4 of the World’s Best Road Trips

We take a look at some of the world’s best 2 week road trips:

Namibia

Recommended Wheels:
SUV – the high driving position is great for spotting wildlife

The open roads and good infrastructure make Namibia the ideal destination for an adventurous road trip.

Fly into Windhoek and spend a night here before driving up to Etosha National Park; one of the greatest wildlife havens where salt pans and watering holes attract large numbers of game. The park is set up for self-driving in search of Leopard, Lion, Rhino, & Elephant. In fact Etosha is home to 112 different mammal species. Okaukuejo is an incredible camp with a viewing platform overlooking a permanently lit watering hole. An evening watching animal activity with a bottle of wine is highly recommended!

From Etosha head to Damaraland with its mountain ranges, rivers and petrified forest.

Drive along the Skeleton Coast with it’s shipwrecks until you reach Swakopmund. This German influenced town is the ideal place from which to organise a quad biking trip on the nearby sand dunes that dominate the landscape.

Sossusvlei is the next stop, and home to the most incredible red sand dunes back-dropped amongst dead Acacia trees. Incredibly this dry land is home to Oryxes and Ostriches amongst reptiles and smaller mammals.

Head back to Windhoek to drop your car and fly home.

Namibia Road Trip

Western USA

Recommended Wheels:
Ford Mustang Convertible!

I was so tempted to suggest a two week Route 66 itinerary, but I just feel there are more interesting two week trips to do in the US. Besides which the original Route 66 doesn’t really exist anymore.

This trip starts in my favourite US city – San Francisco. The “City by the Bay” is home to Levis, Alcatraz Island, that famous cable car system, and the origin of hippie counter-culture.

Give yourself a couple of days to explore this incredible city (pre book Alcatraz and don’t miss the cafes and park of Haight-Ashbury). Head over the Golden Gate Bridge in your convertible to Yosemite National Park. Set in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range you’ll find green forest, ancient sequoia trees, granite cliff edges and waterfalls. It’s a landscape photographers paradise!

From Yosemite you’ll travel to Death Valley; one of the hottest, driest places on Earth. Observe the warning signs to turn your AC off to avoid the risk of over-heating your engine – you can fry an egg on your bonnet here!

From Death Valley you explore Zion National Park, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon. This Western USA landscape continues to blow your mind from one moment to the next. From the hanging gardens and rivers in Zion to the vast straight roads, red rock buttes in Monument Valley, and finally the dramatic Grand Canyon which will literally take your breath away.

Travel one of the few remaining sections of the original Route 66 (I still got it in!) on your way to Las Vegas and enjoy a final blowout in this love it or loathe it city before heading home.

Monument-Valley-Road-Trip

Iceland

Recommended Wheels:
Just as long as it’s big enough for your luggage

In two weeks you can just about get around the whole island without rushing and leaving enough time to get off the beaten track a little. With the midnight sun in Summer, breathtaking natural wonders and a rich cultural heritage, this is a great adventure and do-able on a relatively low budget.

Head straight out of Reykjavik to the South of the island. Visit Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir hot spring area before exploring Thingvellir National Park.

More waterfalls, Eyjafjallajokull volcano and puffins today as you head to Kirkjubaejarklaustur. Then it’s on to Skaftafell National Park where it’s worth taking time to enjoy the numerous hikes or a glacier walk.

Drive to Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and perhaps take a boat tour amongst the icebergs. Continue to the town of Egilsstadir, taking a stop at the Europes largest glacier, Vatnajokull.

Explore Lake Lagarfljot and hike to Hengifoss waterfall, cross the highland mountain pass of Modrudalsoraefi and enjoy home-made waffles at Fjalladyrd’s mountain cafe. Enjoy the surrounding vista before continuing to Iceland’s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss.

Explore Myvatn, an area known for its spectacular geology, geothermal heat and the large number of ducks nesting by the lake. You’ll discover pseudo craters at Skutustadir, lava formations at Dimmuborgir and enjoy a soak in the Myvatn Nature Baths.

Head to the fishing town of Husavik, close to the Arctic Circle. This is a spot where you can sometimes spot whales in the fjord. If you’ve time, visit Godafoss waterfall on the way to Akureyri.

After Dalvik and Olafsfjordur continue around the peninsula and on to the rather non-descript town of Hofsos for a dip in one of the best located outdoor pools anywhere! Head to Snaefellsnes Peninsula and cross the Laxardalsheidi heath to the Haukadalur valley to visit a replica of a Viking farm.

Hike along the coast from Arnarstapi to Hellnar, stop for a break at the friendly coffee house Fjoruhusid and drive around the tip of the peninsula.

Finally, drive back to Reykjavik. Make sure you have enough time to explore the capital (and perhaps some local ale and food) before heading home.

Iceland Road Trip

South Island, New Zealand

Recommended Wheels:
Motorhome – the country is built for this style of travel

Having lived in Kaikoura in New Zealand I have a real fondness for this incredible country; particularly the South Island. There is so much to see that it’s hard to pick a route.

I would suggest flying into Christchurch and out of Wellington with two weeks. This will save you having to do the whole loop of the South Island and spreading yourself too thin.

From Christchurch drive through the MacKenzie Country to Lake Tekapo an eventually Mt Cook National Park. Helicopter flights are a great way to appreciate the alpine scenery.

Lake Wanaka is a popular spot to skydive and then on to Queenstown but be sure to check out some of Central Otago’s wineries on the way. This is where much of New Zealand’s Pinot Noir is produced. Queensland is the adrenaline junkie’s playground – try the Shotover Jet boat ride and come within inches of the Shotover River canyon walls!

Milford Sound and Doubtful sound are New Zealand’s fjord lands and there are many options here from staying in Te Anau and doing a day trip to the sounds, to going on a multi-day fishing expedition, to walking tours.

Head over to Dunedin and if you’ve time, spend some time on the Catlins coast; a dramatic and beautiful part of New Zealand that many people don’t reach. Here you’ll find lots of marine life including the small, rare Hectors Dolphins.

Then head back up to Christchurch and onward to Kaikoura. I’ve lived in Kaikoura so I’m biased, but there’s a lot more here besides whale watching. I’d highly recommend the dolphin swim experience – a genuine experience with wild dusky dolphins free to play with you if they want and swim off if they don’t. We had a pod of around 250 dolphins when we were out there!

The final but unmissable part of your journey is to travel up into Marlborough. You can enjoy a great wine tour by bike from Blenheim, but I’d also recommend some time up in Marlborough Sounds and perhaps some Kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park.

Take the ferry across to the North Island to finish the trip in my favourite NZ city – Wellington. A great place to live with great cafes, live music, a waterfront and in my opinion, just a bit more soul than it’s bigger brother Auckland.

Mount Cook Road Trip


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