Everyone loves a good road trip. There are so many great things to see between Melbourne and Sydney that in all honesty, we could have easily spent a good 6 months on this coastal route.
However, not many people have the time to do that so we put together some of the highlights of things to see between Sydney and Melbourne that we know you won’t want to miss!
Over the past year we’ve travelled around the entire east coast and down the Red Centre. You’ll find a full list of our road trip itneraries here
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Unmissable things to see between Melbourne and Sydney
Reason to visit: Nature // wildlife // walks // sports
Time from Melbourne: 1.45 hours
Time from Sydney: 12 hours 20minutes
Time spent here: 1 – 4 hours
Entrance fee: $0
Things to do: Drive the GPX track // Visit the penguin colony // do a coastal walk // watch the sunset
Not far from Melbourne is your first stop of the week. Before you even cross over the bridge and onto the island you’ll be greeted with its vast beauty. Aside from the touristy things to do here like the Penguin hike and the Penguin Parade, Phillip Island offers some fantastic coastal walks but if you’re not up for that, don’t worry; the beaches are stunning so slip off your flip-flops and hang out on one for a while.
Reasons to visit: Nature // wildlife // unique beaches
Time from Melbourne: 3.20
Time from Sydney:
Time Spent here: 2-5 hours
Entrance fee: $0
Camping Permit: $13.60pp (for National Park campsites)
Things to do: Visit Squeaky beach // spot wombat on one of the many wildlife walks // explore the sand dunes // go to the most southerly point of mainland Australia
A haven for wildlife, Wilson’s Prom is a must-do for nature lovers. If, like us, you’ve yet to see a wild Wombat yet; head over to the Wildlife walk. Not only is this your perfect opportunity to spot one but it’s also a beautiful walk and possibly one of our favourite things to see between Melbourne and Sydney. Other wildlife here includes all the other Aussie classics such as Emu, Snakes and Roos.
Once you’ve finished animal spotting, drive a little further to Squeaky Beach and be catapulted back into childhood. As its name would suggest, Squeaky Beach is a beach that comes alive when you step onto it (although better enjoyed with wet feet). This isn’t a quiet beach when it comes to tourists either, popular with children and adults alike expect it to be a little crowded.
If you have plenty of time to spare, book yourself onto one of their campsites and explore Wilsons to its fullest. There are plenty of trails to hike and beaches to relax on as well as Australias most Southern Point, you could spend a good few days here easily!
90 Mile Beach (Flamingo Beach)
Reason to visit: Nature // scenery // relaxing
Time from Melbourne: 4 hours
Time from Sydney: 10 hours 25 minutes
Time spent here: 2 hours
Entrance fee: $0
Things to do: Enjoy the scenery // watch the waves and maybe spot a whale // walk some of the beach // take a cheeky photo
This was our favourite things to do between Melbourne and Sydney simply because we had this entire beach to ourselves. Hidden along this 90 mile stretch of beach is a section called Flamingo Beach. If you’re lucky enough, here you’ll be able to grab a slice of this paradise for yourself too. We spent 2 hours here and didn’t see a single person the entire time. You’re unable to see the end of the beach in both directions, the sand is pure and the sea is clear; it was easy to imagine we were on a tropical island somewhere all alone.
The Great Alpine Road/Princes Highway
If you want to get the best views on route to Sydney, take The Great Alpine Road, then Princes Highway. You’ll get amazing views almost the entire time, and the small towns and villages it’ll take you through have a little western vibe to offer. It might not be the coastal beauty that the Great Ocean Road is, but it is definitely it’s inland counterpart and certainly a must when it comes to things to do between Melbourne and Sydney!
Reason to visit: Wildlife // nature // relaxing // views
Time from Melbourne: 8 hours 20 mins
Time from Sydney: 5 hours
Time spent here: 1/2 – 1 full day
Things to do: Visit Montague Island // walk Gulaga + Eurobodalla National Park // Explore Australia Rock and maybe find Sealions // Relax on Narooma Wharf
Narooma took my breath away. As you drive off of Princes Highway, and down into this little fishing town, the view you are greeted with is worth the small detour. Its little harbour filled with boats and mountain backdrop makes it look straight off a postcard. We had to stop and admire it’d beauty as well as the locals just going about their daily lives, almost unaware that they live in such a picturesque town.
Sea Cliff Bridge
Reason to visit: Rock pools // unique coastline
Time from Melbourne: 12 hours
Time from Sydney: 1 hour
Time spent here: 1-hour max.
Things to do: Swim in the sea pool // check out the rock pools // photograph the bridge
Possibly the most Iconic of the things to do between Melbourne and Sydney, The Sea Cliff Bridge is a popular destination for drone owners. For a unique view of this popular spot drive over the bridge, park up in the little town and have a walk down onto the rocks at low tide. Once the sea’s gone out it leaves the perfect walkway right out to get a different angle of this popular ‘gramable’ spot. Be careful on the slippery surface and watch out for hidden rock pools!
Don’t forget to pick up your CityPass to get discounts on your Sydney activities!!
Things to pack for your Melbourne to Sydney road trip:
A week didn’t feel long enough to fully explore all these places and we can’t wait to do the trip in reverse! There are so many beautiful places to see between Melbourne to Sydney, New South Wales itself holds so many beautiful places you’d be crazy not to go experience them for yourself!! Have you taken a road trip from Melbourne to Sydney?
If you’re looking for other awesome road trips check out this East Coast Itinerary! Have you done the drive from Melbourne to Sydney? Where were your favourite stop-offs we’d love to hear from you!
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Thanks for this post! We will be driving from Melbourne to Sydney in a few weeks and look forward to checking these places out! Great post and your photos are making me super excited to visit these stunning places!
Thanks, Alicia! We hope you have a great trip!! We have a much more in-depth itinerary here if you want even more awesome places to stop!! Have an amazing time, wherever you go! x
Knowing that it’s a road trip I’m very happy to see this wonderful place between Melbourne and Sydney. My friends are telling that these two cities are must-visit places. I love to see them and the place in between. The beach really looks good I just want to dive in and stay there for weeks.
I would have loved to drive from Sydney to Melbourne when I was living there! Took a flight instead and clearly missed out on some gem 🙂 The sea cliff bridge looks super cool
I am planning a trip to Aus next year and was thinking about doing a road trip. I like the idea of driving the Great Alpine road. The scenery looks amazing! Thanks for the inspiration.
Stunning, I mean road trip are simply my kind of thing (traveling across Europe at the moment on a Van), and i’ve never been to Australia so i’ll make sure to check back this article and search for these spots!
We spent five weeks in Australia a few months ago, but sadly we chose to fly from Melbourne to Sydney. It looks like we really missed out by not driving it and going to some of these places! Will make sure we explore more next time 🙂
Great post and I love the pictures! I am planning an Australian road trip and this will be very beneficial because I do love beaches!
Great to see Flamingo Beach mentioned. This is close to where we live and we often go to the 90-mile beach. That section between Golden Beach and Seaspray is amazing for having the whole beach to yourself
We were blown away by how quiet it was! It’s high on the list of places we would like to return too, you’re lucky to live close!