Thursday, January 3, 2013

Drive Sydney to Melbourne

The best route between Sydney and Melbourne is along the coast and through many small beach towns and national parks. At just over 1,000 kilometres, this trip could take you 1 day or a week depending on how much you want to see! Here is a 3-day itinerary.

Day 1: Sydney to Batemans Bay

Sydney is Australia's biggest city, a cosmopolitin world city which needs no introduction. The Harbour bridge and Opera House are landmarks known the world over, and Sydney offers many things to see and do, so have a good look around before leaving on your road trip along Highway One!

Just after leaving Sydney, you will come across the Royal National Park which has the title of second oldest purposed national park in the world, after the United States' Yellowstone. There are plenty of activities in the park, with cycling and walking trails and picnic areas throughout the park, a tram for the kids to ride, and lots of wildlife to see. There are surf beaches on the coast, and Audley is a popular spot to visit- a picnic area with dance hall, cafe and restrooms where you can hire boats and canoes.

Royal National Park
by Kyle Taylor Flickr Creative Commons

Around Lake Illawara further south, there is a built up area which includes Wollongong, Port Kembla and several other neighbourhoods. The are has 17 surf beaches, so if you are there in summer, the choices are endless! There is also a science centre and planetarium which makes a fascinating visit, and plenty of beachside shops, cafes and restaurants. Just south of here you will find Kiama and the Kiama blowhole.

Kiama Blowhole
by steve gibson Flickr Creative Commons

Further north are Bomaderry and Nowra on the Shoalhaven river- in Nowra is the Australian Museum of Flight. Continuing south you will hit many small towns and return to the coast at Ulladulla. Meaning 'safe harbour' in the native language, it is home to a lovely harbour and some popular largely undeveloped beaches.

The rest of the way to Bateman's Bay is through a lot of state forests. The town is small, with some lovely beaches to swim at during summer, and lots of craft shops and markets in the nearby villages. There are several holiday parks to park up for the night.

Batemans Bay
by eGuide Travel Flickr Creative Commons

Day 2: Bateman's Bay to Cape Conran

This day's travel at 381 kilometres will take you across the border into the state of Victoria. One of the first towns is Moruya, a lovely and friendly town on a river with great saturday morning markets and a museum with exhibits about the pioneer settlers in the area.

Next along the route is Tuross Lake and just off the highway, the township of Tuross Head. Surrounded by the ocean and two lakes, this is the spot for any type of water sport! The lakes provide great quiet waters for those travelling with kids, and there is a magnificent surf beach on the ocean coast. As you continue south, you can stay on H1 or take the coastal route along Wallaga Lake Road/Tathra Bermagui Road/Sapphire Coast Drive. The coastal option will take you past the many lakes in the area and rejoins with the Highway at Pambula, just after Merimbula. Merimbula has many things to do, including a theme park, wildlife sanctuary and a boardwalk around the lake so plan to stop there if you come this way!

Lake Merimbula
by Percita Flickr Creative Commons

Ben Boyd National Park south of Pambula is home to a heritage lighthouse and aboriginal middens, as well as some stunning scenery both on the coast and inland. The rest of the drive to Cape Conran Coastal Park is through more state forests and across the border.

Cape Conran is just off Highway One along Sydenham Inlet Road. This Coastal Park is 11,700 hectares of coastal wilderness, and there are camping sites available so you can spend the night and enjoy the many activities and sights.

Cape Conran
by Phillip Capper Flickr Creative Commons

Day 3: Cape Conran to Melbourne

Head west out of Cape Conran on Highway One towards Melbourne.The drive will take you past the pretty Lake Tyers State Park and into Bairnsdale, a town in an area full of coastal lakes called Gippsland- Lake King, Lake Victoria, Lake Wellington and more.

Gippsland Lakes
by Phil Whitehouse Flickr Creative Commons

Further along the highway is the city of Sale, also near the Lakes area. As Melbourne approaches, the towns and commuter suburbs come thick and fast. Morwell, Moe, Warragul and then the city.

Melbourne is Australia's cultural capital, with lots to see, do and experience. To get a feel for the city, walk the riverbank in the central city and visit the iconic Flinders Street railway station. Park your campervan in a holiday park for a night or a few nights to have time to explore the laid-back and interesting city that is Melbourne!

Have a look here for great deals on campervan hire in Sydney!

Author: Doug Brown+

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