Melbourne To Sydney Coastal Drive – The Perfect Road Trip
The Coastal Drive from Melbourne to Sydney
Will you travel from Melbourne to Sydney? A great way of doing it is to go on a road trip. Of course, it will take a few days to get there. The coastal drive from Melbourne to Sydney is the best route option.
The South East Coast of Australia connects Sydney to Melbourne with a coastal stretch of over 1000 km. It boasts the most varied coastal landscape with some of the prettiest beaches in Australia. From forests, national parks, abundant wildlife, walking trails, surf beaches, fishing and whale watching spots, picturesque villages and breathtaking lookouts on the ocean.
If you haven’t booked your accommodation, check out these places below, we stayed in and can recommend for your stay.
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Reasons to travel from Melbourne to Sydney by car
If you are asking yourself: how much does it take from Melbourne to Sydney by car? You can also manage that drive in 1 or 2 days, but I wouldn’t do it for such a short drive.
While flying from Melbourne to Sydney may be convenient if you are on a tight schedule, adding 4-5 more days is worth driving from Melbourne to Sydney.
It is an easy route with various activities and accommodation options, making it one of my favourite road trips in Australia.
There are two main drive routes: the inland route via the highway and the route through the East Gippsland and the South East Coast of Australia from Melbourne to Sydney. The coastal drive is the most beautiful route, and I highly recommend it.
While I first visited the South East Coast from Sydney to Melbourne by bus, I recently went on a road trip from Melbourne to Sydney and explored the East Gippsland in Victoria and the best places of the South East Coast worth seeing on this stunning coastal drive.
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Discovering the East Gippsland – Walhalla historic township
I had heard a lot about Walhalla. Nestled in the Gippslands’ wilderness, the drive from Melbourne is about 2,5 hours. Walhalla was once a significant gold mining township with over 6 thousand people. Today’s population is 20.
With its beautiful location offering a good mix of things to do: from the ride on the heritage train to a visit to the long tunnel extended gold mine to the mountain rivers trail and many walks in the thick forest, Walhalla draws people from all over the world and is worth adding it to your Melbourne to Sydney trip.
In Walhalla, I stayed at the Star Hotel
Visit the Buchan Caves
On your way to the eastern coast of Australia, another place worth stopping by is Buchan. Famous for its unique underground caves, it offers a very relaxing environment.
If you love walking in nature and seeing native animals in the wild, this is a great place. I spotted many native birds: Galahs, lyrebirds, wallabies and kangaroos. Plan one day to visit Buchan.
Stop at Yarrington
Yarrington is a small and picturesque village in the Gippsland. It’s worth stopping for a walk and a coffee break with its quirky shops and superb bakery.
Top places to stop on the Melbourne to Sydney drive
There are a dozen villages and townships between Melbourne and Sydney. Here are my favourites stops. Consider 4 to 5 days as a good time for this road trip. You can also click on the map below to see it on Google. Where to stop? Click the Melbourne to Sydney Coastal Drive Map on Google.
Eden and Merimbula in New South Wales
Eden and Merimbula (which means two lakes) are the first coastal towns you will be driving through after crossing the border between Victoria and NSW. They are trendy among the locals for whale watching, fishing, golfing, surfing, or just a relaxing holiday during the school holidays.
Merimbula is nestled on soft hills, lakes and ocean inlets. It has long sandy beaches, a rugged coast, and sheltered tranquil beaches in the bay with a varied landscape. And a perfect drive stopover.
In Merimbula, I recommend the Sapphire Motor Inn
There are lots of things to do and see here, but for a short visit, go to Short Point to view the red rocks, soak in the ocean breeze and marvel at the glowing red (at sunset).
From Short Point, walk or drive to Middle Beach to walk on the beach and take in a very pristine environment. This is also a good vantage point for spotting whales and dolphins.
Tathra picturesque pier on the South East Coast of Australia
Tathra is the following location you pass through after leaving Merimbula. Its lovely picturesque dock overlooking the rugged coastline and a few lookouts along this coast is a hidden gem worth stopping by. Don’t miss out on the Michael Lerner Lookout just before arriving at Tathra on the right-hand side of the road. Walk the rocky path down a few cliffs to take in the fantastic view of the ocean.
Bermagui – The blue pool
Bermagui (means canoe with paddles) Blue Pool is the pearl of this small coastal town. Built on the edge of a cliff with a smaller pool for children and a few banks and benches to chill out, it creates a safe swimming area with a hint of adventure (beware of the waves crashing into the pool). It was not the right weather for a dip (cold + windy); however, the sunny day with the rough sea made it a picture-perfect scenery.
Narooma – the idyllic place
Narooma is a fascinating little town with a beautiful mountain backdrop. Not to miss out on your Melbourne to Sydney trip. There are two main lookouts, the Glasshouse Lookout and the Bar Rock lookout, from which you can view the Australian shape carved into the rocks by the low tide and the bay’s tranquil sandy beaches. Don’t miss out on the soldier crabs beach to view hundreds of little silver crabs marching onto the beach.
Batemans Bay – Surf, Swim and Sunset
Batemans Bay lies on the South East Coast of Australia between Narooma and Jervis Bay, which is trendy among camping lovers. The town stretches along with large coastal national parks and the Clyde River inlets. Batemans Bay is also known for its walking tracks in Pebbly Beach forest, with grazing kangaroos on the beach.
I haven’t seen this again since my first visit in 2004, but I was happy to discover new places like Surf Beach in the southern part, a famous beach for a stroll and swimming. I stayed overnight in Batemans Bay at the BeachHouse Resort and was treated to this ocean view at sunset colours.
In Batemans Bay, I stayed at the Sunseeker Motor Inn
Jervis Bay – White sandy beaches
Jervis Bay is a jewel on the South East Coast of Australia and its unique natural beauty. It has some beautiful beaches, pure air and beautiful walking tracks in the national parks. This is not a place for a touch-and-go visit. You need at least 3-4 days to do justice to this place.
I can recommend going on a solo road trip to Jervis Bay from Sydney.
Kiama and the blowhole
Most known for the Kiama Blowhole and the lighthouse, this little township is perfect for a day out from Sydney to see the Sunday Market. The blowhole is the main attraction, but it is often overcrowded, and I prefer the Bombo Headland, which I discovered on this trip, just out of town towards Wollongong. The view is just magnificent.
Wollongong – The old and new Lighthouse
Only 90km south of Sydney lies Wollongong, the largest town on the southeast coast and the last stop of this road trip. It’s popular among the locals but less known about international travellers. It hosts exciting events and has a lovely boardwalk along the coast to the Marina, encompassing the old and new lighthouse. Worth a stop and a photo or two. More about Wollongong.
I stayed at the ➡️ Sage Hotel Wollongong
In Sydney I loved ➡️ the Pier One Hotel
For Sydney check ➡️Harbourside Apartments with views of the Sydney Harbour.
How to organise your road trip from Melbourne to Sydney via cost
This is only a taste of the best places to see on the South East Coast of Australia. There is much more to explore inland and along the coast of Sydney.
Related Page: All Australia Destinations
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Below, you will find a list of top resources for planning your coastal road trip from Melbourne to Sydney.
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October 10, 2017 @ 4:57 am
I’ve done this trip a couple of times, but always too quickly!! Next time I’ll take longer and explore it properly 😀 Love the new look of your blog too!!
December 12, 2017 @ 9:45 am
It will be more fun and enjoyable to drive than to fly. One can see much more places while driving. If I have time, I will definitely drive there or anywhere else. I can stop where I want , I can stay where I want so there is not any other options like this.I hope I will have time to experience this kind of holiday. Thanks for giving advices.
November 22, 2021 @ 1:56 pm
I am trying to get myself sorted for my families annual Christmas trip to Uralla, NSW. It will be our first time with a 5month old baby, so this time we want to go via Sydney and Newcastle.
It will be 2 adults a 5 year old and bubz.
This trip sounds beautiful but we are short on time as we spend Christmas with my partners older daughter and he doesn’t have very long off work, so doing the whole trip in 2daus (day 1 Melbourne to Sydney, day 2 Sydney to uralla).
Was wondering if you had any tips for me of you could point me in the right direction?
Much appreciated, the frazzled Mumma