Taking my holiday on the road with friends was one of the best ideas I ever had. With just a rented camper and the coastal road, we made the most of a great situation. This is our story, and I hope it gives you inspiration to take your own road trip. Seeing the country in this way can’t be beat, but it pays to have a bit of an idea about the items that will make your journey easier and the sites you absolutely must not miss on your way from Sydney to Melbourne. Make your own Great Australian Road Trip a success.
photo credit: MotorhomeRental
Depending on your budget and what you hope to see, a little research will be necessary. My friends and I love to camp, so we took all our gear along with us, but there are places to stay if you feel the need of a roof and walls, or you can rent a great full-service camper. Some other things you’ll need to think about are:
• Places to refuel your vehicle and stop for the night
• Provisions and plenty of snacks
• Pack your bags according to needs and space considerations
• Leave plenty of room in the budget for splurging
• Leave yourself time to wander and relax
• Bring your camera and a journal
• Talk to the locals everywhere you stop. They know all the good places to stop.
Places to Visit
We started our Great Adventure in Sydney and set our sights on Melbourne. The entire journey can be completed in seven days, though if you have a bit more time, you can relax your pace a bit. Heading south out of Sydney, the first leg of the journey would take us to Norwa along one of the most breathtakingly beautiful drives in the region, the Grand Pacific Drive. This road winds through the Royal National Park, and we couldn’t resist stopping to swim at Stanwell Tops. It’s a perfect spot to have a relaxed picnic after a plunge, and the scenery is unbeatable.
We chose to forge inland a bit to Kangaroo Valley later in the afternoon. This is a great place to stretch your legs and do a little browsing in the town of Berry, but if you’re keen on coastal views and vineyards, stick to the coastal route. You won’t be disappointed. Norwa is a perfect place to stop for the night, with plenty of options for dining and fun. The next morning, we headed out towards Huskisson. Since we were all about seeing the national parks along the way, we made a point to stop in Booderee and get in some bird watching and nature hiking. If you’re not watching your budget as closely as we were, there are also things to do, like sea kayaking at Honeymoon Bay.
The next day, we set off towards Croajingolong National Park, which is a World Biosphere protected environment, the delicate rarity of which is unequalled. We decided we would forge on to Metung, which is located directly by the Gippsland Lakes—our country’s largest inland waterway. Along the way, there are opportunities for sailing and nature experiences you’ll find in few other places. Our next destination was Wilsons Promontory National Park. Here, we took some extra time to hike to the summit of Mt. Oberon, and it was worth the effort. Afterward, we picnicked on the granite cliffs and took a delicious swim in the sea, which is also a part of the national park. That night, we camped under the stars at Tidal River.
photo credit: प्रतीक
The next two days took us through interesting townships like Fish Creek and Inverloch, a pelican haven at San Remo, and Rhyll, where we stopped to watch fairy penguins and observe some wild koalas, from a peaceful vantage. We explored this region thoroughly, mostly because it offered so many opportunities for enjoying animals in their natural habitats, and spent the night at Rhyll.
Our last day on the road took us along the Mornington Penninsula. We stopped often to walk along, picking berries and visiting points of interest, such as the region’s many art galleries and enormous houses. As evening fell, we walked the lanes of Melbourne and treated ourselves to some truly amazing cuisine.
I will never forget this experience. In addition to seeing my country in a way I had never done before, I also have a list of places I want to see next time I take a road trip. There was never quite as much time as I would have liked to take the turning to another local point of interest or linger in an interesting town where we stopped to refuel. Don’t worry about wearing out your sense of wonder, Australia has planned for that and there will always be more to see and do than you can fit into your holiday time.
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