Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Australia & the Pacific
Reload this Page >

Need help with drive from Melbourne to Sydney, PLEASE!

Need help with drive from Melbourne to Sydney, PLEASE!

Apr 4th, 2003, 12:30 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 65
Need help with drive from Melbourne to Sydney, PLEASE!

My husband will be driving from Melbourne to Sydney along the Princes Highway. I'm getting conflicting information from guidebooks and travelmate.com, so I'm hoping a local, or someone who's done this drive, can help me.

According to travelmate.com, from Melbourne to Bairnsdale is 4 hours, from Bairnsdale to Bermagui is 4 hours, and from Bermagui to Sydney is 4 hours. So, I figured he'd spend a night in Bairnsdale and a night in Bermagui, then motor on into Sydney. Well, I just looked in a travel guide, and they said that the drive from Bermagui to Sydney was 7 hours!!!! I don't want my husband to have to drive 7 hours in one day. The entire purpose of splitting the trip up was so they could stop at places along the way, not drive like maniacs all day.

Obviously, I'm frazzled and fried by trying to figure this out on my own. Can someone help me, please?

Thank you to anyone kind enough to have read this entire message!

Sincerely, Margot
Margot is offline  
Apr 4th, 2003, 02:13 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 801
Margot,
I am not absolutely sure but I think Bermagui would be at least 7 hours to Sydney - for instance Sydney to Narooma is 4 hours - the 'so called highway' up the coast is only two lane most of the way and does not allow for easy or fast driving.
Hopefully someone who has done the trip recently will be able to tell you more exactly.
prue is offline  
Apr 4th, 2003, 02:22 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 801
Margot,
I sent off my reply to your post without checking the map and have now realised how close Bermagui is to Narooma - so would say that as I know Narooma is 4 hours (roughly) to Sydney, it would be much the same.
However, please be aware that the traffic can be awful and the road in places is certainly not highway material.
There is an alternate route some of the way which follows the actual beaches and headlands (which you don't see much of from the highway) and maybe that is where the 7 hours has come from, as it would certainly be slower still.
prue is offline  
Apr 5th, 2003, 05:59 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 243
We drove (the other way) from Merimbula to Melbourne, about 550km? in around 7 hours, stopping from time to time but not for long. Would imagine this is just more than half the distance Mel-Syd.
Smalley is offline  
Apr 5th, 2003, 07:45 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 65
Smalley and Prue:

Thank you both for your replies. I'll get out my maps and check the distances again.

I welcome all replies to this post!

Margot
Margot is offline  
Apr 5th, 2003, 02:34 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 114
Hi Margot.
The drive from Melbourne to Bairnsdale will take around 4 hours. Very good freeeway for 1/2 the trip to Traralgon then excellent highway to Bairnsdale.
However my choice would be stay at Lakes Entrance overnight. Or detour down to the little village of Metung. Bairnsdale in just another small country city offering a lovely church to look at (next to Macdonalds.) & a nice Country Inn...Riverslea Guest House.... & thats about all.
You may be tempted to take the short cut route which excludes Lakes Entrance if you do it is a very long boring drive to Eden.N.S.W. Another nice little town is Tathra fishing on the wharf is great fun but you will not have time for this. Tilba Tilba is always a nice stop.
Just south of Batemans Bay is Mojo a good place to stop for an hour or so very crafty shops.
I guess it depends what you would like to see on the way ?
I have done this drive a few times however we do stop & look at lots of things along the way.
The veiw as you come into Kiama is wonderful..fish & chips at the blow hole ....there are sooo many little places to stop. Not to mention going inland a bit to Bowral ect. Anyway have a lovely quick trip to Sydney. Enjoy
AussieJo is offline  
Apr 5th, 2003, 07:35 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 65
AussieJo:

Bless you! This is the kind of information I've been looking for. It's very hard trying to figure this all out from half a world away.

If you have any more ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Thank you,
Margot
Margot is offline  
Apr 5th, 2003, 09:16 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 114
Margot, How many days have you set aside for your trip Melbourne to Sydney ?
This will help me answer you further.
AussieJo is offline  
Apr 6th, 2003, 12:12 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 65
AussieJo:

My husband will be leaving Melbourne on April 26, and arrive in Sydney on the 28th. So, he will be spending two nights in cities along the way, and then spending the nights of the 28-30 in Sydney. He will be driving for three days.

I had gone to travelmate.com.au, and divided the trip into three days, with four hours of driving per day. According to travelmate.com, spending nights in Bairnsdale and the Bermagui/Narooma areas would split the trip equally.

Thank you again for your help.

Margot
Margot is offline  
Apr 6th, 2003, 11:02 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,123
We arrived home yesterday after a holiday along the Princes Highway so my information is reasonably up to date. The road is freeway initially then two lane and in good condition. There is a good selection of motels in Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance but the next good range of accommodation would be at Eden or Merimbula. (There are towns in between but the accommodation choices are very limited.) Merimbula is one of the best towns along the route.
Does he want to go to Bermagui as it is about 20 minutes off the highway and there really isn't much there - it's mainly a fishing town. It would be better to stay at Batemans Bay which again has a good range of accommodation and restaurants, and is a really good place for an overnight break.
If he wants to do some sightseeing along the way, check out Tilba Tilba (great cheese factory). Mogo has lots of little craft shops, a great secondhand book shop and a small but good zoo specialising in endanged animals. Tathra is a nice little town but about an hour off the main highway.
marg is offline  
Apr 7th, 2003, 02:46 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 114
Hi Margot,
I would agree with Marg. You have very limited time to do this drive.
Batemans Bay I have stayed at it is quite a large town & on the highway. As you are leaving Melbourne April 26th.... I am a little concerned as the week before is Easter.. no affect on you.... but 25thApril is Anzac Day...most places are closed & a lot of people will be taking a longweekend holiday... maybe try & book ahead at your choice.. Bairnsdale or Lakes Entrance.... the Sunday night would not be a problem. Have fun
AussieJo is offline  
Apr 8th, 2003, 04:35 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 445
Hi - I can't help you with travel times between places - but I just wanted to offer a word of warning based on my experience travelling the route from Melbourne to Sydney just after Christmas. Decide where you are going to stay each night and book your accommodation in advance!

We have a "she'll be right, mate" attitude to travel and usually this does not let us down, however on this occasion we did not book any accommodation and we could not find one vacancy (whether it be the most expensive or cheapest motel) from Lakes Entrance onward. One motel operator kindly called all the motels in the region for us without one positive answer. We ended up driving all the way back to Sydney in driving rain on winding, dark roads (the first accommodation vacancy sign was at Engadine - a Sydney suburb!!) and we were absolutely exhausted.

We've certainly learnt our lesson and would not want any one else to experience the same.
Daneille is offline  
Apr 8th, 2003, 07:26 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 65
Danielle, AussieJo and Marg:

Thank you for the time you took to advise me.

Danielle - I'm glad you wrote. I was considering just letting my husband and his friend "wing it" for one night - just stay wherever they wanted. I told my husband last night, "Why don't you all just drive as far as you want that Sunday, and then just stop at a motor lodge kind of place on the main highway." Thanks to your reply, I don't think I'll do that!! What a nightmare...

I actually had the same experience here a few years ago. My friends and I decided we'd take a weekend, "just the girls," and drive to Biloxi, Mississippi. Biloxi used to be kind of funky - little motels and tourist traps, but a nice little beach full of families. We didn't book anything ("It's Biloxi! We can just come across something!") Well, we drove for hours up and down the Gulf Coast (now full of casinos) and wound up spending too much money at a Holiday Inn Express in Pascagoula. We were too tired to even enjoy our weekend, and got on each others' nerves the entire time.

Thanks again!

Margot
Margot is offline  
Apr 8th, 2003, 10:50 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 114
Margot, I am pleased you are reconsidering making a booking for these nights, as I said it will be a long weekend. We also have been caught out at both Merimbula & Batemans Bay.(Canberra longweekend)
You will also have to contend with some states school holidays.
I guess the big question is where are you going to spend the nights ?
AussieJo is offline  
Apr 9th, 2003, 11:44 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 65
AussieJo:

We're booked in Bairnsdale for the night of the 26th. After your post, I considered changing to Lakes Entrance, but I've actually had this B and B booked for about a month, and the couple running it have been very nice (sending suggestions, etc.), so I don't want to cancel at this late date.

The night of april 27 is the only non-booked night, so I think I'm going to go ahead and book something in the Narooma area. I'll probably do that tonight after my 2.5 year old goes to sleep (lots of uninterrupted time!). The nights of 28, 29, and 30 are all booked in Sydney already.

So, I've just one more night to book. I can't wait until this is done!

Thanks for your help!
Margot
Margot is offline  
Apr 9th, 2003, 02:26 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 114
Hi Margot, what is the name of the B & B in Bairnsdale ?
I'm very pleased you have booked something.
I am trying to think of things for you to look at on the way to Bairnsdale....maybe stop for a short toilet stop & walk around Yarragon ( you will see all the cars in the area I mean just at the start of the shops)
If you are interested in open cut mining (Victoria's electricity supply) you can take the Yallourne North exit & you will see the above. (1/2. klm.) or if you are really keen you can take a tour out of Morwell.... Not sounding too rude about this but a trip of the freeway into Moe or Morwell is not worth the effort.
Traralgon you will have to drive through. (nothing special again)
Sale has quite a nice park with black swans...it will be infront of you at the roundabout.
Stratford go over the bridge & down into the park, you will find the whole Avon River full off pebbles. On the highway between Stradford & Bairnsdale there is quite a nice gallery, be aware of the speed camera's. I have to tell you this part of your trip up until you reach Eden will be pretty uneventfull. There are some really pretty places but they are off the highway. Metung is a lovely village right on the lake system, Paynesville has become large due to its housing developements on man made canels, & punt will take you over to Raymond Island (5 minute trip) it has a very large koala population, we have friends who live there & always know where they are hiding ( we can never find them) nice little cafe on the island as well.
From Bairnsdale until you reach Eden it is mainly forest. There was some time ago a guy at Cann River who had a shop which sold wooden sculptures (this is worth a look) If you like oyster you are heading to the home of them around Pambula to Narrooma they sell them on the side of the roads. Better go I am starting to dribble on.
AussieJo is offline  
Apr 9th, 2003, 04:08 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 445
Hi AussieJo - do you think that Walhalla in Victoria is too far off the highway for a visit.

Margot, if it's not, this town is a wonderfully unique mining town that has really retained all of its olde worlde charm. It only had the electricity connected last year I think. A tour through the mine tunnels is really interesting.

I would make my second stop at least Bateman's Bay. Whilst Eden is really, really beautiful it is still too far from Sydney to make the next day's drive comfortable. Bateman's Bay is still 4 - 5 hours from Sydney as it is, but it is still a coastal town without heading off the Princes Highway.
Daneille is offline  
Apr 10th, 2003, 12:07 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 114
Walhalla is one of my favorite places for a day trip. However Margot did say they only wanted to drive around 4 hours per day so I figure to go to Walhalla through Moe & then back over to Traralgon will add a further 2 hours to the trip to Bairnsdale.
(plus sight seeing)
AussieJo is offline  
Apr 10th, 2003, 06:59 AM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 65
Danielle and AussieJo:

Thanks again for all the useful information!

I have booked at the Tara House in Bairnsdale. It is a B and B that I found on the babs.com.au website. I chose it because it had a twin suite available. My husband will be traveling with his friend Scott, and they want to share a room to save money, but also wanted separate beds (thank goodness!). Have you heard anything about it? Really, if I had waited until I'd done more research, I would have put them farther down the road in Lakes Entrance. But, they night before they leave Melbourne they'll be going to a company farewell party, and these usually last until the wee hours of the morning. I figured they'd want to get a late start and not have too long to drive, especially that first day.

Thanks again,
Margot
Margot is offline  
Apr 10th, 2003, 04:07 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 114
Hi again Margot,
I have not heard of Tara B & B but looking at the accom. guide it is 4.1/2. stars so should be just fine.
I have only stayed at Riverslea Country House in Bairnsdale...very nice food... & motels when I couldn't get into Riverslea.
Have a wonderful time. Look forward to hearing your trip report.
AussieJo is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
DenverDooner
Australia & the Pacific
19
Sep 17th, 2010 07:18 PM
vjoe
Australia & the Pacific
8
Jul 7th, 2006 03:10 AM
Gardyloo
Australia & the Pacific
6
Jun 5th, 2005 05:04 AM
dianne
Australia & the Pacific
5
Dec 30th, 2002 01:15 AM
Diane
Australia & the Pacific
2
Nov 21st, 2002 06:05 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:13 PM.