Two Week Sydney to Melbourne Road Trip Itinerary (The Coastal Route)

Australia’s mainland has more than 35,000 kms of coastline to explore and some of the country’s best can be found in between Sydney and Melbourne.

From spectacular beaches to quaint coastal country towns, the NSW South Coast and Victorian Gippsland Coast offer something for everyone.

With lots to see and do, where do you start planning your Sydney to Melbourne road trip itinerary.

First, you need to work out how long you want to go for. From there you can determine how many places you’ll be able to fit into your time. However if you want to see all the best bits in one trip, my suggestion would be to allow at least two weeks.

If you don’t have quite as much time to spend then you can use this itinerary and pick parts out of the trip to explore at different times. And if you are departing from Melbourne, all you have to do is reverse the itinerary, simple!

Hiring a Vehicle

First thing you will need is a vehicle. If you live in Sydney/Melbourne or nearby, you’ll likely have your own car. If you will be flying into Sydney or Melbourne you’ll need to hire a car, campervan or caravan.

There is plenty of different types of accommodation available on the route to accommodate those travelling both by car and by campervan or caravan. Holiday parks with space for campervans, caravans and campers are in abundance in most towns along the coast.

A car will give you more freedom to park on the side of the road to discover something new. While campervan’s and caravans are your home on wheels. There are pros and cons to both options.

Which ever option you choose, Expedia has great car, campervan and caravan hire options with comparative prices. Most offer one way hire options too.

Two Week Sydney to Melbourne Road Trip Itinerary

Two Week Sydney to Melbourne Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

Day 1 to 3 – Sydney to Jervis Bay

The drive from Sydney to Huskisson (the main town on Jervis Bay) is under three hours, depending on where in Sydney you are leaving from. Leave early which will allow you plenty of time for exploration along the way. Here are a few of my suggested stops.

  • The Royal National Park – One of the oldest National Parks in the world, there is heaps to explore here and you could quite easily spend a week just seeing everything in the park. For this trip I’d suggest driving through the park rather than taking the highway south. Maybe make a stop at the Audley Boatshed for a coffee or short walk at Wattamolla.

Wattamolla in the Royal National Park - The Trusted Traveller

  • The Grand Pacific Drive – This is a beautiful stretch of coastal road with stunning beaches and breathtaking bridges that allow you to drove over the ocean away from the sheer cliffs above. You can read more about some of my favourite spots on the Grand Pacific Drive here.

Sea Cliff Bridge on the Grand Pacific Drive - The Trusted Traveller

  • Wollongong – The 10th biggest city in Australia, don’t let this put you off as most of the city is facing the coast and has a really relaxed vibe. Wollongong is a great place to stop halfway through your drive to Kiama to have a dip in the ocean and grab a bite to each for lunch. There are lots of great cafes, restaurants and take-away stores along the beaches.

Norhtbeach, Wollongong - The Trusted Traveller

  • Kiama – This sleepy seaside town is packed full of restaurants, cafes, boutique shopping and of course beautiful beaches. Check out the famous Blowhole, Terrace and Sandstone Walk Shops and those aforementioned beaches.

Kiama Blowhole - The Trusted Traveller

  • Berry – One of the top quaint towns in NSW, in Berry you will find plenty of great places to eat, lovely little local shops selling locally made items and some top pubs. If you are there for breakfast or morning tea, check out the Milkwood Bakery or for lunch the meals at the Great Southern Hotel are always great. Just a few minutes drive from the main street is the Berry Treat Factory, a great place to stock up on treats for the long road trip ahead.

Quaint shops in Berry - The Trusted Traveller

  • Shoalhaven Heads – The quintessential sleepy seaside town. A nice place for a stroll to stretch the legs after being in the car. The Shoalhaven River meets the sea here so you get the best of both worlds, nice river and ocean views.

Shoalhaven Heads - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

What to See & Do in Jervis Bay

Jervis Bay is a year round destination fringed with stunning beaches, pristine national and marine park and quaint little towns with an abundance of delicious places to eat and drink. The whole area has a very chilled out vibe with lots to see and do for all ages.

  • Booderee National Park – Home to some the the areas most stunning beaches like Caves Beach and Murray’s Beach where you might run into a few of the local kangaroos who like to hang out in the car park. This National Park also has some great short walks, ruins and lovely Botanical Gardens. You could easily spend a day or more just exploring this park.

Murrays Beach, Jervis Bay, Australia

  • White Sands Walk – Beginning at Greenfield Beach picnic area this walk takes you on a loop past some of the best white sand beaches on the bay including world famous Hyam’s Beach, said to have the whitest sand int he world. The whole loop takes about an hour and is relatively flat, so good for most fitness levels.

Hyams Beach in jervis Bay - The Trusted Traveller

  • See Whales and Dolphins – During whale season (roughly June to November), these majestic creatures like to make their way into the bay and sometimes put on a bit of a show. However, if you’re not in the area during whale season then you can still see the amazing dolphins that live in the bay. The best way to see these creatures is on a cruise, check out some option in the box below.

A pod of Dolphins in Jervis Bay - The Trusted Traveller

  • Point Perpendicular Lighthouse – On the northern end of Jervis Bay, this lighthouse offers spectacular views looking out over the bay and through the opening out to sea. You can even make out the white sands of the beaches that rim the bay.

Point Perpendicular Lighthouse view - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

  • Nearby St Georges Basin – Just 10 minutes from Huskisson (the main town in Jervis Bay) is St Georges Basin, a shallow lake home to some of the regions most beautiful flora and fauna. From Erowal Bay and the few towns along the Basin you’ll be able to go fishing, see flocks of birds take off and land on the still water and watch kangaroos lazing by the shore just before sunset. Its one of the most peaceful places on earth.

St Georges Basin - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

Suggested Jervis Bay Tours

2 Hour Whale Watching Cruise – scenic whale watching cruise from mid May to mid November on Jervis Bay.

1.5 Hour Dolphin Cruise – visiting Jervis Bay outside of whale season, join this spectacular dolphin cruise instead.

Where to Stay in Jervis Bay

Here are three accommodation options to suit all budgets that I recommend you check out. All are centrally located, highly rated and come with excellent facilities.

Budget – Huskisson Holiday Cabins

Mid-Range – Huskisson Beach Bed and Breakfast

Luxury – Ceespray on Owen

Or why not book an Airbnb stay. Use this link to get up to $45AUD off.

Day 4 to 5 – Jervis Bay to Batemans Bay

Heading further south in the morning from Jervis Bay, the drive to Batemans Bay is about two hours with lots of beach stops and detours along the way.

  • Lake Conjola – On the lake of the same name, this sleepy little town is a short detour from the highway and a great place to grab a coffee and stretch your legs with a walk along the lake front.
  • Milton – A little further south on the highway is the historic town of Milton which is packed with art galleries, antiques and, surprisingly for the location, fine dining restaurants. Grab a treat from the Heritage Bakery at the very least.
  • Mollymook – Popular holiday spot for families in summer, I love the beach here which is patrolled during summer and great for a swim or surf. The town also has some great beach cafes and fish and chip shops, so this could be a good place to grab a late breakfast or lunch.

Mollymook Beach - The Trusted Traveller

  • Pretty Beach in the Murramarang National Park – Taking the Bawley Point turn off from the highway, this slightly longer detour is worth it for the stunning and secluded beach you’ll find at the end, Pretty Beach. From Pretty Beach there are lots of walks you can do, keeping your eye out for kangaroos in the grass. Also a great spot for a picnic.

What to See & Do in Batemans Bay

Arriving in Batemans Bay will be the start of your adventures in the Eurobodalla region of the NSW South Coast. Famous for amazing beaches and waterways perfect of outdoor activities and food, incredible local sourced food. The countryside through the whole region is rolling hills with grazing cows on the right as you head south and aqua blue ocean on the left.

  • Oysters! – The Clyde River which runs right through Batemas Bay is home to plenty of oyster leases meaning an abundance of local oysters for you to eat. My favourite spot to grab and oyster is The Oyster Shed on Wray St where you will get the freshest oysters served either on the deck over looking the river or for takeaway.

Eat oysters at The Oyster Shed - The Trusted Traveller

  • Mogo – 10 minutes south of Batemans Bay is the tiny town of Mogo. The street is lined with quaint antique and crafty stores as well as a few great places to grab a bite to eat, maybe even a locally made cake. While in Mogo, check out the zoo there which has a great reputation for the protection of endangered species, you can even feed a giraffe!

Mogo - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

  • Hit the Beach – There are lots of beaches around Batemans Bay. My favourite would have to be McKenzies Beach in Malua Bay, just south of town on the coastal tourist drive. Its less crowded and has beautiful semi enclosed surrounding cliffs.

McKenzies Beach, Malua Bay - The Trusted Traveller

  • Mossy Point – On the coastal tourist drive south of Batemans Bay is this lovely little coastal township where the Tomago River meets the sea. Down by the river mouth you can hire a kayak and paddle up the river spotting sting rays as they glide under the kayak. It is pristine beauty.

Kayaking at Mossy Point - The Trusted Traveller

  • Durras Discovery Trail – Just north of Batemans Bay off the highway is the southern part of the Murramarang National Park where you will find this 1.5km loop walk through the rainforest. It is a great escape from the beaches in summer with temperatures generally lower in the rainforest.

Where to Stay in Batemans Bay

Here are three accommodation options to suit all budgets that I recommend you check out. All are centrally located, highly rated and come with excellent facilities.

Budget – Shady Willows Holiday Park

Mid-Range – Bridge Motel

Luxury – Bay Breeze Boutique Motel

Or why not book an Airbnb stay. Use this link to get up to $45AUD off.

Day 6 to 7 – Batemans Bay to Merimbula

Again, make an early start to allow yourself plenty of time for stops along the way with stunning part of the coastline between Batemans Bay and Merimbula. The drive, without stops is only just over two hours. Check out some of the following places on your way through.

  • Moruya Heads – A sleepy coastal town with great Tuesday local farmers markets and beautiful views where the Moruya River meets the sea.

Sage Farmers Market - The Trusted Traveller

  • Coila Prawns – If you love prawns, a stop at the service station on the highway here will allow you to buy some of the freshest prawns you can get. These are not just any prawns though, they are Coila Lake prawns which are small, sweet and delicious, with the prawns completing their entire lifestyle in enclosed waters, which is rare.
  • Tuross Head – Another lovely sleepy town along the coast and probably one of my favourites. There’s a great short tourist drive you can do around Tuross Head if you don’t have much time here. It takes in all the best spots around town including some lovely lookout spots.

Tuross Beach, Tuross Head - The Trusted Traveller

  • Bodalla Dairy Shed – Cheese and dairy lovers will be in heaven in this place. Here you can taste and buy locallly made dairy products include the Bodalla Cheese Company. I especially like their saltbush cheese for something different and don’t forget to grab a deliciously fresh milkshake for the road.

Cheese Tasting in the Bodalla Dairy Shed - The Trusted Traveller

  • Dalmeny Drive Detour – Not long before arriving in Narooma, you can turn off the highway and continue the rest of the way along the coastal Dalmeny Road for beautiful beaches and coastal views. There is also a coastal walking path which you can walk part of to stretch your legs after the drive.
  • Narooma – Narooma is gateway to some of the best beaches, snorkeling and wildlife on the NSW South Coast. Set on the Wagonga Inlet, it is a popular place for family holidays, fishing and lazy days at the beach.
  • Tilba Tilba – Similar to Mogo, this historic little town is home to some quaint little galleries and antique shops as well as cafes selling local produce.

Tilba - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

  • Camel Rock – One of the oldest rocks known in NSW. Access the beach of the same name via the car park and take a walk along the beach to see the rock which is, as the name says, shaped like a camel.

Camel Rock - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

  • Bermagui Pacific Drive – A short drive around this coastal town where you can visit Dickinson Point for spectacular ocean views or take a dip in the Blue Pool, a natural rock pool that shines sapphire colour on a sunny day.

Bermagui - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

  • Tathra – Head into this sleepy fishing town to walk out on the famous pier and grab some fish and chips while enjoying the peace and lovely views.

Tathra - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

What to See & Do in Merimbula

The heart of the Sapphire Coast, Merimbula is lively coastal village surrounded by pristine marine and national parks. There is an abundance of things to see and do for those who love being outdoors and lots to keep the foodies happy too.

  • Ben Boyd National Park – Named after entrepreneur, Ben Boyd, the park was first established in 1973 and encompasses an area of over 10,000 hectares. It’s the perfect place for nature and wildlife lovers to explore with plenty of excellent walking tracks, interesting geological features and structures, beautiful beaches and opportunities to spot wildlife. You could easily spend a day or more exploring the park.

The Pinnacles - The Trusted Traveller

  • Enjoy the Beaches – Right in the heart of town you will find great beaches to relax and enjoy some water sports. For something a bit quieter, head further south to Pambula or Eden.

Haycock Point Beach- The Trusted Traveller

  • More Oysters! – If you haven’t had your fill of this delicious morsels yet then you are in the right place. Pambula oysters are among some of the best in Australia. While you can buy them all over the region fresh, it doesn’t come fresher than joining Sponge on his Magical Oyster Tour around his Pambula River oyster leases. He will even pull an oyster fresh from the water for you to try. Read more about my tour experience with Sponge here.

Oyster leases in the Pambula Lake - The Trusted Traveller

  • Whale Watching – From September to November each year humpback whales can be seen off the Sapphire Coast making their way south to Antarctica for the summer. There are of course lots of places where you can spot them from the shore but the best way to get up close to these incredible creatures is on cruise.
  • Take a Walk – There a many great walks around the Sapphire Coast for all fitness levels:
    • Merimbula Boardwalk that starts from right in the heart of Merimbula and follows the water’s edge for 3.4 km to Lakeview Drive;
    • Eden Boardwalk takes you around Curalo Lake and along Aslings Beach for about 6km; and
    • Mt Imlay is a challenging half day walk to the summit is 6 km of steep track that requires a bit of rock climbing and scrambling. Your efforts are rewarded at the top with nice views of the surrounding area.

Eden Boardwalk - The Trusted Traveller

Where to Stay in Merimbula

Here are three accommodation options to suit all budgets that I recommend you check out. All are centrally located, highly rated and come with excellent facilities.

Budget – Sapphire Valley Caravan Park

Mid-Range – Seashells Apartments

Luxury – Albacore Apartments

Or why not book an Airbnb stay. Use this link to get up to $45AUD off.

Day 8 to 9 – Merimbula to Mallacoota

Just a hop, skip, jump over the boarder into Victoria from Merimbula and you are in Mallacoota in under an hour and a half. Break up the drive by exploring Ben Boyd National Park (mentioned above) on the way if you didn’t have time while in Merimbula.

What to See & Do in Mallacoota

This sleepy little East Gippsland town in the far east of the state is what I believe to be one of Australia’s best kept secrets. It is a peaceful haven located quite literally in the middle of nowhere which is why it has stayed virtually untouched. If you love fishing, swimming, walking, wildlife and generally being in the great outdoors, then Mallacoota is a place you will want to check out when exploring Australia.

  • Croajingolong National Park – A UNESCO world biosphere reserve, the Croajingolong National Park features 100km of rugged and unspoilt coastline and covers 87,500 hectares. Within the park is a thousand year old pristine eucalypt forest and rainforest that combine to give you a very unique glimpse of wilderness. The park is home to more than 300 different types of birds and over 1000 native plant species which you can see on nature hikes, beach walks or while camping.

Things to Do in Gippsland Victoria - The Trusted Traveller

  • Fishing – Mallacoota is a one of the best places for fishing in Australia with a wide abundance of fish regularly caught including tailor, luderick, perch, garfish and mulloway. You can pick up a fishing licence, bait and tackle from the bait shop in town and find a nice quiet spot along the waterfront to through a line in.

Where to Stay in Mallacoota

Here are three accommodation options to suit all budgets that I recommend you check out. All are centrally located, highly rated and come with excellent facilities.

Budget – Shady Gully Caravan Park

Mid-Range – Mallacoota Hotel Motel

Luxury – The Wave Oasis B&B

Or why not book an Airbnb stay. Use this link to get up to $45AUD off.

Day 10 to 12 – Mallacoota to Gippsland Lakes

Another short drive, just two and half hours between Mallacoota and Lakes Entrance, the main town of the Gippsland Lakes. You can make a few detours on the way to Cape Conran, Marlo and Orbost.

What to See & Do in the Gippsland Lakes

The Gippsland Lakes cover an area of 345 square kms joining the rivers Avon, Thomson, Latrobe, Mitchell, Nicholson and Tambo that fill the lakes, marshes, and lagoons. The lakes are popular for boating, fishing, and camping. I recommend basing yourself in the Lakes Entrance area as there are lots of accommodation options and it also provides you with easy access to the whole area.

  • Silt Jetties – These naturally forming narrow banks of silt stretch for 8kms into the Gippsland Lakes and are located near Eagle Point where they form the mouth of the Mitchel River.  You can drive out onto the silt jetties on an unsealed road where you will find lots of people fishing.

Things to Do in Gippsland Victoria - The Trusted Traveller

  • Paynesville & Raymond Island – Known as the boating capital of Victoria, Paynesville is a great place to get out on the water or enjoy activities around the foreshore. Explore the lakes and canals on foot or cruise or take the Raymond Island Ferry across to the home of a large koala population on Raymond Island. Once on Raymond Island, you can walk or cycle the island’s Koala Trail and spot the resident koala’s which are usually seen sleeping high up in a gum tree.

Things to Do in Gippsland Victoria - The Trusted Traveller

  • Take a Lake Cruise – The most popular way to enjoy the Gippsland Lakes is on a cruise. Various cruises leave from the towns of Paynesville, Metung, Loch Sport and Lakes Entrance making them very accessible to all visitors. Each cruise has a slightly different route but all offer the same picture perfect views.

Things to Do in Gippsland Victoria - The Trusted Traveller

  • Metung – The charming village of Metung is probably one of my favourite parts of the Gippsland region. It is great for scenic walks along the lake,  fantastic local food including a great monthly farmers market and unique coastal themed galleries. As with the most of the region, it is also a popular spot for fishing with the lakes side and wharf’s usually lined with people casting out a line.

Things to Do in Gippsland Victoria - The Trusted Traveller

  • Buchan Caves – These caves a short 45 minutes drive north of Lakes Entrance and are some of the best publicly accessible caves in Victoria. Here you will find two limestone caves that are accessible to the public through a guided tour, the Fairy Cave and the Royal Cave. The reserve around the cave is absolutely stunning, especially in Autumn. Have a picnic or hike one of the trails that lead off from the picnic grounds, just make sure you keep an eye out for wildlife, there is an abundance in the area.

Things to Do in Gippsland Victoria - The Trusted Traveller

Where to Stay in the Gippsland Lakes

Here are three accommodation options in Lakes Entrance to suit all budgets that I recommend you check out. All are centrally located, highly rated and come with excellent facilities.

Budget – Bamboo Motor Inn

Mid-Range – Big4 Whiters Holiday Village

Luxury – Bellevue On The Lakes

Or why not book an Airbnb stay. Use this link to get up to $45AUD off.

Day 13 to 14 – Gippsland Lakes to Wilsons Promontory

From the Gippsland Lakes you have two routes you can take to get the Wilsons Promontory. Drive time is about 3.5 to four hours depending on the route.

  • Coastal Route – On this route you will be able to take two short detours to stop off at spectacular 90 Mile Beach which is the fourth longest beach in the world and Corrigans Suspension Bridge in the Tarra Bulga National Park.
  • Inland Route – On this route, take a small detour to visit the charming historical reconstructed mining town of Walhalla.

Things to See & Do in Wilsons Promontory

Wilsons Promontory National Park is on a peninsula southeast of Melbourne. It is known for its rugged granite mountains, abundant wildlife and excellent hiking trails. Trails from the town of Tidal River lead to Squeaky Beach, with its white quartz sand. Nearby, Mount Oberon offers views of Bass Strait and offshore islands. While you are there, also check out the lightstation, built in 1859 and The Big Drift, a series of giant sand dunes you can hike over.

  • Hikes – There are lots of great hikes and shorter walks you can tackle during your time in Wilsons Promontory. The visitors centre in the park will be able to provide you with maps and more info, however some of the best include; Sealers Cove, a one-day 19km walk through temperate rainforest an secluded beaches; Loo Errn Boardwalk to see an abundance of wildlife; hike to the top of Mt Oberon for sunset; and Lilly Pilly Gully Nature Walk, perfect for a cloudy day walk through the rainforest.

One Week Gippsland Victoria Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

  • Cruise to Refuge Cove – Accessible only via the water, enjoy this seculdued cove that is full of marine life, bird life and native animals on a cruise which departs daily. Check out the Refuge Cove Cruises website for more details.
  • Ranger Talk – Head to the Visitors Centre to learn more about the biodiversity and history of the region with a ranger talk.

One Week Gippsland Victoria Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

  • The Beaches – As a coastal peninsula you will find an abundance of white sand beaches to explore. Some of the best include Squeaky Beach, Norman Beach and Whisky Bay.
  • The Big Drift – These massive white sand dunes are great for exploring on foot on a calm day. Take along a boogie board or large piece of cardboard and go sledding down the steep dune sand hills.

One Week Gippsland Victoria Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

  • Explore Fish Creek – The main town of Wilsons Promontory is packed full of galleries, bookshops and even a winery. Make sure you stop by, grab a bit to eat at one of the cafes and enjoy the atmosphere of this tiny creative town.
Suggested Tours in Wilsons Promontory
2.5 Hour Wilderness Cruise – discover the beautiful granite coastline and unique wildlife in a custom-built amphibious boat.

Where to Stay in Wilsons Promontory

Here are three accommodation options to suit all budgets that I recommend you check out. All are centrally located, highly rated and come with excellent facilities.

Budget – Tidal River Campground

Mid-Range – Tidal Dreaming Seaview Cottages

Luxury – Limosa Rise

Or why not book an Airbnb stay. Use this link to get up to $45AUD off.


Getting Back to Sydney/Melbourne

If this is your first time visiting Sydney to Melbourne, I suggest allowing yourself some extra time at either end of the trip to explore these great Aussie cities too.

You have a few options to get back to Sydney or Melbourne once your road trip is over.

The quickest way is of course the fly but wheres the adventure in that!

You can also drive the inland route via the Victorian High Country, Albury, the NSW Snowy Mountains, Canberra and the Southern Highlands. If you have a few more days to spare on your holiday, you can make a few stops along the way in these regions. Driving straight without stops, this route will take about 10 hours.

PIN THIS FOR LATER!

Two Week Sydney to Melbourne Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller
Two Week Sydney to Melbourne Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

Over to you!

Which part of this Sydney to Melbourne Road Trip Itinerary are you most looking forward to exploring?

Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.

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