Sydney Melbourne Coastal Road Trip via Canberra

Want a fantastic coastal road trip from Sydney to Melbourne via Canberra? This route review article may help you!

Last time I wrote two articles about a driving trip from Sydney to Melbourne through east coastal & Canberra. Many people think about how to drive through both Canberra & along the east coast because they visit beautiful coastal attractions. So this time, I’ll show you this driving route from Sydney to Melbourne through Canberra & the east coast.

If you haven’t read my two articles about east coast road trips and want to know the details, Click Here to read the Sydney Melbourne inland route plan.

Or you can Click Here to read east coastal highway route plans. It will show you the most popular attractions worth being and the best accommodations recommended to stay over.

Before You Take Action

I must say that I haven’t been to every attraction on this road. So here I just tried some practical recommendations for road trips by my friends & residents and wrote itineraries using my experience as suggestions.

You don’t need to follow my whole plan; arrange it, add and remove some places in your mind and consider your limited day & budget. Then, hopefully, you will enjoy a fun fill & unforgettable road trip of your own!

Sydney Melbourne Canberra Coastal Drive Route Map Overview

Sydney Canberra Melbourne coastal drive route map Australia
Sydney Canberra Melbourne drive route map

>>Get Navigation on Google Map

This route plan combines two route maps, inland & coastal, from Sydney to Melbourne, including many attractions I’ve listed.

As a route map result, you will get across Royal National Park, Kiama, Hyams Beach, and Canberra when you start a road trip from Sydney. In addition, Horse Head Rock, Phillip Island, and Peninsula Hot Spring, eventually Melbourne City. However, there are still many attractions worth your reference.

How Many Kilometers Is This Route?

As a result of Google Maps navigation, it shows 20 h 2 min for driving through Sydney to Canberra to Melbourne coast. About 1562 km total.

How Many Days Are Best For A Road Trip?

It depends on how many hours you can hang the steering wheel. If you average driving 6 hours a day, you need three days up; this’s drive only without attractions visit. But once you decide to stay somewhere, you need more. So my point is that you need seven days one week for this route.

Best Attractions between Sydney, Canberra & Melbourne

Suppose you are interested in coastal road trips through these three cities. In that case, so many attractions midway worth you hanging on to it. Some places in the capital and some along the east coast.

Check Over 20 Best Attractions Between Sydney, Canberra & Melbourne>>

Check Over 25 Best Attractions Between Sydney & Melbourne Coast>>

14 Days Itinerary Sydney Melbourne East Coastal Road Trip via Canberra

What’s the best itinerary for an Australia east coast road trip? You already know what I will say if you have already read my last two articles about the Canberra & East Coast trip planner. However, with too many attractions on the midway, how do I choose & add to my plan? Over 30 attractions near Canberra & east coast, you select the most popular places with high star ratings, as seen on Google Maps.

Here I’ve selected & made an itinerary that includes the most popular places worth being; you can follow this driving route or create your own.

As the last route pic saw, I’ve planned this driving route which arranges a 14-day itinerary with visits to over 20 attractions. You can check each day what the navigation route looks like on Google Map by clicking the “Get Navigation “links. I hope Google Map route can help you plan your dive trip.

Day 1 & 2 – Tour at Royal National Park

Royal National Park NSW Australia
Royal National Park
  • Estimated Distance – 86.1 km
  • Estimated Drive Time – 1 hr 50 min

>>Get Navigation on Google Map

In this part route, you have these places drive-through:

  • Figure 8 Pools
  • Wedding Cake Rock
  • Providential Point Lookout (Optional)

Figure 8 Pools & Wedding Cake Rock are famous worth being, as long as you are willing to visit by trails walking. However, I recommend you ensure the tide status of the sea before you see Figure 8 Pools, Click Here for tide status.

When you start a trip from Sydney, make sure you’ve ready for fuels, food & drink. First, drive to Garrawarra Farm Carpark; this is only one car park near the Figure 8 Pools in the Royal National Park. After the coastal rock attraction, move your car to Bundeena, close to a seaside town, and stop at The Coastal Track. Then, walking to Wedding Cake Rock via trail for about 1 hr, enjoy this fantastic attraction with sunset.

You think, why do I say sunset? You have to drive & walk to visit those attractions unless the trip depends on sea tide status. I had experience at Figure 8 Pools in low tide about 2:00 pm afternoon either you go early or later.

What about Providential Point Lookout? Is it worth it? It’s an excellent place to walk, sit on a rock, and look at the quiet sea; what a beautiful moment. But, unfortunately, I didn’t go there cause I want to head south in a limited time, so ignore it, you can arrange one more day there.

For more about the Royal National Park tour guide route, Click Here to read another route review article.

Day 3 & 4 & 5 – Kiama to Hyams Beach

Kiama Blowhole NSW Australia
Kiama Blowhole
  • Estimated Distance – 155 km
  • Estimated Drive Time – 2 hr 40 min

>>Get Navigation on Google Map

In this part route, you have these places drive-through:

  • Old Helensburgh Station.
  • Coalcliff Rock Pools (Optional)
  • Sea Cliff Bridge
  • Kiama Blowhole
  • Little Blowhole (Optional)
  • Trees Adventure- Nowra Park (Optional)
  • Hyams Beach
  • Overnight by camping

Old Helensburgh Station is a tunnel with many glow worms inside; bring your camera & have glow photography. There will be great, but recently I’ve heard that it’s becoming a disappearance of glow worms, so up to you, go there or skip.

Head south, you will drive through the highway with excellent sea viewing; CoalCliff is a rock pool which forms seaside, many people love it, you can have a good time swimming with sea viewing. Also, the Sea Cliff Bridge is a great attraction midway. You can park your car on the side of the road, and take a good photo of that curved bridge with the sea. Then, keep moving till Kiama.

If you arrive at Kiama, head to the place with a lighthouse, park the car, and you can see the Kiama Blowhole in front of you. You can sometimes see spectacular water columns spurt from that blowhole, even higher, like five floors. Another similar attraction is Little Blowhole, which spurts taller water columns if sea tide grows; what a stunning natural attraction. Kiama Blowhole or Little Blowhole, you can choose one for a visit; visit one should be fine.

You can have adventures by walking between the giant trees at Nowra Park, a great place worth having fun with your child, with protective gears to ensure all safety is on you. But this park has an open time limit, so suggesting a visit here in the morning means you need one more day if you want to be.

Hyams Beach is a great place with most white sands 7 miles longer beach, what a beautiful place to play water & surfing.

Day 6 – Tour at Canberra City Part-1

Hyams Beach NSW Australia
Hyams Beach
  • Estimated Distance – 258 km
  • Estimated Drive Time – 3 hr 30 min

>>Get Navigation on Google Map

In this part route, you have these places drive-through:

  • Australia War Memorial
  • Anzac Park / Anzac Parade
  • National Carillon
  • Mount Ainslie Lookout
  • Overnight at University House.

Today, moving to Canberra, enjoy the historic park around Anzac Park & Australian War Memorial.

Canberra is a city with a circular radial plan and a neat appearance, especially when you see the city from the platform of Mount Ainslie Lookout on the mountain.

So I suggest driving to the city, enjoying the park, walking around, looking for food & fill fuel, and going to Mount Ainslie Lookout for sunset.

Day 7 – Tour at Canberra City Part-2

Parliament House Canberra ACT Australia
Parliament House Canberra Australia
  • Estimated Distance – 5.5 km
  • Estimated Drive Time – 15 min

>>Get Navigation on Google Map

In this part route, you have these places drive-through:

  • The Shine Dome
  • Reconciliation Place
  • Old Parliament House
  • Parliament House
  • Overnight at University House

Today, enjoy the city central & walking around Parliament House. It’s the core of the Australian government’s power, with a particular historic building that combines the surrounding scenery with a stately garden.

In this area, you have a chance to visit the interior of Parliament House & Old Parliament House, learning about the history of Australia.

Reconciliation Place has certain Questacon, National Library of Australia, National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery of Australia, High Court of Australia, etc. Sometimes you have a chance to see the exhibitions in these places.

Day 8 – Tour at Canberra City Part-3

National Arboretum Canberra ACT Australia
National Arboretum Canberra
  • Estimated Distance – 17.5 km
  • Estimated Drive Time – 25 min

>>Get Navigation on Google Map

In this part route, you have these places drive-through:

  • National Zoo and Aquarium (Optional)
  • National Arboretum Canberra
  • Australian National Botanic Gardens
  • Telstra Tower.
  • Overnight at University House.

You can go to the National Zoo and walk at Arboretum Canberra (choose one) in the morning, then go to the botanical garden and visit the Telstra Tower in the afternoon. Noted that the botanical garden has open hours, it is possible to choose to go in the morning or afternoon.

If you don’t want to go anywhere, you can also choose to enjoy your afternoon tea in the city center.

Day 9 & 10 – Canberra To Eden

Australian Rock NSW Australia
Australia Rock
  • Estimated Distance – 388 km
  • Estimated Drive Time – 5 hr 20 min

>>Get Navigation on Google Map

In this part route, you have these places drive-through:

  • Cockington Green Gardens (Optional)
  • Australia Rock (Optional)
  • Horse Head Rock
  • Bermagui Fishermen’s Wharf
  • Eden Lookout and Rotary Park
  • Overnight camping

After checking out University House, leave Canberra and head to the East coast. Go to visit Australian Rock.

Australian Rock is a famous attraction worth being, just like Horse Head Rock. Indeed if you want to see Horse Head Rock, you can go to Bermagui Fishermen’s Wharf to enjoy seafood like oysters.

In my experience, I had a good time at Australian Rock and enjoyed sea viewing. I ignored the Horse Head Rock (Not much time for me), then went to Eden, bought a seafood pack for lunch, eating at Eden Lookout & Rotary Park. It’s an estuary with calm water, just ample sunshine without cover at the platform.

If you want to go to Australian Rock and 18 Horse Head Rock, you must have lunch at Bermagui Fishermen’s Wharf. Then, stay over in Eden.

Day 11 & 12 – Heading to Phillip Island

Phillip Island VIC Australia
Phillip Island – Penguins watch platform
  • Estimated Distance – 567 km
  • Estimated Drive Time – 7 hr 15 min

>>Get Navigation on Google Map

In this part route, you have these places drive-through:

  • Jemmy’s Point Lookout
  • Sale Swing Bridge
  • San Remo Fisherman’s Co-Op (Optional)
  • Churchill Island Heritage Farm (Optional)
  • Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit (Optional)
  • Phillip Island Nature Parks / Penguin Parade
  • Overnight camping

Morning you can go to Jemmy’s Point Lookout and Sale Swing Bridge. It just needs to take several hours to drive from Eden. Then, after Swing Bridge, head to Phillip Island for several hours.

The focus of Phillip Island is to watch the penguins coming from the sea, but that is about 8 pm. Therefore, I recommend not going to the Penguin Parade too early; you can visit the surrounding attractions first, like San Remo Fisherman’s Co-Op, Churchill Island Heritage Farm and Grand Prix Circuit, etc.

Since it’s too late to watch the penguins homing, I suggest you camp on Phillip Island for two days.

Day 13 – Having Hot Springs at Peninsula

Peninsula hot springs VIC Australia
Peninsula hot springs
  • Estimated Distance – 187 km
  • Estimated Drive Time – 2 hr 50 min

>>Get Navigation on Google Map

In this part route, you have these places drive-through:

  • Noobies Centre
  • Ventnor Beach
  • Bathing Boxes Mornington Peninsula
  • Arthurs Seat Eagle (Optional)
  • Murrays Lookout (Optional)
  • Enchanted Adventure Garden
  • Flinders Pier Dive Site (Optional)
  • Peninsula Hot Springs
  • Overnight camping

The highlight on this day is Peninsula Hot Springs, and you can also go to the Arthurs Seat Eagle to see the scenery before that. However, Arthurs Seat Eagle is worth it because you can see the beautiful bay of Mornington no matter the cable car & lookouts. Plus, you can have fun at this maze of Enchanted Adventure Garden.

It is better to go to the hot springs in the late afternoon, and the weather will be a bit cooler. Most of the friends I would like to go at this time. Peninsula Hot Springs is an open-air hot spring. The rocky terrain fits with the distant view, and the calm wind is pretty enjoyable! What a comfortable night, stay over in Mornington Bay.

Day 14 – Puffing Billy & Brighton Then Melbourne City

Puffing railway VIC Australia
Puffing Railway tour
  • Estimated Distance – 140 km
  • Estimated Drive Time – 2 hr 40 min

>>Get Navigation on Google Map

In this part route, you have these places drive-through:

  • Brighton Bathing Boxes
  • Puffing Billy Railway
  • Melbourne (Finish)

All these attractions must go, you can enjoy the older train, and you need a cost ticket of AUD 40. So, in the morning, drive to Belgrave train station, walk to Puffing Billy Railway, and take the train tour to Emerald Lakeside. Then, walk around the beautiful lake, return to the car, and drive to Brighton Bathing Boxes. There is a row of rainbow huts here, and many people are taking pictures here. Of course, you can also play water and surf here.

Finally, arrive in Melbourne City, enjoy the city tour, and complete your road trip!

Want to know more attractions?

Check Over 20 Best Attraction Between Sydney, Canberra & Melbourne>>

Check Over 25 Best Attraction Between Sydney & Melbourne Coast>>


The above is my self-driving travel itinerary combined with my travel experience. Of course, not it will list every place I have been to indicate that I recommend it. It will clearly explain more details about this itinerary here.

I hope you enjoy this road trip, and you already know the best route for Sydney Melbourne coastal. Now, get your belongings ready, get food and a map, turn on your car engine and start it! 

By the way, besides Sydney Melbourne coastal trip planners, I recommend these route planners for your next road trip:

You May Also Need:

Want More Attractions for Your Road Trip?

Are You Looking for Job? Here’s Your Jobs List

Some Tools Help Your Road Trip

Read This Australia Guide Book Now to Get More Beautiful Attractions and Plan Your Next Road Trip!

Best trips in Australia by Lonely Planet on Amazon

By Lonely Planet. This book introduces the amazing 39 best road trips for visitors who wanna touch beautiful places with night galaxy camping. Cleary descriptions cover all locations: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Perth, Darwin, Uluru, Tasmania & others in the state of Australia. Full-color photography with prominent text trip guides. You can order a paper version to carry on with you or download a Kindle version via Amazon online store. Read more detail>>

Don’t Forget to Pick Up This Paper Map with You!

Australia Map Paper on Amazon

National Geographic created it. Unique paper maps for most visitors who come to Australia need to know where the next place to go. Each route’s detail shows the best places, best lookouts, camping areas, best ways, certain motorways & unseal roads. This map for that traveler who plans outback without mobile service is this paper map you need! Read more>>