Roadtrips are one of my all-time favourite ways to travel. I love packing up the car with all the supplies to head out on the open road and see what fascinating places there are to stop at. There is a freedom associated with roadtrips in that you can stop anywhere and everywhere for as long or as little as you like, pulling over wherever you spot something worth seeing.
I plan to continue traveling the world and enjoying many more roadtrips, but of the places I have visited so far, here are eight incredible roadtrips you must take along some of the world's most beautiful roads.
Sea to Sky Highway, Canada
Give yourself a few days and hop in the car from Vancouver, British Columbia to travel north on Highway 1. Stop along the road for incredible ocean views backed by mountains and gushing waterfalls before heading to Squamish for world-class hiking. From there, make your way to Whistler for more epic hiking, road-biking and outdoor fun before venturing on to Pemberton and beyond.
Icefields Parkway, Canada
Spend a week or four traveling through the incredible Jasper and Banff National Parks on the border of British Columbia and Alberta in Western Canada. From the tip of Jasper heading down, you will pass absolutely breathtaking waterfalls, hikes, glaciers, rushing rivers, mountains and bright blue lakes. Every few minutes another spot will tempt you to pull over and just absorb the magic.
Oregon Coast, United States of America
The best American roadtrip starts in Vancouver, BC and heads all the way down the west coast to San Diego, California. An epic portion of this trip is the Oregon Coast, full of hidden roadside gems, sweet coves, the famous Tillamook Cheese Factory and magical beaches.
California Highway 1, United States of America
Another beautiful portion of the full west coast roadtrip is the section around Big Sur in central California. The drive that is oftentimes encroached upon by summer fog winds its way down the coast along the azure ocean through rolling sand dunes. Start in Half Moon Bay west of San Francisco and head down past waterfalls, state parks, beaches and, with stops in Santa Cruz and quaint Carmel-by-the-Sea, finish off at McWay Falls.
Great Ocean Road, Australia
The incredible Great Ocean Road runs for 243km along the southern coast west of Melbourne, the longest war memorial in the road. Spend your day winding along the coast, stopping to see snoozing koalas in the trees, 1000+ year-old fern trees at Mait's Rest Rainforest, incredible views at Loch Ard Gorge and of course, the famous 12 Apostles (of which there have never been 12!).
Perth to Exmouth, Australia
The route from Perth to Exmouth is nearly 3800km roundtrip through the vast, empty and magnificent Western Australia. See koalas at Yanchep National Park, try sand-boarding in Lancelin, explore Cervantes, watch sunset at the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park, feed rescued kangaroos at Greenough, feel small at the Kalbarri cliffs, wade through Pink Lake, hike the gorges of Kalbarri, float in salty water at Shell Beach, spot dolphins from the beach at Monkey Mia, see Stromatolites, the oldest creatures on the planet, spend the night under the stars at Warroora Farm, go snorkeling on the Ningaloo Reef and take in the panoramic view of the most western point of Australia in Cape Range National Park.
South Island's West Coast, New Zealand
The entire South Island of New Zealand is a wonderful roadtrip idea full of nature so wonderful you won't believe it's real and breath-taking views around every corner. One of the best parts of the route is the stretch on the west coast between Abel Tasman National Park and Queenstown where you'll drive a winding road past plenty of national parks, the Punakaiki pancake rocks, Franz Josef glacier, the Mount Cook/Aoraki Viewpoint just outside Fox Glacier, the reflection in Lake Matheson, the tumbling Thunder Creek Falls, the most pure icy blue water I've ever seen at the Blue Pools, Lake Hawea and the beautiful mountains surrounding Lake Wakatipu as you enter Queenstown. Have I convinced you yet? Because this is one of the most beautiful countries I've ever visited.
Milford Highway, New Zealand
Te Wahipounamu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a stunning area with some of New Zealand's most scenic landscapes. Nestled in the heart of Fiordland National Park is Milford Sound, New Zealand's most popular tourist destination and a region that Rudyard Kipling once described as the eighth wonder of the world. Milford Sound is the only fiord in Fiordland National Park directly accessible by a road. The rest must be accessed by boat, kayak, helicopter or not at all. The drive to Milford Sound through the Southern Alps is beautiful. Starting in Te Anau, the road winds 120km north to Milford Sound/Piopiotahi.