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A week from Sydney to Melbourne

Nottingham, United...
Level Contributor
6 posts
6 reviews
A week from Sydney to Melbourne

Hi, hubby and I are in Australia for 2 weeks soon, landing in Sydney on 17th Oct, leaving Melbourne on 1st November.

We are booked into Philip Island for the MotoGP, so for the 3 days that we aren't at the track we will be pottering around PI - so that's the second week sorted and if we run out of stuff to do on PI we aren't too far from Melbourne...we have got to visit The Napier. Love a bit of Jack Irish.

We are picking up a car at Sydney airport and staying at Coogee Sands for the first 2 nights so that we can head into Sydney and Bondi - we would probably be avoiding Bondi on the 19th (travelling all the way from the UK just to bump into Prince Harry & Meghan at Bondi?! arrrgh)

So, 19th - 24th we have a bit of time to drive from Coogee Sands to Melbourne and we'd like to stop along the way. When we had this plan in mind, I had read about the coastal road from syd to mel and how it was a beautiful coastal drive - which sounded great, until I realised that I had actually confused that with the GOR. Having now discovered that the coastal road isn't actually THAT coastal... we would love some advice on how to MAKE it coastal, stopping at some nice spots along the way, take a few nights stopping over - I'd be really grateful for recommendations on where to stop, where to visit, basically where we stray from the road to make it a bit more interesting than just road. Weird and wonderful is always fun, not a huge fan of art galleries unless it is cultural (rather than for arts sake if you know what I mean?). We like a beer, food - we'll try anything, love the sea, not huge on trekking unless it's to get to something awesome. Love picturesque, doesn't have to be action packed, you can't beat a beautiful view. God, we sound like we are lazy, beer swilling heathens :-D Point me in the direction of beautiful scenery! Now carry me there! ha ha

We WERE thinking of going to Tasmania for a few days, but it feels a bit rushed. Open to suggestion - thanks in advance

12 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for Croatia
Level Contributor
17,792 posts
170 reviews
1. Re: A week from Sydney to Melbourne

Good that realised in time that the so called coastal road is not that coastal.

You can still have a nice drive with some detours.

I would spend first night in Southern Highlands and Bowral in particular. Visit Kangaroo Valley and proceed to Jervis Bay for the night. Also stop in Berry. You could detour to Kiama. Stay in Bermagui for a bight. Visit Tilba.

Stay in Lakes Entrance for a night and another r1 night at Wilson's Promontory.

Another option away from the coast is a drive via Blue Mountains, Canberra and then, either via Snowy Mountains or more direct route via Albury.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
69 posts
2. Re: A week from Sydney to Melbourne

The Princes Hwy to Melbourne touches the coast in a few places in New South Wales but only once in Victoria.

That isn’t really a problem because the rural countryside is quite diverse and beautiful.

Many Australians considering the route boring but as foreigners it wasn’t for us.

Coastal stops recommended:

Ulladulla area, Narooma, Bermagui. You can drive south from there on a non highway road to Tathra, Merimbula and Eden. Lakes Entrance in Victoria but we found that a bit of a grim place (our trip was off season) so would recommend Metung which is a small detour a little further on.

All the country coastal towns we visited had a good selection of places to eat ( bowling, golf and returned military clubs are popular) , good accommodation (motels/park cabins) and a smattering of tourist attractions. But the main attraction is the environment. Long deserted pristine beaches, coastal lakes and national parks.

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane, Queensland
Level Contributor
11,882 posts
54 reviews
3. Re: A week from Sydney to Melbourne

Plus one for the drive from Bermagui to Eden - just lovely. Eden has an interesting little whaling museum too.

Donald mentions “returned military clubs”. In Aus, these are called RSL Clubs (returned services league) and in some circles, you may hear them referred to as “The Razzle”. Eg: I won the meat tray while I was having a Chinese dinner at The Razzle last night”. Not everyone will be familiar with this term - I first heard it visiting country friends in Baradine about 25 years ago. Hubby had never heard it until I brought it up on one of our road trips last year. (We don’t have a local RSL to dine at here - we do eat at the local “Bowlo” though.


Nottingham, United...
Level Contributor
6 posts
6 reviews
4. Re: A week from Sydney to Melbourne

You can't beat a road trip if the surroundings are great... thanks both of you for those suggestions, I will have a look at those in the morning, much appreciated!

Nottingham, United...
Level Contributor
6 posts
6 reviews
5. Re: A week from Sydney to Melbourne

The Razzle - noted! Thanks sweetbiscuit :-)

Level Contributor
3,492 posts
62 reviews
6. Re: A week from Sydney to Melbourne

Are you planning to drive from Sydney to Melbourne, or from Sydney to Phillip Island?

If you are taking the route closer to the coast, you may wish to take a detour through Mirboo North to enjoy the Grand Ridge Road and/or the Grand Ridge Brewery. *Please note we do have strict drink driving laws so don't attempt the Road after a day at the brewery.



Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
7,892 posts
30 reviews
7. Re: A week from Sydney to Melbourne

I’m an Australian who likes the “coastal drive” to Melbourne a lot. I think that’s a great plan for you.

The NSW South Coast has so much to see & do, from a walk or swim at the pristine beaches, wineries, lovely little villages like Geringong, Milton, good restaurants ( a few seriously good eateries!), heartstoppingly beautiful country - from soft rolling green hills around Berry - to tall grey gum trees & open plains. Take a thermos & stop for a “cuppa”. Turn the car off & enjoy the sounds & aromas of the country. If you’re taking food to have a picnic, take flyspray (the sounds & presence of flies puts a kink in the bucolic splendour ;)



There’s a charming little town called Port Albert, just a bit off the highway, that I often make my last night’s stop. It’s only about 230kms from there to Melbourne. https:/…Port-Albert

I’m not as keen on the idea of renting a car at the airport on arrival in Sydney for your stay in Coogee, though. Really, a car in Sydney city is an expensive nuisance. Far better to take public transport - bus, train, ferry or taxis/uber to get around. You certainly don’t want one to go from Coogee to Bondi or into the CBD. Parking is a trial in Bondi & horrendously expensive in the CBD. And then, having walked around town, you have to trek back to the car park, pay more than the cost of a halfway decent lunch to retrieve the car you didn’t need ;)

Get Opal cards & use our terrific public transport. Make sure you take a ferry trip. https:/…opal-for-visitors

You’ve organised your Visas, no doubt. If not, apply here: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1

Have fun ... come back & ask anything you think we can help with ... and then tell us where you went, what you did & how you liked it! We’re always interested to see our country through our visitors’ eyes.

Ballarat, Australia
Level Contributor
4,214 posts
92 reviews
8. Re: A week from Sydney to Melbourne

Donald says Australians consider that drive boring. Not true. We tell tourists it's boring - the ones who are expecting coastal scenery the whole way (usually having it muddled with the GOR) and who are planning to do the trip in one or two days. It's about 15 hours driving that route. You have to allow half an hour's detour to get to the coast in most places, and most tourists simply don't have time to make those detours, don't see any coastline and say, wow, that was so boring. It's all about time and expectations.

You have 6 days, which is awesome. In Victoria, you might like to visit Mallacoota - it's tiny but it's cute.

Buchan Caves are worth visiting.

I take Donald's point about Lakes Entrance, but I spent time with my cousins there as a child so I have a different view of it. It's actually best experienced from the water - you can hire a boat and take it out on the lakes, and it's really easy, even with no boating experience. Make sure you get to the Ninety Mile Beach at some point - it stretches on forever.

Have a look at Raymond Island. There's a ferry to get across and about 16 million koalas there (well, not quite! But a lot, anyway.)

If you can, 2 nights at Tidal River in Wilsons Prom is wonderful. Heaps of wildlife, lovely wild beaches, lots of hiking (yeah, I know, but Mt Oberon is worth doing for the views, and if my 6yo can make it it's not too arduous). Make sure you visit Squeaky Beach.

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
4,958 posts
207 reviews
9. Re: A week from Sydney to Melbourne

Instead of staying coastal in Victoria, you could visit one of my favourite places, Wallhalla. It’s an abandoned mining town in the snowy mountains that is just beautiful. It has one hotel, the Star and is an interesting German inspired village in the middle of nowhere.

All the best.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
12,119 posts
34 reviews
10. Re: A week from Sydney to Melbourne

Razzle (never heard that) ????

For me it's the local Rissole (RSL)................

Anyway, the trip could be Jervis Bay/Husinkson, Milton for coffee and cake, Mollymook, Bawley Point (15min drive off highway), Durras North (guaranteed kangaroos in the camping area), then further south to Tathra, Eden and Mallacoota



Edited: 13 October 2018, 18:28
Reply to: A week from Sydney to Melbourne
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