Travelling the USA, Canada and Australia



Las Vegas

Australia (2) – Melbourne to Sydney

From Melbourne to the Australian Alps

We leave the metropolis of Melbourne and head east to see the colorful bathing boxes on Brighton beach. On the Mornington Peninsula is Arthurs Seat Eagle, which can be reached by cable car. A circular trail gives us great views of the huge Phillip Bay.

The first highlight of the day is Pt. Leo Estate Sculpture Park, undoubtedly Australia’s best sculpture park. The extensive site is a wonderful location and displays around 70 sculptures from the Champions League. The second highlight is scheduled for the evening: the penguin parade on Phillip Island. Shortly after sunset, together with several thousand visitors, we watch hundreds of little penguins rise from the sea and waddle across the beach into the dunes. On our way back, we see and hear the little guys up close, while billions of stars and the band of the Milky Way shine in the sky above.

The next day is much more relaxing. Wilson Promontory National Park is the southernmost point of the Australian mainland and Tarra-Bulga National Park is a dense rainforest with huge trees. Almost the entire route is on a winding single-lane road, where encounters with other cars become an adventure.

After Traralgon, it gets lonely. The Great Alpine Road, which leads into the Australian Alps, begins in Sale. Bairnsdale is a small city, Omeo even smaller. The road then becomes steep and winds its way up to Victoria’s largest ski area, Mount Hotham, at 1,845 metres high. At some point, we have to go down again; in Bright, gateway to the Australian Alps, we have lost a total of 1,500 metres in altitude.

On the third day of our tour through the mountains, we visit the pretty towns of Myrtleford (with the Phoenix Tree and the Big Tree), Tallangatta (where we learn about the story of “Sandy the War Horse”) and Corryong (where “The Man from Snowy River” lived). Shortly afterwards, we cross the border into New South Wales, the third state on our journey. Once again, our Toyota struggles through a fabulous mountain landscape, this time in Kosciuszko National Park, until we finally reach Jindabyne.

From the Capital to Sydney

The next day we are heading to Thredbo, Australia’s stronghold for alpine summer and winter fun. A chairlift takes us up to an altitude of 1,937 m. From the mountain station, a boardwalk leads to Mount Kosciuszko Lookout, which offers a beautiful view of Australia’s highest mountain (2,228 m). Via Cooma, the “Capital of the Snowy Mountains”, the road leads quickly into the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

For a change, we explore Canberra, the planned capital of Australia, by bike. Everything here is “national”; the Museum of Australia, the National Library, the Science and Technology Centre Questacon, the National Gallery and the High Court of Australia. The impressive Parliament House sits on a hill high above the city. From up here, the view falls on Anzac Parade, a boulevard flanked by 14 war memorials, at the end of which is the massive Australian War Memorial.

After two nights, we leave the small city and head for the really big one. “The Big Merino”, at least 15 m high, welcomes us in Goulburn. It’s the first sheep we’ve seen so far in the land of sheep farmers! After a slalom ride over the Macquarie Pass and through the rainforest of Macquarie Pass National Park, we approach the coast again. This is followed by a detour to the Buddhist Nan Tien Temple in Wollongong, the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

It’s one hour later when we arrive at Sydney, the capital of New South Wales and still the most important city in the country. As in Melbourne, we stay in Chinatown in the heart of the city; from here we spend two days exploring the highlights of this fascinating metropolis, especially the gigantic Harbour Bridge and the famous Opera House.

We use two more days for excursions: we visit the Blue Mountains, which have been badly affected by forest fires, and go on a coastal hike that takes us to Bondi Beach, Sydney’s most famous beach. A visit to Bondi Iceberg’s swimming pool right on the open sea and an evening stroll to the Sydney Opera completes four wonderful days in this great city.

Route Description

10MelbourneCowes220 km
11CowesTraralgon320 km
12TraralgonBright360 km
13BrightJindabyne330 km
14JindabyneCanberra250 km
15CanberraCanberra000 km
16CanberraSydney330 km
17SydneySydney000 km
18SydneySydney000 km
19SydneyBlue Mountains220 km
20SydneySydney000 km
Total (Part 2)2.030 km

The Journey in Pictures

Part 1: Adelaide to Melbourne Part 3: Sydney to Brisbane