This 5-day road trip starts in Sydney and will take you along the Sapphire Coast and through the Gippsland region, finishing in Melbourne. Expect to see some of Australia’s best south-coast beaches, taste delicious modern Australian cuisine and indulge in a soak at Peninsula Hot Springs. The road from Sydney to Melbourne is one of the most travelled. We’ve found 5 spots to stop along the way; you may find some new favorite places to come back to.
- Moona Moona Creek
- Jervis Bay
- Nelson Lagoon
- Bega Cheese Heritage Centre
- Snowy River National Park
- Little River Gorge
- Wilsons Promontory National Park
- Mornington Peninsula
Day 1: Sydney to Jervis Bay
Start your road trip by leaving Sydney via the Princes Highway. Drive south for a little under 3 hours to Jervis Bay. We recommend spending the morning at the beach or on a boat. Jervis Bay has great beaches for learning to surf, so if you’ve ever been keen to pick up a board, Jervis Bay and Sussex Inlet Surf School is the place to do it. If you’re more in the mood for a morning of relaxing and reading by the water, try Moona Moona Creek. Home to crystal clear, shallow water and soft, gentle sand. It’s a friendly place, so be prepared to make new friends. You could also depart the shore for whale and dolphin watching. You can spot migrating humpback whales from mid-May through to late November and bottlenose dolphins all year-round.
Day 2: Jervis Bay to Bega
Today you’ll be leaving the ocean and heading inland to Bega – known as the agricultural hub of the Sapphire Coast and home to the iconic Bega cheese. Bega Cheese Heritage Centre is the place to visit for cheese lovers. Sample a wide range of fresh cheese whilst learning about the company’s history and cheese-making practice in the Bega Valley. There’s also a fabulous on-site café, perfect for lunch (and a dairy-liscious dessert). Drive 30 minutes east of Bega to Mimosa Rocks National Park. Here you can swim in the calm waters of Moon Bay, catch a wave at Nelson Beach, kayak in Nelson Lagoon or embark on one of the many bushwalks. If you’d rather a swim in a waterfall, take a dip at Mumballa Falls, just west of Mimosa Rocks.
Day 3: Bega to Orbost
Depart Bega for Orbost, a peaceful and charming rural town on the river flats of the Snowy River. Located within the Gippsland region, the town is surrounded by stunning natural scenery and is graced by mild and pleasant weather year-round. Your first stop in Orbost will be a visit to the Snowy River National Park. Home to lush forest and rushing waterways, the park offers endless natural enjoyment. Drive through the dense alpine trees to view the spectacular Little River Gorge, Victoria’s deepest gorge and Little River Falls, a 600-metre high waterfall.
Day 4: Orbost to Wilsons Promontory National Park
Wake up bright and early this morning for a 4-hour drive south-west from Orbost to Wilsons Promontory. Wilsons Promontory National Park is one of Victoria’s most exquisite sites. At the southernmost tip of mainland Australia, this diverse national park is home to a spellbinding rainforest, soaring forest treetops and sweeping coastline views. Before reaching the park, make a pit stop at Waratah Hills, a small winemaker known for their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Visit their cellar door on the weekend between 11 am and 4 pm to treat yourself to some lunch and wine tasting. It’s important to note that Wilsons Promontory is super busy in summer, so if you plan on staying in the park, book ahead.
Day 5: Wilsons Promontory National Park to Mornington Peninsula
Today you’ll be travelling to the final stop before Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula. This is a beautiful Victorian region and has been a popular holiday destination for Melbournians for years. There’s a lot to see and do here, so we’ve picked our top 4. At the very tip of the Mornington Peninsula lies Fort Nepean. These battlements are over 130 years old and were active until the end of World War II – making this site a truly historic piece of Australia’s military past. Perfect for history buffs. If this step back in time has worked up an appetite, drive over to Mornington Peninsula Brewery. Here you can grab a bite to eat and taste their range of fantastic Australian craft brews. Open from Thursday through to Sunday – make sure you give these guys a visit. Pro tip, they do a free brewery tour on Saturdays at 4 pm. Stay a few nights in the Mornington Peninsula, there is loads to do here. When it’s time to drive to Melbourne, take the M1 road – the city is only about a 1-hour drive north of the Peninsula.