Pack the RV and cruise along Australia's Adventure Drive
Everything is bigger in Australia. Our pineapples are bigger. Our bananas are bigger. And even our road trips are bigger... and this is probably the biggest, most awesome of the lot - The Savannah Way.
Stretching right across the top of the country, The Savannah Way stretches from Cairns in Queensland via Borroloola and Katherine in the Northern Territory to Broome in Western Australia; a drive of more than 3700km.
The road, 80 per cent of which is good quality blacktop, passes through five World Heritage-listed areas, more than 15 national parks, the world's longest lava tubes, historic gold mining towns, Outback cattle stations and a wealth of indigenous culture.
While portions of The Savannah Way are easier in a four-wheel drive, it's still possible to tackle the drive in a two-wheel drive family car. It's an easy to follow route that includes clear signage, interpretative displays, maps and brochures, as well as a comprehensive visitor information centre network for travellers.
To drive the whole way from Cairns to Broome is a massive endeavour, indeed it's an all-Aussie adventure. But not everyone has the time, or the equipment for such a big drive. This is why we suggest you tackle The Savannah Way in bite-sized pieces.
This feature will focus mainly on that portion of The Savannah Way that runs from Cairns to Normanton (715km). And the reason for this is that this section gives you a nice taste of the trip; it shows just how different the landscapes are - from the tropics to the Outback. It's all on bitumen and unlike other parts of the journey it isn't as remote or daunting for first-time RVers as other parts of The Savannah Way.
Cairns is worthy of a feature all on its own. And for most readers it'll actually be a destination in its own right; the end of a massive journey north. Indeed, there's so much to do here that it's the perfect place to spend some time and catch your breath before tackling The Savannah Way.
This lush tropical paradise is the heart of Tropical North Queensland and the gateway to the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef; with more than one million dives made on the reef each year, Cairns is the world's most popular dive destination.
Perched on the edge of the beautiful Coral Sea, and at the foot of tropical rainforest-covered mountain ranges Cairns is one of Australia's most picturesque and popular tourist destinations. The Reef, safe tropical rainforests (like the Daintree National Park), and even the Outback are all within easy reach.
The best place to begin a tour of Cairns is at the Cairns Gateway Centre on the Esplanade, a visit here will help you to make the most of your time in this town, and beyond.
Speaking of the Esplanade, it's the city's main attraction and is jam-packed with restaurants, cafes and bars (well, finding a good watering hole's important when you're on holidays) and so is finding a good caravan park.
Besides being a jump-off point for touring the Great Barrier Reef, there are plenty of easy-going land-based activities to get involved in. Take a look around the Casino; its rainforest simulation is worth a gander, the Cairns Regional Art Gallery is well worth a look too with loads of indigenous art on display. But whatever you do don't go past the Flecker Botanic Gardens and its Gondwanan Evolutionary Trail which explains the history of the rainforest plants.