Day 1: Melbourne to Phillip Island
Don’t miss Victoria’s most popular natural attraction – the nightly parade of hundreds of little penguins at Phillip Island. The island is also home to Australia’s largest colony of fur seals. At the island’s Koala Conservation Centre treetop boardwalks will get you close to these tree hugging, furry, gum leaf eaters.
Day 2: Phillip Island to Lakes Entrance
On the southern most tip of the state is the Wilsons Promontory National Park, famous for its abundance of flora and fauna, wild ocean beaches and mountain views. From the accommodation centre at Tidal River to the white sands of Squeaky Beach, Wilson’s Prom, as it’s known by the locals, offers spectacular views. Nearby Ninety Mile Beach stretches from north of Yarram to Lakes Entrance, and is great for swimming and fishing. To the north-east lies the Buchan Caves and at the state’s east tip stands the beautiful wilderness coastline and spectacular scenery of the Croajingolong National Park. In between is the rugged high plains made famous in the movie ‘The Man from Snowy River’.
Day 3: Lakes Entrance to Bega
On the way to Bega, visit the Killer Whale Museum at Eden, home to an extensive history of the magnificent creature that forms so much of Eden’s history. Taste the cheese that made Bega famous, and see the history of cheesemaking in the Bega Valley at the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre. (Entry is free. The centre is open everyday except Christmas and Good Friday.)
Day 4: Bega to Batemans Bay
On the way to Batemans Bay, take a quick detour to Umbarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre (Wallaga Lake via Narroma) which offers hands on activities such as boomerang and spear throwing, ochre painting, shelter building, and the opportunity to purchase locally made artifacts and didgeridoos (open weekdays and most weekends). Nearby, the Moruya township dates back to 1850. The granite used in the Pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge was quaried in Moruya and a number of the historic buildings have been made of the local stone. On the Clyde River’s broad estuary, Batemans Bay is the launching point for houseboat adventures along the river’s 38 navigable kilometres. There are numerous beautiful beaches nearby and surfing, boating, snorkelling and fishing experiences for all. Batemans Bay offers local seafood restaurants, casual cafes, art galleries and studios.
Day 5: Batemans Bay to Canberra
As the National Capital, Canberra has a huge choice of things to do including Parliament House, the National Gallery of Australia, Questacon – the National Science and Technology Centre and much more. There are numerous fine restaurants and boutique wineries. So you can easily spend a couple of days in the national capital. Take a walk on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, a central recreational feature of the Capital.
Day 6: Canberra
Start your day with a trip to the internationally recognised Australian War Memorial, which commemorates the sacrifice of Australian men and women who served in armed conflict and during peacekeeping activities. With an art collection of more than 100,000 works, magnificent sculpture garden and its clever design, the National Gallery of Australia should also be on the ‘must see’ list. If you have kids, take them to the National Museum of Australia where state-of-the-art technology and hands-on interactive exhibitions will keep them entertained for hours.
Day 7: Canberra to Sydney
Take the Federal Highway to Sydney and drop into Bowral, a town that is now closely associated with Australia’s greatest sportsman: ‘The Don’. Visit the Bradman Museum and learn about the life of Sir Donald Bradman, and why Australian’s have such a love affair for the game of cricket.