About The Coast between Sydney and Melbourne
The long coastal route between Sydney and Melbourne is a road-trippers paradise, with great coastal scenery, outstanding rocky terrain and plenty of interesting and friendly places to stop along the way. It’s 859 miles, and to do it in one would take about 19 hours, but you won’t want to drive by all the amazing beaches and charming seaside towns, allow at least double this if you wish to see the best places to visit.
The Princes Highway heads south-west out of Sydney, along the coast, soon reaching the industrial city of Wollongong. After this the coastal resorts become less crowded. Continuing south you get to Bateman’s Bay, Narooma and nearby Central Tilba, then the old whaling port of Eden, where nearby Boydtown once tried to usurp Sydney as the colony’s capital.
At Cape Howe you cross into Victoria, where the highway continues west. The south-eastern region of Victoria is known as Gippsland. East Gippsland contains the Wilderness Coast, which is renowned for its superb scenery. After this you reach the Gippsland Lakes, where there’s fishing, swimming and wildlife. The big feature of South Gippsland is Wilsons Promontory (www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/wilsons-promontory-national-park), site of the most popular national park in the land and the southernmost tip of the Australian mainland.
From here the coast turns north-west towards Phillip Island and the Mornington Peninsula, two holiday regions popular with weekenders from Melbourne.
Most people will tell you to fly between Sydney and Melbourne, and admittedly it is the cheapest and fastest way to get between the two, however this section is all about experiencing the beauty of the Australian coast.
There are several bus companies that travel between the two cities, Greyhound is the most renowned (www.greyhound.com.au) and regular. They offer jump-on-jump-off tickets so you can linger in places you like. There are also good train links (www.nswtrainlink.info). However, you always have the option to rent your own car or campervan and make your way along the coast, a reputable global chain is Drive Now (www.drivenow.com.au).