Don’t have time for a long break from work? Only wanting to take a mini-break? Well, a trip along the coast is just what you need to relax and enjoy the sunshine.

This 7-day coastal road trip from Sydney to Melbourne is more than just a journey from point A to point B. It’s an adventure filled with unforgettable experiences and stunning vistas. So pack your bags, rent a campervan from Travellers Autobarn, and hit the road for an Australian adventure of a lifetime!

Sydney to Melbourne Distance

Instead of travelling via M31 (the inland route), embark on a scenic coastal route from Sydney to Melbourne. This 7-day journey covers 1,189 km across New South Wales (NSW) South Coast and Victoria. With nearly 15 hours of driving spread across a week, you’ll have ample time to explore national parks and enjoy the Sydney to Melbourne coastal drive. It’s more than just a road trip; it’s an unforgettable adventure through Australia’s diverse landscapes.

Quick stats

1189km trip distance

7 day roadtrip

Campervan recommended

road trip map

Day 1: Sydney to Nowra

Travel time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Stanwell Tops | New South Wales Bald Hill is a hill on the Illawarra Range, New South Wales, Australia, with an elevation of approximately 300 metres.

We begin our trip by leaving Sydney and heading down through the Royal National Park, playing spot the kangaroo. Making our way out onto the Grand Pacific Drive and up to Stanwells Park’s Bald Hill Lookout, you will not see a more pristine view. Heading south down through Wollongong to Kiama, stop off at the iconic Kiama Blowhole and Lighthouse.

After a beautiful lunch at the beachside eateries, drive alongside the white sandy beaches of Shoalhaven Heads and the quaint little village town of Berry.  Stopping in Nowra to set up camp at the various caravan parks and campgrounds in Nowra for a relaxing evening before the next leg of the journey.

Sightseeing #1: Hanging Rock Lookout

Ready to embrace the great outdoors? At Hanging Rock Lookout, your adventure awaits. Stroll along the pram-friendly paths, and you might just spot a kangaroo or koala. With over 40 species of birds calling this reserve home, don’t forget your binoculars! The Pinnacle Walk leads to breathtaking views from the summit of Hanging Rock – the perfect spot for that Instagram-worthy snap. And after all that exploring, refuel with a hearty meal at the Hanging Rock Cafe.

Sightseeing #2: Nowra Aquatic Park

Splash into fun at Nowra Aquatic Park! Located on the picturesque Shoalhaven River, this park is a haven for water babies of all ages. Race down the thrilling waterslides, ‘Vortex’ and ‘Rampage’, or chill out in the nine-lane outdoor pool. Little ones will love the Splash Play Park, while adults can keep fit or just float the day away.

Day 2: Nowra to Batemans Bay

Travel time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay

Leaving Nowra and heading for Jervis Bay to take a walk through the National Park, or go for a swim at Hyams Beach. Drive down to Ulladulla and travel through the small coastal towns before reaching Ulladulla Harbour to enjoy beachside fish and chips. 45 minutes out of Ulladulla, we reach our destination for the day, Batemans Bay.

Head on over to Mogo Zoo, situated in the historic gold mining town of Mogo, and even get up close and personal with many of the animals, including playing with the Meerkats, spending the day as a keeper and taking the Primate Island Cruise.

Sightseeing #1: Murramarang National Park

The perfect blend of beach and bush, Murramarang National Park offers 44km of stunning coastline for exploration. Here, spotted gums meet the ocean, creating a unique backdrop for your coastal adventure. Pack your binoculars to spot high-flying peregrine falcons or your fishing rod for a fresh catch. With campgrounds and cabins available, why not extend your stay in this natural paradise?

Sightseeing #2: Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden

Just five kilometres south of Batemans Bay, the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden provides a vibrant showcase of the region’s native flora and fauna. Roam among 2000 species of plants, trees, and shrubs, or spot kangaroos, wallabies, and a variety of birds. With walking tracks, picnic areas, a playground, and a café, it’s an ideal family outing. Remember, leave your pets at home but assistance dogs are welcome.

Day 3: Batemans Bay to Eden

Travel time: 2 hours 30 minutes
North Head Beach at Batemans Bay, NSW

After a restful sleep, we depart Batemans Bay and head on down to Tilba Tilba to enjoy some locally crafted cheeses before hitting the road again for the Bega region to enjoy snorkelling, surfing and bushwalking in the Mimosa Rocks National Park.

When arriving on the far south coast of Eden, head onto the Eden Killer Whale Museum to learn of their history and the relics of their interactions with humans. If you are lucky enough to come during May and November, you will get to see the humpback whales in their annual migration.

Sightseeing #1: Ben Boyd National Park

Once known as Ben Boyd National Park, Beowa National Park stretches a whopping 47km along NSW’s South Coast. Its red rock platforms against the deep blue ocean are an absolute sight for sore eyes and a dream come true for snorkelers and swimmers. Can’t decide between Pambula-Haycock’s stunning lakes and beaches or Green Cape’s cliff-edge campgrounds? Why not both! And don’t skip the Light to Light walk – it’s an experience you won’t forget.

Sightseeing #2: Aslings Beach Rock Pool

Tucked away at the southern end of Aslings Beach in Eden. Aslings Beach Rock Pool, cradled by dramatic pink and white cliffs, offers a refreshing seawater swim. It’s perfect for families, with safe splashing for the little ones at low water levels and a treasure trove of shells to discover. Fancy some fishing? The nearby ledges are just the spot. And while you’re there, take a stroll along Aslings Beach for a breathtaking view of Twofold Bay’s North Head.

Day 4: Eden to Bairnsdale

Travel time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Rock pools against a cloudy sky in Eden, NSW

Heading across the Victorian border, we come to Mallacoota with a beautiful unspoilt coast, surrounded by the magnificent Croajingolong National Park. Mallacoota is perfect for a nice relaxing swim or snorkel. Coming up to Lakes Entrance, you can wander the legendary Ninety Mile Beach, take a hike to ‘the entrance’ of the Gippsland Lakes, enjoy a boat cruise or even hire a paddleboat and take a trip on your own.

Finishing the day in Bairnsdale, take a bike ride along the East Gippsland Rail Trail, and visit the Krowathunkooloong Keeping Place, home to a vast collection of artefacts, art and information where you can learn about the culture of the Aboriginal people of East Gippsland. Why not also take a Bairnsdale Air Charter to see the Gippsland Lakes and Ninety Mile Beach from the air?

Sightseeing #1: Mitchell River National Park

Immerse yourself in the rich Aboriginal heritage of Mitchell River National Park, a significant cultural landscape for the Gunaikurnai Traditional Owners. Explore the rainforest gully leading to the Den of Nargun, home of an ancient legend, and enjoy a refreshing swim in the Mitchell River. Don’t forget to visit Billy Goat Bend, offering panoramic views of the Mitchell River Gorge. With picnic facilities and camping spots, it’s the perfect place for an outdoor escape.

Sightseeing #2: Gippsland Lakes

Answer the irresistible call of Gippsland Lakes, Australia’s largest inland waterway. Whether it’s the hundreds of kilometres of shoreline, the charming waterfront towns, or the abundant marine life that draws you in, your heart is sure to swell with joy. Comprising three major lakes – Lake Victoria, Lake King, and Lake Wellington – the region is a dream come true for boating and fishing enthusiasts. Experience the majesty of these lakes, fed by mountain rivers and opening into the Southern Ocean at Lakes Entrance.

Day 5: Bairnsdale to Foster

Travel time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Aerial panorama of Mitchell River and Eagle Point Bay near Bairnsdale, Gippsland, Australia

We leave Bairnsdale to head on down to Foster, which is only a short drive. We stop over in Port Albert to enjoy the sun, sand and surf. Take a sailing tour on a luxury catamaran with Nooramunga Sailing Tours, visit the Regional Maritime Museum, or simply enjoy the Marine and Coastal Park.

Head on over to Port Welshpool and enjoy the Snowy River National Park with its magnificent river scenery, deep gorges and forests. Finishing in Foster, maybe head off on a Kraken Tour, which is a 45-minute high-speed boat ride. Looking for something a little more laid back? Visit the lovely picnic spot of Pearl Park and enjoy a relaxing, laid-back afternoon.

Sightseeing #1: Gurneys’ Cidery

Fancy a sip of traditional English cider in the heart of Victoria? Gurneys’ Cidery is your destination. Born from the Gurnett family’s passion for dry ciders, this award-winning cidery is now a testament to their dream. Visit their Cellar Door – voted Best Cidery in Australia – and savour their delicious cider range amidst stunning views. No need for bookings, just drop in for a tasting paddle and nibbles anytime it’s open.

Sightseeing #2: Foster Museum

Step into history at Foster’s Museum. This quaint gem showcases Foster’s vibrant past, from its gold rush days to its thriving dairy industry era. Marvel at the extensive photo collection, a furnished miner’s cottage, and H.L. Lasseter’s workboat, among other intriguing displays. The museum is a testament to a community that cherishes its heritage, located in the beautifully preserved township of Foster, just a scenic drive southeast of Melbourne.

Day 6: Foster to Phillip Island

Travel time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Koala on a tree in Australia

Leaving Foster, we head to Phillip Island to explore its breathtaking beauty or rugged coastlines and stunning beaches. Here you can have wildlife encounters, such as watching hundreds of little penguins waddle from the sea at dusk and into their nests into the dunes. Spot koalas dozing in the eucalyptus or the wallabies grazing at sunset.

Head over to the Maru Koala and Animal Park in Grantville and explore the out-of-this-world adventures, including mini golf, interacting with dingoes, hand-feeding kangaroos and cuddling baby joeys. Visit the Rhyll Trout and Bush Tucker Farm to learn how to reel in a fish in the indoor rainforest pool. There is so much to do here that you will be lost at where to start first.

Sightseeing #1: Phillip Island Wildlife Park

Have a wild time at Phillip Island Wildlife Park! This 60-acre sanctuary is home to over 100 different species of Aussie animals. Get up close and personal with kangaroos and wallabies, feed them right from your hand, and watch koalas laze around from an eye-level boardwalk. Be enchanted by the calls of various bird species. Just 2km from Cowes, it’s the perfect spot for a wildlife adventure.

Sightseeing #2: Koala Conservation Reserve

Meet Australia’s cutest residents at the Koala Conservation Reserve. Wander along treetop boardwalks and watch koalas munch and nap in their natural habitat. Plant seeds from the Native Seed Station and help create thriving native habitats. Stay alert for wallabies, echidnas, and vibrant native birds. Located a short drive from Melbourne, it’s a must-visit for all wildlife enthusiasts.

Day 7: Phillip Island to Melbourne

Travel time: 2 hours
View of Melbourne cityscape and Yarra River, Australia

After a busy day at Phillip Island, hit the final leg of the journey up to Melbourne, and experience beautiful restaurants, bustling shopping malls, and gorgeous historical buildings. Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens and take the City Circle Tram to see all this city has to offer.

Take to the skies in a Yarra Valley Balloon Flight at Sunrise, or go back in history on the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne. No matter what, there is an endless amount of activities to experience.

Sightseeing #1: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Discover a green sanctuary in the heart of Melbourne at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Home to over 8,500 plant species, it’s a living, breathing encyclopedia of global flora. From camellias to cacti, every corner unfolds a new botanical story. More than just a pretty space, it’s a conservation champion, preserving rare and threatened species.

Sightseeing #2: Melbourne Zoo

Step into a world of wildlife without leaving city limits at Melbourne Zoo. Roam through lush rainforests, come eye-to-eye with orangutans, and walk alongside elephants. Spot over 320 species from around the globe, including local stars like koalas and kangaroos. Dive into an underwater world where penguins play and seals frolic.

People sitting in camp chairs next to campervan

Why book with Travellers Autobarn? We offer FREE 24/7 roadside assistance, access to FREE camping grounds and discounted rates at some top Aussie campsites. Check out some sweet wheels and deals on campervan hire in Sydney.

If you want to read more of our Sydney adventures, come and explore our dedicated Sydney Road Trip section. Happy Exploring!

 

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