If you’d like to spice things up in your relationship, there’s nothing like a romantic road trip! We’ve picked 8 of our favourite getaways that are perfect for love birds right across Australia.

Some of them are great day trips, while some are more suited for a weekend away, but all of them set the mood for a trip full of closeness and comfort with your best friend and partner in life.

Jump to your city:

A couple with their legs out the back of a car on a romantic road trip

Romantic road trips near Sydney

1. The Hunter Valley

It’s no secret the Hunter is one of the most picturesque parts of NSW, with lots to offer a romantic getaway. Three hours north of Sydney, a day trip is possible, but with some of the best cellar doors in the country a weekend trip is ideal.

Recommended in the Hunter Valley:

It’s hard not to recommend a wine tour, either self-guided (responsibly) or by joining a group. Head north from Cessnock and you’re be spoiled for choice… the Hunter has more cellar doors than any other wine region in Australia. A few worthy visits include Brokenwood, Peppertree, and Tempus Two wineries.

As far as accommodation goes, you couldn’t have more choice. From campgrounds to cabins to private cottages, there’s a getaway to suit every budget. Check out Airbnb and one of the booking sites for a good selection. For more on your Hunter Valley visit, read this.

A cottage and gardens in the Hunter Valley, a great romantic road trip for wine lovers north of Sydney Australia

2. Berrima

Berrima is a gorgeous town, less than two hours drive south-west of Sydney, near Bowral. That’s close enough for Sydneysiders to consider it for a day trip or a weekend getaway. Surrounded by the southern highlands landscape and host to some great places to eat and drink, there’s plenty to do for any love-struck couple.

Recommended in Berrima:

If you’re a book lover, you can’t miss the Book Barn at Bendooley Estate, home to literally thousands of new and old books. The estate also has a cellar door and restaurant, being one of the many wineries in the region.

If you’re staying the night, you have lot of choices, but our pick of the lot is this Berrima Settler’s Hut. For a romantic getaway, a private retreat like this is unbeatable. For more information on visiting Berrima, click here.

The Berrima main street, a romantic road trip destination in the NSW Southern Highlands

Romantic Road trips near Melbourne

3. The Mornington Peninsula

An hour’s drive from Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is easily accessible for day-trippers. You could spend a dozen weekends and not see everything it has to offer. From beaches and marine activities, to food and wineries, to hiking and outdoor sports, the region has something for every couple.

Recommended on the Mornington Peninsula:

If you like a beach with a view, hit up the Cape Schanck Lighthouse and Boardwalk. It’s an easy walk for any fitness level, although running shoes are recommended. Away from the coast, Ashcombe Maze is worth a look in… it’s the largest Victorian-style hedge maze in Australia. However, the best couples experience might be the Peninsula Hot Springs, which is sure to steam things up a little!

If you’re staying overnight, you’ve got lots of options. There’s plenty of budget accommodation on the peninsula, but there are some incredible upmarket options too. Arthur’s Views and Lakeside Villas at Crittenden Estate are two that jump out at us. See more of what the Mornington Peninsula has to offer here.

Cape Schanck Lighthouse on a beautiful clear day, an ideal romantic road trip destination on the Mornington Peninsula in Melbourne Australia

4. The Dandenong Ranges

If you haven’t had a weekend in the Dandenongs, we couldn’t recommend it more. While they’re short as far as mountains go, they’re home to some gorgeous Victorian scenery, just 35km east of Melbourne.

Recommended in the Dandenong Ranges:

Whether you’re on a day trip or a weekend getaway, plan your schedule around a trip on the Puffing Billy railway, a heritage narrow gauge line. Several return steam-train services run between Belgrave and Gembrook each day, a three hour round trip. The ideal option for couples is to book a table on their lunch service, which sits you in the first class dining carriage. Check the website for timetables.

If you’re staying for a night or two, the Dandenongs are well known for their bed and breakfasts, with some beautiful cottage getaways on offer. This cottage on Tudor Ridge and this BnB on the Puffing Billy line look particularly good, but check out Airbnb or Stayz for an option that suits you and your loved one best.

A steaming locomotive on the Puffing Billy Heritage Railway in the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria Australia

Romantic Road trips near Brisbane

5. Maleny

Tucked away in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Maleny is a much-loved getaway for Brisbanites, just 90 minutes drive from the city. Maleny makes for a romantic weekend by yourself, let alone with your significant other.

Recommended in Maleny:

If you happen to be behind the wheel of a convertible (a GoGet BMW perhaps?) you should drive the Blackhall Range Tourist Drive… actually, drive it even without a convertible. The route runs from Maleny to Cooloolabin… it’s a 90 minute round trip, but you should block out at least three hours for stops along the way. Bring your selfie game, because the Glasshouse Mountains to the west and the Queensland coast to the east make for great couple shots.

Your accommodation options are quaint and wonderful. Spend a night in a local bed and breakfast or guesthouse and you can’t go wrong.

Sunset over the glasshouse mountains, viewed from the Blackhall Tourist Drive near Maleny, a great road trip for couples

6. Tambourine Mountain

Just an hour south of Brisbane lies the Gold Coast… but the best the Goldie has to offer is in its hinterland, to the west. That’s where you’ll find Tambourine Mountain, 

Recommended at Tambourine Mountain:

The region is home to fantastic breweries and wineries, as well as some incredible walks in the Tambourine Mountain National Park. For a romantic escape, it’s hard not to recommend the Glow Worm Caves on the Cedar Creek Estate Vineyard and Winery. Unlike glow worm caves in Newnes, NSW and the Waitomo caves in New Zealand, the Mount Tambourine cave is completely man made, with introduced glow worms. However, when you wander through the dark, looking at the star-like patterns of the glow worms, it all feels very real.

A couple enjoying a romantic road trip to the Tambourine Mountain Glow Worm Caves near Brisbane Australia

Romantic Road trips near Adelaide

7. The Clare Valley

Did you think we’d say Barossa? While the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, and McLaren Vale are all wonderful wine regions, we’ve picked the sometimes forgotten Clare Valley for this list. A 90 minute drive from Adelaide will get you to Auburn, at the southern end of the Valley. Drive another 20 minutes to pass through the valley into Clare itself. Make sure you drive via Tarlee, not Port Wakefield… the inland trip is much more interesting than the highway, and often faster.

Recommended in the Clare Valley:

The Riesling. The Clare Valley produces some of the best (if not the best) Riesling in the world, thanks to its perfect conditions. Notable cellar doors to visit are Jim Barry, Tim Adams, and Mr Mick, but there are lots of boutique vineyards you should explore as well. For beer drinkers, local breweries include Pikes, Knappstein, and Clare Valley Brewing Co.

For keen cyclists or walkers, don’t miss the iconic Riesling Trail through the valley. It’s a 2.5 hour ride or a 9 hour walk, but the scenery can’t be beat.

Learn more about the Clare Valley region here.A view down the Clare Valley, covered in vineyards, where romantic road trip enthusiasts love to visit, near Adelaide Australia

8. Mount Gambier

Not every romantic road trip in South Australia involves wine, although a weekend in Gambier could involve a few drinks if you want it to! A 4.5 hour drive from Adelaide, Mount Gambier is definitely a weekend trip… but it’s worth the investment.

Recommended in Mount Gambier:

There are two routes between Adelaide and Mount Gambier. You can drive inland via Murray Bridge and Keith, or on the coast road through the Coorong. The inland road is faster, and passes through the beautiful landscape of the SA grain belt… but the Coorong is an incredible part of the country, best known as the setting of Storm Boy and the home of Mr Percival. For the best experience, go through the Coorong on the way down, and return on the inland road.

Once you’re in Mount Gambier, it’s hard to go past Blue Lake, especially in the summer months when it turns an amazing cobalt blue. If you like walking, there are tracks that go around Blue Lake and Valley Lake (a good picnic spot), as well as to the Centenary Tower lookout. Walking from town, around each lake, to the tower and back to town is a 12km round trip.

Learn what else Mount Gambier has to offer here.

Blue Lake near Mount Gambier, shining its brilliant cobalt blue colour

About Tim Beau Bennett

Tim is an ex-journalist and radio presenter, and has been a professional writer for over a decade. He regularly writes about technology, lifestyle, and smart cities, and has written for news site including the ABC and SBS.