Driving Distances: Melbourne - Canberra660 km
Canberra - Thredbo 209 km
Canberra - Sydney 390 km
The inland route between Melbourne and Sydney is a great way to see a wide variety of scenery, from forests to farmlands and up into the 'high country'. Canberra is Australia's National Capital and has many excellent visitor attractions. No matter what time of year you undertake this trip, nature puts on a wonderful display. In Autumn, deciduous trees burst into colour. In Winter, the mountains are blanketed in snow and the native gum trees add to the splendid mountain panoramas. Spring is celebrated with magnificent flower festivals, and in summer you can take an easy walk to the summit of Mount Kosciusko. A perfect way to see all of this is by hiring a RV, Campervan or Motorhome. It becomes your home away from home. Your vehicle can be picked up in Melbourne or Sydney. For more information or to obtain a quote.
is Australia's second largest capital city. There has always been a rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne as to which is the best. It's a bit like comparing apples with oranges; they are that different. There is a level of sophistication, style, and appreciation of the arts and culture, that defines Melbourne. This is evident in its world class art galleries, museums, theatres fashion boutiques and restaurants. On the less refined side, Melbournites love their sport. Each year Melbourne hosts the Australian Tennis Open and Formula 1 Grand Prix. Like Sydney, there is so much to see and do that we could devote a whole website on Melbourne alone. We recommend that you spend a couple of days exploring Melbourne, staying in or close to the City before taking delivery of your vehicle to start your touring holiday.
  Dandenong Ranges, Yarra Valley, High Country & The Murray.

This is a great touring holiday, commencing with four distinctly different regions of Victoria, starting with a 25 km train ride through the Dandenong Ranges on the Puffing Billy Steam Train. The train journey begins at Belgrave, just an hour's drive out of Melbourne, and travels through beautiful verdant forests and fern gullies. The drive through the Dandenongs is just as beautiful, through lush tall forests and spectacular panoramic views of the Yarra Valley and distant ranges. Healseville is at the heart of the Yarra Valley wine and food region and is famous for its internationally-renowned wildlife sanctuary where you can get close to over 200 species of Australian wildlife, including platypus, koalas, emus, Tasmanian devils, lyrebirds, wombats and eagles. The Yarra Valley is a very pleasant region to explore, taste award winning wines or simply relax. A picturesque introduction to the High Country is Lake Eildon. The lake was created by the construction of the Lake Eildon dam in 1950 and today is one of Victoria's favourite holiday destinations, especially for water sports, fishing, swimming or just lazing about. Mansfield is the gateway to the snowfields of Mount Buller. If you intend to go skiing or snowboarding, (the snow season runs from early June through to late September) it would be advisable to use Mansfield as your base and get shuttle buses to and from the snowfields. In summer, Mansfield and Mt Buller offer visitors breathtaking scenery by foot, mountain bike or horseback. Mansfield is well known for having horse riders with exceptional mountain riding skills. The next stop on the tour through the High Country is Benalla, which is most famous for being the home town of Australia's most notorious bushranger: Ned Kelly. The city is renowned for its historic botanic and rose gardens, and is a perfect setting for a picnic or a relaxing stroll through one of the finest displays of roses in Victoria. The Costume and Pioneer Museum has excellent exhibits on Kelly's life and his final violent confrontation with police at Glenrowan, which is just 25 km from Benalla. A six-metre-high statue of Ned Kelly clad in homemade armour and helmet, rifle in hand, 'guards' Glenrowan. Further on you turn at Wangaratta and head towards Beechworth; one of Victoria's best-preserved gold rush towns with 30 Heritage Listed buildings, the goal where Ned Kelly was imprisoned, and the courthouse where he stood trial in 1880. Further down the Great Alpine Road, Bright could have been called 'vivid', such are the colours of the deciduous trees in Autumn. Bright by name and bright by atmosphere, it is one of the prettiest towns in Australia. Close to the Alpine National Park and within a short drive of the snowfields of Falls Creek, Mt Hotham and Mount Buffalo, Bright is an ideal base to go skiing or enjoy the activities and attractions of the town and surrounding district. From Bright you can drive to Wodonga via the very picturesque Mount Beauty, Mount Bogong and Kiewa Valley. Albury Wodonga are twin towns on either side of the Murray River. Albury is in New South Wales and Wodonga is in Victoria. Although separated, they are generally referred to as one. A thriving modern city with a leisurely country style, Albury Wodonga is a charming mix of stately heritage buildings, established parks and gardens and tree-lined streets. It has everything to offer the tourist: museums, art galleries, fine wines, gourmet foods, championship golf courses and many water activities on the Murray. If paddling a canoe is not your thing, then a ride on a old Paddle Steamer, at Echuca-Moama, is a great step back in time and insight into the history of this wonderful port town.
  Kosciusko National Park & Thredbo.

Australia has many superb National Parks and Kosciusko is one of the best. Compromising 675,000 hectares, it is the largest in New South Wales and contains the highest mountains in Australia. When one thinks of the 'tallest mountains' you generally think of rugged inaccessible places. Not so with Mount Kosciusko. At only 2,228 m, it's the highest mountain in Australia. In summer, weather permitting, a pleasant 6-km walk from the top of the Thredbo Village chairlift gets you to the summit . And the views of the surrounding mountain ranges are truly magnificent. Kosciusko National Park is nationally and internationally recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It contains six wilderness areas, and its alpine and sub-alpine areas contain plant species found nowhere else in the world. The park is also home to the rare mountain pygmy possum and corroboree frog. The region surrounding and including the park are simply known as the Snowy Mountains. In summer, activities include horse riding, trout fishing, cycling, caving, rafting, kayaking, and wonderfully invigorating mountain walks. In winter, the mountains take on a unique character. Beautiful native 'snow gums', give the Australian snowfields an appearance seen nowhere else in the world. Thredbo is the premier holiday destination in summer and winter. It's a very pretty mountain village with narrow winding streets and chalets with a predominant European influence. A great place to have a meal beside an open fire. Along with Thredbo, there are excellent skiing and snowboarding slopes and facilities at Perisher Blue, Charlotte Pass and Selwyn.

Note: The Alpine Way is a beautiful, scenic, drive through the mountains to Thredbo; but is often closed during the winter months, especially to two wheel drive vehicles. If you want to access Thredbo and the snowfields during the snow season, then we recommend going via Canberra. To enter the snowfields requires two wheel drive vehicles to carry chains. As this is likely to contravene your hiring contract, regular shuttle-bus services from Jindabyne provide easy access to the snowfields. Sitting on the edge of a Lake Eucumbene, which is half the size of Sydney Harbour, Jindabyne has all the facilities, restaurants, ski hire, supermarkets; making it an excellent base from which to explore the Snowy Mountains.

Canberra is Australia's National Capital. It is a city created as a result of interstate rivalries between New South Wales and Victoria; hence it's location, roughly halfway between Sydney and Melbourne. In the early 1900, just after Federation, Canberra was basically sheep grazing land; a blank sheet of paper on which an American, Walter Burley Griffin, designed a city. Approaching its centenary, Canberra has developed into an aesthetically attractive city, well laid out around Lake Burley Griffin. It's clean, neat and tidy with elegant buildings and manicured gardens. The new Parliament House is an impressive piece of architecture. Imposing in size and bunkered into Capital Hill, it dominates the city. There are free guided tours of the building and question time always provides a good insight into Australia's robust democracy. In direct line-of-sight, linked by Griffin's axial design and inexorably linked by history, the Australian War Memorial is another grand building. The Byzantine architecture and strong art deco styling contrast magnificently with the contemporary architecture of the Parliament House. The War Memorial honours the sacrifice of Australian men and women who served in numerous theatres of war. The memorial and military museum attract around 1 million visitors a year. The various commemorations are moving and the exhibits fascinating. The National Gallery of Australia is the country’s premier art institution – home to more than 100,000 works of art and world-class art exhibitions. The collection covers a wonderful cross-section of styles, eras, medium, and regions, including the unique style of Australian indigenous artists. Awarded Best Major Tourist Attraction 2005, the National Museum is the first in the country devoted to the stories of Australia and Australians. State-of-the-art technology and exhibition design present the stories of the collection in an exciting and inventive manner, including the use of multimedia, live performances, hands-on activities and guided tours. The National Science and Technology Centre is a fascinating, hands-on, experience. More like an adventure theme park than a museum, Questacon's over 200 exhibits put the fun back into science. If all of the above attractions are not enough to satisfy your inquisitive nature, then the Australian Institute of Sport; the National Botanic Gardens; the National Film and Sound Archive the National Library; the National Portrait Gallery; the National Zoo & Aquarium; the Royal Australian Mint and the Black Mountain Lookout & Tower .... will have something that appeals to everyone. In planning a visit to Canberra, you can see that you will need more than a couple of days to adequately cover these world class attractions and to visit the parks, lakes, surrounding countryside and wineries.
  The Southern Highlands.

is a delightful, historic, Georgian village in the Southern Highlands. It is a very popular place and could easily be considered as the arts and crafts capital of the Southern Highlands. Scones, jam and fresh cream, are highly recommended. Indeed all the towns in the Southern Highlands have their own, individual character and charm. These are places to relax and enjoy the country lifestyle; to browse through antique shops; to sample the fine food. Bowral is famous for its magnificent gardens and Tulip Festival in September; the Bradman Oval and Museum of Cricket; and the intrinsically Aussie, Bong Bong Picnic Races in November.

From Bowral, Sydney is approximately 100 km away. Depending where your vehicle drop-off point is in Sydney, the day of the week, and time of day, this final leg of the trip could take anywhere between 2.5 to 3.5 hours. If you have another day or two to spare, you could consider traveling down to Kiama, on The South Coast and up to Sydney via Wollongong and the Royal National Park.
  The South Coast.

The peace and tranquillity of the Southern Highlands is broken by the thunder of the 230 metre high Fitzroy Falls, cascading off the escarpment in Morton National Park. In the park there is an award winning Visitors Centre, walking trails, more waterfalls and scenic lookouts, some with wonderful views down over the coast. Leaving the escarpment and heading down towards the coast you drive up through the very pretty Kangaroo Valley. The 'South Coast' has a unique, special ambience about it. Driving along on a sunny day, through lush-green dairy farms and hills, gently rolling down to pristine beaches and sparkling ocean.... the feeling is bliss! Kiama & Shellharbour are great examples of south coast village towns with glorious beaches, laid-back holiday lifestyle, and friendly and hospitable people. Kiama is famous for its 'Blowhole', where waves crash onto nearby rocks and the water is then channelled up through a large cavity, exploding in a burst of water, high above the spectators' heads. Heading north, Wollongong is undeniably and industrial city; however it is a vibrant cosmopolitan city with beautiful beaches, botanical gardens and harbour, and a growing reputation as a city that appreciates fine food and wine. There are many wonderful coastal views around Australia. Just north of Woolongong, the view from the Lawrence Hargrave Lookout, over Stanwell Park beach and Wollongong in the distance, is considered amongst the most spectacular in Australia. This lookout is of great significance to the history of aviation and the inscription on the monument reads: 'Lawrence Hargrave - 1850-1915 whose pioneering research in aeronautics with engines, monoplanes and box-kites, much of which was carried out at Stanwell Park, played a vital part in the development of the aeroplane'. This place is an inspiration to the hang-glider pilots who, like Hargrave, find the thermals excellent for flying. The Royal National Park is the world's second oldest national park - after Yellowstone in the USA, and is World Heritage listed. The park covers an area of 16,000 hectares and contains pretty picnic areas, beautiful beaches, rivers, creeks, bushwalking trails and rainforests. Being so close to Sydney, it is very popular on the weekends; however it less crowded and more relaxed during the week. You can drive all the way through the park from the Lawrence Hargrave Lookout and come out at Sutherland, a southern suburb of Sydney, less than an hour from the CBD.
  Sydney is Australia's largest capital city and best known internationally for: its World Heritage listed Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, its magnificent harbour, and Bondi Beach. Of course there is much, much, more to this fabulous city. So-much-so, that we could devote a whole website on Sydney alone. Because of Sydney's congested traffic, we recommend that you spend a couple of days in or close to the City, after dropping off your vehicle or staying a couple of nights on Sydney's northern beaches and catching public transport into the City.

Manly to Palm Beach. Although Bondi Beach is Sydney's most famous, the northern beaches from Manly to Palm Beach are more beautiful. Manly is a great place to start. From Manly you can take a short drive up to North Head and look out over, what many people describe as: "the most magnificent harbour in the world". From Manly you can catch a ferry into the city. This is a wonderful and most relaxing way to experience Sydney Harbour and to view the Opera House and the City. Manly has two beaches: a protected harbour beach and the ocean beach, separated by great cafes and restaurants, AND the best fish'n'chip shops. There are 13, beautiful, golden, sandy beaches within 28 kilometres between Manly and Palm Beach; a beach lover's paradise in summer. Palm Beach is also the filming location for the popular television series: "Home and Away". Apart from the beach, it's a beautiful drive around the peninsula and into the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. The West Head Lookout has superb views out over the Hawkesbury River, Pittwater; and Bobbin Head is a popular place for picnickers. Holiday Parks are scarce in Sydney; however there is an excellent 4 star park nestled between the Narrabeen lake and beach.

For information on additional trips out from Sydney, 'click' here

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