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The humble road trip is key to unwinding, taking it slow and really experiencing Australia. As Miley Cyrus so eloquently puts it: “Ain’t about how fast I get there. Ain’t about what’s waiting on the otherside. It’s the climb.” We’re with you Miley! It is about the climb, or the row, or the walk or the drive.
Before you grab your car keys and run out the door in Miley-induced excitement, let us recommend a fun-dotted route for your adventure – the Sydney to Melbourne journey (or the Melbourne to Sydney journey, either direction is fine). We’ve got two options for you – the coastal way or the inland way. Whichever you choose, just make sure you have a full tank, the windows down and Miley blasting.
The coastal route
#1 Kiama Blowhole, Kiama
Watching the blowhole erupt is deeply satisfying and amazingly beautiful. The rumble of the ocean forcing its way into the narrow sea cavern can be felt as you stand waiting for the show. As water shoots straight up into the sky, both children and adults let out gasps of wonder. A chorus of giggles usually follows these sounds, as spectators are doused with sea-spray falling back to earth.
#2 Sea Cliff Bridge (on the Grand Pacific Drive)
This is not just a bridge – it’s a marvellous architectural accomplishment. It is a beautiful addition to the coastal landscape, which is equally as enjoyable to look at as it is to drive on. It’s no wonder dozens of car ads have been shot here. Parking your ride and getting out for a walk along the bridge may seem like a strange thing to do, but it is definitely worth it. You can hear the waves crashing beneath you and you also get the time to really take in the sheer size of this structure. Those who enjoy the Rainbow Road in Mario Cart will truly value this stretch of road. If you can barely wait until you see it in the flesh – watch the LIVE webcam here: seacliffbridgecam.com/
#3 Blue Pool, Bermagui
Not only clean, beautiful and crystal clear, this amazing pool is also Jaws-proof. Perfect for a morning wake-up or an afternoon cool-down, the Blue Pool is a hit with locals just as much as with tourists. The water is unsurprisingly chilly in the winter months, but that shouldn’t stop you from jumping in a enjoying the jewel in the Sapphire Coast’s crown.
#4 Wilson’s Promontory
Wilson’s Promontory, or ‘The Prom’ as the locals call it, is the southernmost tip of mainland Australia and a stunningly beautiful place to visit. A coastal road trip between Sydney and Melbourne wouldn’t be complete without witnessing what was once considered the edge of the earth. The lookout at Promontory Light Station offers views out across the wild Bass Strait. But, there is more to this place than just views. Bushwalks from under half an hour right up to three days are scattered throughout the national park and are well worth the effort. The area is full of massive granite mountains and windswept beaches, so it’s advisable to bring your Snuggie. Camping is an option if you’re planning on sticking around for more than one day. For those who don’t want to rough it, there’s a bush retreat too.
The inland route
#1 Fitzroy Falls, Southern Highlands
Roughly two hours from Sydney you’ll find Moreton National Park – home of Fitzroy Falls. The park is only a short drive off the Hume Highway through verdant pastures. Once you arrive, the boardwalk from the Fitzroy Falls carpark takes you 100 metres through the fertile bushland and out to the top of the falls. The waterfall cascades off the cliff face and down to the forest floor below. It’s a glorious place where you might expect to find pixies and woodland nymphs frolicking – not to worry though, wildflowers, rosellas and eucalypts abound.
#2 The Big Merino, Goulburn
Australia rode to wealth on the sheep’s back, so the saying goes – it’s easy to see how when standing at the foot of this immense statue. The Australian population in the 1900s could easily have sat comfortably on the back of this fella. This massive fleecy ram stands about four stories tall and it’s hard to miss, so you won’t need directions. Unlike other ‘big’ things you have seen around Oz, you can’t get inside The Big Merino. This folly is evened out by his photogenic nature, and for those not marred with the passage of maturity, you can even sneak around the back for a genitals selfie.
#3 Holbrook Submarine Museum
40 minutes north of the New South Wales/Victoria border is the town of Holbrook. It’s many hundreds of kilometres from the sea, so it’s not strange to wonder why you find a submarine museum here. Rest assured, your wonder will be addressed upon your visit. The Holbrook Submarine Museum is home to HMAS OTWAY (an Oberon-class submarine) and a scale model of Lt. Norman Holbrook VC’s submarine B11. Aside from experiencing what life would be like living inside a submarine deep under he oceans surface, you can also see how the vessel was transported to its final resting place.
#4 Milawa Mustards, Milawa
Milawa is the home of the Brown Bothers winery, and 11 kilometres off the Hume Highway from Wangaratta. One of its lesser-known attractions is Milawa Mustards. This all-organic store, housed in a gold-rush era building, sells home-grown and homemade mustards. They have a selection from the very tasty and tongue-friendly to the ding-dong fireman’s bell hot mustard.
(Lead image: UOW)
Avis car hire is the perfect way to make more of your holiday. Roadtrips give you the opportunity to see different sides of your destination. With such freedom, the possibilities are truly limitless. Stay tuned for more stories from the road.