Get your friends or family together for a fabulous road trip along the coast, through fire-affected communities between Australia’s two greatest cities.
*Can be spec’d up or paired back, shortened or stretched to suit
We’ve done all the research and been up and down this route with guests for the best part of a decade so we know all the hidden treasures and local secrets between Melbourne and Sydney. You can still go it alone on one of our tailored and curated self-drive experiences or go with one of our fabulous Localing hosts in a spacious, luxury touring vehicle. Either way, you’re guaranteed twice the experience for less than half the work.
Remember the bushfires? This epic itinerary travels through many of the areas hardest hit. From the Victorian Lakes District, where towns were evacuated and industry was brought to a standstill, to Mallacoota, where homes were lost and locals were driven into the sea, up the East Coast where fires raged for over a month and homes, lives and too much wildlife was lost. This is the adventure for connecting with those worst affected – to meet volunteer fireies, visit animal hospitals and see the devastated landscapes and slow, steady recovery first hand.
…It’s also an iconic journey between Australia’s two greatest cities with everything the country does well to delight along the way. Make no mistake, this is a country continent and the only way to truly appreciate its immense scale is to clock up some serious miles on a classic Aussie road trip. With farm-fresh food and wine, endless national parks and wildlife, breathtaking white sand beaches, great lakes, oysters, dolphins, whales, surf and sun… this is the adventure of a lifetime.
Depart Melbourne at 9 am to ensure time for the journey out to the Gippsland Lakes. On escorted tours, this is a great chance to get to know your host and share some of your interests so these can be a feature of your tailored experience.
For self-drivers, this is the perfect chance to have a closer look through your uniquely tailored itinerary and trip notes, featuring loads of local insight, tall tales, tips and suggestions to ensure you make the most of your time. We’re on hand throughout your experience for in-destination support and advice.
While there are a few options for today, one of our favourite’s is to visit the lovely gold mining town of Walhalla – a sleepy mountain town that was once one of Australia’s richest back in the late 1880s. Walhalla has retained the charm of its golden era and there’s plenty to see – located in a deep mountain valley, ringed by forest and on the southern edge of the Victorian Alps.
Enjoy a walk around town with the chance to view a few local attractions like the Star Hotel and quaint stores selling everything from antiques to old-fashioned lollies and local preserves. Settle into one of Walhalla’s quint main street cafes for a fabulous local lunch.
Choose to go on an optional gold-mine tour to learn a little more about the life of prospectors and this defining chapter in the nation’s history.
Head on through the beautiful rural heart of Victoria’s dairy country, proudly home to the famous Maffra Cheddar.
Stroll along the boardwalks at the Sale Wetlands and stop for afternoon tea at Centre Bakery for milkshakes and pies.
Spend the evening in one of the beautiful lakeside village of Metung or Paynesville, just a stone’s throw from the Southern Ocean. Choose from a number of fabulous dinner options including one of Australia’s finest pubs.
Enjoy a hearty breakfast in your accommodation before choosing from a wealth of local options to dedicate your morning to. Amble among the quaint local shops, go sailing or fishing in the lakes and estuaries… Our favourite option is a visit to Raymond Island for a stroll through native eucalypt forests to see the hundreds of wild koalas and kangaroos.
Continue on toward Gypsy point in the Croajingalong National Park breaking for a delicious local lunch around Bairnsdale or the Cann River where fabulous local and seasonal produce is always the hero.
The coastal parks of Cape Conran and Croajingalong mark the border between Victoria and New South Wales and lay claim to wild windswept beaches, quiet coves, rocky headlands and significant native bird and wildlife. The communities around here were some of the worst affected by recent bushfires but it’s still a wonderful place for camping, birding, bushwalking and spotting kangaroos, koalas and emus.
Finish today’s journey in the old whaling town of Eden, where a siren is still sounded for every whale sighted in Twofold Bay. This aptly named piece of paradise is one of the regions hidden treasures and the perfect place to spend the night.
Before leaving Eden the Killer Whale Museum is a must-see. The whale is the second most intelligent creature on the planet. The Sapphire Coast starts in Eden and links the seaside
towns of Merimbula, Tathra and Bermagui and the Mimosa Rocks National Park.
Pambula, the home of Captain Sponge’s Magical Oyster Tours and a must do experience in this part of the world. This tour immerses you into the life of the Oyster Farmer, oyster husbandry with an introduction to the native Angasi species of oyster, which are grown on the farm.
Pambula is a historic village in rural surroundings and is at the mouth of the Pambula River among forests and lakes. Enjoy a quick stop at Mimosa Rocks National Park for a swim in the pure lagoons – a perfect spot for a picnic lunch.
Continue along the coast towards Tilba Tilba, a heritage town that retains much of its character from the 1890’s Gold Rush era.
On the journey north choose to take to the skies or the sea on a seal charter or seaplane adventure to see the stunning Sapphire Coast and its incredible unspoilt beaches and ranging mountains from a different angle. In the latter half of the year, whale sightings are also common.
Spend the evening in the cosmopolitan seaside village of Mollymook.
Enjoy a leisurely morning exploring Mollymook. You might consider an early morning surf, swim or beach walk.
The last day of the journey takes us through Jervis Bay, which has everything from dazzling Hyams beach, a contender for Australia’s whitest stretch of sand, to dolphin cruises.
Enjoy an excellent lunch at Milkwood Bakery in Berry or one of several excellent seaside restaurants along the route.
Berry is one of the area’s oldest settlements boasting fine early architecture with beautifully restored, heritage buildings, cafes, restaurants and quaint shops.
Arrive into Sydney in the afternoon.
COST & INCLUSIONS
Escorted experiences start at $2400 AUD per person (based on 4 guests – even less if there are more of you) including your wonderful Localing host and luxury vehicle on-hand throughout, 4 full days of touring with morning tea and a cafe-style lunch daily and all your standard admissions, tastings and activities. There are a few special additions along the way like private oyster farm experiences, sea-planes, surf lessons and dolphin cruises but we’ll help you navigate these to suit.
Personalised and curated self-drive itineraries are available from $1200 AUD for 4 days and include all your planning and arrangements using our many years of experience and relationship building, 24-hour in-destination support and a detailed and personalised step-by-step itinerary. Luxury hire cars, SUVs, vans and one-way transfers can be arranged at retail rates or better.
Accommodation costs vary depending on the dates, standard and room configuration but we can help you secure an excellent deal in the best hotels, guests houses or private homes along the way.
To start planning your perfect Melbourne Sydney or Sydney Melbourne road trip get in touch with us now.