A road trip is probably the best way to see the best of Australia and actually visit it properly. Having a well-planned self-driving itinerary, you will allow yourself to get more immersed in what the beautiful Australian East Coast has to offer by being able to see the hidden gems where tourist buses do not venture. Ideally, doing this itinerary from Brisbane from Melbourne would be better with more time but not everyone has more than 2 weeks to spend on a road trip so we thought this guide would be perfect for the majority of normal vacationers that plan to do a two-week road trip in Australia.
Pro-Tip: This road trip is recommended if you are flying in from Brisbane International Airport and fly out in Melbourne but it is completely customizable to your own desires of what you want to see and and plans or the, your timeframe and the time of year you’re planning on doing your road trip. There are international airports in Cairns, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne (from North to South order).
Quick Tips Before Heading Off On Your East Coast Australia Road Trip
How Long Does It Take To Drive The East Coast of Australia?
It is a question we get asked a lot, but it is really up to you and the time you have in your hands! Ideally forever and take your sweet sweet time and jump from the coastal city to another and go deep in the outback (inland). Don’t forget that each state is actually going very deep in and if you do a coastal trip only, you will skip many nice mountains and waterfalls that are more inland. For example, our current trip and itinerary you will read, there is almost no inland stops as we kept the trip pretty much coastal. You could technically do our drive until Melbourne and loop inland to go back up to Brisbane and fly out if you wanted to!
So we don’t have an exact answer for you as driving Australia is quite a long and never-ending discovery journey! Driving from Cairns all the way down to Melbourne can take you a good 40 hours plus driving and over 3,700km distance but that would
This is ultimately up to you. There’s no golden answer, however, many people do not realise how big Australia is. Driving from Melbourne to Cairns along the coastal route is over 3,700km and over 42 hours of driving (without detours to sites along the way). You could drive it in less than a week, but you’d miss out on everything.
I would allow a minimum of 3/4 weeks to drive the whole East Coast. On my east coast Australia road trip, I took around 3 weeks but that felt very rushed and I didn’t see all the amazing sites. Thus, on the second trip, I took 6 weeks to drive the route. For me, this was the perfect amount of time to see all beautiful lesser-known sites as well as the main tourist attractions like Fraser Island, The Whitsundays and Byron Bay etc.
Hire Or Buy a vehicle for your Australian Road Trip?
For general vacationers that are not travelling full time, it is a given that renting a vehicle is the best way to go. If you are more travelling a long time, you may come across the decision-making point of buying or renting a vehicle. The answer is directly depending on the time you plan to spend on travelling in Australia. Accommodation costs can be quite high if you plan to stay a long time in Australia so you might want to have a campervan in which you can be cosy inside a car and not a tent and avoid when you can to pay for a campground or accommodation during the journey. If you think you will travel for less than a month, hiring a car would be the best option. We worked in collaboration with JUCY, driving their Coaster Van but there are many options you can check from this JUCY is not exactly in your range of price or standards. We have a non-affiliated link for 10% off if you want to book a van with JUCY rentals using INSTA10.
If you’re staying in Australia for a longer period of time within your visa period (don’t forget you can always come back out and in and have your car there waiting for you for another segment of a road trip) and want to see more of Australia, buying a car/camper-van could be a better idea for your wallet.
Pro-Tip: In any case if you rent or buy a car, a diesel vehicle will give you more distance for each buck you fuel on!
Buying a car isn’t that bad that it sounds. Many think that they will be stuck with it but don’t forget that you can always sell it again and pass it on after your trip! Most of the time, if you take care of your vehicle, you will be able to sell it pretty much at the similar price you bought it for. A 4×4 is usually recommended as you can go off-road and drive on beaches as well if you can. You can find a good 4×4 car at around 5000$AU
Day 1 – Brisbane to Noosa, Sunshine coast
November 9, After saying goodbye to Mum in Brisbane, we got an Uber and got dropped off at JUCY Brisbane headquarters. From there, it was a short initiation process with the basics of our JUCY Coaster van. We learned how to put the bed down, seats up, know how to charge all the batteries properly and how to drain the water from the sink. After checking for scratches, we were told that this was the first time that the vehicle we took has been put out on the roads. So, it was a bit of an honour for us to take it for its first ride.
We know, we said it is a Brisbane to Melbourne trip but we had to go north to see more of Noosa. As first-timers in Australia and having a vehicle, we recommend you highly to make your way to Noosa to spend at least a day there. The Noosa Spit and the Noosa National Park is so worth it to spend the day.
But before we headed up the coast to Noosa for the next few days, we had a mission. We had to pick up a microphone across town. After we dodged that detour with ease (and a brand-new microphone for vlogging) we headed up the coast, but not before a little snack break at Red Rooster, which is Mitch’s version of KFC. Ok, more like the Australian version of KFC, you must try it once and get the buttermilk wings, they are so good for fast food wings!
Finally, headed up the coast and after a little stop at our friends’ house, we made it to the Sofitel Noosa, the location where we would be catching the ferry. They have ferries virtually every hour, and we were lucky to catch the last return trip ferry at 4:30 pm. The return trip, up and down the Noosa river, takes approximately 1.5 hours and is a great way to see all the mini areas of Noosa. If you are lucky, there is a great opportunity for sunset on the water as well.
As the sun was setting, we headed back into our JUCY Coaster van and got closer to our first ever sleep in the van at the Habitat Noosa. However, a huge problem had arisen. Due to the pending bushfires not so far away, they had closed the main road to get to our campground of Habitat Noosa, which means we were stuck to have to go the long way. The long way it was and it was a tiring extra 40km drive and took an unnecessary effort of 40 minutes over the normal time of 15 minutes to get there. So, about an hour later, we finally made it to the campsite. I couldn’t believe it, it was the same campsite I had visited in 1996. The exact same cabin I stayed in is still very much there. A few more modifications such as the nice glamping sites but the place were pretty much the same! We arrive a bit late after check-in time so the staff have left a card for us to be able to enter the grounds to reach our campsite. They have both campsites that are powered and non-powered so you have many options around to be able to be close to the lake, which was essential to us considering we had kayaking in the Noosa everglades the next morning.
Before going to sleep, we settled at the Microbrewery (modern with TVs, food and delicious beer) to be able to charge all our essentials such as laptops and drone batteries. We did about a good 2 hours of work until almost closing time of the bar at 9:30 PM. To our luck, we were able to spot a kangaroo, Thuymi’s first-ever encounter with a roo in Australia!
Day 2 – Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
November 10, After spending a comfortable night in our JUCY Coaster Van at Habitat Noosa at a powered camping site, at around 7 AM, we relaxed a little before heading over for a walk closer to the main hub of Habitat Noosa where the restaurant and the kiosk are situated. We were lucky enough to see a kangaroo having a morning graze, nonchalant of any kids running around and screaming, including an approaching Asia’s, aka me with my camera trying to get a few slow-motion footages of the big man. We then had to drive off to the canoe launching pad at Habitat Noosa where we were to meet up for a day of adventure on kayaks in the Noosa Everglades. After been given basic instructions on how the day would go by, we were given a cooler (icebox, Eski, chilli bin depending where you’re from!) and a giant waterproof bag to put in whatever camera gear you want to bring during the activity. The tour takes pretty much until 2-3 PM so had to bring over a lot of water. Snacks or lunch depending on what we wanted to do at rest areas during our Everglades kayaking excursion. After packing up a few biscuits, water and a solo (an Australian lemonade soft drink I quite fancy), we walked over to the shore to join our kayaks and got instruction about the kayaks. After pulling them over to the water, we got further explanation on our route. This tour is very much for adventurous and independent people as you will navigate around by yourself without any guides to tell you where to go.
We decided to head back a bit earlier than 2:30-3 PM which is the usual time people get back from this tour and got back instead of at around 1 PM to be able to go back to the centre of Noosa to be able to catch up with a friend from here before leaving Queensland. We had a decent feed and Laguna Jack’s, which is a good laid back restaurant to have a drink and feed right by Hastings Street, the main happening street of Noosa. The sunset was incredible and even better when we headed to the Noosa Spit to enjoy.
Pro-tip: Note that in Noosa you must be in a legal caravan park to spend the night in your van. Habitat Noosa is a very nice option right by the lake if you want to have an amazing experience spotting kangaroos in the wild.
That night, while we settled for our night sleep, we were able to spot at least 5 to 6 kangaroos around grazing on grass, it was fantastic to know we were spending the night around a ton of our kangaroo friends and nobody else literally parked around us since it was a Monday night and everyone had left. This won’t be the same when the school holidays start in Australia!
Day 3 – Noosa to Gold Coast, Queensland
November 11, After hitting the road very early as we had to be at 7:45 AM at the Noosa Marina for our last activity in Noosa, we were blessed with the road being open and taking only 15 minutes to get there! So we arrived earlier and got some coffee. We were booked to be just us two for the Ocean Rider Dolphin watching tour. We were not so lucky to see our friends, that happens, they have quite a huge playground out there in the ocean! Although, the tour itself to go on the speedboat and jumping the waves is a thrill on itself you MUST do in Noosa. It was so fun to be in the air with the speedboat while riding on the waves. It is also a perfect way to see the Noosa National Park via the ocean as we went further after Hell’s Gate, which by the way looks majestic from the water. I personally was unimpressed when I hiked to the Hell’s Gate because I rated the Fairy Pools during that hike way higher! So we went to also see Devil’s Kitchen, another wonderful spot all up to Sunshine Beach before we headed back. The tour was about 1:30 hours but we went for about 2 hours considering we were just us. Absolutely loved the experience being out the Noosa part of the Ocean.
We then headed out towards the Gold Coast which took about 3 hours to reach our friends’ place in the Gold Coast, where we were able to catch up, had an amazing BBQ and refreshed up with good company.
An afternoon in the Gold Coast can be like this: going to enjoy some time at Main Beach, walk the whole jetty if you feel like it, followed by a walk all the way to the mini lighthouse at the spit. Grab a good fish and chips, but most importantly, a deep-fried Mars bar, that will change your life forever. We got ours at Miami’s Takeaway Fish and Chips. For sunset, go to Burleigh Point lookout, spread your picnic towel, sit back and relax. If you have more time during the day, you can spend some time at the beautiful Tallebudgera Creek, perfect for some drone flying and Coolangatta at Point Danger where you can see the border of Queensland and New South Wales memorial. There you can go tan at Rainbow Bay, Snapper Rocks for a swim. Tweed Heads is nice as well to hand around and fly the drone. It is also known to be a spot you can spot dolphins, again if you are lucky! We were unlucky and were not able to fly the bird around Coolangatta because there were very much high winds that Mitch even got pushed by its intensity!
Day 4 – Gold Coast to Byron Bay
November 12, This day we left our friends Tom and Emma’s at 10 AM however we were not in a hurry at all. We had been watching the news all evening and morning and had great concerns about what the next few days of travel would bring us. The premier of NSW had just released a state of catastrophe as there as apocalyptic style bushfires that are ravaging the state currently. And guess what, we are heading straight into the “war zone”. First, the bad news is that many of the national parks are closed which we had to change quite a bit our itinerary to see mostly just coastal spots. The second thing that is terrible at all the people and wildlife affected by these fires. There have been a lot of articles around the internet and that has saddened us a lot for this trip.
As we headed to Byron Bay and gathered more information about where we would be spending the night, we quickly realized Byron Shire is very much like Noosa, not liking much the people sleeping in their vans. We as tourists are quick to be mad at that but let’s not forget campervans and campers during the whole year (and worse during the school holidays and summer) flock the area and literally floods the place without contributing back to the community hence our way to be able to give back if we stay in town is to pay for it.
During that day on our way to Byron Bay, we made sure to stop at a few places. We spend quite some time at Kingscliff, one of my favourite places to be. The little quiet beach was amazing and the colours were to die for. The wind was extremely strong that day, making drone flying not quite ideal but ah well! There we met fun locals and cute doggies.
Our next stop was Cabarita, a place where Mitch and his family would go every Christmas for many years. It wasn’t my favourite place as it was just pretty much a sleepy coastal town with a beach like many others I have seen but since it has some sentimental meaning for Mitch, we had to stop there to have our lunch!
The last stop planned before heading over to Byron Bay was Pottsville. Another cute beach to hang around and pretty much have all to yourself. All these beaches were by FAR better than Byron Bay’s beach in my own personal opinion.
When we arrived in Byron, we stationed ourselves in the may parking, which was by the way, it is paid parking to park so don’t forget to pay, we decided to drive towards the lighthouse. The Byron Bay lighthouse is possibly the best of all the ones we have seen in the full 14 days but since we travel much, these things don’t really excite us as much so we just took a few glimpses from the high viewpoint before heading out of Byron to go to have an early sleep and wake up early for sunrise.
Day 5 – Byron Bay to Port Macquire, NSW
November 13, With a wake-up alarm at 5 AM, we departed around 5:35 AM from the rest area to head towards Byron Bay to enjoy the sunrise, or at least what was left of it considering we left a bit later and that we were 20 minutes away from the centre of it all. As we entered Byron Bay, the sun was orange-red because of the haze and absolutely at the hugest size, we have ever seen it before. After parking a little bit at the main beach parking lot to see the sun rising over the mountain where the lighthouse is, we have headed over to the lighthouse itself to see the situation. As expected, the parking was full of other adventurers that hoped to get some parking early to walk all the way to the lighthouse to enjoy the sunrise. It is a paid parking there which starts from 9 AM to 6 PM. To drive further closer to the lighthouse, it was not possible at that time as the gate keeps away any vehicle access. The only way to enjoy the lighthouse it by walk and find a place to park your car at other parking spots. This only means you will have to walk uphill to get to the lighthouse. If you are visiting during high season, take this into consideration.
After grabbing a little yoghurt, blueberries and nuts breakfast from our JUCY Coaster van in Byron Bays’ street, we’ve headed out to grab a quick coffee and treat at Frost before driving for around 20 minutes away South to reach Lennox Heads and relax a little bit with a scenic viewpoint. We then drove about 2 hours from there to reach Coffs Harbor, where you can find the Big Banana of Australia! The Big Banana is also a marking point of halfway from Brisbane to Sydney, which was a pretty fun pit stop for us to walk around and snap a few pictures with the banana. We then went into the shoreline of Coffs Harbour to see some surfers from the Marina. If you have some time, you can get free parking, park there and go for a walk all the way to conservation headland island which is all connected by that footpath. We decided to drive to the Jetty more south, which is more ideal for aerial photography but unfortunately were surprised with road closures until another week due to major construction there. The only way to make it was to park our car and walk, which would’ve taken us 1.1km before even reaching the jetty. It is quite a short walk but considering our tight schedule, we decided to give it a pass and head back on the Pacific Highway to keep going South.
After grabbing some iced coffee and some essential foods, we arrived in Port Macquire at around 2 PM where we settled for a little nap before going to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital to see the feeding at 3 PM. It is free admission to enter the Koala Hospital of Port Macquire so totally worth a stop to attend feeding time which is also at 8 AM if you can’t make it for 3 PM. With the koalas being endangered, Australians take it very much at heart to take care of them. They adopt the koalas if they permanently can’t go back to the wild and do their best to take care of the injured ones and train them to be ready to go back in the wild when possible. There are no entrance fees, the hospital operates purely on donations. They have had many patients from the bushfires, unfortunately. We recently heard in the news that all koala hospitals are full now due to so many koala burn victims. We made sure to enjoy the free tour at 3 PM to get incredible photos and video footage and give up a donation to contribute to helping our koala friends.
At around 5 PM we headed out to the lighthouse of Port Macquire, a beautiful elevated viewpoint and completely chill and not so crowded which made it extra special to visit. We really enjoyed being at this spot and seeing it from the sky. The scenery at this lighthouse is very much dramatic event thought the lighthouse on itself isn’t grand compared to the one in Byron Bay! We decided then to have a very early night sleep at a rest stop within the town by a lake to wake up early, have a meat pie at the most delicious place in Australia for meat pies and have a nighttime drive to get to our next destination.
Day 6 – Port Macquire to Palm Beach (North Beaches of Sydney)
November 14, Mitch woke up around 2 AM and snoozed a little bit until we left at 3 AM to go eat at the most famous and awarded for many years the best meat pie of Australia, Bel‘s bakery.
So if you are spending some time in Port Macquarie, do not miss the chance to eat the best meat pie in your life! We ordered two meat pies, a Reef & Beef, which has beef with many shrimps (aka prawns 🦐 in Aussie) and a chicken, bacon and cheese. On top of that, we got a caramel slice and a cherry ripe 🍒 slice which was incredibly good. After devouring our meat pies we hit the road and drove for about three hours to arrive at 7 AM at Port Stevens where we parked in a park rest area to have a very good one hour nap.
After gaining full energy, we went to find a coffee shop at Nelson’s Bay and then drove to multiple bays to explore. Port Stevens has many bays you can hop around to visit. The main activities and scenic things to do is the Fingal Bay Walk and the Tomaree Walks. Considering we wanted to cover the most places to see in a day, we flew the drone up instead to take photographs of the views. It did not disappoint. Port Stevens is surely a beautiful spot for aerial photography especially if you get closer to the sandbank area. We spent some time going to the lighthouse of Salamander bay (no drones allowed here, followed by Zenith Beach at the Tomaree National Park and ending our Port Stevens exploration at Fingle Beach. Around 10:30 AM we have already seen a little bit of Port Stevens and left to go towards Newcastle where the plan was to do more aerial photography and enjoy the rock pools.
About 11:40 AM we arrived in Newcastle, which is a town that was built on the coal industry in the 1870s. Fact, Australia is exporting a whole lot of its coal to China which represents a major part of the economy of the country. We settled to do some people watching for 30-45 minutes and chilling around the Newcastle Ocean baths before flying the bird up for some aerial views.
We then headed over Bogey Hole which is a much smaller rock pool but full of adrenaline rush as the waves hit very hard at the edge of the pool. Must say that I jumped in the water but didn’t go at the edge as mitch did. The pool was not too crowded at all, people usually not staying over too long anyway when they come over to test out the natural pool!
The final stop was the Merewether Ocean pool but to our disappointment, it was the day they cleaned the pool! It was completely empty and we couple, unfortunately, bathe there nor fly the drone because, well, wool was empty! So instead we went to have a good warm shower at the facilities there.
Pro-tip: Look for established ocean pools to have access to hot showers. You can research in advance to make sure they have shower facilities. This is perfect for those doing a campervan trip!
We planned a coffee shop session from 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM to get some work done before hitting the road again for about an hour and a half towards Sydney and settle for the night at Palm Beach.
We decided to park and the very end of Palm Beach where is also located the lighthouse. We thought it would be a perfect place to wake up to and enjoy the sunrise. There at least 4-5 other combis like ours and other 4×4 of surfers or travellers were around settling for the night. The parking area at the end of Palm Brach is gigantic so you can surely find privacy in your parking spot, we totally felt alone at this location. Not to mention the perfect spot to see the “moon rise up” for the night.
Day 7 – Palm Beach to Nowra, NSW
November 15, What an exhausting day. We stayed up at Governor Philip car park up near the lighthouse at Palm Beach. This is also the location for the Australia famous TV show, Home and Away. This is a great place to park as there are many spots and there are not too many people around. There are also toilets and showers to use. Note that the shower was an outdoor shower but better than nothing at all. Grab coffee or breakfast at the Boathouse, it is a super cute spot where we did grab a delicious coffee to go!
The goal on that day was to avoid Sydney and still get as many beaches possible outside the CBD before the traffic would get bad but of course, we caught it anyway considering being midday Friday and most people want to get out of work or out of the city.
The first place that we visited was the Mona Vale Rock Pools, this one was one of our favourite beaches. Note that it is paid parking and only to be paid by card.
We then went to North Curl Curl Beach and Manly Beach where we had a good coffee at Gloria Jean’s and lunch at Guzman y Gomez because we kept driving by it and had to try! Mainly beach is a very nice spot, would definitely recommend you to chill here instead versus Bondi that would be way more crowded. Mainly Beach has wonderful blue/turquoise water so you will love it.
So getting out of Sydney towards the south, we had a ton of traffic. We skipped Bondi since we have been and it wasn’t worth the extra two hours detour. Instead, we went to the Royal National Park to go see the Figure 8 pool. Unfortunately, at our arrival, the staff told us that all trails are closed due to the bushfires and the unhealthy conditions in the air. There was only beach access and waterfall and we decided to go anyway to see the Royal National Park after driving that much! The cost of the national park is 12$AU per vehicle. It was nice to be able to settle down a bit, we crossed over to the beach to avoid a short hike which was way more time-efficient for us! Definitely spend at least a whole morning or day if you have the time to hike this beautiful National Park by the coast.
After enjoying our time there, we drove towards the south to Nowra where we would be spending the night and have a few hours at the modern McDonald’s to charge up all of our technology.
On the way, I spotted on the map this Hindu temple, Sri Venkateswara Temple, which made us feel like in Sri Lanka or something! Our favourite part was to see the dozens of cockatoos and lorikeets around.
We also decided to drive the long way to stop by a rock pool in Austinmer and drive the beautiful coastal Seacliff bridge towards Wattamolla.
The decision to stay in Nowra was because it was still in the city and not too far from Jarvis Bay for the next morning.
Day 8 – Nowra to Batesman Bay, NSW
November 16, Waking up slowly due to hearing the rain, we took it easy and made our way slowly to McDonald’s for a second round of charging up and using most of the internet possible to load up everything we needed for the next two days at least. Around 9:30 AM we headed over to Beecroft National park, which is the northern part of Jervis Bay. Our research of things to do for the day in the Shoalhaven area was a bit too positive, considering the rain and how late we left Nowra so we limited our visit to that National Park that is free and Huskisson.
Taking a small detour due to the triathlon going on in Jervis Bay, it took longer before we arrive at the tip of Beecroft at the lighthouse. We went to have a quick look and got to say it would’ve been so great to fly the drone around if it wasn’t so windy! We enjoyed it nevertheless except the high number of flies trying to find their ways in your nose or mouth! This day was particularly a horrible day in terms of flies everywhere! There was also a high amount of it at Honeymoon Bay which is also in the same park and that we absolutely wanted to go see and attempt to do some aerial photography. Results did not disappoint even with the lack of sun. Imagine if there was some sun! A fun spot for people to snorkel around and have a swim. We rate highly the Beecroft National Park which has many hiking paths, all very well presented in a pamphlet given at your park entrance by very welcoming staff. With camping grounds only 15$ per ground, it is worth it to spend at least 1 or 2 nights to be able to enjoy all the beaches and hikes. We were lucky enough to encounter 3 kangaroos, mummy, a little one and her tiny joey (Australian’s call their baby Koalas and Kangaroos, Joeys). We encountered two groups, one foreign group and the other Australians, that were feeding the kangaroos and we had to tell at least to one of them that it is not recommended to feed wildlife. If you go to places like this with wildlife, please do not feed them unless you are at a sanctuary that allows you to do so. It is also recommended to not touch the animals and protect their personal space.
After Honeymoon Bay, we headed to see Long Beach North which was only 100 meters to walk to, considering we didn’t have much of the time to hike. The sun was shy again with the day being super moody and cloudy but luckily, we literally had 5 minutes of sun and us able to sneak in a little couple’s photo, something we haven’t much done during this trip!
After that, we planned a little less than an hour to drive to our next spot, Huskisson to be able to capture this beauty from the sky. The place was buzzing of people that came from the triathlon in the morning. We walked around, had some classic fish and chips, probably our last one as our diets have been taken a real hit out of too many fish and chips! We then went to have coffee and a nice chat with a sweet lady with her doggies before hitting the road again to Bateman’s Bay where we were told by a friend that we could see kangaroos on the beach. But first, here are some roo photos we took at the National park in the camping area on our way walking to Honeymoon Bay.
When we arrived at Bateman’s Bay, we realized it is a little coastal town like many others, where would be the kangaroos? We had to jump on the internet to only realized the exact location was 20km back and we had to drive again 20km backwards to Pebbles Beach, known as the best beach in Australia to spot our kangaroo friends by the beach. The place did not disappoint, there were at least 20 kangaroos around grazing on the grass. Only a few ventured by the sand to have the beautiful beach backdrop. It is rumoured that during the summer when it is extremely hot, that’s when the kangaroos like to jump in the water.
Pro-Tip: Bring some coins! The parking and national park fee are to be paid at the parking meter there in coins only, 8$ Australian. We did not have the coins so had to take the risk with Mitch running back and forth twice to make sure with don’t get a fine!
It was such a great moment and we are so happy we made some time to come over this national park to enjoy the kangaroos. We drove around after to go see Depot Beach before hitting the road again and finding a rest area to snooze until the next day.
For the night sleep, we settled 20 minutes after Bateman’s Bay in a rest area. We were only 3 vans total for the night, quite a small area and definitely a place you can trust to be settling during the summer when it’s very much high season.
Day 9 – Bateman’s Bay, NSW to – Lake Entrance Day
November 17, We woke up at around 5 AM and Mitch was already ready to hit the road at around 6 AM to drive around 2 hours to arrive at Bega, the home of the best cheese of Australia! Since we were there way before 9 AM, we were not able to visit the Cheese Heritage House nor buy it from any shops so we had to go to Coles to get some! At least we “got some cheese from Bega”? Haha. After a good breakfast in the van, we were ready to head over to our next destination. This day was planned to be a very long drive and get the further we can down towards Melbourne. For lunch, we stopped in this little cute township of Eden, where we got a coffee and I made us some bread and pate with veggies for lunch. We gt back on the road and crossed the border with only a stop for more coffee.
At around 3 PM we arrived at Lake Bunga, a lake not too far from Lakes Entrance. We wanted to see something before getting to Lakes Entrance, it was a cute little spot, but it was very very windy so it wasn’t the best for us to settle there. We then entered Lakes Entrance and went straight to one of the islands accessible by car to be able to fly up the bird. It was so majestic to see this place from the sky. We then chased a few viewpoints including the Lakes Entrance Lookout, Jemmy’s Point Lookout and Kalimna Jetty to see some giant pelicans. We went straight to the spit, got the drone out and got to flying. It is nearly 400m from the viewing point to the spit so have your drone charged. All of these points are within 3 minutes drive of each other, and you can even combine them into a walk if you wish to keep your trip as active as possible. A great place for a sunset. As the sun went down, we kept driving own the road until we got to Bairnsdale, a little town which hopefully ad some charging points and wifi. While we couldn’t get what we wanted, we did find a Subway which we could eat cookies and charge up. We decided that hey best place to stay here was outside the 24 hours McDonald’s.
Day 10 – Bairnsdale, East Gippsland to Wilson’s Promontory National Park, Victoria
November 18, With an early morning wake up at 6 AM, we grabbed a coffee then headed to Sale in the hope that the McDonalds there would have charging points like the one in Nowra. To our disappointment, it didn’t so we made a decision to head over Traralgon where we would make a detour in Bunnings and few other car shops to find a car ground plug like the one we had in our South African Road Trip to be able to keep our laptops charged during future road trips we are planning. To our dismay, they all had nothing we exactly needed so we ended up just going to a very nice coffee shop, Coffee Corner, right across the road with delicious food, coffee and not only it was a cosy space, it has good wifi and electrical plugs.
After a well-needed work session, we left at around 10:50 AM toward Wilson’s Prom which is about a 1:50 hours. At this national park, we enjoyed a whole lot of wildlife and beaches. It started with the hike to reach the Big Dunes. It was super super super windy but we made it there without too much sweat thanks to it. On our way there, we tried to spot a black snake which 2 people saw and these little echidnas that a family we met at the parking lot told us they saw. Unfortunately couldn’t spot any but we did see many holes (giant holes) in the dirt which made us believe they are wombat homes. At this point, we still haven’t encountered a wombat in the wild other than unfortunate dead ones by the road. Dunes were beautiful in their own right, different types like we know from the Middle East, these ones with incredible green mountains to the horizon instead of more dunes.
We then went to the beautiful Squeaky beach which has many rock formations that reminded us a lot to La Digue island where similar rocks but more giant-sized can be found.
After spending most of our day enjoying the sun and exploring Wilson’s promontory, we headed to this little path marked as a wildlife walk where you are likely to spot kangaroos and wombats. We were lucky and spotted a wombat, two emus and a ton of kangaroos. To our luck, we saw a wallaby as we were we walking out the path back to our car. While driving out of the park we actually spotted at least 2 other wallabies. The best way is definitely at dusk and dawn these encounters sure proved to us how we can see significantly more wildlife during those times. Again, be aware of driving in the national parks and on highways marked as more likely to have wildlife crossings at those times of the day.
Day 11 – Toora to Melbourne, Victoria
November 19, Our road trip took a different road thanks to our amazing friend David that had us staying over and park our van at his dad’s farm. It was so nice to spend the night there, waking up to a delicious coffee and tons of cute baby dogies cuddling us. We took the morning quite easy working on our laptops, showering and getting the van organized as we entered Melbourne earlier than we have planned which would give us plenty of time to catch up with good friends, have work done and actually relax a bit because Mitch has been driving quite a bit, 3149 KMs to be exact. About 10:30 AM we left towards Phillip Island. Because of road works, we, unfortunately, arrived too late for the Pelican feeding at noon. We literally arrived at 12:20 PM but it was all done! The weather was very bad anyway and I feel like I didn’t really miss out because I’ve seen quite enough of pelicans anyway! If you love these kinds of activities, this is actually something you can do at Philip Island.
We then headed to the tip of the island which is Nobbies View Point. There you can do a short walk around the point to see all the boxes which lots of them have baby little penguins residing in there. If you are lucky you will spot them peeking their heads out .
Disclaimer: The JUCY team sponsored our van for the trip. All of the opinions about our trip and tips are entirely ours. Thanks.