I’ve done it! Drove it, walked it, slept it, ate it. The road from Sydney to Melbourne BUT on the coast. It seemed huge to me at first but, in the end, it wasn’t that bad. All of it, all of the 1226 kilometres (thank you google maps for counting kilometres) + probably hundreds of extras for visiting around.
So how is it? Where to stop? Is it worth it?
Well, read and let me know what you think!
How to prepare
Basically, what you need is… a car. Duh. But mainly a car in good condition because you are going to drive a lot. Also, stuff in your car that you love when you are driving, such as a really good playlist and your favourite cookies etc. I drove it all the way all myself as I have with my family visiting from France and 1/ they weren’t super excited about driving on the left side 2/ I wasn’t super excited to give them my car either.
Another thing about your car, you should make sure you have good wipers. No kidding when you drive for 2 days, 4 hours and 7 hours under the pouring rain and can’t see much of what’s happening and you have thousands of turns on a tiny road: you bless the wipers.
A thing I missed, and it’s not to be vintage or hipster but: a roadmap. Surely I had my GPS + my Iphone with google maps. But having a real road map on the side and your co-pilot looking the roads while you drive is quite nice. I definitely chose to buy some for the rest of the trip.
Where to stop and what to see
That’s the best part: actually, drive to see something! I actually got inspired from this itinerary on Tourism Australia’s website but shortened it slightly and didn’t do all the way.
Basically, we did Sydney > Jervis Bay > Eden > Phillips Island > Melbourne. All with one night stops so in five days. Pretty crazy knowing you have to drive for 7 hours between Eden and Phillips Island but ok.
Jervis Bay is a really nice place, I loved the white sand beaches and blue ocean like in Hyams Beach. There’s a lot of places where you can stay for a long weekend only 3 hours out of Sydney. There’s also the beautiful Booderee national park with walks and beaches all the way.
Eden - well I can’t say much of it because I basically didn’t see much. We spent too long in Jervis Bay and when we arrived in Eden it was night and raining like crazy. It didn’t change the day after so we just decided to leave straight away as I had to drive for 7 hours. We still stopped in Lakes Entrance which wasn’t super interesting - but that might be because of the moody weather.
Phillip Island was awesome. It is a beautiful place! Of course the must-do is the penguin attraction. From 9 pm every single night, you can see penguins arriving from the ocean to the ground to sleep for the night. This is just the cutest and the general admission is well worth it, you can see a lot of them. No photos allowed because it might disturb or frighten them (you will understand when you see those little things). There’s a lot to do on the island so I’d really stay longer next time. Walks, surfing, zoos, chilling… so much!
And then Melbourne! Melbourne is a really nice city and so different from Sydney. I won’t write much on it as I’d rather write a full article it next time. But two highlights for this time: Brighton Beach with the colourful cabins and Melbourne CBD with the art lanes.
Is it worth it? Likes and regrets
Yes, it is definitely worth it to do at least once! I don’t think I will drive again for that long the same road but I really liked it. The road isn’t that good, very curvy and only two-sided so you can’t really take over if needed but it’s actually ok. If you like driving of course.
Sometimes I regret a bit going through so fast to all of those places but in a way I love how we wanted to get the best out of each place. In a way the weather wasn’t very good, so not staying long didn’t waste our time too much. And if you’re a high-paced person like me, being always on the run is fun.
So if you’re on the look to do the coastal drive, do it, plan it, book it! If you have a week, that’s great, four days, that’s ok, more than a week, why not. Every experience differs for sure but memories are always good.
Did you ever do this coastal drive? Tell me!