I love long drives. Growing up I used to mither my dad to take me on an afternoon drive every Sunday, and still now I love it just as much. However, drives in Australia are very different, in more ways then one. Not only is the scenery slightly better than the grey skies that cover Greater Manchester, to get from A to B takes hoursssss. A few months ago, before we even came to Australia, we booked a hotel in Sydney to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks and took this trip as an opportunity to travel to Melbourne, too.
Friday 29th December – Leaving Brisbane
We began our first ever road trip last Friday, packing our car full of sweets and goodies, created a 40 hour long playlist and headed down to Coffs Harbour, New South Wales. Although we took the “coastal road” – don’t expect an 8 hour journey with a view of the sea (we caught the smallest glimpse), but it was a nice easy and straight forward drive. We stopped off at Park Beach which was around half way through the journey, grabbed our sandwiches and walked along the pretty beach for around half an hour. We didn’t see the popular jetty, but Park Beach is definitely a must see.
That evening we stayed in a Motel in a small town called Karuah, a two and a half away journey away from Sydney. Staying in a Motel was a first for me, and something I wasn’t too keen on and eager to avoid. I don’t know what it is but I find Motels quite creepy and unwelcoming, especially in another country in the middle of bloody nowhere, but our stay at Karuah Gardens was actually half decent, and a definite recommendation if you are travelling from Brisbane to Sydney.
Saturday – Arriving in Sydney
After waking up at 8am, we set off to Sydney and even now, I still can’t believe we actually got to see Sydney. The purpose of this visit was to see the New Years Eve fireworks (amazinggg), and I’ve never been so excited to see a city before. We arrived at our swanky hotel late afternoon and headed straight out to the Sydney Opera House in an unexpected 37 degrees heat. I won’t go into too much detail, especially because I wrote a post about it yesterday, but our weekend became pretty surreal and an experience I’ll never forget – I wrote about it here.
Tuesday – Sydney to Canberra (nightmare)
Unfortunately it was time get straight back into reality, leave our fancy hotel and back into Motels. This leg of the journey was long due to traffic, but the highlight was definitely Hyman’s Beach and a motorway side cafe overlooking the coast. Hyman’s Beach was absolutely stunning and I’ve never swam in such clear waters before. So I would say that visiting this beach is an absolute must, and we can’t wait to go back there on our way back up to Brisbane.
But as we eventually arrived in Canberra, things quickly became sour. It started off being pulled over by the police for speeding, not great and definitely not recommended, luckily we were let off with a warning (being foreign worked in our favour). Our hotel wasn’t the greatest, and that’s being polite, and there is next to nothing to see or do in Canberra – Although I did see my first hopping Kangaroo (my highlight). So we’ll leave this here…
Wednesday – Canberra to Lakes Entrance
We were so happy to be leaving Canberra, that we didn’t care what the journey had in store for us. Although this journey felt like forever. We started the day off visiting Australia’s War Memorial which instantly made our one night stay in Canberra kinda worth it. The statues were breathtaking and the free museum was well worth the visit. After spending a couple of hours here, it was time to for the penultimate journey down to Lakes Entrance, staying at a cute Motel, a 20 minute journey from the lakes.
Thursday – To Melbourne
Ahh, after almost a week of travelling in our trusty car, the day finally arrived. I didn’t get any sleep the night before (our neighbours in the motel were, well… shit), but I just couldn’t wait to get up and go. The journey today involved a quick stop off at Lakes Entrance, which kinda reminded us of a hot Lake Windermere. The point lookout was absolutely stunning and well worth the stop. We were here for around an hour before embarking on the final leg of the journey to Melbourne, finally! We decided to take a cheeky tour of Phillip Island on our way to the city, their penguin centre provides a view of the penguins coming into the beach at nighttime and is a definite must on the way back up.
And finally, we made it and we are lucky enough to be staying in a gorgeous AirBnb. This road trip was based on getting to places as quickly as possible, which meant shorter stays and missed places along the way, but our plan is to see more on the way back up to Brisbane in a weeks time.
Next stop, The Great Ocean Road!