Want to experience one of the few remaining great adventures on the planet? Travelling overland from London to Sydney is a momentous undertaking but hugely rewarding. There are as many activities to try as there are miles to cover on what is probably the ultimate overlanding adventure.
From Transylvania to Turkmenistan, India to Indonesia and Uluru to Ulaanbaatar plus so much in between. This incredible journey is a life changing experience regardless of age or background.
There are many routes and numerous modes of transportation available if going solo. However, some overland tour operators offer London to Sydney (or similar). So you could join a group of like minded people on the ultimate overlanding adventure.
The upside of an organised tour is the safety by going with people who have done it all before. You don’t have to spend months planning and worrying about routes and logistics. Plus you will be part of a bigger group which is always good on long journeys.
The downside is the tours are not cheap. However, if you add up the cost of going solo you may find organised overlanding holidays are not that pricey after all.
Purists would say that going it alone is the ultimate overlanding adventure. But an organised overlanding tour is still very adventurous as you are part of the team rather than just sitting back on a tour.
As part of a tour you will still spend many nights camping in the wild. You will shop locally and of course the guides know many things you would miss if travelling alone. You’ll hike unknown trails, swim in secluded waters and try many different types of extreme sport and adventure activities you could otherwise miss.
Bold explorers make their own itinerary and find their own means of locomotion; public buses, trams, trains, taxis, and their trusty thumbs. Some even endeavour to bike the entire way, and often succeed.
But regardless of whether you go it alone or as part of an organised overland expedition to travel overland from London to Sydney requires commitment. It will take at least six months but in realist you should be planning at least a year. And if you want to see everything and have many adventures along the way it could take a lifetime.
If you hold a passport from any European country, the first leg of the journey is a breeze – politically speaking. Even with the UK leaving the EU due to Brexit it is still easy to travel across Europe. Although if driving you will UK citizens now need an international driving licence in Europe.
Choose your path along a southeast course, through Belgium, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria to Turkey. Istanbul is the gateway between continents and is a great place to catch your breath. Perhaps spend some time relaxing on the Black Sea or Mediterranean Coast.
Eastward from here, the travel is less easy. The countries of Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan present difficulties for many nationalities. Check out the latest FCDO travel advice to check where is safe and what the visa requirements are. From here you can reach India.
Instead from north east Turkey head to Georgia and travel through through Azerbaijan. You can then cross the Caspian Sea from the port city of Baku, arriving in Turkmenistan. From here you can travel through Uzbekistan and follow the Silk Road through Kazakhstan and China to Mongolia.
From Mongolia it is a long slog across China to SE Asia. If you would you prefer a more direct rout, then from Uzbekistan travel through Tajikistan and pass southeast through China (or Afghanistan and Pakistan) into India.
After seeing as much of India as you wish it is time to explore the Himalayas. Travel through Nepal and Bhutan and the Chinese Autonomous region of Tibet. The Torugart Pass into China is a lonely stretch of road; so don’t find yourself stranded on the windward side of the Tibetan Plateau.
In comparison the next leg of the ultimate overlanding adventure is much easier. Travel in South East Asia is friendly, warm and easy. Take your time in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.
While not technically overland you’ll have to catch a boat from Singapore to Sumatra while you journed overland from London to Sydney. You’ll need to take similar boat rides to hop from one Indonesian island to the next.
Finding a ferry to Australia can take time so hang out in Kupang, West Timor to find the right crew headed to Darwin. From the alligator-populated shores of Darwin to the warm beaches of Sydney the path is up to you.
Take a bus. Hitchhike. Join an overland tour. Head down to Uluru and camp out under the stars. Of course it would be rude to head straight to Sydney… Travel down to Adelaide and along the Great Ocean Road to Melbourne. From here head to Tasmania which is more like New Zealand than Australia.
When you arrive in Sydney in the highest possible spirits, make sure you treat yourself to a soft bed at one of the many hotels. Rejoice. You’ve just completed the ultimate overlanding adventure!
We hope you found this guide to travel overland from London to Sydney useful. Check our overlanding travel page for more ideas.