Where to plan a road trip this Autumn

Autumn is a wonderful season to go on a road trip and enjoy the crisp air and changing leaf colours along the way.

The weather in autumn is one of the key reasons to take a road trip at this time of year. Here are four trips to enjoy in different states of Australia.

Valley and Vines Touring Route, Queensland

The parts of Queensland that fall between the coast and the outback often miss out on attention. This touring route takes in the Darling Downs, Granite Belt and Scenic Rim regions of Queensland.

It’s a scenic journey where you’ll drive by ancient rainforests, artistic communities, old dairy farms, as well as some of the best wineries in Queensland. Start to the south of Brisbane, head towards Warwick and then loop your way around to the north through the Blackall Ranges and down into the Sunshine Coast.

Rainforest Way, NSW

Rainforest Way is in northern New South Wales. Rather than a complete road trip, Rainforest Way is a series of interconnected detours around the towns of Lismore, Murwillumbah and Nimbin, passing through National Parks including Nightcap and Wollumbin.

There are seven of the routes all up, and you’ll find some of them across the border in Queensland. It’s a magical road trip, dotted with charming towns, farming communities and heavy rainforest.

Great Alpine Road, Victoria

Get the best of the mountains or the beach on the Great Alpine Road. If you time this trip properly, you’ll get to see both the stunning seasonal change of colour in Bright, as well as enjoy a final dip in the ocean on the other side of the mountains in Gippsland.

After driving up the Hume Highway, spend the first night in Bright. This delightful town on the Ovens River is famous for its deciduous trees, which coat the town in red leaves come autumn. Wind your way up into the mountains on the Great Alpine Road. Omeo is only a couple of hours away, but between Bright and Omeo is access to Alpine National Park. You can also detour along Bogong Alpine Way, which will add a few hours’ to the trip to Omeo.

Meander out of the mountains towards Bairnsdale — a gateway to the Gippsland Lakes — then head up to Croajingolong National Park or towards Ninety Mile Beach.

Indian Ocean Drive, Western Australia

Those of us on the east coast can sometimes find it hard to get to Western Australia. But if you visit, the Indian Ocean Drive is worth the trip. It covers a huge section of the coast, from Perth to Exmouth, where you’ll find Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia’s answer to the Great Barrier Reef. There’s no need to rush as there’s plenty to see. Highlights include Kalbarri National Park, Shark Bay Marine Park, the Pinnacles, Cape Range National Park and the coastal towns along the way.