Many people decide to road trip around or part of Australia, we decided that we would drive as far as we could from Melbourne trying to fit everything we wanted in 3 weeks…. Well 3 weeks turned into 2 months and it was worth it. From dodging kangaroos on the road to being followed by cyclone Debbie we managed to visit a fair few places and did some things we never thought we could.

Australia Road Trip

 

Transport

This is entirely dependent on what you want and your comfort levels. There are vehicles from cars, to converted people carriers in to campervans, to motorhomes. They all suit someone.

Here are a few car rental companies who you can hire in one place and drop of at another location.

Cars

 

Minivan and motorhomes

*** If you look at the sites individually and you are not strapped for time, then look out for their relocation deals. They range in offers but for example they ask you to drive a camper from Brisbane to Sydney for $1 per day. Read all the details. ***

A few tips for driving:

  • Australian laws are very strict

  • No driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

  • Keep within the speed limits, instant fines and radar detectors

  • Know your route

  • Keep an eye on you fuel, it’s a very big country so don’t let the map size fool you

  • Keep water and food in the car for emergencies

  • Take regular breaks, he roads are sometime long and a while before you see anything again

  • Satnav – make sure you have a good satnav with you. We used Sygic. (the people who make tom-tom) the app is available in the app and play store and worked offline just using your GPS signal

  • Try not to drive on highways at night – the kangaroos and other animals rest in the day as its too hot and then hunt at night, they can easily come infont of the car. This will most likly kill the animal and you having to pay the rental company the damages.

 

Accommodation

Depending on what you get for transport will depend on your accommodation.

If you choose car then you will most likely be staying in motels, Airbnb, campsites with cabins. These will all range in price depending on what you want. We found that booking.com, Airbnb, were the best for us as we were travelling with a 2 year old.

A few tips for accommodation:

  • Try to find places with a kitchenette, or even just the basic microwave and toaster. It will save you a lot of money

  • When with kids, try get one with a swimming pool, it’s nice to let them play and doesn’t cost much more

  • Check the details for parking, some places may charge for parking

  • If in a campervan, bear in mind that you can’t just turn up, you may have to book.

  • Camp sites fees can vary depending if you chose power on not

  • Be flexible with location, as you do have a vehicle.

  • Don’t book too many nights, book 1 or 2 then extend if you need to.

You can find a list of camp sites on this website - http://www.findacamp.com.au/

 

Food

Travelling for such a long time through Australia will be expensive if you eat out every day, with an average meal costing around $30-40 for 2 people. So the best thing to do is go shopping in Coles or Woolworths and cook your food yourself. Make sure you have the facility to sore it as well. I.e. Tupperware containers for the next days left overs.

Buy what you are going to eat, otherwise you will end up wasting it or carting it around.

A few things we picked up were:

  • Buy a cooler bag and ice pack from Coles or Woolworths, this is a life saver when moving from one place to another and you have milk and meat still in the fridge.

  • Keep a set of plastic plates and cutlery with you, some places don’t have anything to eat off so it will come in hands

  • Always keep water in the car/van. Australia is a hot country and you may need It if you end up stuck somewhere

 

 

Melbourne – We set up base in a St. Kilda which is a beach town south of Melbourne CBD but easily accessible by tram Myki card (https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au/tickets/myki). we stayed 4 nights here.

Things to do here:

  • Southbank

  • Elizabeth street

  • Queen Victoria Market

  • The old Melbourne Gaol

  • Lygon Street

  • Federation Square

  • Finders street Station

  • Borke Road

  • Sky Deck

  • Penguin watching in St. Kilda

  • St. Kilda esplanade

  • Thursday night street food market (St. Kilda)

  • Werribee open range

  • Melbourne Zoo

 

Melbourne - 12 Apostles (4.5hours each way – 270km)

We drove from Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road to the 12 Apostles. This is an amazing drive, beaches upon beaches. Passing through beautiful seaside towns such as Lorne. The drive itself is very long some 9 hours return to Melbourne but worth it. We reached the 12 Apostles just before sunset and the views were simply stunning.

 

Melbourne to Wagga Wagga (5 Hour drive – 452km)

This was a pit stop to break up a journey that would have been 10 hours

  • 5 hour drive to Wagga Wagga where we stayed the night. Very good down town area, has a big shopping centre.

    • Man-made beach

    • Shopping

    • Restaurants

Wagga Wagga to Sydney (5 Hour Drive - 461km)

Our base here was in Bronte where stayed here for a week.

Things to do here:

  • Opera House

  • Milsons Point

  • Blues Point

  • Sydney Harbour Bridge

  • Darling Harbour

  • the Rocks

  • Manly Beach

  • China Town

  • Surf school/ surfing

  • Bondi Beach

  • Coogee Beach

  • Brighton Beach

  • Bronte Beach

  • Blue Mountains (50km north of Sydney)

  • Sydney zoo

 

Sydney to Forster (4 hour Drive – 312km)

Driving to Forster you will get distracted by a few smaller towns worth visiting along the way. We decided Forster was a good place to spend the night on our way up the coast.

  • Central coast

  • Lake Macquarie

  • Newcastle

  • Nelson Bay

 

Forster to Coffs Harbour (3 hour drive – 250km)

Coffs Harbour is a nice place to visit. It has a beautiful see side, but mainly a fishing town. Enjoy a fresh fish and chips while walking along the esplanade

Things to do here:

  • Beaches

  • Walks

  • Dolphin magic – live feeding with penguins, dolphins, stingrays. Very interactive

  • Billabong zoo – kangaroo feeding all around the park, crocodile feeding, koala pictures

Places to visit on the way to Coffs harbour:

  • Port Macquarie

  • Urunga

  • Many of the beaches along the coast

 

Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay (3 hour drive – 250km)

This is one place we were excited to visit, and boy it did not let us down. The surf style laid back attitude was all over the town. Life seemed chilled here.

You can end up spending a few days here. We stayed for 4 days.

Things to do in Byron Bay:

  • Surf School

  • Surfing

  • Byron Bay Light house

  • Ship wreck

  • Diving and snorkelling tours

  • Eating and drinking

 

Byron Bay to Gold Coast (1.5hour drive – 95km)

This is an easy drive up the gold coast. There are lots of things to do in the gold coast for children. We ended up staying here for 3 days.

  • Wet n wild

  • Sea world

  • Dream world

  • Beaches

    • Main beach

  • Surfer paradise

  • Kurrawa beach

  • Mermaid beach

  • Miami Beach

  • Burliegh Heads

  • Tambourine mountains

  • Byron Bay

 

Gold Coast to Brisbane (1 hour drive – 80km)

This again was a short drive too. We decided to up to Tamborine Mountain before we headed into Brisbane

Tamborine Mountain is a nice place to visit, with glow worm caves, wineries, and a sky walk, where you can walk over the jungle canopy.

 

We stayed in Brisbane for a week with some friends.

 

Things to do in Brisbane:

 

  • CBD

  • Mount Coo-tha

  • Brisbane wheel

  • Southbank

  • Brisbane river ferry

  • SeaWorld

  • Moreton island

  • Noosa heads

  • Storey bridge

  • Tamborine Mountain

    • Skywalk

    • Cedar creek falls

    • Glow worm caves

    • wineries

 

Brisbane to Noosa Heads (2 hour drive – 40km)

 

Noosa heads is holiday resort town north of Brisbane, it has tonnes of restaurants and bars to choose from. But on the way up stop at Mooloolaba for some surfing. Just rent a board from a guy to the beach and go.

 

Things to do in Noosa Heads / Mooloolaba

 

  • surfing

  • hiking

  • swimming

  • restaurants and bars

 

 

 

Noosa Heads to Hervey Bay (3.5 hour drive – 260km)

 

The drive here actually takes around 1 hour bur we decided to go to rainbow beach along the way as we heard that you can go on a 4x4 on the beach and the sand dunes a like mini mountains.

 

Rainbow beach

  • 4x4 bus tours along the 4km beach

  • Hike up into the sand dunes (some are protected so can’t go on them)

  • Surf the waves.

 

Hervey Bay – we ended up staying here for over a week because we were locked in due to severe flooding following the aftermath of cyclone Debbie.

 

Things to do in Hervey Bay:

 

  • Watch the sunset on the beach

  • Reef world

  • Esplanade

  • Urangan Pier

  • Wetside water park

  • Lady Elliot Island

  • Fraser Island

    • Visit to SS Maheno Shipwreck on 75 mile beach

    • Eli Creek – Fresh water creek where you can tube board down

    • Rainforest at Central Station

    • Coloured Sands at Pinnacles

    • Lake McKenzie – beautiful crystal clear fresh water lake.

 

Hervey Bay to Rockhampton (4.5 hour drive – 380km)

 

We stopped in Rockhampton only to break up our drive to Townsville. It’s quite a big town, but we had to leave the next day because the flood water from cycle Debbie was due to hit Rockhampton in 2 days. So we wanted to get out before we got stuck again.

 

Things to do here:

  • Eat some steak – beef capital of Australia

  • Rodeo evening dinner show

 

 

Rockhampton to Townville (8 hour Drive – 750km)

 

We had to do this drive as we wanted to stop in Airlie beach to do the Great Barrier Reef but as luck with have it, cyclone Debbie had destroyed Airlie beach and the Whitsundays.

 

Places to visit on the way to Townsville

  • Makay

  • Hamilton Island – great barrier reef

  • Airlie beach – great barrier reef

  • Bowen

  • Ayr

 

Things to do in Townsville

 

  • Free water park on the esplanade

  • Reef aquarium

  • Castle hill lookout

  • Marina

  • Billabong sanctuary – koala, turtle kangaroo, crocodile feeding

 

Townsville to port Douglas (5.5 hour drive – 410 km)

We stayed here for 4 nights as we were weather watching for the best time to go the Great Barrier Reef.

Things to do in port Douglas

  • Drive to Mossman gorge

  • Daintree rainforest

  • Skywalk

  • Cape tribulation – rainforest meets ocean

  • Great barrier reef- quicksilver. Amazing organisation and trip

  • Agincourt reefs

  • Marina

  • 4 mile beach

 

Port Douglas to cairns (1 hour drive – 70km)

We stayed in cairns in the end to catch our flight to New Zealand. But there are few things to do here:

  • Night market

  • Esplanade

  • Marina

 

We took just under 2 months to complete our trip, we could have stayed a lot longer but we knew we had to move on.

OUR AUSTRALIAN JOURNEY

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Hi Guys, here is a little it about us and how we ended up on this journey

 

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