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Sydney -> Melbourne -> Sydney in 5 days -- campervan?

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Sydney -> Melbourne -> Sydney in 5 days -- campervan?

Hi all,

A few friends and I are traveling from the states and flying into Sydney. We have 5 days in Australia, and have decided we'd like to drive to Melbourne and back before we fly out. We were originally considering renting a campervan, but a search on this forum reveals that in at least a few threads, people are generally suggesting renting a car and then staying in cabins. We want to be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the area as well as explore a bit in both Sydney and Melbourne.

Is staying in cabins common in Australia, and are there cabins between Sydney and Melbourne? Where can I find more information on this?



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1. Re: Sydney -> Melbourne -> Sydney in 5 days -- campervan?

I guess they mean cabins in caravan parks or near campsites in national parks. There are certainly a lot of them, especially in holiday towns along the coast (you'd definitely want to take the coast road in at least one of the directions) but in summer they could be booked well in advance. You could try looking for caravan parks in suitable overnight locations (there will be many of them on the internet) and contacting them to see if they have cabins available. Spots for campervans can also fill up but you're much more likely to find one, or you can just park the campervan somewhere (illegal in some places but generally highway rest areas are fine). Motels are also very common in small towns and usually have free rooms on the day, but they are sometimes expensive.

Note that it's about 10 hours total driving for one-way on the inland road and at least 12 hours on the coast road. Stops on the NSW south coast and the coast of Victoria might be good.

Darwin, Australia
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2. Re: Sydney -> Melbourne -> Sydney in 5 days -- campervan?

Not- not in 5 days.

Its about 900kms each way depending on what way you take.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Sydney -> Melbourne -> Sydney in 5 days -- campervan?

Keep in mind that driving conditions in Australia are quite different to the US. Though the inland route to Melbourne - the Hume Highway - is similar to US interstates, the coastal route is a two lane highway like a "US" route and is mostly twisty. I think you should spend three days going along the coastral route at a minimum, to give you time to stop and enjoy some of the towns and not be overly fatigued by the driving. (If in a rush, just drive the Hume Highway in one day and don't worry about scenery.)

But then, how are you going to have any time seeing Melbourne once you spend at least 2 days, if not more, driving to and from?

If you want to experience the coastal Australia I think you could get a pretty good idea just renting a car from Sydney and visiting the South Coast: Grand Pacific Drive to Wollongong and Kiama; maybe down to Jervis Bay or Batemans Bay. You can find cheap accomodation at caravan parks or hostels as mentioned, visit the many gorgeous beaches, and drive back to Sydney in the 5-day timeframe without feeling too rushed, perhaps even an inland route via Canberra. (It's still not a beach vacation though - most Australians will pick one destination and hang out there for a week.)

Or go north from Sydney, to the Central Coast, Port Stephens, Coffs Harbour etc, potentially as far as Byron Bay, with similar scenery and attractions, though I don't think as nice as the south coast personally.

If you really want to visit Melbourne to see its many cultural attractions, cafe culture, sporting events, etc, the best option is simply to fly - flights leave every half hour and some good discounts may be available if you plan ahead. Domestic air travel in Australia is a lot smoother than the US, though you still need to plan extra time for contingencies.

Edited: 29 January 2014, 08:41
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4. Re: Sydney -> Melbourne -> Sydney in 5 days -- campervan?

How much time are you allowing for this drive (Syd-Melb-Syd) ? If total 5 days in Australia then simply no time (or point) to doing this drive. Maybe time to do 3 days Sydney, fly to Melbourne then for 2 days (but little time to see any natural beauty).

Edited: 29 January 2014, 09:38
5. Re: Sydney -> Melbourne -> Sydney in 5 days -- campervan?

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