Melbourne to Brisbane

Nov 21st, 2008, 08:00 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Melbourne to Brisbane

My party of 4 arrives in Sydney December 28th. We leave Sydney(4 points by sheraton)on the 31st of December. We are staying in Melbourne from December 31-January 3rd. We have hotel reservations in Brisbane for January 4th. We plan on staying somewhere along the way on the evening of the 3rd. Any route\hotel suggestions would be appreciated. Also thus far we have no plans for New Years eve in Melbourne.
stevesophie is offline  
Nov 21st, 2008, 09:36 AM
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The driving distance between Melbourne and Brisbane is nearly 1000 miles. Wouldn't you prefer to fly?
oliverandharry is offline  
Nov 21st, 2008, 10:37 AM
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We will have a rental car from Sydney. Although it is 1000 miles we will stop around the 500 mile mark and spend the night. I am just wondering if we should go along the coast towards Sydney or try a faster route inland. Will inland be to Hot??
stevesophie is offline  
Nov 21st, 2008, 12:29 PM
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"We will have a rental car from Sydney." I'm a little confused, stevesophie - are you driving or flying Melbourne to Sydney?

If your plan is to drive from Melbourne to Brisbane with one overnight stop, you will be looking at something well over 24 hours driving time, despite what the "google" travel guide indicates.

I don't want to pour cold water on your plan, but I don't want you added to our already horrific annual Christmas/ New Year road accident toll, either.

The road systems here are far from the superhighways & motorways of the US and Europe, and you simply can't apply the same distance/time estimates. Factoring in road works, holiday traffic and dusk to dawn the need to look out for kangaroos, I would make provision for 2 overnight stops.

Bokhara2 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2008, 04:26 PM
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Just seconding Bokhara's alarm for you, even the drive Sydney to Melbourne in one day is not going to be anything of a picnic.

Though the quickest easiest most sensible one day Hume Highway route now has the greater portion of dual carriageway[interstate quality]road, like any interstater through relatively open country, it is dead boring for most of the journey and with stops will take you 10 hours or more depending on traffic both ends.

The more interesting coastal or snowy mountains routes really require at least two days to enjoy or pushing oneself on a twelve hours plus odyssey.
Either way, they are relative picnics compared to Melbourne to Brisbane.

If you make use of a travel planner site: being oneyou'll see that the most direct route is inland at about 1700 km. and 21 hours suggested, a bit like Sydney to Melbourne back to back though you do not have the luxury of the freeway type conditions.

Bokhara is also deadly serious about you ending up being a road statistic too, for the inland route is the one that gets used by:
. truckies on long hauls from Queensland to the south
. southern holiday makers looking to get where they want to be as quick as possible and possibly with a wagon load of kids to distract them and maybe not having all that much experience of longer distance driving.
. what some might call local yokels, and particularly farmers that might be just mosing about doing their business and can pull out onto a 110 kmh limit road regardless of traffic[yes, I've used the route a number of times and had that happen]

And yes, that 110kmh. limit, probably to keep the truckie/transport lobby happy and whilst you get used to having 110 kmh monsters separated from you merely by a white line and have to have faith for there's not much else, it is a route to be avoided at all cost.

You have quite a lot of towns to go through, road surfaces in far less than reasonable condition in places, and then of course there could be the caravan wagon trains to make your trip Oh so delightful because of limited overtaking provision and when there is one, bet your last dollar that a couple of cars towing caravans and/or trucks will pull out to try and pass, taking up any provision there was.

And scenery wise, forget it, and hot, Oh yes siree, and flies when you pull up for a break, and if you're lucky, with the weather we're having right now, yes there could be flooding here and there.
So all up, not a nice scene.

You could moderate it some, take an extra 200 km. and head off the Newell Highway at a place called Gilgandra and head across Oxley Highway for Tamworth and then New England Highway to Armidale and then Waterfall way back to the Pacific Highway for some scenery.

Dubbo is roughly halway on the inland route but if modifying it as above, with an early early start and plenty of stops/rest, if you're Ok I'd make it for either Gilgandra, Tamworth and ideally Armidale, a lovely New England Ranges smaller city.

If you want to enjoy yoyrself a little with the touring, chop a couple of days off Melbourne and use two days to get down via the Alpine route to miss coastal holiday traffic and then take three days to get to Brisbane.
Take a country meandering drive [ off the Hume] through north eastern Victoria wine country and historic towns like Beechworth and then up into NSW and northerly to any of the cities along the Olympic Way, getting as far as say Bathurst if possible for O/N.
Have a drive up Mt. Panorama, possibly a great sunset and then the next day you can drive up through some old gold mining villages and onto wineries around Mudgee and upper Hunter Valley and on to Armidale, maybe do the waterfall way down to Belligen as another overnight stop and so give you a heap of time for getting to Brisbane the next day.
Byron Bay and the Gold Coast will be something hectic, and if you want to continue some more relative peace, you could consider some back ways into Brisbane, taking the Summer way from Grafton to Casino and on through Kyogle and Woodenbong, or from Kyogle you can head back towards Murwillumbah and stop off at Nimbin for a somewhat interesting experience - kind of Norther Rivers Alternative Living Capital and all that might go with it when the constabulary aren't looking too hard.

That would be one of my touring ways if I had to do it, still warm and possibility of flooding between Grafton and Kyogle and so just stay tuned to the weather reports.
Bushranger is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2008, 11:58 PM
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I am afraid that I also agree with the above as well. I couldn't advocate driving from Melbourne to Brisbane at that time of year in such a short time for all of the reasons given above. They are not exagerating.

I can visualise that your memories of Australia are mainly going to consist of the horrors of the drive rather than the good times. I know that there are four of you, but with the availability of cheap airfares these days it shouldn't really cost all that much for you to fly as versus hiring a car, insurance, petrol and overnight accommodation. Obviously you will paying for accommodation anyway, but much better an extra day of leisure in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane rather than some dingy roadside motel in the middle of nowhere. Think in terms of a bit of shopping, a stroll along a beach, a few coffee stops, a good lunch as compared to 4 cranky, bored out of their brains individuals. You will all be so tired, frustated and stressed, you won't even enjoy the next day at your destination.

In relation to New Year's Eve in Melbourne there are a number of different places from which you can view the fireworks. There is an early show at 9pm and then the midnight one. For other events check out this website
shandy is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2008, 07:57 PM
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Yep, you need to reconvene the planning committe and figure out who wrote "We leave Sydney (4 points by sheraton) on the 31st of December. We are staying in Melbourne from December 31-January 3rd." and what it is supposed to mean. If you fly, you can make it.

But what do you mean by saying"We plan on staying somewhere along the way on the evening of the 3rd. " when, at the same time, you want to be in Brisbane on the 4th while only leaving Melbourne on the 3rd? Can't be done, you have to fly, so no stop somewhere along the way. Were you thinking of driving? No way.

I think you underestimate the distances, and the heat (it is the height of summer!), so get a detailed map and observe the scale (many maps of Australia make it look like Sydney to Brisbane and back is a weekend excursion...).

Just off the cuff, I'd give the drive from Melbourne to Brisbane a week if you want to enjoy it and feel like you're on vacation. If my boss paid me triple time and promised me generous compensation time off, I'd agree to do it in three days...
DalaiLlama is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2008, 10:45 PM
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Not wishing to be contradictory here but Melbourne to Brisbane CAN be done in the time constraints.

There are 4 people travelling, I am assuming that that might mean at least one other driver and maybe even 4 drivers to share the load. With 4 drivers (even just 2 drivers) you could do that drive pretty much non stop (except for fuel & rest stops, preferably every 2 hours).

I have done this drive myself, twice, with another driver and it was really very easy.

I would suggest the Newell Highway -and please note it is a highway not death alley!

The OP may well love this kind of driving and not find it challenging at all. I'm sorry but I jut don't think it is the big deal you are making it out to be. It will be hot but I'm pretty sure their rental car will have air conditioning.

As with all driving make sure you're a 'heads up' driver, watch the speed limit and importantly stop every 2 hours for a rest.
stormbird is offline  
Nov 24th, 2008, 12:31 AM
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It's not so much whether you can do it in two days or not stormbird for despite the guy from northern India when at home wanting to be paid handsomely to do it in three days you can and I've even driven from northern Victoria to north of Brisbane in not too much over 24 hours including some sleeping in the car[not while driving] - but would I recommend it to anyone wanting to see something of Australia - certainly not!

And re risks, all Bokhara, shandy and I [and DL in a different way] are saying is that there are a few aspects worth considering, not the least being there could be quite some traffic on what is far from our best highway.
Bushranger is offline  
Nov 24th, 2008, 12:46 AM
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That's fine BR but I don't think their intention is to 'see Australia' on that leg of the holiday. They just need to get from Melbourne to Brisbane as quickly as possible and as safely as possible. They've made that quite clear and they've also made it quite clear that they don't have a week to get to Brisbane from Melbourne - I just don't understand why someone would go there and suggest it.

Whilst, your comments are worthy of consideration, all contributions are saying it shouldn't/couldn't be done and I'm just saying that it can be done and that it can be done without fear.
stormbird is offline  
Nov 24th, 2008, 03:05 AM
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I thought I'd misunderstood, but I went back and read it again twice. Then there's the follow-up .. "we will have a hire car from Sydney", and "although it is 1000 miles ..".

Thing is, 500 miles = 800km so 1000 miles is neither MLB-SYD, nor SYD-BRS, nor MLB-BRS, though it is closest to the latter.

So let's assume that's what they want to do.

SS - maybe you are used to driving long distances, but as someone has already said, even major roads in Australia are not like motorways/freeways/autobahns, whatever you want to call them. There are "highways" as in "Hume Highway", "Pacific Highway", "Princes Highway". They may be three lanes each way, but not for very long, and every so often a lane disappears - so PAY ATTENTION - cos there are no overhead signs to tell you so, just roadside markers and bendy arrows painted on the tarmac. From MLB to BRS you will have trouble getting around Sydney.

Your hire car will doubless be well powered, and comfy, and maybe well armoured if it's one of those people carriers that I loathe so much. And that may make a difference.

But I can tell you having just made only a 250km trip (albeit in a small car), and with plenty of stops, and some of it on minor roads, I am exhausted.

Another thing is, despite all the "Stop, revive, survive" signs once you are on a serious multi-lane freeway (shortlived) there aren't any places to stop - no service areas as in Europe. You get the roadhouses and stuff when the "highway" becomes two lanes.

Doubtless someone will be along to point out factual inaccuracies. And others, like some of the above, will say, what a load of rubbish.

All I can say is, if there is just one driver, DON'T DO IT. Even if there are two, think again.

Whatever, best to fly. Hire you car for trawls around the country not for getting from point to point unless you have LOADS of time.

afterall is offline  
Nov 24th, 2008, 03:39 AM
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Thank you everyone for your most helpfull replies. I think we will have to reconsider and maybe fly. There are only two licensed drivers and being from Canada we drive on the right side of the road. (that is scary enough) We thought Melbourne to Brisbane would be a 15 hour drive. I remember when we planned our Europe trip, we were going to drive from Amsterdam to the Venice border. Thanks to fodors we did fly and take the train and thus had a far better holiday. What airline should I look up to find cheap flights??
Thanks again for all your help.
stevesophie is offline  
Nov 24th, 2008, 09:10 AM
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"Good thinking 99"

There are 3 domestic carriers, all of which have very good discounted rates.

Sign up for their email alerts and you'll have notice before their rates are released in the papers.

Virgin blue also has a "Happy Hour" between noon & 1pm Australian Eastern Standard Time.

Jetstar has particularly stringent time restraints. If you are not checked in prior to their cut off time, irrespective of whether you are in the queue, they will (1) not allow you on the flight (2) forfeit your ticket.

I'm sure you'll have a much more relaxed trip and enjoy the extra hours in Melbourne and/or Brisbane.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Nov 24th, 2008, 10:35 AM
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afterall that afterall

You do need to read between the lines a little afterall, ie.

Having a car from Sydney kind of means they have driven from Sydney to Melbourne.

And then the 1000 miles is a reference[initially from O&H] to the trip between Melbourne and Brisbane, it being 1697 km. so they were all of 6% out on nominating 1000 miles.

stevesophie and most of us had an appreciation of what they were contemplating.
Bushranger is offline  
Nov 24th, 2008, 11:35 AM
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Hello again,
After much arm twisting we have compromised and booked a flight from Melbourne to Brisbane on the 4th of January. The men in our party would really like to do some driving so I have talked them into driving from Sydney to Melbourne, we could drop off the car in Melbourne and pick up another in Brisbane to drive back to Sydney. Is this still too much driving?? I am sure I could talk them into flying back from Brisbane as well. Is it a pretty drive along the coast?? I cannot thank you all enough for your very helpfull replies.
stevesophie is offline  
Nov 24th, 2008, 01:06 PM
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Good decision and if you can manage to allow two days for both Sydney to Melbourne and Brisbane to Sydney all the better, and a mix of coastal/hinterland for both routes with inland accommodation will make getting accommodation easier.
Holiday traffic along the coast between Brisbane and Sydney in particular will make a one day trip quite horrible.

Re flying to Brisbane, depending on what your interests are up that way, have you considered a flight to the Gold Coast, often having the cheaper flights to there.
Bushranger is offline  
Nov 24th, 2008, 02:39 PM
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Hi stevesophie,

I really love to drive and so I can understand the men folk of your party wanting to do a drive whilst here.

Sydney - Melbourne is about 885 klms. A quick check on travelmate has the recommended route of the Highway M31 (Hume Hwy??? I think). I wouldn't recommend the coast road as it will take you forever to do the trip as there are so many little towns that you will have to slow down to 50kph to go through.

I can see that your schedule is tight but I hope you can fit the drive in and I'm sure you will all enjoy the experience.
stormbird is offline  
Nov 24th, 2008, 03:59 PM
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The coastal route between Sydney and Melbourne will take you longer than taking the Hume (dual carriageway most of the way) but if you're looking to make your journeys a pleasant part of the holiday, a coastal or combined coastal/inland route for Sydney to Melbourne will certainly give you a more scenically appealing trip and though two days recommended may seem forever to stormbird, it is still only two days and doing part of it inland on the back ways could have you seeing far less traffic than on the Hume.

If you want to do something like that, for two days you could do something like:

Sydney > south via Princess Hwy/Royal National Park/Lawrence Hargreaves Coastal Drive/Princess Hwy to Berry for Morning Tea > Batemans Bay.

It's either inland here or on as far as nearly Bega for inland, and so
BB > Braidwood (lunch)> Queanbeyan [Canberra? detour if you like] > Cooma > Jindabyne > Thredbo (YHA hostel there with studio units for four) O/N?
Before Thredbo there's a ski train through to the upper plateau, but timing will likly not make it possible for you.

OR BB > Mogo > Moruya > Narooma > Central Tilba (Nice little heritage style village) for Lunch > Cobargo > Browns Mountain Rd. for Candelo and Cooma (Bega Valley Lookout just a few hundred metres past) > Thredbo etc.

You'll have plenty of daylight with DST, dusk about 10 pm.and so you could keep going a bit and make for places like Khancoban, Corryong or Beechworth - a superb heritage stle old gold mining town.

The run down through northern Victoria is relatively easy with plenty of easy touring/stopping options like Mansfield Alexandra and Black Spur or via Yea and onto Healesville/Yarra Valley Wine area and you head into Melbourne from the east or you have the alternative of cutting back across to the Hume dragway south of Wangaratta and heading in from the north.

It is certainly from experience going to be a much more peaceful trip taking two days and keeping out of the traffic on the Hume.
Bushranger is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 03:49 AM
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We are now flying from Sydney to Meblourne, and also from Melbourne to Brisbane. Renting a car in Brisbane and driving back to Sydney via the pacific coast drive with an overnight in Coffs Harbour. This has given us an exta night in Melbourne as well as Coffs Harbour. I am so glad I posted our plans, if not I am sure we would have attempted the original drives. Thanks for all your input. I will post a trip report when I return.
stevesophie is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 12:01 PM
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I'm sure you'll have a much more enjoyable trip doing it this way.
Bokhara2 is offline  

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