Last Updated on December 28, 2020
Sydney to Melbourne Self-Drive via the Coast
This driving route is part of the famous East Coast of Australia road trip and can be done via the coast or over the mountains and the Australian Alps.
Driving over the mountains from Melbourne to Sydney (or in reverse, of course) and then returning along the coast on Highway One is a great road trip.
The coast drive is beautiful with so many beaches, bush forest walks, seaside towns, and dairy farming country.
A couple of weeks or more could easily be spent traveling along the coast from Sydney down to Melbourne. Loads of free camping areas can be found as well as a variety of accommodation options. Use the WikiCamps AU app to find free and low-cost campsites as well as dump points etc. It’s available on Android and Apple.
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The drive from Sydney and down through the Royal National Park is a must. Make sure to stop and gather information and maps of all the areas along the coast.
Explore Sydney for a few days, there is so much to see and do in this beautiful harbourside city.
Driving Times and Distances between Sydney & Melbourne via the Coast
- Sydney to Kiama – 121 km | 1 hour 50 mins | Air BnB Stays | Booking.com Deals
- Kiama to Merimbula – 333 km | 4 hours 25 mins | Air BnB Stays | Booking.com
- Merimbula to Lakes Entrance – 267 km | 3 hours 15 mins | Air BnB Stays | Booking.com
- Lakes Entrance to Wilsons Prom – 285 km | 3 hours 45 mins | Air BnB Stays
- Wilsons Promontory to Melbourne – 225 km | 3 hours | Stay in Melbourne
Days 1 to 2 – Sydney -> Kiama
We spent 2 nights in Kiama, great surf beaches and walks around the area as well as the famous blowhole. One day was spent at the Jamberoo Water Park, the kids went non-stop from opening to closing time on all the rides.
Kiama is a pretty little town with loads of accommodation options. The Kiama Harbour View was a good place to stay with a family.
Days 3 to 4 – Kiama-> Ulladulla -> Merimbula
Visit Hyams Beach on the way – it is said to have the whitest sand in Australia, even whiter than the Famous Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday Islands of the East Coast. So many sweet little towns, bays, and plenty of beaches.
Merimbula is extremely popular and has a theme park as well as loads of family activities.
Camp at Pretty Beach where kangaroos graze and hop along the beach.
Tilba Tilba is one of our favourite little towns. Beautifully restored historic buildings and lovely countryside. Check for deals on Booking.com if you want to stay in this sweet little village or browse unique options on Air BnB.
Day 5 – Merimbula -> Lakes Entrance
Lakes Entrance is a super town to spend some time exploring. Nearby 90 mile beach, boat cruises, surf beaches, and access to mountain scenery. Explore the lakes and waterways as well as Buchan Caves, McKillop’s Bridge, and Victoria’s most dangerous public road…
Day 6 – Lakes Entrance -> Melbourne
It is a reasonably long drive to Melbourne from Lakes Entrance, 4 hours / 319 km. Following Highway One through Gippsland and a number of large country towns.
or Days 6 to 7 – Lakes Entrance -> Wilsons Prom -> Melbourne
A deviation down to Wilson’s Prom would be perfect if time allows. One of Victoria’s favorite family destinations, ‘The Prom’ has fabulous beaches, wildlife, and incredible walks.
Air BnB Stays near ‘The Prom’
From the Prom, it is an easy drive to Phillip Island – home to the Little Penguins and seaside towns that are really popular with families. Plenty of places to stay on the Island as well as fabulous Air BnB choices.
What to do in Melbourne
Travelling on from Melbourne
- Melbourne to Adelaide
- Melbourne to Ayers Rock / Uluru and Alice Springs
- The Silo Trail, Western Victoria
- The Flinders Ranges, South Australia
- The Big Lap Around Australia on Highway 1
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