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Melbourne to Sydney Drive along Coast

This post shows you our Melbourne to Sydney drive along coast. To get from Melbourne to Sydney we rented a campervan and spent more than a week on this scenic coastal route. 

We followed the Pacific coast from Melbourne to Sydney, south to Phillips Island and Wilsons Promontory and north towards Sydney.

That all was to be such a huge experience! This beautiful part of Australia gave us so much that I had to divide our travel story in many posts, to be able to show you more.

Here it begins, the Melbourne to Sydney drive along coast:

Melbourne to Sydney drive, our campervan

We were travelling with a campervan, you can see our van here. This is Hyams Beach in southern New South Wales.

What Was It Like?

What is the Pacific Coast from Melbourne to Sydney like? Sandy beaches and green hills, pretty seaside towns, national parks, bushland and forests. And kangaroos bouncing on the roadside!

Kiama countryside


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.

Hyams 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 som hundred km since you won’t just keep on the main roads.

To see more we often took the smaller country roads. Since we wanted to discover small villages and hidden beaches.

Melbourne to Sydney Drive along Coast: the Map


The map shows ourMelbourne to Sydney itinerary. To see the details, zoom in the map as much as you like.

Renting a Campervan

We were thinking about whether we should rent a car and 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 Australia.

So we decided to take a campervan, this one:

Melbourne to Sydney drive on a campervan


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 know your trip is fully organized.

Notice that campervan rental offices are located at the airports which sounds like a trouble. But it’s perfect 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.

Now we had s a perfect mobile home for our Melbourne to Sydney coastal 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 along Coast

Since the Melbourne to Sydney drive is long and contains so much I split the route in parts and made separate posts on the different sections.

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 the small town of Merimbula and Part Three finishes the trip as we will reach Sydney.

1. Through Victoria: Melbourne to Wilsons Promontory

Melbourne to Sydney drive 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.



2. South East Coast of  Victoria: Wilsons Promontory to Merimbula

Melbourne to Sydney drive, a bridge


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.



3. New South Wales South Coast: Merimbula to Sydney

Melbourne to Sydney drive, Kiama


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, Sydney

Melbourne to Sydney drive: Sydney!

After 1400 km or more of our Australian road trip we came to Sydney! This is the Darling Harbour walking bridge in central Sydney and you can see downtown Sydney beyond the bridge.

The reason we came to Sydney was for business. We have stayed in Sydney for work on two of our trips to Australia so I have blog posts on Sydney too. You can check out my posts on Sydney here:


More on Australia Travel:


  1. Goodday, we plan to make the same trip. Can you tell me how much time you needed to explore the trip the way you did?

    • Hi Juliette and thanks for asking. I think we used two weekends and the week between, 10-11 days. There is a lot to see so reserve at least a week for this trip.

  2. hi… may i ask a question, thank you!
    if 5 days 4 nights on using motorhome from Melbourne-Sydney-Melbourne… any suggestion?
    thank you very much!

    • Hi Annie, 5 days is ok, you just have to drive longer distances per day than we did. And think about that the first and last days are shorter when you pick up and return the camper at certain times. So I would begin with planning the first and last days first and then see if you e.g. want to skip the southernmost part of Victoria to make the drive shorter. Have a great trip!

  3. hi there
    I found your trip interesting reading. We are coming from England next March and plan on spending 6 days driving Melbourne to Sydney. I’m a fairly confident driver but am a little nervous on very high cliff edges so just wondering if there are areas of the coast road between the two cities that are like that. We will be driving a car, not camper van btw. Many thanks

    • Hi Rachelle, the roads are good all the way, nothing to be afraid of, no high cliff edges anywhere. And as you already are familiar with left hand traffic, just go ahead and enjoy our trip!

      • Oh brilliant, thanks Liisa – that’s put my mind at ease. I did consider a campervan too but we think we will hire a car and rent Airbnb along the way (because we are meeting up with our daughter and her boyfriend – who are away travelling but will be in Oz when we go – in Melbourne and they are going to travel to Sydney with us). Looking forward to it and your travel ideas have given me some more ideas about where to stop and stay, thanks.

  4. Did you pre book places to stay? Is it easy just to stop overnight enroute or does this need to be planned in advance?

    • It depends on the time of the year you travel. If it’s holiday season or weekend I would book, otherwise maybe not. Just remember to arrive early enough in the evening since camping receptions often close round 5 or 6.

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