This post will help you plan your Melbourne to Sydney drive along the coast. We rented a campervan and spent more than a week on this spectacular coastal route.
We followed the Pacific coast all the way from Melbourne to Sydney, first heading south to Phillips Island and Wilsons Promontory after which we turned north. And this coastal journey became such a huge trip! This beautiful part of Australia gave us so much that I divided the story in a series of blog posts, to be able to show you it all more in detail. Here it begins…
So we were travelling with a campervan, you can see our vehicle here. This is Hyams Beach in southern New South Wales.
What is the Pacific Coast on the Melbourne to Sydney drive like? Sandy beaches and green hills, pretty seaside towns, national parks, bushland and forests – and kangaroos jumping on the roadside!
On our journey we passed vast rural areas of Victoria and southern New South Wales, there were dry plains and green countryside, and countless beaches. Australia really has beaches, and so many of them that it won’t get too crowded at any time, just choose your beach.
The Melbourne to Sydney drive along the coast makes 1400 kilometres (1341 km on my route map) without side trips. But you have to add a couple of hundred km since you won’t just keep on main roads.
To see more we very much took the smaller country roads. We wanted to discover small villages and hidden beaches.
Melbourne to Sydney Drive Itinerary
The map shows our itinerary from Melbourne to Sydney. You can click on the map to open it in Google maps and use the map while driving.
Renting a Campervan
We were thinking about whether we should rent a car and a book hotels for each night or if a campervan would provide us more flexibility.
In a campervan you have all you need all the time and in its right place and you don’t have to pack and unpack each night. A campervan also gives you more freedom to go and sleep where you like and eat when you are hungry, something that is really valuable in vast rural areas like this.
So we decided to take a campervan, this one:
Renting a campervan in Australia is super easy. Unlike in Europe campervans are a common way of travel in Australia.
There are good websites where you can compare them and book. And it’s good to choose and pay for the camper before leaving home and you know your trip is fully organized.
Notice that campervan rental offices are located at the airports which sounds like a trouble but is good since driving a big van on the left hand side is hard enough, you don’t need to add to that driving in big cities on your first rental day.
A Home on the Road
We took a bigger campervan that has everything you need, a kitchen with gas stove, fridge, microwave, and of course a toaster to ensure easy breakfasts. The campervan also had a bathroom and sofas that you can convert to beds.
That was a perfect mobile home for our Melbourne to Sydney drive, and our campervan was both bigger and provided a more amenities than our boat back home that we often use for overnight trips.
Easy to drive says the driver, the passenger instead is scared, sometimes. But everything has gone well so far, and we enjoy this so much!
Melbourne to Sydney Drive
Since the Melbourne to Sydney drive is long and contains so much I split the route in parts and made separate posts on them.
In Part One we set off from Melbourne and drive to Wilsons Promontory in the absolute south of Australia. Part two goes across the New South Wales border to Merimbula and Part Three finishes the trip in Sydney.
1. Melbourne to Wilsons Promontory
The Melbourne to Sydney drive along the coast first takes you to Wilsons Promontory National Park at the southern edge of continental Australia. The national park is set on a peninsula that offers walkers and nature lovers amazing scenery.
On the way to Wilsons Promontory we turned to the Bunurong Coastal Drive and had a look at ancient fossils and rock formations on the beach. And if you have time there are too interesting side trip options, Yarra Valley and Phillip Island.
- For route description read my post Driving from Melbourne to Wilsons Promontory.
2. Wilsons Promontory to Merimbula
From Wilsons Promontory the coastal drive continues to Ninety Mile Beach that is as long as its name says. You will also visit the Gippsland inland lakes.
This is rural Victoria where distances between villages (and gas stations) are long and bridges narrow. Southern Victoria is a real kangaroo area but despite warnings we failed to spot any koalas on the roadside.
And there is the small coastal village of Mallacoota that has an isolated beach with red rock formations nearby and a koala rainforest path.
- Part Two of Melbourne to Sydney coastal drive: Wilsons Promontory to Merimbula
3. Merimbula to Sydney
The remaining 500 kilometres of the Melbourne to Sydney drive follow the coast of New South Wales. The main road winds between green hills and turquoise ocean waters but we used numbered tourist routes for side trips.
In New South Wales we stopped at Bermagui, Tilba Tilba, Jervis Bay, Kangaroo Valley and Kiama.
- Melbourne to Sydney Drive Part Three: Merimbula to Sydney
After 1400 km or more of Australian road trip you are in Sydney. This is the Darling Harbour walking bridge in central Sydney. You can see downtown Sydney beyond the bridge.
We have stayed in Sydney for work and rented apartments on two of our three trips to Australia so I have blog posts on Sydney too. You can check out my blog posts on Sydney here: