for driving in Northern Germany that includes Cologne, Dusseldorf, Muenster, Osnabrueck, Bremen, Hamburg, Rostockm, Warnemuende, Potsdam, and Berlin.

Chris: I have not driven this all as one trip but have been to most of these cities over the course of 4 trips. See the Cathedral in Cologne, take in Carnival in Dusseldorf, check out the statue of The Bremen Town Musicians, visit the palace of Frederick the Great in Potsdam. All great stops.

Catherine (@TheGoFever) from thegofever.com

US Route 1 in Florida

Florida Keys

Florida Keys

Driving down US Route 1 from Miami through the Florida Keys is a breathtaking experience. With bikers in tow, you’ll first pass through Key Largo, then Islamorada, and the mile markers will keep descending until you’ve reached the cool and very crazy home of mile marker 0: tropical Key West.
Dividing the Atlantic Ocean from the Gulf of Mexico, the road passes through tiny villages, shell shacks and countless snorkeling opportunities, until reaching Seven Mile Bridge, an engineering marvel where you’ll most likely feel like you’re driving on the ocean itself. The abandoned old bridge, now in ruins, is an eerily impressive sight, and makes for an even more memorable drive.
The route takes about 3 hours 1/2, but who’s in a rush? Be sure to stop by a seafood joint to munch on conch fritters, and embrace the kitsch and laid-back vibe of this one-of-a-kind part of America.

 Chris Chirstensen (@chris2x) from AmateurTraveler.com

Blue Ridge Parkway

Black Balsam Knob in autumn

Black Balsam Knob in autumn

It is billed as “America’s Favorite Drive” and more than one of you said we should have included it in our list of great road trips. It was built during the Great Depression to help the Appalachian region through tourism dollars. The Blue Ridge Parkway meanders for almost 500 miles through North Carolina and Virginia along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is a road for savoring, not for making time. Stop at the vista points as often as you can to enjoy the rolling hills. What can you call a National Park that was intended to be enjoyed from the road but quintessentially American. 

6 Great Road Trips

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by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

2 Responses to “6 Great Road Trips”



Great article and beautiful Road Trip photos, especially “Florida Keys”, there is some magic if that photo.:)

Kellie Netherwood (@DestnUnknown)


Thanks for including my Western Australian road trip suggestion Chris. And I love the other inclusions, looks like I need to revisit my bucket list…especially New Zealand!

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