Big Aussie Road Trip: Melbourne to Brisbane

4 Sep

It’s been several years since Stuart visited his company’s waterless toilet dealers in eastern Victoria and coastal New South Wales. Why not spend time with family in Melbourne, rent a car at Melbourne Airport and drive back to Brisbane via Sydney and another family reunion, stopping off to see dealers on the way? Plenty of lovely rolling hills and beach stretches on the Pacific Highway to enjoy in the winter sun. Brilliant idea!

Now having done the trip, yes, the country is pretty in places, but the tedium of that drive nearly killed us. The quality of the roads in New South Wales is much worse than Victoria and the 40k/hr roadworks seemed endless. Stuart foolishly went single named driver on the rental car contract so he was the one who suffered.

Stu also has a weakness for MacDonalds on long road trips. An Angus burger without the burger is the only lunch item I can eat at Maccas. Thank heavens once again for that vegetarian traveller’s friend, Subway.

Our lucky break was the visit to the dealer in Tathra, eastern New South Wales. This small, quiet coastal town is off the main highway and long may it stay that way. A half moon white sand surfing beach, kids’ skate park by the beach, lawn bowls club and a few shops and cafes. Perfect! We would never have found it but for that appointment.

We were given a new motel room with sea view at Tathra Beach House for $115. I had time for a beach walk and yoga while Stu took his meeting. Drinks and dinner with the friendly folk at the bowls club across the road and tucked up in bed by 9pm. Couldn’t get more Australian and laid back if we tried.

Path to beach bliss, Tathra.

Next overnight stop was Wollstonecraft, Sydney, staying with my sister, Lynde. A family dinner at trendy Corner Restaurant in Bondi was fun. Too soon we were on the road again.

Bermagui beach, our breakfast stop.
Final overnight stop was Diggers’ Beach on the northern side of Coffs Harbour. The Novotel Resort was full so we went next door to Breakfree’s Aanuka Resort. A spacious room hidden in palm trees plus full cooked breakfast was ours for $150. The pretty beach was just metres away. After brekky I walked the length of the beach and over the small headland towards Coffs on a well tended path. Winter is the best time to visit. A handful of surfers and paddle boarders and three other walkers were the only people I encountered.

Aanuka Resort, Diggers’ Beach.

Diggers’ Beach



Looking towards Coffs Harbour.





Water Dragon, Aanuka Resort.
Five hours of solid driving later we pulled into Brisbane Airport to return the rental car unscathed. It had another 2000 kilometres on the clock and Stu had a few more wrinkles on his brow! Last road trip for quite a while I reckon.

Lush epiphyte, Aanuka Resort.

Roadside sign in NSW that guaranteed we didn’t eat there.

5 Responses to “Big Aussie Road Trip: Melbourne to Brisbane”

  1. Michelle Noble September 4, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    What! No photo of the hire car then????

    Reminds me of our trip to Oz in 1991. Our honeymoon trip to Scotland the summer before involved a meeting with the police in an unmarked car waiting just below the brow of a hill on the A9 near Inverness…famous for doing over a ton when nice and quiet….well yes Bryan did, and only saw the unmarked car in the layby too late.

    So for our second honeymoon to Oz 5 months later I was the only one with a driving licence…and yes the Highways in NSW are pretty tidious. But add to that a passenger who would prefer to drive anyway (and can’t), lots of back seat driving (but from the front passenger seat) and who gets sick if he tries to read a map, and it’s a recipe for a quickie divorce! Only the beautiful beaches kept me sane…..and you’ve captured quite a few here. Makes me long to go for a walk in the sand.

    Have fun. Love M&B.xx

    • Sharon Tickle September 4, 2013 at 10:08 am #

      Ha ha, hysterical! Poor Bryan and poor you Michelle!

      Some of the roads haven’t been upgraded since.

      Please do come back to Oz as soon as you can. Maybe you should come during your whirlwind celebratory 50th year of travels!



      • Michelle Noble September 4, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

        Hi there. Afraid Oz is not in the travel plans for our 50ths next year. However plans are afoot to cycle from Nice to Biarritz in May….having done the maths on kilometres and terrain to cover, I am sorely tempted to ride a tandem! Just don’t tell the man at the front that he has all the work to do……
        love us.xxxx

      • Sharon Tickle September 4, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

        Goodness gracious Michelle, now that’s a challenge. Secret solar powered electric motor on the bicycle sounds good to me.

        Happy planning and have a great ski season. Only a couple of months away now!


      • Michelle Noble September 5, 2013 at 6:43 am #

        Ah yes! Solar power sounds excellent…Saw a bright pink tandem for sale in Bourg d’Oisans yesterday. Great for the girls. Not so for Mr Alpha me thinks! x

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