Take a Melbourne to Sydney road trip next
Road trip your way from Melbourne to Sydney. Do you want to see gorgeous beaches, beautiful national parks and unique Australian wildlife?
Make your next adventure a road trip from Melbourne to Sydney
The journey is approximately 1,100 kilometres (680 miles) travelling through dozens of small towns, seaside hamlets and of course Australia’s famous beaches.
The coastline between Sydney and Melbourne is some of the most spectacular in Australia, with tranquil coves, long golden beaches and wild, rocky shorelines carved by the mighty Pacific and Southern oceans. There’s no end to the fun that can be had on the water – from surfing, sailing and snorkeling to seeing dolphins, penguins and whales in the wild.
Take it easy. Expect to take about 7 days to wind your way north towards Sydney but don’t rush it. Take the time to enjoy the beautiful coastal towns along the way.
Things to do in Melbourne City
Start your adventure from Melbourne with a few suggestions of things to do before you start your road trip north to Sydney.
Melbourne is full of trendy little laneways with cafes, bars and quirky shops. There are also plenty of museums and galleries that are worth checking out and make sure you explore the Street Art in Hosier Lane.
Read next: Things to do in Multicultural Melbourne
Day 1: Melbourne to Phillip Island – 2.5 hours drive time
Heading southeast of Melbourne will take you to the sandy beaches and coastal towns of the Mornington Peninsula.
The Peninsula is regarded as one of the region’s finest vineyards. You will find boutique cellar door wine tastings of cool climate varieties such as pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, pinot gris and tempranillo.
Overnight at Phillip Island, the home to little penguins, fur seals and koalas which can be often seen in the trees.
Be sure to go to Summerland Beach for the penguin parade at dusk when the penguins waddle up the beaches to their burrows. Doing a penguin tour was one of our Phillip Island highlights.
Day 2: Phillip Island to Wilsons Promontory – 1.75 hours drive time
While you’re at Phillip Island, take a wildlife cruise out to the Seal Rocks fur seal colony and be greeted by these inquisitive creatures. Get up close with furry friends along the boardwalks of the Koala Conservation Centre.
Explore the island’s wetlands with migratory birds, before heading towards the impressive granite cliffs and golden beaches of Cape Woolamai.
Enjoy a feast of fresh fish and chips while you take in the spectacular coastline of this seaside town, a popular stopover on the drive to Wilsons Promontory.
Wilsons Promontory is one of Victoria’s most picturesque national parks. Dramatic landscapes, deserted surf beaches and the pristine waterways of the Gippsland Lakes showcase this stunning part of Australia.
There are a number of accommodation options, luxury accommodation or safari-style tent or bring your own camping gear.
Day 3: Wilsons Promontory to Metung – 3.5 hours drive time
Wilsons Promontory National Park, is 50 thousand hectares of eucalypt forests, secluded coves, white sand beaches and granite outcrops. Short drives and walks within the park lead to the many pristine beaches of this southern most tip of mainland Australia.
Walk to Squeaky Beach to experience the white quartz sand. Hear the sand squeak underfoot as you walk towards the maze of rock formations at the end of the beach.
Stop for a lunch in Foster, a small town cloaked in rolling hills, and then continue on to Yarram to see the heritage architecture.
Lush farming landscapes continue on your way to Metung the gateway to the Gippsland Lakes region. Close to the ocean, this vast expanse of safe, protected inland lakes and rivers are ideal for fishing, boating and all kinds of watersports.
Metung has a friendly village atmosphere and the perfect spot to indulge in a night of waterfront luxury accommodation.
Day 4: Metung to Mallacoota – about 2.75 hours drive
Take a cruise through myriad lakes and rivers in Australia’s largest group of inland waterways. Get close to native birds and watch the kangaroos grazing by the water’s edge.
Hire one of the small powered boats and try out the local fishing. Local species like bream, tailor, flathead and King George whiting are great eating and fun to catch.
Lakes Entrance is where the mighty Gippsland Lakes enters the Southern Ocean. Explore the spectacular Ninety Mile Beach and if you’re a seafood lover, it’s the perfect place to buy fresh seafood from the local fishing boats for a picnic lunch at Cape Conran Coastal Park, an hour’s drive away.
Cape Conran Coastal Park is a beautiful camping and bushwalking area and home to kangaroos, koalas and emus. The perfect place for that picnic lunch!
Stop in at Croajingolong National Park to explore the diversity of one of Victoria’s most spectacular national parks.
Spend the night at Gipsy Point Lakeside Resort, located on the banks of the Mallacoota Inlet. It’s the perfect location to sit back, relax and listen to the sounds of the bush.
Day 5: Mallacoota to Narooma – 3 hours drive time
Take an early morning swim at Mallacoota’s popular Betka Beach or head off for an early morning walk along the Narrows Walk before continuing north towards New South Wales.
Follow the spectacular Sapphire Coast and stop at Pambula to sample award-winning fresh oysters or enjoy freshly caught fish and chips along the foreshore. Check out the popular surf beach at Tathra Beach.
This coastal strip features scenic rocky coves, bluffs and inlets as you head into Mimosa Rocks National Park. Take the opportunity to stop for a swim in the pure lagoons.
About an hour north is Tilba Tilba, a heritage town that has retained it’s character from 1890s gold rush era. It’s a great place to stop and taste some of the region’s delicious cheeses.
Narooma is the perfect place for an overnight stopover and with Montague Island just 11 kilometres off-shore it’s an opportunity to visit the state’s only known colony of Australian fur seals. Take a cruise to the island for the chance to spot seals, sea eagles, little penguins, mutton birds, hawks, terns, silver gulls, harriers and peregrine falcons.
Day 6: Narooma to Jervis Bay – 2.5 hours drive time
Slip down to Narooma’s Surf Beach for an early morning swim and check out the Glasshouse Rocks, ancient rock formations at southern end of the beach.
On your way north again, you’ll pass through lush forest until you reach the popular holiday spot of Batemans Bay. The area is renowned for its sublime coastline, amazing coves, gorgeous beaches and immaculate waters.
About 14 kilometres north of Batemans Bay, turn onto Mt Agony Road for an exceptional wildlife experience at Pebbly Beach. It’s likely you’ll meet friendly kangaroos as they hop along the beach. Generally quite tame, they are happy to be patted and if you’re lucky you might manage to get one to pose with you for a photo.
The next stop takes you into the coastal town of Ulladulla. It’s a perfect place for a late lunch stop.
The calm waters and white sand of Jervis Bay lie just an hour north of Ulladulla. There’s an opportunity to join a Dolphin Watch Cruise for a truly unforgettable experience. Mingle with dolphins, penguins and humpback whales within the protected waters of the Jervis Bay Marine Park. Check out the variety of accommodation in this beautiful little town.
Day 7: Jervis Bay to Sydney – 2.75 hours drive time
Spend the morning amid nature’s wonders in Jervis Bay National Park. With sensational coastal views, this birdwatching paradise takes you along the White Sands Walk from Greenfield Beach to Hyams Beach. The full loop is an easy 2.5 kilometres (roughly an hour).
From here, you’re almost in Sydney. Head through Nowra on the banks of the majestic Shoalhaven River. This beautiful little town is a great place to stop for lunch before heading to the seaside town of Kiama and its famous blow holes.
Feel nature’s force on the cliffs at Blowhole Point. Waves surge into an underground cavity, forcing upward to explode with great drama and noise into the air.
Consider taking an inland detour (approximately 25 minutes) to Kiama’s award-winning Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk. This incredible experience leads you 1500 metres through lush, temperate rainforest at up to 30 metres above ground, through the treetops.
The grand finale is the final leg into Sydney, touring along the winding and scenic Grand Pacific Drive. Enjoy gorgeous views of the rocky coastline and stunning beaches as you drive along the winding Sea Cliff Bridge. This is one of the most beautiful drives of all!
Arriving in Sydney
There are plenty of things to see and do in Sydney so see as much as you can while visiting this amazing city.
Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and tour the Sydney Opera House which is recognised as a 20th-century architectural masterpiece and classified as a World Heritage site.
Check out the historic precincts of Sydney, such as The Rocks or take a ferry across the Harbour to the Manly beach. Day trip up into the Blue Mountains or visit Taronga Park Zoo to see some of Australia’s most unusual critters and enjoy the buzz of this vibrant city.
Where to stay?
Customise this accommodation map as you need bookings along the way.
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Australia is surrounded by some of the best beaches in the world. Its no wonder they call Australia ‘the lucky country’.