In a new series, WhichCar will be going from state to state to give you the very best driving roads around. These are the stretches of bitumen where you and your car can become one, with sweeping curves, breathtaking views, and great rest houses. So to kick off, we are starting with the most populous state in Australia, New South Wales.
Well within driving distance of Sydney, this twisting 174km stretch links the northwestern suburbs with the Hunter Region. Narrow and winding, particularly in the more northern sections, the Putty road is a favourite with motorcyclists and driving enthusiasts. There are a number of rest stops along the road, in particular the Grey Gum Café. The final stretches of the Putty have been recently repaved, resulting in a fantastic, smooth, driving surface. It should be noted the Putty Road can be treacherous during wet weather, but if you drive to the conditions you can still enjoy yourself.
OLD PACIFIC HWY
This classic piece of highway just north of Sydney stretches from Hornsby to Calga, and is one of the shorter segments of bitumen on the list. Intersecting the current M1 Pacific Highway, the winding Old Pacific Highway takes in some fantastic views, and is paved with butter smooth bitumen. This is an incredibly popular motorcycle riding spot, and is heavily trafficked (but rarely congested). You can often count on a police presence, both with speed cameras and roaming patrols.
GRAND PACIFIC DRIVE
This is the route down through Royal National Park south of Sydney, ending at Stanwell Tops. If you keep following this gorgeous forest drive, it will continue over the picturesque Sea Cliff Bridge into Wollongong. A favourite with Supercar drive experiences, this route makes for a great day trip if paired with a picnic in the National Park. Make sure to pack the Kodak, as the Grand Pacific Drive is seriously beautiful.
Winding inland from Port Macquarie, the Oxley Highway is one of the finest driving roads in Australia. In total, the Oxley stretches 653-kilometres into central NSW, taking in arid plains, fertile farmland, luscious forests, and much more between. The rural road is fantastic for testing yourself and your car on a fun, twisting route. If based in Sydney, it is well worth making a weekend of driving the Oxley, staying overnight in one of the many pubs and homestays which dot its path.
Although sections of the Thunderbolts Way are in a poor way in terms of maintenance, you cannot go past this stretch from Goondiwindi to Port Stephens for its fantastic Australian scenery and history. Named after the famed bushranger Captain Thunderbolt, it winds its way through a number of sleepy towns and for a great weekend away.