While driving in Australia you will sometimes come across a simple white shield with just the number ‘1' painted on it. When you do, stop for a moment, and ponder the fact that you are on one of the longest continuous road systems in the whole word. Highway One, as it is called, circumnavigates the whole of the Australian continent and also contains a spur on Tasmania. It does not necessarily represent the shortest route around the continent as it was designed to take in as many large population centres as possible.
A drive around the length of Highway One will include:
- All the Australian State and Territory Capitals (Darwin, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart - if you include the Tasmanian spur) as well as the national capital ( Canberra ).
- Plenty of the kind of sights, sounds and scenery that Australia is famous for.
- An unforgettable and epic driving experience!
Since Highway One is a circular route (of about 15 000 kilometres) you can basically start anywhere and work your way around. Just keep the fact that parts of the outback are unbearably hot during the high summer in mind when planning your itinerary.
So what do you need to drive around Australia on Highway One?
- Time: You will need at least six to eight weeks to really make the trip worthwhile. Anything shorter will mean that you will be more or less constantly behind the wheel. You should therefore only plan to do the 'big one' if you are able to visit Australia for an extended period.
- Proper Equipment: You will have to spend quite a few nights in campsites on the route. You should therefore make sure that you are properly kitted out for the experience.
- A reliable vehicle: Getting stuck in the outback because of mechanical trouble is no laughing matter. Make sure that the vehicle that you intend to take around would be suitable for this purpose before leaving! One way to acquire a good vehicle is to buy a car and then to sell it immediately after the trip. This will almost certainly work out cheaper than renting a car for the duration of your trip. There are several firms that rent out campervans for those who want to travel in style. However, renting one for six to eight weeks may be quite expensive.