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Road Trip from Melbourne to Sydney

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Hi everyone. My family and I are planning on a trip to Aus/NZ for 2.5 weeks in fall of 2012 - beginning the last week of April to be exact. We're from Manila, Philippines and it's the first time for everyone to travel to the continent. It will be 5 adults - my husband and myself, sister-in-law (all below 35) and my parents-in-law (both 60).
My questions are specifically around the fact that we would like to rent a car and drive ourselves from Melbourne to Sydney, allowing 2 overnight stays in between. There are hundred of stops to choose from I'm sure - my family are seafood lovers and would ideally spend nights in one of the better beaches or coastal towns. We're basically bent on soaking in the scenery and wildlife.
I had the mistake of thinking that the Great Ocean Road is a drive from Melbourne to Sydney - just found out it's the opposite way!

Anyway, our broad itinerary as follows:
Day 1-3: Melbourne
Day 4: in the AM, begin the drive to Sydney. Is Wilsons Promontory worth a stopover? After that, continue on to Lakes Entrance area. Spend the night in either Sale, Paynestown or Metung? Which town has more to do and more places to stay?
Day 5: Visit Lakes Entrance Area/Gippsland? After that, drive to Mallacoota. Spend the night there? Or do we move further ahead and spend the night somewhere else?
Day 6: End drive in Sydney

Any thoughts? Another question would be if we should rent a car when we arrive in Melbourne OR if we should do it only on Day 4? We'll just be sightseeing in Melbourne itself - I hear parking is a pain? Unless we try to do the GOR route (or at least some of the places) between Day 1-3. Or will that be overkill?

Anyway, your thoughts are much appreciated. Thanks for your help in advance!

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