Sydney to Melbourne and back

Old May 5th, 2007, 06:15 AM
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Sydney to Melbourne and back

Unlike alot of you, we are not world travelers, so this may be my first and only trip to Australia. We arrive in Sydney on May 22,2007. A large part of the trip is for my niece to visit her friends at the University. Although I know you will tell me that this itenary is too strenuous, I can't help but want to see the Great Ocean Road and Fairy Penguins while we're there.
So, here goes..Tuesday and Wednesday nights in Sydney, Thursday night in Katoomba, Friday night in Canberra, Sa, Su and Monday night in Melbourne, Tuesday night (here's the question - where?), Wednesday night in Sydney, Thursday fly home. My niece wants to get back to Sydney ASAP on Wednesday to see her friends again. We'll leave Melbourne around 10AM and would like to drive as far as we can. Are there any small towns right on the Hume Hwy with lodging? All we'll do there is sleep.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 08:04 AM
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Hi there,

You specifically say the Hume Highway so you seem to be planning to go back the way you came. And so my immediate thought is ... why drive at all?

For the cost of the petrol, and an overnight stay for three - why not take it at a more leisurely pace down in MLB and fly back to Sydney?

Even this close to the date, Virgin Blue are offering flights at $89, $79, $69 one way for the 29th May. That's AUD of course.

www.virginblue.com.au

It might cost you a bit more for a one-way hire but still, I think you will come out even, or better, moneywise, and you get a whole extra day.

I won't ask why - if you are not world travellers, and this may be your first and only trip to Australia - you are only coming for one week. It costs so much to get here, and can be quite economical to stay.

Don't understand. But never mind!! have a fantastic, wonderful trip whatever you do.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 12:07 PM
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Thanks Chimani, We had thought about flying back from Melbourne but didn't research it enough to realize the flights were so inexpensive. It's been hard planning this trip as my brother is in Oman (we're in Houston,TX) and he'll book something too quick...kinda like the flight. On hindsight we should have flown into Sydney and out of Melbourne, but he jumped the gun and can't change the flights. I emailed him to see if he can change/cancel the rental car. We may even consider flying both ways as there doesn't seem to be alot to do between the cities. As to why such a short trip, that's all the time he has before he begins a new job in Malaysia and he's spending his bonus check on my mother, my boyfriend, his daughter and my flights...enough said.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 02:28 PM
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I think it is a great idea to drive between Melbourne and Sydney. You see nothing of the countryside if you fly and with the recent rain it is looking very green and beautiful(I am writing this from Yarrawonga) The obvious stopover town is Albury about 3 hours from Melbourne, but if you want to drive further Gundagai is a small historic town and even further Yass is a good stopover town (about 5-6 hours from Melbourne) In most instances country towns are bypassed by the Hume so you have drive off fot a couple of kms. to reach the town center. Yass has plenty of motel style accomodation and there are several motels in Gundagai. Albury has many motels and other accommodation as it is a large country town on the River Murray. You will love the Penguins and I think you will be pleasantly surprised by Melbourne. Incidentally there is a wonderful Art Exhibition of early Australian paintings "Australian Impressionists" at the National Gallery at Federation Square. It is worth a visit as it gives you a further understanding of this great country
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Old May 5th, 2007, 05:49 PM
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You could come back from Melbourne to Sydney via the coastal route:

http://www.wilmap.com.au/stripmaps/edensyd.html
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Old May 6th, 2007, 04:10 PM
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You can if you want, do the drive from Melb-Syd in one day - it's about 9-10 hours. Obviously you need 2 drivers, but it is doable as most of the road is now freeway. I'm not suggesting you'd see much and you would certainly be tired, but it's possible. Personally I'd fly!
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Old May 6th, 2007, 04:43 PM
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Thanks to all of you for your imput. It looks like we will drive both ways after all. After adding the taxes the tickets to fly from Melbourne to Sydney are about $160 each (there are 5 of us, so gas is cheaper). I REALLY wish we had more time, but who knows, maybe one day I'll get to go back. I guess I'll book a night in Yass, it'll get us closer to Sydney. Thanks DownUnder. What is the approximate drive time from Melbourne to Yass? And from Yass to Sydney? MaryK, you said Melbourne to Sydney is doable in 9-10 hours. How fast do you drive (haha)? I've heard anything from 9 to 14 hours. What is the speed limit on the Hume? See ya in OZ!!!!!
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Old May 6th, 2007, 06:06 PM
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Melbourne to Yass is about 6 hours, but you'll need a break, say in Albury/Wodonga (twin towns straddling the NSW/Victoria border), so allow 7. Yass to Sydney, about 3 hours. There isn't much in Yass, so you won't be tempted to stick around. When you leave Yass follow the Goulburn/Sydney signs, not the Canberra signs.

The Hume Highway, I'm sorry to say, is pretty damned boring most of the way, but it's not sifficult driving. I haven't driven to Melbourne in years (I live in Canberra) but from memory the only slowish section was a patch north of the NSW border. Maybe that's been fixed. The speed limit for most of the way is 110 km/hr. Don't be tempted to drive much faster than this, as you'll almost certainly pass a few police radar traps along the way.

As it was a police sergeant in a country town who first told me this joke I feel safe in repeating it:
Q: What's the difference between a highway patrol car and a porcupine?
A: On a porcupine, the pricks are on the outside.

Happy travels.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 02:31 PM
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You are going to stay overnight somewhere anyway, so why not deviate a little from the Hume Highway and go a little further inland?
From Melbourne, head to Shepparton and then north across the Murray to Jelriderie. From there, you can go to Wagga Wagga, or my preference is Griffith. Melb -Griffith = 5hours driving. Griffith - Sydney = 7 hours.
And you get to see those wide open spaces and a cross section of the agriculture / horticulture of the South East of Australia.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 03:22 PM
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Look at this as an opportunity to see some of the "real" Australia outside of the main cities of Sydney and Melbourne.
When we lived in Canberra, we made the drive down to Melbourne several times and enjoyed short stops in many of the little towns along the way, e.g. Gundagai (the Dog on the Tuckerbox), Holbrook (the submarine in the city park), Yass (Cooma Cottage, the home of early explorer, Hamilton Hume, and the Didgeridoo Man factory), Beechworth (off the highway, but worth a stop for the architecture and the historic courthouse), Glenrowan (touristy, but fun for the Ned Kelly connection), etc.
I know your niece will be anxious to get back to Sydney, but try not to rush your trip too much and enjoy some of the sights along the way.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 11:59 PM
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The Hume Hwy is 110 kmph all the way from Melb to the border. There's also an excellent freeway link out of Melbourne CBD to the highway which can cut off around 40 minutes of suburban driving (I'm happy to provide you with directions if you let me know where you're travelling from/too). There is only a few non-divided road parts in southern NSW, but the speed limit is still 100. Getting into Sydney is now really quick becaue it's freeway all the way to the centre of the city.

It used to take us 14 hours - but these new freeways at both ends have made a huge difference. Although it is still a very boring drive!
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Old May 8th, 2007, 12:01 AM
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And I meant to add...... try and rent a car with cruise control. For this amount of highway driving it really is a must. Also - there are both fixed speed cameras and frequent police speed patrols on this road.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 04:18 PM
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Hi MaryK...we will be staying in central Melbourne. I have purchased some maps. What is the "link" you are referring to? I've heard about the cameras and their ability to connect with car rental agencies (ouch!). We will head in you direction on the 20th, but I'm taking my daughter on a short cruise first (May 10-15), so if I don't respond immediately, don't give up on me. Thanks.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 05:08 PM
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If you cop a fine, even for a parking infrigement, the bill will be sent to the registered owner of the car, i.e. the rental company, which will bill it to your credit card with a sizeable admin fee for their trouble. Same as anywhere, I would think.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 04:48 PM
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To get onto the Hume from the CBD: get onto the Westgate Freeway heading towards Geelong (west), travel across the bridge and then take the exit to the Western Ring Rd (it's the exit after 'Grieve Pde' and is a left lane exit), this ring road will take you right around, past the airport to the Hume. Getting off at the right exit: Pass the Pascoe Vale Rd exit, you then reach an exit that says Hume Hwy/Broadmeadows (or something similar - sorry but they keep changing the signs!) - DO NOT EXIT HERE. Stay on the ring road until the following exit, which will also say HUME Hwy/Fwy. Exit here - and keep going to Sydney.

If you need directions to get onto the Westgate, I'm happy to help, although any hotel should be able to provide them. This route avoids you going on any toll roads for which you'd need a day pass and it doesn't take you any longer.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 02:13 PM
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Thank you MaryK,
We fly out tomorrow.
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