Melbourne to Sydney Road Trip (Round Trip Itinerary)

July 03, 2019

Melbourne to Sydney Road Trip Itinerary

This is the longest trip my husband and I have been so far - 16 days of travel! We did a round trip from Melbourne to Sydney and back to Melbourne - taking the coastal route first, followed by the inland route back. If you're planning a trip there soon, here's our itinerary of where we visited for your reference!

16 Day Melbourne to Sydney Road Trip (Round Trip Itinerary)

Day 1: Melbourne Airport to Philip Island
Accommodation: Studio 29 (Airbnb)

Upon landing in Melbourne airport, we collected our car and drove towards Philip Island. We had planned to stop by Dandenong to do some grocery shopping, but because it was the Easter weekend, a lot of the stores we closed. Instead, we headed straight to Philip Island. There was a jam because of the holidays, but thankfully we made it in time for the penguin parade! 

We bought some finger food as we were starving (didn't have a proper meal since landing). It gets pretty chilly when sitting by the beach and waiting for the penguins to arrive on shore, so bring a thick jacket! After the penguin parade, it was pretty late, so we went back to our Airbnb and had cup noodles for dinner. 

Things to do:
Philip Island Penguin Tour

Day 2: Philip Island, Wilsons Promontory, Sale
Accommodation: Comfort Inn and Suites King Avenue

The next day, we visited the Nobbies Centre in Philip Island, which boasts a spectacular coastal viewing from the boardwalks. We were there pretty early, and so there wasn't a crowd. When we were leaving, tourists had started to gather and the carpark was pretty full. So do try to reach before 10am!

After having lunch at Porter Republic (which is a nice and chill cafe with good food), we headed towards Wilsons Promontory. It is a very big place and you would need to spend a day to visit every attraction. We only had time to check out Squeaky Beach. We also chanced upon some kangaroos on one of the walks!

The day ended with dinner at Criterion Hotel, Sale. It's a pretty quiet town, and not a super hot tourist destination, but a good location for us to rest for the night. 

Things to do:
The Nobbies Centre (Philip Island)

Porter Republic (Philip Island)
Criterion Hotel (Sale)

Day 3: Metung, Mallacoota, Eden
Accommodation: Whale Fisher Motel

We had breakfast at Effloresce Flowers in Metung. It's a cafe and gift shop in one, very cosy with home made food. The big breakfast we ordered was delicious. I really enjoyed the buttery scrambled eggs and spinach.

After breakfast, we headed down to Mallacoota's Betka Beach. Despite the chilly winds, we had fun dipping our toes in the waves.

Our accommodations for the night was at Eden, where we had Fish & Chips for dinner. They are very generous with the portions. The flavour was good, though we felt the fish could be crispier. 

Things to do:
Betka Beach (Mallacoota)

Effloresce Flowers (Metung)
Eden Fish & Chips (Eden)

Day 4: Merimbula, Tathra, Narooma, Batemans Bay
Accommodation: Beach Drive Motel

From Eden, we made our way towards Merimbula, where we strolled by the boardwalk. It was a lovely walk along the mouth of the river with a peaceful view. Then, we visited Tathra Beach and the Bar Rock Lookout in Narooma (which was pretty crowded with tourists and thus be prepared to wait if you want a nice photo at the iconic rock).

One of the highlights of our trip was the pizza place at Batemans Bay, called Sam's Pizzeria. We ordered the Margherita Pizza and Chicken Penne - both of which were one of the best dishes we had on the entire trip. Do give that place a try if you are there! Be sure to make reservations as the place can get really crowded.

Things to do:
The Merimbula Boardwalk
Tathra Beach 
Bar Rock Lookout (Narooma)

Sam's Pizzeria on the waterfront (Batemans Bay)

Day 5: Nowra, Wollongong, Wattamolla 
Accommodation: Meriton Suites Mascot Central, Sydney

It was a fun day where we drove from Batemans Bay to Nowra. There, we visited the Nowra Trees Adventure. They have many locations around Australia, but we chose to visit the one at Nowra because it was along the way and fitted well in our itinerary. For AUD $48, you can climb as many courses as you wish within 2.5 hours. It was my first time visiting a place like this, and to be honest, it was pretty scary. Things like the Flying Fox really took getting used to. We did both the red course (beginner) and black course (advanced). Even though I was terrified most of the time and clinging on for my dear life (even though I know there's the harness, I didn't want to fall as I might hit a branch/wall), it was still very fun! You'll be proud of yourself for overcoming your fears and completing the courses.

After a tiring climb, we had lunch at the Lower East Cafe in Wollongong and visited the lighthouse. Along the way to Wattamolla Beach, we also drove along the Sea Cliff Bridge that provides a clear view of the coastline.

Finally, we arrived at Sydney and checked into the Meriton Suites Mascot Central. It is by far the best place we've stayed on our trips to Australia. We only stayed there because we got it at a good price on Agoda.

Things to do:
Trees Adventure (Nowra)
Wollongong Head Lighthouse
Sea Cliff Bridge
Wattamolla Beach

Lower East Cafe (Wollongong)

Day 6, 7 and 8: Sydney, Bowral, Goulburn, Canberra
Accommodation: Statesman Hotel

It was our second time in Sydney, so we didn't visit the same places we went to previously like the Sydney Opera House. Instead, we took the opportunity to explore new places, like having breakfast at The Grounds of Alexandria, strolling along Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk. We also visited old favourites, where we went back to C9 Chocolate & Gelato for their amazing brownies and pistachio gelato. We also spent quite a bit of time shopping at DFO Homebush.

The next day, we visited some wineries in Bowral, and stopped along Goulburn to see the Big Merino lamb statue. After an hour drive, we checked into our hotel at Canberra. On day 8, we explored the capital of Australia and even found the time to watch Avengers End Game (because the shops close early and we simply couldn't wait to watch it).

Melbourne to Sydney Road Trip Itinerary

Things to do:
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk (Sydney)
DFO Homebush Shopping (Sydney)
Birkenhead Point Brand Outlet (Sydney)
Big Merino (Goulburn)
Australian War Memorial (Canberra)
Mount Ainslie Lookout (Canberra)
National Museum of Australia (Canberra)
Parliament of Australia (Canberra)
Canberra Centre

Centennial Vineyards (Bowral) 
Bendooley Estate Book Barn (Bowral)

The Grounds of Alexandria (Sydney)
C9 Chocolate & Gelato (Sydney)
Ban Thai (Goulburn)

Day 9: Yass, Jugiong, Gundagai, Holbrook, Wodonga
Accommodation: Motel Wellington Wodonga

From Canberra, we drove to Yass, where we visited Robyn Rowe Chocolates. Their chocolates are not bad, but the hot chocolate is pretty average. Then, we went to Jugiong for brunch. They serve really hearty, homely food. Do try their pulled pork with char siew sauce and steak sandwich! We then stopped by Gundagai and Holbrook before ending the day at Wodonga.

Things to do:
Dog on the Tucker Box (Gundagai)
Prince Alfred Bridge Viaduct (Gundagai)
Submarine HMAS Otway (Holbrook)
Junction Square (Wodonga)

Robyn Rowe Chocolates (Yass)
Long Track Pantry (Jugiong)

Day 10: Milawa, Bendigo 
Accommodation: Bendigo Bush Cabins

Day 10 was a pretty chill day. We didn't do much, and simply took our time to experience Milawa and Bendigo.

Brown Brothers Vineyard (Milawa)

Things to do:
Milawa Cheese Co
Trove Makers' Monthly Market (Bendigo)
Lake Weeroona (Bendigo)
Sacred Heart Cathedral (Bendigo)

Day 11: Bendigo, Bundoora, Yarra Valley, Brighton
Accommodation: Crest On Barkly Serviced Apartments

Breakfast was at Wholefoods Kitchen in Bendigo. We ordered the Rosti Eggs Benedict, which essentially is Rosti instead of bread. Interesting and delicious combination. We also visited one of my favourite wine regions - Yarra Valley. And I finally got to see the colourful Brighton Bathing Boxes in Melbourne!

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Things to do:
Uni Hill Factory Outlets (Bundoora)
Brighton Bathing Boxes

Wholefoods Kitchen (Bendigo)
That's Amore Cheese (Bundoora)

Maddens Rise Winery (Yarra Valley)
TarraWarra Estate (Yarra Valley)

Day 12: Dandenong, Arthurs Seat, Red Hill, Melbourne
Accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne Northbank

Even though we returned to Melbourne, we actually did a day trip down south because we wanted to visit the Enchanted Adventure Gardens in Arthurs Seat. Before visiting, we had breakfast at Dandenong Market. There's a wide selection of food, and after much consideration, we decided on the Butter Curry Chicken - no regrets at all as it was super delicious, especially on a cold day.

If you're wondering, the Enchanted Adventure Gardens is worth the drive! There are mazes, float slides, and other activities for you to experience. Suitable for adults and children. And you can even stop by wineries at Red Hill along the way.

Things to do:
Dandenong Market
Enchanted Adventure Gardens (Arthurs Seat)
Murray’s lookout (Arthurs Seat)
Brighton Bathing Boxes (Melbourne)

Montalto Winery (Red Hill)
Red Hill Estate (Red Hill)
Polperro Winery (Red Hill)

Welcome to Thornbury Food Trucks (Melbourne)

Day 13 - 16: Melbourne
Accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne Northbank

There's so much to see, do and eat in Melbourne, and I'm sure you'll be spoilt for choice. Here's a list of places we visited for your reference!

Things to do:
Fitzroy Garden
Shrine of Remembrance
State Library Victoria
Coop's Shot Tower
Old Melbourne Gaol
Shopping: Emporium, Chinatown, Bourke street mall, DFO South Wharf 

Mork (Try their chocolate Morkshake)
Lune Crossantarie
Pidapipo Gelato
Brunetti (Wide selection of desserts)
Chokolait (Amazing lava cake!)

Europa Night Market (held at Queen Victoria Market)
Universal Restaurant (try the huge Chicken Schnitzel)
5 Lire Cafe (try to Breakfast Brodo!)
Operator 25 (Great fusion food)
Pho Bo Ga Mekong (Vietnamese food) 

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