Leg One Sydney to Jervis Bay
196km Driving time:
After picking up your campervan from the Britz Sydney branch at 653 Gardeners Road, Mascot, head south out of the city. Because Sydney traffic is notoriously heavy, we'd advise leaving early doors to avoid peak traffic. Make sure you stop at the Kiama Blowhole, about two hours into your journey. Pull into Seven Mile beach to experience the pristine white sand and crystal clear Pacific Ocean. From here, follow the Grand Pacific Drive alongside the Shoalhaven River. Mosey around Berry, taking in the lovely antique shops and cafes, before taking a turn off to Jervis Bay in time for a late afternoon swim or surf.
Don't know much about Jervis Bay? Well we can tell you that it is known for having the whitest sand in the world, which sits nicely against its perfect turquoise waters. Located within Booderee National Park, the bay is 15kms long and 10kms wide, with lots of charming village scattered along it. Obviously there are plenty of wild activities to do as well if you're an adrenaline junkie: aside from swimming, there's bush-walking, fishing, diving, snorkelling, kayaking and canoeing. Spend the night at Hukisson White Sands Tourist Park which is conveniently located at the starting point for many local tours and offers amazing access to the beautiful Hukisson Beach. Hukisson is the second most popular dive spot in Australia after the Great Barrier Reef so it's well worth a visit.
Leg Two Jervis Bay to Narooma
175km Driving time:
After an early breakfast, don't miss a dolphin and whale watching cruise with Dolphin Watch Cruises before you leave Jervis Bay - one of the best whale watching areas in the world. After your cruise, drive south to Batemans Bay, soaking in the coastal views along the journey. Don't forget to check out their famous Clyde River Oysters. It'll take you less than an hour down the Princes Highway to reach Narooma, home of Australia Rock and the Glasshouse Rocks. Located at the beach, these ancient rock formations were formed by tectonic plate movement and it is worth a trip down to the south end of the beach where these are located to snap a photo. Sign yourself up for a half-day tour of Montague Island, located just 8kms offshore and home of New South Wales' only known colony of Australian fur seals, in addition to thousands of little penguins and many kinds of seabirds. For the best access to Narooma's Surf Beach, spend the night at Surf Beach Holiday Park.
Leg Three Narooma to Mallacoota
213km Driving time:
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Tilba Tilba. This village has a cumulative population of less than 500, and is recognised for the fact that they have retained its gold-rush era charm. It's a great place to visit to experience what Australian life was like circa 1890. Make sure you arrive hungry; the town is known for their food; in particular their cheeses.
Continue along the Sapphire Coast to Mimosa Rocks National Park for the chance to stop for a swim in the awe-inspiring pure lagoons. The Park is open daily from 8:30am-4:30pm.
At this point in your trip, you will cross state borders from NSW to Victoria. Travel then a little more southwards to the town of Mallacoota, a small town perched on the edge of the Tasman Sea. This idyllic town is renowned for its fishing, beaches and proximity to Croajingolong National Park, which is one of only twelve UNESCO World Biosphere Reserves in Australia.
Stretch your legs on the Pittosporum Walk (1.4kms) along the shoreline. If you want to venture further, head on the 13kms boat trip to Gabo Island where you can climb to the top of 47-metre high the pink granite lighthouse to take in the spectacular views. Finish off a long day of travelling by staying overnight at the Mallacoota Foreshore Holiday Park, which offers unique views of the incredible scenery.
Leg Four Mallacoota to Metung
219km Driving time:
Head down the Princes Highway, and spend the day spotting Australia's native wildlife, from Gipsy Point's family of kangaroos, to Cape Conran's Coastal Park where you can see kangaroos, koalas and emus.
From here, make the hours' drive to Lake Entrance, and hop out to take a wander down Ninety Mile beach (although we wouldn't recommend trying to cover all ninety miles!)
After taking in this relaxing holiday town, continue on your journey to Metung. Rent a boat at Metung to try your luck at catching some of the local species such as bream, snapper, flathead, and whiting. Take a relaxing sunset stroll along the water to watch the sailboats glide by, before enjoying some quality local seafood for dinner.
Leg Five Metung to Wilsons Promontory
277km Driving time:
Get in an early start before following the South Gippsland Highway, and head towards the small town of Yarram. Take in beautiful scenery Hiawatha Falls located just out of town, and enjoy a pie for lunch at Yarram Bakery, several-time winner of the Great Australian Meat Pie Competition.
After lunch drive for another two hours to reach Wilsons Promontory. This 17kms Marine National Park is located on the Australian mainland's southern tip. Follow one of the many walking tracks through eucalypt forests to see the Park's abundant wildlife and beautiful coastline. The trail to Squeaky Beach offers pure white quartz sand, while the Lilly Pilly Gully trail offers a chance to experience the temperate rainforest. If a panoramic view is what you're after, take the easy hike to the top of Mr. Oberon (7kms). As you move around the park, keep a lookout for Australian wildlife such as kangaroos, echidnas, and wombats, and bring some seeds along for a chance to feed them.
Plan ahead to camp at Tidal River, or book into Yanakie Caravan Park situated just five minutes from the entrance to Wilsons Park.
Leg Six Wilsons Promontory to Phillip Island
137km Driving time:
Pack up your scuba gear and head down for an early morning swim at Wilsons Promontory, where you can hope to see brightly coloured fish and coral gardens and possibly even a shark or stingray. If diving's not your thing, begin your self-drive early and stop for breakfast at quirky Fish Creek, a tiny township of 675 that is widely known for its arts and crafts shops.
On the way through to Phillip Island, check out the Shell Museum which hosts the first Australian dinosaur bones discovered in 1903. Open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm entry is free making this is a great one for the family or anyone on a budget.
Ensure you hit the road before mid-afternoon so as not to miss out on the Penguin Parade at the Phillip Island Nature Park. The penguins parade up and down the beach at dusk every day and this isn't something that should be missed. Pull up your campervan at Phillip Island Caravan Park, located right by all the local shops and restaurants so grumbling tummies won't have to wait too long!
Leg Seven Phillip Island to Mornington Peninsula
111km Driving time:
For a cute fix, visit Australia's largest fur seal colony at Seal Rocks. Get up close and personal with these furry friends by booking a Wildlife Coast Cruise which includes a 2 hour cruise priced at $78AUD per adult. After that, journey to see the pink granite cliffs of Cape Woolamai, which is also Phillip Island's highest point. Before you leave Phillip Island, walk over to Churchill Island to explore the historic houses and farm buildings in the site of Victoria's first European Settlement. If you're lucky enough to be there on the fourth Saturday of the month, make sure you check out the fantastic famers market and pick up some locally made goods.
Make your way back across the Bridge to feed the pelicans in San Remo, before getting back on the highway toward Mornington Peninsula. Visit the historical military ruins at Point Nepean and Fort Nepean before taking the hike up Arthurs Seat, a 305-meter mountain right beside the Bay that has magnificent views of Port Phillip from Murray's Lookout.
Head to the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park for a night tour. For only $40AUD per adult you can experience a two hour guided tour with the opportunity to see some of Australia's native wildlife including endangered quolls, Tasmanian devils, pademelons and bettongs. Spend your final night of the road trip at Mornington Gardens Holiday Village Caravan Park which is a short walk to beaches cafes and shops.
Leg Eight Mornington Peninsula to Melbourne
69km Driving time:
On your last day of the journey, treat yourself to the Peninsula Hot Springs thermal pools. Relax in their natural thermal hot springs from $20 AUD per adult. Family friendly, you can take children of all ages to the natural pools here. From there it's just an hour's drive to Melbourne.
The end of this journey takes you into Melbourne, Australia's second largest city, famous for events, sport, café culture, art, and an amazing array of cuisine to please any palate. After getting settled, check-out the City Circle Tram Loop (route 35), which offers a free way to see some of Melbourne's top shops and attractions. The tram runs every 12 minutes, and takes 48 minutes to complete a loop, which includes things like the Royal Botanical Gardens, Parliament House, and the Healesville Sanctuary. To catch this free service, jump on the tram at any of the stops along the route, which are specially marked with a City Circle sign.
Check out our other New South Wales Road trips: