Sydney Melbourne Road Trip

Experience 2 States & a Territory

Experience Unique Wildlife, Ocean Views & a River Cruise, City Sights & Festivals, Australian & Aboriginal History & Culture, Sumptuous Food & World-Renowned Wines

For those of you who want to see, do and experience as much as possible in southern Australia but are limited on time and budget, a road-trip is an ideal way to do it. The Sydney Melbourne Heritage Drive in reverse combined with the Sydney Melbourne Coastal Drive will take around 12-14 days, depending on how long you stop at each location along the two routes. For an extended vacation of up to 3 weeks, add some sightseeing in and around Melbourne and Sydney.

Arriving and starting in Melbourne on a flight from North America via Hong Kong or from the UK direct or via Thailand, these two routes maximize how much you can see, do and experience in two Australian states and one territory in a two-three week period. I do recommend you allow at least one day/night at each end of your road-trip to acclimatize to the different time zone and to unwind before heading home. If you’re limited to only 14 days including arrival and departure days, you may have to miss out on some sight seeing and/or stops along the routes, and minimize your time at either end of your road-trip. If you can spend three weeks in southern Australia, then I recommend taking your time on the road-trips, spending a little more time in Sydney and Melbourne, and even making a day-trip south of Melbourne to visit the Twelve Apostles and other sites along the route.

Sydney Melbourne Heritage Drive In Reverse (4-5 Days)

This route takes you on a 4-5-day road-trip from Melbourne in Victoria to Sydney in New South Wales via Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory, and is an ideal way to immerse yourself in some of Australia’s unique history and culture as well as indulge in local cuisine and world-renowned wines. On this drive you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • explore Victorian era buildings and gardens
  • learn about the gold rush era
  • take part in a Food Fossicking tour
  • enjoy an eco-friendly cruise on the Murray River
  • discover fascinating Aboriginal culture
  • see unique wildlife in lush national parks
  • absorb Australian city culture

Tip: Take this trip between mid-September and mid-October, and you can also enjoy a spectacular display of more than one million flowers at Canberra’s world-famous Floriade Festival, which celebrates the start of Australia’s spring season each year and includes entertainment, horticultural delights, as well as demonstrations and activities for all the family.

Optional: Sydney Sightseeing and Beaches (1-3 days)

Allow at least one day in Sydney for sightseeing in the city. A boat trip in Sydney Harbor is the ideal way to see the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge. Art, history and culture lovers may want to allow a second day for visiting art galleries and museums as well as taking in an evening show at the Sydney Opera House. Beach and surf lovers will want to allow a second day so you can visit the famous Manly and Bondi Beaches to watch the surfers. For the more adventuresome, you may also wish to participate in a quad bike dune tour at Worimi Regional Park further up the coast, so allow a day for that too.

Sydney Melbourne Coastal Drive (7-8 days)

This route takes you on a 7-8-day coastal road-trip along the scenic Sydney Melbourne Coast Drive, where you’ll not only get to see stunning coastal landscapes, beaches and bays, drive through forests and national parks, and see an array of unique wildlife including, of course, kangaroos, but you’ll also be able to:

  • sample local wine and fresh produce
  • see the world’s smallest penguins
  • walk among, and even meet, wombats
  • enjoy the freshest seafood
  • experience village life of a bygone era
  • walk on white sand beaches
  • go whale watching (depending on time of year)

Optional: Melbourne Sightseeing and 12 Apostles (2-3 days)

Allow at least 1 day at each end of this tour if you want to do some sightseeing in Melbourne. As mentioned above, I recommend book-ending your road-trip with at least one night in Melbourne after you arrive and one before you depart. Not only does this give you time to adjust to the new time-zone and allow you to unwind before your return flight, you should also have some time to do some sightseeing in Melbourne. You may wish to add an extra day for the drive to the Twelve Apostles, which are about 270 km south of Melbourne and will take you roughly 3 hours each way. Or just wait till your next trip to Australia, which of course you will want to do!!

Short on time?

What if you only have 7-10 days in the south; perhaps because you want to see other parts of Australia, or you’re on a business trip with family in tow in either Sydney or Melbourne? Arrive in one city, and instead of doing a circular trip, do one route only and depart from the other city.

Depending on your interests, preferences and available time, you can take either the 7-8-day Sydney Melbourne Coastal Drive, or the 4-5-day Sydney Melbourne Heritage Drive with 1-3 days sightseeing in and around one city at the beginning or end of your road-trip.

A stopover city on a long-haul flight from North America or the UK usually does not add much more to the cost of your flight, and often means you can do the entire route from one city to the other for less than adding a separate domestic flight.

There are so many options for a truly incredible Australian experience. If you prefer less driving, I’d be happy to help you plan an alternative style of vacation.

Walhalla Goldfields Railway, Walhalla, VIC.
Floriade, Canberra, ACT
Sydney Opera House, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Beach Surfers
Sand Dune Adventure
Australian penguins.
Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay, Shoalhaven, NSW
Wilsons Promontory, Victoria.
Melbourne Cityscape.
Friendly Wombat

Like this tour or interested in another?

If you like the sound of this tour of Victoria, Australia’s Capital Territory and New South Wales and want more details, or would like a customized tour anywhere in Australia, I’d be happy to help design a tour to suit your needs, wish-list, time-frame and budget.

Whether you want to travel solo, with family or a group of gal pals, if you’ve been dreaming of visiting Australia…

Stop dreaming…


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