Fine food and wine and stunning beaches await you on this driving route. Kick off your holiday in cosmopolitan Melbourne then hit the highway in your Melbourne car hire, heading up the coast toward the bright lights of Sydney.
Head southeast from the heart of Melbourne along the South Gippsland Highway for the Mornington Peninsula. From Port Phillip Bay you can head out on a kayak or to swim with dolphins and seals. A little inland, you’ll discover the famous Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs and Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park.
From Bass Highway take Phillip Island Rd. The island is home to penguins, fur seals and a large population of koalas that can be viewed up close.
Return to the Bass Highway, headed for Wilson’s Promontory. A popular stop is at San Remo, where you can feed pelicans. Wilsons Promontory National Park, which spans 50 thousand hectares, is full of walking and driving tracks through forests to beaches and coves. The summit of Mt Oberon affords great views of the rugged coastline while Pillar Point boasts views of the offshore islands.
Driving out of Wilsons Promontory the roads become curvier as they wind through farmland. You can stop for a break in Foster or Yarram or simply carry on straight to Metung. From here you have easy access to many lakes and rivers, ideal for watersports of all kinds.
Leaving Metrun you’ll soon come to Lakes Entrance, where the Gippsland Lakes enters the Southern Ocean. Stroll Ninety Mile Beach and marvel at the endless coast.
Continuing on, another worthy stop is Croajingolong National Park, humming with native plants and birds. At Mallacoota, you can swim at Betka Beach or Secret Beach, take Narrows Walk along the shoreline or venture out to Gabo Island.
The border at New South Wales is just a short distance north, and once you’ve crossed it, prepare for some spectacular driving. Make your way along the Sapphire Coast, through Mimosa Rocks National Park, and past many coastal towns. Narooma is close to Montague Island, home to the state’s only colony of Australian fur seals, and many kinds of birds.
Back to the highway today through forest until you emerge at Bateman’s Bay. Drive along the coast and its string of beaches to quiet Jervis Bay, a great spot for a stop. Other points of interest include the seaside town of Kiama and its famous Blowhole Point, and of course the final leg of the route, Grand Pacific Drive. Rock pools, cliffs and the suspension bridge are highlights, before you head inland to take the highway into Sydney.