Lap of the Map: Bucket-List Travel Destinations for all Aussies  | Lets Go Caravan and Camping

Lap of the Map: Bucket-List Travel Destinations for all Aussies 

Category: Inspiration, MDRTNT, News, Date: 28 May 2024

Completing a ‘Lap of the Map’ around Australia is something many of us caravan and camping enthusiasts dream of, right? The ultimate road trip across our great, big, beautiful country. Experiencing true freedom and adventure on the trip of a lifetime. The difficulty in completing a ‘Lap of the Map’ is deciding where to start! Australia has so many spectacular and breathtaking destinations to choose from.

From lush rainforests and green pastures to red desert rock formations and snowy highlands, Australia offers culture, terrain, ecosystems and landscapes that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. To help you plan your ‘Great Aussie Adventure’ and see the most unique corners of our beautiful land, we’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 Lap of the Map destinations that NEED to be on your bucket list. Check them out!

1. The Red Centre, Northern Territory

bucket list lap of the map australia destinations the red centre
Photos: Tourism Australia

A trip to the Red Centre is truly a once-in-a-lifetime, unforgettable experience. Comprising iconic destinations such as Kings Canyon, Alice Springs and Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, this is one stop that should be on everyone’s ‘Lap of the Map’ itinerary. Explore the rich history and ancient aboriginal culture, the clear, star-filled skies and the stunning, natural red rock formations that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

A trip to the Red Centre may seem like a daunting trip and as a result, many often miss out on travelling to the heart of Australia. However, anyone who has made the journey will tell you it is the most worthwhile, rewarding adventure of your life! An added bonus? If you travel to the NT between May 1 and September 30, you could have a chance to win a million bucks! More information here.

Plan the trip of a lifetime to the Red Centre at

2. The Gibb River Road, WA

bucket list australia The Gibb River Road
Photos: Tourism Australia

Known as one of the most ‘iconic’ roads in Australia, the Gibb River Road is a must on any ‘Lap of the Map’. This 600km stretch of mostly unsealed road through the heart of the Kimberley region in WA is considered a mark of true Australian road trip mastery. The journey will take you past some of the most spectacular natural wonders in Australia, including stunning river gorges, cascading waterfalls, fresh water swimming holes and more. The road can often be closed and impassable for much of the year so the Dry Season, May to November is the best time to explore these stunning ranges and waterways.

Some highlights of the Gibb River Road include the Bell Gorge, Windjana Gorge, Pentecost River Crossing and the El Questro Wilderness Park. The breathtaking beauty of the Kimberley is something every Aussie just must see for themselves!

3. The Blue Mountains, NSW

bucket list australia  Blue Mountains
Photos: Tourism Australia

If you’re looking to see the greatest spectacles Australia has to offer, you need to experience the magnificent sandstone ridges of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. Located an easy 90 minutes’ drive from Sydney, this world-heritage listed area offers some of the most enchanting natural beauty, fascinating aboriginal rock art and epic wilderness of any region in Australia. The Blue Mountains region is famous for its unique rock formations, most popularly the ‘Three Sisters’, its intricate cave systems including the world’s oldest ‘Jenolan Caves’ and the breathtaking natural landscape of Jamison Valley.

With countless hikes and walking trails that feature beautiful waterfalls, stunning vistas and unique wildlife, it would easy to spend an unforgettable few days in the area.

4. The Great Barrier Reef, QLD

bucket list australia  Great Barrier Reef
Photos: Tourism Australia

The Great Barrier Reef is one destination that is on the bucket list of most travellers around the world, and we understand why. As the world’s largest coral reef and one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, you just can’t complete a ‘Lap of the Map’ without experiencing this natural gem. The Reef stretches from Australia’s tip, Cape Yorke down to Bundaberg and offers over 3,000 individual reef systems, 400 types of coral and 1,500 fish species. There truly is nowhere else in the world where you can experience such a natural gift.

The Reef can be explored from numerous locations across the East Coast of Queensland, including Cairns, Mackay, Bundaberg and the Whitsunday Islands. Adding to the magnificence of this attraction, the tropical islands of the Great Barrier Reef are often blessed with sparkling turquoise waters, bright white sandy beaches, and untouched national parks that you can enjoy while exploring the area.

5. Nullarbor Plain, South Australia

bucket list australia Nullarbor Plain
Photos: Tourism Australia

Another marker of a Great Australian Road Trip is the Nullarbor Plain in South Australia. Considered one of the world’s greatest adventure drives, no ‘Lap of the Map’ is complete without this challenge. Featuring the longest, straightest and flatest road in Australia, the Nullarbor Plain is your chance to experience the true freedom of the outback and the open road. This adventure has been described as ‘otherworldly’ with unique wildlife, such as wild camels and emus, colourful wildflower carpets and the world’s longest line of dramatic sea cliffs.

You don’t want to miss out on discovering the ‘edge of Australia’, where the outback meets the ocean.

6. The Great Ocean Road, VIC

bucket list australia The Great Ocean Road, VIC
Photos: Tourism Australia

The Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives and provides an abundance of bucket-list worthy stops. Along the 243km stretch, experience rugged beauty, spectacular seaside cliffs and striking vistas. One of the highlights of the Great Ocean Road include the 12 apostles – 12 soaring limestone pillars that are 10-20 million years old. Whether you prefer to swim with the seals and dolphins in Port Phillip Bay or discover the amazing seascape of the Point Addis National Marine Park, this is a must-see attraction on your Lap of the Map.

7. Coral Coast, WA

lap of the map destinations Coral Coast, WA
Photos: Tourism Australia

Described as a kaleidoscope of colour and underwater paradise, Western Australia’s Coral Coast cannot be missed on an adventure around Australia. Experience the crystal-clear waters, the colourful universe of the Ningaloo Reef, the spectacular bubblegum pink lake of Hutt Lagoon, the stunningly unique landscape of Kalbarri National Park and the magnificent Shark Bay Heritage Area where you can swim with dolphins at Monkey Mia Resort.

Ningaloo Reef is one of the largest near-shore reefs in the world, a UNESCO World-Heritage Area and a ‘sparkling gem’ in WA’s crown. From March to September, the Coral Coast is considered the best place in the world to see incredible marine life such as whale sharks, humpback whales, wild dolphins, manta rays, turtles and so much more. Not only is this one of Australia’s greatest drives, but it is also considered one of the greatest road trips on EARTH, so make sure to add it to your itinerary.

8. Kakadu National Park, NT

lap of the map destinations Kakadu National Park, NT
Photos: Tourism Australia

Another of Australia’s stunningly unique, UNESCO world heritage sites is Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory’s Top End. This rugged and remote cultural landscape is home to one of the oldest living cultures on earth, where aboriginal people have lived for more than 65,000 years. The stunning region is filled with ancient rock art, rich history, thundering waterfalls and exotic wildlife. This truly is a bucket-list stop for any adventure around Australia. Explore the lush rainforests, swim in the serene watering holes or spot crocs as you cruise along the Yellow Water Billabong.

9. The Snowy Mountains, NSW

lap of the map destinations The Snowy Mountains, NSW
Photos: Tourism Australia

A full Lap of the Map is not complete without a trip to Australia’s highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko in the Snowy Mountains. Featuring untouched bushland and the pristine streams, the Snowies are unlike any other region in Australia. From dramatic summits and breathtaking ravines to hidden caves and glacial lakes, this alpine paradise is truly unforgettable. For an extra special experience, visit the region between June and October when it transforms into a winter wonderland offering ski adventures, snowboarding and cozy nights around the fire.

10. Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

lap of the map destinations Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
Photos: Tourism Australia

The final, must-see destination on your Aussie adventure bucket-list has got to be the spectacular Cradle Mountain in Tasmania. Imagine dramatic vistas, crisp-clean air, crystal clear lakes, deep river gorges and majestic wilderness, that is what Cradle Mountain has to offer. As part of the greater Tasmania Wilderness World-Heritage Area, Cradle Mountain and Lake Saint Clair National Park is a region of exceptional natural beauty. Amongst the ancient rainforests and striking mountain peaks, what makes a trip to Cradle Mountain truly once-in-a-lifetime is the unique opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy the peace and serenity.

Without a doubt, Australia is home to some of the most spectacular landscapes and attractions in the world. Completing a Lap of the Map is the perfect way to see these unique places. We’ve included some of the destinations we believe should be on everyone’s bucket-list when travelling around Australia but there are many, many more as well!

If you’re completing a Lap of the Map, make sure to tag us on Instagram @letsgocaravanandcamping so we can share your stories!

For more travel inspiration, check out our website.

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