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Sydney to Melbourne (via coast)
Great DrivesThis superb coastal journey along the southern New South Wales & Victorian coasts is famed for its fishing, lush green forests, unspoilt national parks and highly acclaimed cheeses and oysters. There are charming old towns to explore and not to mention the spectacular forests, lakes and sandy beaches of East Gippsland in Victoria.

Head south out of Sydney on the Princes Highway and for the most scenic route to Wollongong, take the coast road from Stanwell Park - where you will be rewarded with superb views down the coast. Once in Wollongong there is plenty to see and do!

Further south, Kiama is famous for its blowhole, but also has some excellent beaches, cafes and waterside strolls. Beyond here, turn off the highway to visit the lush green world of the Minnamurra Rainforest Reserve.

Head south on the Princes Highway until you reach the large town of Nowra. There are many attractions here - including the Australian Naval Aviation Museum at HMAS Albatross, Nowra Animal Park, the historic house of Meroogal and cruises on the Shoalhaven River.

An excellent family destination, Ulladulla, offers plenty of facilities and attractions. The Funland theme park will keep children occupied, there are some great beaches and fishing and you can enjoy a range of scenic walks and drives - while in the area, don’t miss a trip inland to spectacular Pigeon House Mountain.

Beyond Ulladulla, Batemans Bay is the ideal place to stay overnight. Cruise the Clyde River to the picturesque village of Nelligen, go fishing and visit the Birdland Animal Park. From here you can either follow the highway through the historic goldrush village of Mogo, or take the coast road via the small settlements of Mossy Point and Broulee.

Whichever route you take, you’ll end up in Moruya, the region’s main town, where you can fish for flathead and bream and visit inland Deua National Park. Beyond here the attractions include more good fishing at Tuross Head and the charming pastoral centre of Bodalla, famous for its long tradition of cheese making - taste the local produce at the South Coast Cheese Factory.

You can then follow the Princes Highway inland on the Princes Highway to Bega, the ‘Cheese Capital of NSW’, on the Princes Highway, where you can visit the Bega Cheese Factory. Further south, the popular resort town of Merimbula, famous for its oysters and game fishing, has an aquarium and a wildlife park in addition to its beaches and crystal-clear waters. At nearby Pambula, another important fishing town, oyster farming tours are an unusual attraction.

Eden, the last major centre before the border was founded as a whaling station in the early 1800s - the Eden Killer Whale Museum and old Davidson Whaling Station are reminders of this era. You can also explore Ben Boyd National Park and the historic Boydtown site. South of town lies Green Cape and its lighthouse and finally, Cape Howe and Victoria.

Once over the border, you'll enter Victoria's East Gippsland - the first main town here is the business centre of Orbost, where the Rainforest Centre provides a wonderful introduction to the area's lush forests.

Located where the Gippsland Lakes meet Ninety Mile Beach, Lakes Entrance is a commercial fishing town and a boating paradise - join a lake cruise or hire anything from a yacht to a canoe. As the major tourism centre for the region, the city of Bairnsdale offers plenty of attractions. In addition to shopping for arts and crafts or dining and playing golf, you can travel to lakeside Paynesville where boating, bushwalking and birdwatching are on offer. Bairnsdale is also the gateway to Victoria's High Country and its unspoilt national parks.

Further west, Sale is the region's adminstrative centre and the home of the excellent Gippsland Art Gallery. There are many historic buildings in the area, which are included on the local heritage drive, while the nearby village of Seaspray provides access to the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park and Ninety Mile Beach.

You'll then enter the Latrobe Valley and the city of Traralgon. This region is famous for its agriculture and produce - particularly the fine Gippsland cheeses. At Morwell, the acclaimed Latrobe Regional Gallery is worth a visit, and you can take an educational tour of a local power station. If you have time, a trip south from the Latrobe Valley to beautiful Wilsons Promontory National Park is highly recommended. Then follow this to Melbourne.

Where to StayVictoria:

Time required: 5 - 7 days recommended

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