This is the basic itinerary of a road-trip from the Central Coast to Melbourne and back, recently completed by my partner Luke and I.
The trip ranges across 9 days, so we took advantage of all the must-see places and attractions in order to make the most of a short holiday! We would recommend taking this road-trip over a fortnight, if possible, in order to experience all these amazing places to their fullest. However, if taking more time off isn’t possible (like it wasn’t for me), we would suggest taking this trip in summer, as we found (since we went in winter) we were often chasing the sun, which rushed us along a bit.
Please click the hyperlinks to see more detail about specific aspects of our trip. ((These will be uploaded as they are ready)
Day 1: Central Coast to Canberra
11am: Leave home
2.30pm: Arrive in Goulburn
The Big Merino
3.30pm: Leave for Canberra
4.30pm: Arrive at Canberra/ Check in to accommodation
Accomodation: Airbnb in Canberra (host wished to stay anonymous).
- We travelled on a very overcast, winter day, and as a result drove alongside some of the most beautiful scenery. We stopped at multiple rest stops between Goulburn and Canberra to take in the views. Imagine: Rolling, gray-green hills being grazed by nonchalant sheep; speckled by gray-green trees, dotted with rusty brown leaves; and, distant windmill farms shrouded by low, misty clouds.
Day 2: Canberra to Albury-Wodonga
10am: Leave Canberra
10:30am: Cockington Green Gardens
1pm: Arrive in Gundagai
Old Gundagai Gaol
Gundagai Railway Station
Gundagai Historic Railway Bridges
3pm: Leave Gundagai
4pm: HMAS Otway Submarine at Holbrook
4:30 Leave Holbrook
5pm: Arrive in Albury-Wodonga
Dinner at Albury Brewhouse
Albury Monument Hill
Accommodation: David’s Airbnb in East Albury.
Day 3: Albury-Wodonga to Melbourne
10am: Hume Dam
10:30: Leave Hume Dam
11:30 Arrive Glenrowan
Glenrowan Bakehouse & Cafe
Billy Tea Rooms
Big Ned Kelly
12:30: Leave Glenrowan
3:45: Leave Kyneton
4:00: Arrive Woodend
7:30pm: Arrive Melbourne
9pm: Walk down St Kilda pier to view Little Penguin colony
- We had intended on driving through Bendigo, Castlemaine, and Maldon, but unfortunately made a wrong-turn that led to use by-passing these. This ended up being a blessing in disguise as we later only just made it to the Hanging Rock with enough time to skim the beautiful reserve before they locked the park. I’ve included these on the map. Consider splitting this part of the trip into two days.
Day 4: Melbourne
10am: Shopping at Melbourne Central
2pm: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, pt. 1
5:00: Drinks and dinner at Lazerpig
7:30pm: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, pt. 2
- We didn’t do this ourselves, however, after the Cursed Child would’ve been an opportune time to have a night out bar-hopping.
Day 5: Melbourne to Bass
12pm: Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs
5pm: Penguin Night Parade at Phillip Island
7:30pm: Dinner at Inline 4 Cafe
Day 6: Phillip Island to Darnum
11:30 Nobbies Head and other various lookouts along the way including Pyramid Rock
1pm Lunch at Inline 4 Cafe
2pm Vietnam War Museum
4:30 Phillip Island Chocolate Factory (Panny’s)
5:30 Leave Phillip Island, stopping at bridge to view sunset
6:30 Arrive Darnum
Accommodation: Airbnb in Darnum, Sue’s Bella Cottage
Day 7: Darnum to Lakes Entrance
10am: Leave Darnum for Thomson Station
11:40: Historic train from Thomson Station to Walhalla Station
12: Lunch at Wally’s Pub, Walhalla
12:45: Walk through historic town; stopping in at the historic Post Office, Sweet Shop, feeding some wild King Parrots outside the Sweet Shop, and viewing historic buildings in the town such as the old Bank of Victoria.
1:30: Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine Tour
2:45: Walk back to Thomson Station, via Tramline Path- Australian Alps Walking Track- Mormontown Track
3:45: Leave for Lakes Entrance via The Honeysuckles (1hr 40 mins) – Golden Beach (20 mins) – Lakes Entrance (2hrs)
8:15: Arrive at Alan’s Airbnb, Lake Bunga.
- We were travelling on a Sunday so our Airbnb host warned us that there may not be anywhere to eat in the vicinity of Lakes Entrance. We also didn’t see any food places along the 90 Mile Beach. Consequently, we stopped at a McDonalds on the way… so if McDonalds isn’t to your taste, we recommend taking your own dinner along.
- If you choose to skip The 90 Mile Beach, the drive from Thomson Station to Lakes Entrance is only about 2.5 hours.
Day 8: Lakes Entrance to Jervis Bay
9.30am: Leave Lakes Entrance for Jervis Bay (7 hour drive)
12:30pm: Eden Lookout and Rotary Park
1:30pm: Lunch at Longstocking Brewery, Pambula
Dessert at Bodalla Dairy Shed
6:30: Arrive at Balan Village Motel (a Best Western), Bomaderry
Dinner at Chef Tony’s Modern Chinese Restaurant (attached to motel)
- We chose to stay in Bomaderry due to the prices of accommodation around Jervis Bay, which meant we had to back-track about 35 minutes to spend the following day in Jervis Bay. We liked the motel, but not the area; so, with this in mind alongside the back-tracking, if we were to redo our choice of accommodation, we would’ve spent the extra money to stay in Jervis Bay.
Day 9: Jervis Bay to home
10am: Check out of motel
11am: Hyams Beach
12:00: Blenheim Beach
12:30 Huskinsson Beach and Moona Moona Creek
2:00 Abraham’s Bosom Reserve Walking Track
4:15: Leave for home via Grand Pacific Drive and Seacliff Bridge in Wollongong
- Sunset at Kingsford-Smith Memorial Lookout
- We only stayed on the Grand Pacific Drive until sunset, which for us was as we were driving past Kingsford-Smith Memorial Lookout. We then joined the fastest route home, via the Princes Highway. However, we plan on doing the full Grand Pacific Drive between Wollongong and home another time as it definitely looks like a must-do!