Your driveway is usually one of the first things people see when they visit your property. You want it to look good and last well!

The good news is there are great driveway options for budgets big and small.

Concrete driveways

Concrete is a popular choice for driveways and paths. It is durable and strong. It also gives you the most finishing options to choose from.

Finishing options

  • smooth surface
  • textured surface
  • coloured
  • exposed aggregate

Detail of exposed aggregate concrete

Concrete with an exposed aggregate finish creates an attractive look for your driveway

Life Expectancy

25+ years


  • Strong and highly durable (more durable than other options)
  • Have a choice of colour and finishing options
  • Low maintenance


  • Stains more easily than asphalt, though sealing can help

Download: Guide for removing stains from concrete

Backyard Projects would love to talk to you about your requirements for a concrete path or driveway.

Standard specs

  • 100mm thick 25 MPA concrete
  • Steel reinforced (668 mesh for driveways)
  • Compacted aggregate base
Exposed aggregate driveways look great and last a long time

You can’t beat a concrete driveway for durability. An exposed aggregate finish adds a touch of class.

Asphalt driveways

Smooth and durable, asphalt gives a cost-effective sleek black finish to your path or driveway.

Asphalt is made from bitumen (which is derived from crude oil) mixed with a fine gravel. This binds together to form a solid black finish. Asphalt is sometimes also referred to as black-top or tarmac.

For low-traffic areas like pathways, a thinner layer of asphalt can be used. For driveways where vehicles turn often or heavier vehicles are parked, a thicker layer of asphalt will be required.

Life expectancy

  • 10+ years with good maintenance


  • Significantly cheaper than concrete
  • More stain resistant than concrete
  • Ready to go faster than concrete – you can drive on it 24 hours after installation
  • Repairs reasonably easy if required
  • Resistant to weeds


  • Less finishing options – just comes in black
  • Softens in hot weather
  • May not be suitable for some terrain

To ensure a quality job that will last a long time, it is important to employ a professional to install your asphalt driveway.

Standard specs

  • 25mm thick asphalt for residential driveways
  • 40mm commercial rated for heavy traffic areas
  • 200mm compacted aggregate base


If cracks develop, they should be sealed with a hot-pour rubberised sealer. This should be done in autumn when it is cool and cracks will be at their widest. Sealing cracks helps prevent further damage. For a DIY asphalt crack repair option you can use something like Gripset Betta Asphalt Crack Filler available at Bunnings. Ensure you clean out the crack well before applying the repair product.

If weeds start to appear in cracks, they should be removed as quickly as possible. Apply some weed-killer, clean the crack and fill it as described above.

Asphalt driveway and retaining wall

Asphalt driveways are a cost-effective, attractive option



Shingle driveways

Shingle (or gravel) driveways give you a natural feel at a low cost. They have a laid-back, rustic charm you just don’t get with concrete and asphalt.

Standard – loose shingle driveways

A simple shingle driveway is a cost-effective entry-level option. You have a choice of shingle – whether it’s round pebbles, or crushed gravel and if you want coloured stones or not. It does require more maintenance than other options.


  • Easy on the budget!
  • Gives a natural look


  • Gravel spreads around the edges – it’s worth investing in a good edging to control this
  • Weeds will eventually sprout
  • Pot holes will form with time


  • Regular use of weed killer to keep weeds under control
  • The surface gravel will need to be topped up every few years
  • Grading from time to time to remove potholes
  • Tidying the edges where the gravel creeps
Backyard Projects loose shingle driveways

Example of a loose shingle driveway

Premium – Natural Paving driveways

Take a shingle driveway to the next level with Natural Paving. A plastic honeycomb-shaped structure sits below the surface of your driveway to hold the gravel in place. A built-in water permeable weed mat, prevents weeds from poking through. You can have the natural look of a shingle driveway without its drawbacks!


  • Keeps the look of a regular shingle path or driveway
  • Lower maintenance than regular shingle driveway
  • Actively prevents the formation of pot-holes – even where cars are turning
  • No more loose pebbles! Keeps the shingle in place on your driveway
  • Keeps weeds at bay with a built-in weed mat

Learn more at

Honeycombed cells of Natural Paving

With the Natural Paving system, shingle is controlled by a honeycombed pattern of cells

Paved driveways

Paving has been around a long time – it’s what the Romans used to build their roads back in the day. This premium option costs a bit more, but will give you a very attractive and long-lasting driveway. Whether you go for red-clay brick paving or the old-world charm of cobblestone pavers, you’ll add a touch of class to your property.

Paving options

  • Clay brick
  • Concrete
  • Cobblestone

Cobblestones are made of pieces of hard black granite or basalt which are very rugged and hard wearing. They create beautiful driveways that evoke the look of streets in Victorian England. They also work well for border decoration. If you love the aesthetic of cobblestones but don’t have the budget, there is a popular alternative – cheaper, cobblestone lookalike concrete pavers.

Clay brick pavers are a bit more fragile than concrete pavers or cobblestones, but when well looked after can last a long time. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Life expectancy

25+ years with good maintenance

Laying pavers for driveway

Paved driveways are the most expensive option, but they really add a touch of class to your property.

Which type of driveway should I choose?

With so many options, you may be wondering how to decide which one to choose. Each have their merits, so we’ve prepared a table to help you compare the different options.

Driveway typeLoose ShingleNatural PavingAsphaltConcretePaving
Lifetime5+ years 10+ years10+ years25+ years25+ years
Surface finishing optionsCrushed rock or smooth pebblesCrushed rock or smooth pebblesSmooth finish onlySmooth, textured, exposed aggregate, stamped design.Depends on paving type chosen
Cracking riskN/AN/AMinimalSomeCracked pavers can be replaced
WeedsWeeds will growFew weedsNo weedsNo weedsWeeds can grow in cracks
ColoursSeveral natural stone optionsSeveral natural stone optionsBlack onlyMany colour optionsSome colour options depending on type of paving

Which type of driveway should I choose?

With so many options, you may be wondering how to decide which one to choose. Each have their merits, so we’ve prepared a table to summarise the different options.

Note: View this page on a desktop computer for a side-by-side comparison

Loose ShingleNatural Paving
5+ years life10+ years life
High maintenanceMed-low maintenance
Crushed rock or smooth pebbles optionsCrushed rock or smooth pebbles options
Pot holes will form with timeNo cracking or potholes
Weeds will grow and need attentionFew weeds
Several natural stone colour optionsSeveral natural stone options
Cost = $Cost = $$$
10+ years life25+ years life
Med-low maintenanceLow maintenance
Smooth finish only – thickness determined by traffic loadingSmooth, textured, exposed aggregate, stamped design finishing options
Minimal cracking riskSome cracking risk
No weeds to worry aboutNo weeds to worry about
Black onlyMany colour options
Cost = $$Cost = $$$
Lifetime25+ years life
Surface finishing optionsDepends on paving type chosen
Cracking riskCracked pavers can be replaced
WeedsWeeds can grow in cracks
ColoursSome colour options depending on type of paving

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