When its time to move between two of Australias best-known cities, there are a few route options. Direct, Scenic, or Coastal. I chose a mix in an attempt to get to know a bit more of the country in between.
Stop 1: Sugarpines Walk
An artificial forest planted in 1928 outside of Batlow is a hidden gem, but not too hidden. Nearby is a place to park, picnic, and crash for free if you feel like taking a break from the road.
Stop 2: Beechworth
Beechworth is a little tourist hub famous for its affiliation to Ned Kelly, a historic gaol (jail), Beechworth Bakery, and Billson’s Brewery. Tours only operate twice a day for both the gaol and brewery so be sure to turn up on time.
Stop 3: Sullivans Lookout (Mount Beauty)
Just up the road from Mt. Beauty, you get to take in the grandeur of the Snowy’s before or after you’ve had to enjoy a cuppa from one of the cafes down in town.
Stop 4: Danny’s Lookout
An unexpected twist on my way towards Melbourne was the discovery of the Great Alpine Road. Technically you need to have chains in your car to drive the road in winter, so rent them from the nearest provider, or risk a fine
Stop 5: Lake Wellington Yacht Club (campground adjacent)
A beautiful coastal stop after coming down from the Snowy Mountains. The quiet campground along Lake Wellington puts you in the perfect spot to watch a sunrise over some old dock pylons before hitting the road down to the next stop.
Stop 6: Wilsons Promontory National Park
With plenty of hikes and beaches to go around, you can make a day or a week of this national park. Be on the lookout for Australia’s most notorious animals including emus, wombats, kangaroos, koalas, and wallabies. At dusk, they start to congregate near the road so take your time as you leave the park.
Stop 7: Noojee Trestle Bridge
There are a couple trestle bridges in the area, but the Noojee Trestle bridge is the biggest and best of the bunch. A quick stroll up the slope brings you on top where the trains used to run. A little rain just adds to the historic atmosphere to the place. It is admittedly a little out of the way on the road to Melbourne but worth a stop if you’re not pressed for time.