Famous international road trips

One of the best ways to travel overseas is to hire a car and plan a road trip.

There is nothing more liberating than travelling overseas, hiring a car and driving one of the world’s best road trips.

Depending on the destination, an international road trip can be jam packed with exciting new challenges including driving on the opposite side of the road, sitting on the opposite side of the car, learning new road rules and overcoming language barriers.

It also offers the freedom to explore tourist attractions and iconic landmarks at your own pace without being forced to follow a strict itinerary. If an international road trip is on your to-do list, then check out these five famous international drives.

Route 66, USA, 3900km

Route 66, also referred to as ‘The Mother Road’, is an iconic drive between Chicago and Los Angeles in America. The drive passes well-known destinations including Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona before ending in Santa Monica in Los Angeles.  It travels straight through the heart of the United States and showcases some of best tourist attractions including well preserved American diners, gas stations and motels. Detour off Route 66 to witness Grand Canyon National Park or Disneyland. Route 66 is more than just a great international road trip, it has been the inspiration for many songwriters, films, books and clothing brands.

Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland, 2600km

Wild Atlantic Way is Ireland’s spectacular coastal route which winds along the west coast of the island from the Inishowen Peninsula in the north down to Kinsale in the south. The drive passes through six different regions and offers more than 30 custom driving itineraries for tourists. As you look out the window you will see the power of the ocean as it breaks against the towering cliff face and picturesque green countryside as far as the eye can see. Fulfil your Irish bucket list by visiting the UNESCO World Heritage site Skellig Michael where Star Wars was filmed, Donegal Headlands to witness the Northern Lights, Killary Harbour – Ireland’s only fjord and The Burren. Ireland is full of amazing music, literature, stories and surf, so enjoy the scenery and have a pint of Guinness when you’ve finished driving for the day.

Through the Red Centre, Australia, 1148km


A road trip through the Red Centre is must for any Australian seeking adventure in the outback. Prepare to be surrounded by red desert and blue skies as you drive around Alice Springs, a small and remote town in Australia’s Northern Territory. Travel through Alice Springs, Glen Helen, Kings Canyon and Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. Experience off-road 4WD tacks, remote swimming holes, fairy floss sunsets, the clearest night skies and bush tucker experiences.

West Coast, New Zealand, 417km

This is the ultimate trip to do in winter (from June to August) as you will be surrounded by stunning snow-capped mountains, beautiful beaches, headlands covered in sleeping seals and flowing icy creeks.  New Zealand’s West Coast drive is located on the South Island and runs from Westport in the north to Haast in the south. Along the way it passes through Greymouth, Hokitika, Ruatapu and Fox Glacier. Must-see attractions include Monteith’s Brewery, Hokitika Gorge a helicopter tour or hike in Fox Glacier. Be prepared to see seal colonies, wild surf, rock beaches, sheep and snow. 

Amalfi Coast, Italy, 316km

The Amalfi Coast is considered one of the most beautiful and challenging drives in the world. Drive from Rome through Naples, Pompei, Sorrento, Positano and to Ravello. The Amalfi Coast is a 50km coastline stretch along the southern end of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsular. The drive is along a very narrow road which winds between clusters of houses and shops on the cliff’s edge, which are all linked with pebble stone pathways and stairs. The scenery is spectacular and, if you can manage to pull over somewhere safe and park the car,  it’s a stunning location to have lunch.


RACQ Travel can help you plan your road-trip to any of these famous destinations. Contact a travel consultant on 1300 096 166. Remember, if you are driving overseas you may need to apply for an International Drivers Permit. Here are some tips for driving overseas.