Brisbane to Melbourne: Fly or drive?

Old Jun 27, 2023, 6:50 pm
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Brisbane to Melbourne: Fly or drive?

We have two weeks to kill, mid to late November. We need to start in Brisbane and end in Melbourne. Are there interesting stops along the way to make a one-way car rental worthwhile? Or should we just fly it and concentrate more on the cities and surrounding area?

Sydney is not in the equation this time, so we do not need to stop there.
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Old Jun 27, 2023, 7:08 pm
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Originally Posted by MastaHanky
We have two weeks to kill, mid to late November. We need to start in Brisbane and end in Melbourne. Are there interesting stops along the way to make a one-way car rental worthwhile? Or should we just fly it and concentrate more on the cities and surrounding area?

Sydney is not in the equation this time, so we do not need to stop there.
How many days will spend in Brisbane and Melbourne as a minimum?
What are your interests? Cities, wildlife, hikes or ??
Driving route can be inland (e.g. Dubbo) or more coastal (e.g. via Sydney)

https://goo.gl/maps/Eq1Ydp6UzswKe8LR7
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Old Jun 27, 2023, 10:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi
How many days will spend in Brisbane and Melbourne as a minimum?
What are your interests? Cities, wildlife, hikes or ??
Driving route can be inland (e.g. Dubbo) or more coastal (e.g. via Sydney)
We like variety. We prefer doing 1-2 days in a city, then moving on to a beach day, then hiking or parks, then maybe another city. We’re also big into the arts. Mentally I had planned on ~3 days in Brisbane and Gold Coast and 4 days in Melbourne, leaving us a week to either get there via driving - or alternatively, just flying to a third destination.
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Old Jun 27, 2023, 11:35 pm
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Originally Posted by MastaHanky
We have two weeks to kill, mid to late November. We need to start in Brisbane and end in Melbourne. Are there interesting stops along the way to make a one-way car rental worthwhile? Or should we just fly it and concentrate more on the cities and surrounding area?

Sydney is not in the equation this time, so we do not need to stop there.
Maybe a stop in northern NSW or the mid-North Coast – I'd opt for a smaller beach town than Byron or Coffs/Port Macquarie. Barrington Tops is an underrated part of NSW if you like hiking, and even in late November should be relatively comfortable weather wise. From there you can skirt around Sydney to get to Canberra, which has enough to keep someone interested for a few days, and then either head back to the south coast into Victoria or down into the Snowy Mountains (you can hike the highest mountain in Australia in a morning and notch up one of the Seven Summits) and on to Melbourne.

The south coast of NSW is really stunning, imo, and much less touristed than north of Sydney.
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Old Jun 29, 2023, 4:50 pm
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It's a fair distance, so there are plenty of places to stop along the way. Although it'll take you about six hours longer, I recommend taking the coastal route and stopping at Byron Bay, Batemans Bay, Jervis Bay and Coffs Harbour. If you're keen to find a smaller seaside town, I recommend Casuarina. If you decide to go along the inland route, you can stop at places like Toowoomba, Dubbo and Goondiwindi.
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Old Jun 29, 2023, 5:34 pm
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Originally Posted by sailingdave
It's a fair distance, so there are plenty of places to stop along the way. Although it'll take you about six hours longer, I recommend taking the coastal route and stopping at Byron Bay, Batemans Bay, Jervis Bay and Coffs Harbour. If you're keen to find a smaller seaside town, I recommend Casuarina. If you decide to go along the inland route, you can stop at places like Toowoomba, Dubbo and Goondiwindi.
As pleasant as they are, I'm not sure Toowoomba, Dubbo or Goondiwindi are worth a trip. It's definitely a harder sell once you go west of the Great Dividing Range.
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Old Jul 4, 2023, 3:42 pm
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Done this drive many times, Ive also driven every inch of Australias highway system across the outback 3 different times. I agree MEL to SYD much more spectacular than SYD to BNE. Syd to Bne I do in one day and just knock it out, leave at 9am and im in Bne for dinner. Melbourne to Sydney you either take the boring but fast inland route, or take the coastal. If you take the coastal break it up and stay a night or two at some of the small towns.
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Old Jul 5, 2023, 1:11 pm
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It just depends on how much you like driving. It's an 18 hour drive at best, and 22 hours minimum if you take the coastal route. That's a lot of time behind the wheel.

I've done the coastal drive (not all at once, in parts), and it's lovely. Here are some photos from my trip (they are all geo-located if you want to see where a town is).

The album links are more reliable; the embedded photos tend to mess up and be buggy.

Newcastle to Gold Coast
Code:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/14999805@N06/albums/72157714352524656/
/
Newcastle to Melbourne
Code:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/14999805@N06/albums/72157704800563234/

The inland route through Albury is pretty boring; some spots of interest but I couldn't suggest it over the coastal route unless you really need to save the time.

Last edited by CPMaverick; Jul 5, 2023 at 1:17 pm
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