Australian Traveller’s first-ever Readers’ Choice Awards for 2011; results for Best Road Trip in Australia. THE WINNER:

GREAT OCEAN ROAD
Over a third of readers voted for this stretch of bitumen between Geelong and Portland on Victoria’s coast. It cuts through Great Otway National Park, taking in sweet seaside towns, dramatic coastal cliffs, tranquil rainforest and beautiful rolling farmland. It is the drive most Australians have somewhere near the top of our must-see list, if we haven’t visited already. Its best-known sight is the Twelve Apostles (a continuously eroding group of limestone stacks rising from the sea between Princetown and Port Campbell) but there’s much more to see. Readers commended the “stunning views”, “breathtaking scenery” and “great B&Bs”, not to mention “wonderful little beaches and wombats”. The region’s food and wine was a winner, and readers overall love that there are so many lookouts and accommodation options along the way that you can take as long as you like to appreciate it. But, warns one reader, “See it before we run out of Apostles!”
THE DETAILS For more information on the route and what to see, go to visitvictoria.com/Regions/Great-Ocean-Road.aspx

RUNNERS-UP:

2 CAIRNS TO PORT DOUGLAS
An hour of beauty in North Queensland, this stretch of the Captain Cook Highway has verdant rainforest on one side and the dazzling Coral Sea on the other. ttnq.com.au
3 GRAND PACIFIC DRIVE
The drive south from Sydney to Wollongong takes you through the Royal National Park and on towards some of the south coast’s prettiest beaches. grandpacificdrive.com.au
4 TASMANIA’s east coast
Hobart to Bay of Fires via Freycinet National Park is a journey that culminates in long white beaches with talcum-like silica sand dotted with granite boulders made red with lichen, which boldly contrast with aqua seas. discovertasmania.com/east_coast
5 SOUTH-WEST WA
Remote, rural and ready to explore, the route from Margaret River to Albany features vineyards, surf beaches, fantastic regional produce and national parks thick with karri forests (the world’s tallest hardwoods).www.australiassouthwest.com

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