The magnificent stretch of coastline between Sydney and Melbourne is one of Australia’s most dramatic and naturally beautiful self-drive experiences. Along its length, the great waters of the Pacific Ocean, Tasman Sea and Bass Strait have carved out dramatic headlands and created beautiful coves and beaches. The ancient ranges that follow it inland are covered in vast expanses of national parks and forests protecting pristine lakes and rivers. Nestled amongst these natural wonders are dozens of quaint fishing villages, tiny colonial hamlets and thriving rural towns built by the country’s most adventurous settlers.
The coast provides you with the whole range of sensory experiences. You can surf the big Tasman swells, dive the many wrecks, do some blue water sailing, go whale spotting or share the beach with seals, dolphins and sea birds. Or take time out to enjoy the delights of its famous seafood.
As you move along it, the landscape constantly changes its character and moods – from the placid blues and pastoral greens of the NSW coast, to the brilliant white sands of Jervis Bay, the massive, unspoiled wilderness of the Croajingolong National Park and the awesome breadth of Ninety Mile Beach and the Gippsland Lakes, Australia’s largest inland waterway.
The journey climaxes at Wilsons Promontory, the southern most point of mainland Australia, where you can explore small, hidden bays, see wildlife in its natural habitat, and visit the historic lighthouse. Then you gently wind your way to Melbourne via Phillip Island where you can see the famously cute little penguins parading along the beach. On the Mornington Peninsula, indulge yourself in a luxurious country retreat, enjoy innovative regional cuisine and superb local wines and visit grand gardens.
Drive the alternative inland route from Lakes Entrance to Melbourne via Walhalla taking in the beautiful green countryside, magnificent vistas, mountain scenery and historic villages. Walhalla became one of Australia's richest gold towns following the discovery of gold in 1863. Today, strolling past its lovingly restored period buildings provides you with an authentic experience of that golden era. Frozen in time, Walhalla is home to only to 20 people.