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Best routes and view, Melbourne to Sydney via car.

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Best routes and view, Melbourne to Sydney via car.

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1. Posted by xyz. (Budding Member, 42 posts) 21 Jan '13 18:58

I am thinking of moving on from Melbourne via car and heading up the west coast, hoping to do the Great Ocean Road before. Can anybody help me in terms of the best possible routes and sights along the way, with advice on where to stay over night?

It has been an ambition for a long time so want the best possible experience from it. There will be me and a friend in the car and will be buying a stationwagon and a tent etc.

What advice can people who have done this give? Any good websites or roadmaps that would be worth looking at or buying? We have a year so time is not really an issue. Thanks

2. Posted by aboo10 (Respected Member, 118 posts) 22 Jan '13 01:46

The west coast?? Melbourne to Sydney via Adelaide and Perth - have you got 6 months???

The Great Ocean Road is a relatively easy day trip even from Melbourne, although I would probably suggest 2 nights to really get to appreciate it... you could drive from Melbourne to Lorne and stay overnight, then drive as much of the Gt Ocean Rd the next day, stay somewhere - perhaps Apollo Bay, then drive back to Melbourne on an inland road - I think through Ballarat.

Then if you are wanting to drive to Sydney from Melbourne, I suggest the East Coast is slightly more direct... depending on how long you've got, you could stay a couple of nights along the way. I like Merimbula and Eden and Ulladulla and Jervis Bay and Kiama (all of these are in NSW) but you could stop around Orbost in Vic too.

If you are more pressed for time, you could drive from Melbourne to Canberra in one day and then scoot across to the coast at Batemans Bay and head north along the Princes Hwy at leisure.

There are many spots to camp, just be aware of fire restrictions! And drive carefully and stay safe.

3. Posted by KellieBarnes (Admin, 623 posts) 22 Jan '13 18:43

So you have a year for the whole trip, right? How far up the West Coast do you want to go?

It will be an epic trip if you go the full way around the country to get back to Sydney. There isn't exactly a direct route through the middle of Australia...

Get in touch with KobusM and compare notes on his trip: Big Lap 2012-2013.

Good luck!

4. Posted by xyz. (Budding Member, 42 posts) 22 Jan '13 19:07

Although i do want to do the west coast i meant the east!!! OOPS. But thanks for the advice and tips and the areas suggested.

So in other words, i am in Melbourne and want to do the great ocean road before heading back past melbourne to the east coast up towards sydney (we do plan on driving all the way up to cairns, and then maybe alice springs and perth but thats along time away!)

[ Edit: Edited on 22-Jan-2013, at 19:10 by xyz. ]

5. Posted by KellieBarnes (Admin, 623 posts) 22 Jan '13 20:38

Ha ha! In that case you can drive the GOR in a couple of days.

In June last year I drove from Melbourne to Warrnambool in one day, with plenty of stops for all the main attractions (and some smaller ones) and lunch along the way. Spent the night in Warrnambool and then drove back the next day on the inland route with detours through the Otway National Park to the Otway Fly. Wish I'd mapped that trip now, it was great!

Also, there's no need to go as high as Ballarat. If you come from the Otway Fly, for example, you'll hit Colac and the Princes Freeway (A1) first and be on your way back to Melbourne already.

Next month I'm driving to the Gold Coast and have a pretty rough plan mapped out here: Gold Coast Road Trip. I will be doing it in about two days on the way up and taking a slow inland route on the way back and hopefully take in Byron Bay and a bit of the Blue Mountains. Fire conditions allowing, of course!

Anyway, hope some of that helps.

6. Posted by Peter (Admin, 5429 posts) 22 Jan '13 20:43

Hehe, yeah big difference between going east or west ;)

There are basically two main options. The fastest is to drive straight up the freeway via Canberra. This is to be honest quite boring.

The other option is to drive along the coast. You can stop in places like Lakes Entrance, Jervis Bay, etc. along the way. Lots of nice seaside towns to explore.

From Melbourne, going via the Great Ocean Road, the scenic route I would choose might be something like this:

  • Melbourne to Warrnambool via inland freeway (get to Twelve Apostles for sunset)
  • Warrnambool to Lorne via the Great Ocean Road (see Twelve Apostles again at sunrise if you wish) and stop whereever you like. I always think Mait's Rest is worth a visit.
  • Lorne to Queenscliff, then ferry across to Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula
  • Drive back up the Peninsula and to Inverloch (nice stop might be the botanical gardens at Cranbourne if you're interested - they're pretty cool in my opinion, but maybe not everyone's thing ;))
  • Inverloch to Wilsons Promontory
  • Wilsons Prom to Lakes Entrance
  • Lakes Entrance to Merimbula
  • Merimbula to Jervis Bay
  • Jervis Bay to Sydney

If you have time, each of those stops is worth overnighting in (I linked them up to guide articles we have on some of them), so that's a 9 day trip. Or you can just drive through towns to make up time of course

Hope it helps. It's definitely a nice journey!

7. Posted by xyz. (Budding Member, 42 posts) 23 Jan '13 21:46

Thankyou for all that posted and helped me out. I will be looking at every suggestion mentioned when i plan the route. Has anybody got any other suggestions and places that may be of the beaten track. I know the best thing would to be just drive and look for them but it is so vast!

8. Posted by Peter (Admin, 5429 posts) 23 Jan '13 22:43

One thing I'd recommend that gets missed a lot on the Great Ocean Road - take the drive down to the Cape Otway lighthouse. But don't just go for the lighthouse. As you drive along that road, keep an eye on the trees. It's the best place I know to spot koalas in the wild :) Or alternatively, watch out for people with parked cars looking up into the trees.. hehe

Another good spot which you'll pass through anyway is Wye River. There's a whole bunch of them in the trees right there and you can pose as a koala in one of those poke-your-head through things.

9. Posted by xyz. (Budding Member, 42 posts) 23 Jan '13 23:12

Thanks! I'll have a look!

10. Posted by KellieBarnes (Admin, 623 posts) 23 Jan '13 23:21

Yes! Wished we'd had time to stop for the Cape Otway lighthouse.

Another good place for wildlife spotting is Anglesea Golf Course. You can walk onto the course from one of the surrounding roads (mind those actually playing golf!) and see the kangaroos that graze on the course. They are wild so don't get too close! This was always a family favourite destination to show to visitors.