The road trip between Melbourne and Sydney is sometimes seen as a bit of a grind – one that needs to be travelled as quickly as possible, with the sole purpose of getting to the beautiful Harbour City. However, when the rubber hits the road, this is a journey that offers heaps of opportunities to explore a bit of Aussie folklore, history and towns along the way, as well as indulge in tasty country cooking, sample a pretty good coffee or two and give yourself the chance to stop and smell the roses!
How to get started
Wherever you are in Melbourne, make your way onto the Hume Freeway (M31) and you’re on your way! While it’s about 900km in total — you can take a few detours from the main freeway (sometimes involving covering a little more ground) and still get to Sydney without missing a beat. There are some great places (we’ll be suggesting a few) to break up your trip, take a walk, have an overnight stay, and overall make it a road trip to remember for all the right reasons!
Tyres for the ride
Team Maxxis put a set of brand spanking new Maxxis VS5s to the test on a popular, late-model SUV for this trip – and wow did they go the distance! True to form not only did they provide superb sporty performance, but they were also super, super quiet, which (let’s face it) is important over such a long stretch of the Hume when road-noise can get a tiny bit tedious (to say the least)! The VS5s also offered brilliant grip which was particularly notable when we hit the brakes in the wet on several occasions during what was (a lot of the time) a rainy ride.
Where to stop
Every time you make this trip is likely to be a little different especially depending on the time you leave and the traffic conditions out of Melbourne. For this one, our team travelled mid-week and made some pit stops at a few iconic sites and towns, settled in for a coffee or two, and booked in for a night’s stay in Albury which then made the rest of the trip a breeze! Here are a couple of places we went through that you might like to put on the map for your next trip…
The drive takes you right into the thick of Ned Kelly country, which is brimming with history of the renowned outlaw and bushranger! Famous as being the place of Ned Kelly’s last stand, Glenrowan is a place full of intrigue that is well worth exploring — and you can’t miss the oversized Big Ned Kelly statue standing tall in the main street. There are a number of other Ned Kelly sites (part of the Glenrowan Heritage Siege Precinct) which you can easily view by taking a quick walk (or drive) around the town.
We branched off the main track onto the B500 and then the C315 to Beechworth to take a little look! Travelling along the tree lined country road was spectacular, with (after the recent rains) green velvety fields as far as the eye could see. The town itself is full of character, with wide roads and historic buildings all adding to its appeal. The first and original Beechworth Bakery is easy to find, and you won’t be disappointed if your goal is to try an original Ned Kelly pie!
Arriving in Albury as it was approaching sunset, we headed straight for the banks of the Murray River — and was it worth it or what? The recent rains had increased the water levels significantly since we previously passed through, and some of the pedestrian walkways were closed, however that didn’t stop us from being able to enjoy a truly magnificent, late winter sunset over the water complete with plenty of exquisite birdlife.
For retail therapy, the town also has it all! With almost every type of shop you could want and a large number of motels, apartments and other accommodation options along with some great restaurants and cafes, it’s a great place for an overnighter that fits with most budgets. Plus, if golf is your thing, you may want to ensure you have your clubs along with you for the ride, all ready for a round of golf at Albury’s picturesque Commercial Golf Club course. Complete with its resident kangaroos hopping along the fairway (who may well join you for a game), this has to be about the most authentic way to break up an all-Aussie road trip!
A much-loved landmark for travellers between the two big cities, Gundagai’s famous Dog on the Tuckerbox was our next stop! Just off the main road it’s somewhere everyone should visit at least once even if it’s just to tick it off your bucket list. The town is also a great place to stop and recharge – we pulled up right outside the Coffee Pedaler for what turned out to be a great cappuccino fix!
Our last stop before the final Sydney stretch saw us pull up at Banjo Patterson Park in a side-street of the town. With cherry blossoms out, even the clouds and rain couldn’t dampen our team’s spirits. After a little hunt we found the Trader and Co café, which proved to be another friendly pit stop and the perfect answer for genuinely home-made pies and other baked yummy stuff – along with some more of the best coffee around!
The final stretch
All good things do finally need to come to an end (even the best of lingering road trips), so we decided to buckle up and get our tyres back on track. Three further hours on (plus a few minutes more) saw us cruising into the Sydney CBD – facing plenty of rush-hour traffic but otherwise without a hitch!
What our Maxxis drive team liked most
The VS5 tyres without a doubt! Their easy handling and manoeuvring, outstanding grip, quiet and seemingly effortless performance were hands down, highlights of the ride. We also loved the green countryside and surroundings along with the abundance of yellowy gold canola fields in full bloom.
Before you go
As always remember to check those tyre pressures before you go. If you need a full tyre and tread check, rotation or a new set of VS5s (or other Maxxis tyres to best suit your vehicle), our friendly and professional Maxxis dealer network nationwide is on hand to help. Check our dealer locator to find one that’s convenient for you.