Our Jucy Road Trip...
We’ve experienced for you a road trip between the two biggest and famous cities in Australia : Sydney and Melbourne.
Both located on the East Coast, this is a typical touristic itinerary. We followed the coastline but did some extra visits like the Great Ocean Road (which is actually on the way to Adelaide…but once in Melbourne, it’s such a pity not to drive this 243 km scenic route) or the Blue Mountains (West of Sydney).
15 days , 10 top spots, here is our unforgettable roadtrip driving a Jucy campa!
March, 14th 2014
Melbourne - Sydney!
My TOP10 for a Great Road Trip
Visit the most liveable city in the world :
Melbourne is creative, arty, trendy and got heaps of nice coffee shops!
A city like no other in Australia and even in the world, that‘s why it was voted* the most liveable in the world over the past 3 years!
Even more worth visiting it!
Where to have an exquisite cocktail ?
(about $20 a cocktail: it is not cheap but the cocktail menu is extensive, you don’t know which one to choose? No worries, a waitress with style come and advise you which one will suit your palate, great service and ambiance)
Where to eat ?
Delicious French restaurant: Chez Olivier
(I know I’m French but I was missing my French cuisine! Our friends took us to Chez Olivier and it was like my mum cooking a wonderful dinner!!! The cooked meats plate is unforgettable, the bread is divine and the homemade butter is exquisite, I just want to go back to Melbourne for it, really !)
If you are up to Spanish cuisine, check out this tapas bar, just at the beginning of Hosier Lane. Trendy place again, where you can eat at the bar. Don’t expect easy and cheap food, here traditional tapas are revisited in a quite sophisticated way. Each tapas is like a “piece of art” but what matters: they are delicious! The bread and the olive oil given as a complimentary starter are very yummy…but there is a price to pay at the end…
A cool place to have a drink
or share plates with friends
Where to Stroll?
Of course in the CBD looking for the laneways (we looked for the most famous for a while…no map, we thought they would be obvious but not! So better get a map and go straight to the point : Hosier Lane is great full of beautiful graffiti, Central place is very nice.
The Great Ocean Road is one of the most scenic touring routes in the world and once you have driven it, you understand the whole meaning of its name! The road is windy but there is always something new to look at on every corner! Drive it on a few days to make the most of it, don’t rush! Enjoy waterfalls around Apollo Bay, take hundreds of pictures of the cheeky koalas all over the places while driving on Otway Lighthouse Road, stop to take in the view at the giant 12 Apostles, pose at Loch Ard beach and admire Bay of islands! If you are a gourmet, the detour to Timboon is worth it to taste delicious French style cheese, fine ice cream, chocolate and even whisky!
The Great Ocean Road
Where to buy delicious cheese?
Timboon: L’Artisan Cheese
Best way to see the coast
Aboard an helicopter: Apostle Coast Aviation : you will find different companies operating above the Great ocean road, I chose this one because it’s a small business, more personal experience. (about $145 for a 15 min scenic flight) www.acahelicopters.com.au
Swimming with dolphins and seals in :
Sorrento is a lovely seaside town in the Mornington Peninsula. Take a ferry from Queenscliff and arrive to Sorrento where you can swim with dolphins and seals. We couldn’t miss this opportunity to play with these adorable animals in their habitat. Go for a 3 hour cruise with Moonraker Dolphins and expect lots of adventures and memories!
www.moonrakercharters.com.au(about $130 the cruise : the boat is comfy, the service is good, nice tour, the guides are experienced and respect the animals)
How to get there? Searoad ferries: between Queenscliff and Sorrento : www.searoad.com.au (about $60 one way with a campa/car aboard)
Watching the Little Penguins on :
This is a great get away for a week end far from the city, less than 2 hours from Melbourne., come enjoy the relax island lifestyle. This is a paradise for nature and wildlife lovers. You can watch every night the world famous Penguin parade, where hundreds and hundreds Little Penguins waddle up the beach to their sand dune burrows when the sun set down. They are just so cool to watch!
On Philipp island, there are also a koala park sanctuary, seals, nobbies colony, heaps of birds, pelicans and so so much more! A little island which has it all ! Penguin Parade: every evening: from $23 per person (check the website to know at what time the penguins arrive on the beach) www.penguins.org.au
Be aware than this parade is very famous in Australia, which means it’s pretty crowded! Don’t be afraid of the many coaches parked in front of the Park entry…
At the end, there is room and enough penguins for everyone!
Still if you are looking for a more intimate tour and encounter with the penguins, I recommend you to go to Tasmania in Bicheno, they offer a nice and personal tour every evening as well :Check out my blog post about my roadtrip in Tassie.
The locals’ favourite for good reason: this national park has it all: perfect for beach lovers with secluded paradisiacal beaches. Hikers won’t be disappointed with the large range of walks in temperate rainforests, with rewarding views! High chance to spot wildlife… Relax, unwind, enjoy.
If you want to camp, this is a very much loved spot which is pretty busy, don’t forget to book in advance, call 13 1963 (within Australia) or +61 (0)3 8627 4700 (international)
Exploring the most loved national park in Victoria :
stunning white beaches of :
You can’t miss this one out! The beaches here are long, pristine with white sand, so pure that it squeaks when you piss it.
The water is so aqua blue that there is only one thing you want to do: jump in !
Hyams beach is one of the most famous (recently voted the whitest sand beach in the word!), Murray’s beach as well but don’t worry you will find “your “spot, beaches are many!
Drive the campa along and find a good place for the night, watch the sunset on the beach and feel as free as a bird.
For a bit of a play, we give it a try to surfing. Either for a couple hours or for a few days, you choose. With Surf Camp Australia, the atmosphere is laid back and fun!
7 Mile Beach is simply perfect to learn as you get the beach to yourself and the waves are not too big to scare you at the first sight! It is so much fun and how cool is to be disturbed by dolphins in the middle of the lesson?!?
Sam our teatcher was very good fun!
($50 for 2 hour lesson , stay 2,3,5 days also possible)
Learning to Surf in :
7 Mile Beach
Great scenic valley, open cliffs and dense rainforest: just a paradise for photographers and for wildlife lovers.
Here it gets pretty busy but the playground is big enough! Either you may want to walks for hours or you prefer jump on cable cars, you will be covered in the Blue Mountains!
The most adventurous can choose between many tours, we go for a canyoning- abseiling excursion, which is great adrenaline! Rappel a 30 metres waterfalls is awesome! Just make sure you saw the Three Sisters before leaving this amazing national park!
What to do?
Abseiling, canyoning with Hign N Wild
http://www.high-n-wild.com.au/ (We did Empress Canyon: great for beginners but still with good challenges for intermediate, count $180 for a day tour)
Scenic World: An easy and fun way to experience the beauty of the Jamison Valley. Get a bird eye view over the rainforest, the waterfalls...
Check out the specials on the Blue Mountains, Katoomba YHA hostel page special on their website,
they did a great package for sleeping and canyoning.
Detour via the spectacular :
Sydney Beaches :
Manly, Bondi, Coogee
Sydney is not just a busy city, I’s also a great place to go on the beach!
And you got many options. Go on a ferry to Manly (North) and spend the afternoon at the beach and in a terrace.
Or drive to Bondi (South east) – there are also buses driving you there from the CBD, watch the surfers or try to surf, go for a swim in the ocean or alternatively in the outdoor pool over the ocean. This famous beach can be quite crowded in summer days, so walk along the spectacular coastline direction Coogee. In 1 hour 30, you will pass by quite a few bays and pretty little beaches. A nice option for a relaxing afternoon.
How to get there?
-Take the ferry at Circular Quay for Manly
-Buses 333 and 380 from Museum Station takes you to Bondi in roughly half an hour.
-Come back from Coogee with the 373.
Harbour Bridge, Opera House.. Sydney is an iconic city. A busy one though! Go at you own pace to enjoy some shopping, check out Queen Victoria arcades. Stroll along Circular Quay where the ferries meet, sit at the Opera bar for a drink with one of the best view in town over the bay. Discover the touristic neighbourhood of the Rocks and if you are looking at something more alternative, go to Newton.
Experience the city in a nice hotel, we spent the night in the 1888 Hotel at Pyrmont which was a great choice. Smaller, more intimist and personal we loved the welcome and the whole ambiance of the place.
This hotel is known to be the World’s 1st Instagram hotel! In the lobby, there is a frame to take pictures you, the hotel shares guests pictures on screens and they also provide you with an “Instagram walk map” which takes you to the most photogenic places around the hotel. And do you know that if you have more than 10 000 followers on Instagram…you can be invited for a free night?
That’s pretty awesome!
You are on a restricted budget, choose the Sydney YHA Harbour which is fantastic. Only a few years old and proud to offer one of the best view over the Opera and the Harbour Bridge!! Check out the rooftop, spectacular!
If you want to rent a normal car and drive this trip...
Great Ocean Road:
Apollo Bay Eco YHA: zen and design hostel, idela to relax on their rooftop www3.yha.com.au
Phillip island YHA: Brand new hostel, spacious and bright www3.yha.com.au
Katoomba YHA: Historic art-deco cabaret, this YHA has such a character! With spacious kitchen and lounge area, it’s even more comfy! www3.yha.com.au
Hotel 1888: very cool hotel, located in Pyrmont, great service, yummy breakfast, free access to an olympic swimming pool and spa www.1888hotel.com.au
YHA Harbour: with one of the greatest views over the harbour and the Opera! www3.yha.com.au
My travel tips...
Car & Campa
We tested the Jucy Condo (the upper class at Jucy, they also have smallest models, check out their website ) and we can honestly say that we were very happy with it! This is a really good value for money. No problem in 15 days, very good battery, great interior setting, comfy and easy to swap between day and night.
We loved our Dvd night thanks to the player. We wish we had rented it for longer!
The best way to travel in Australia I think!
Because they are flashy and look cool, people come to chat to you about your campa, sweet!
And when you cross a Jucy campa, it’s always a good atmosphere!
First time in a campervan in Australia for us, we didn’t really know about camping, where to sleep, prices, what was allowed etc..
We used the App WikiCamps Australia which is pretty good and gave us many addresses where to stop for a night for free or not. You can’t rely 100% on this app but definitely helpful!
If you have a campa with a good battery (autonomy of more than 8 hours) and a big enough water water (55L for us = Jucy Condo), you don’t need to pay a caravan park every night! Not at all!
To overnight in a free camp area will save you about $35 a night. We found nice places with toilet, sometimes showers, here just a few along the way:
-Franklin River (Between Foster and Sale, near Wilson Prom) VIC : greeny spot along the river, lots of shades and cool area. Official rest area.
-Pambula Beach (Between Eden and Bega): NSW: right on the beach, perfect for an early morning swim/jogging: you got the caravan park or the option on the beach carpark, just next to the Surf Club (not official site of course but no problem…)
-Plantation Point / Vicentia (Jervis Bay): perfect location next to the beach but not official too…
-Appin Reserve (before reaching the Blue Mountains): shady spots, quiet. Official rest area.
-Perry Lookdown camping in the national park is here for free! Watch out the road to go there, 8 km of gravel road from Blackheath, ok if dry weather, otherwise can get boggy…
In the night, switch off the fridge and place a frozen bottle in the middle (a bottle you would have put in the freezer during the day), it will stay cool for the entire night, restart the fridge in the morning.
No need to have a campervan with shower and/or toilets. In Australia, you can find public toilets almost everywhere! And no need to pay a holiday park to get a hot shower, there are many rest areas along the road, when you can find hot showers for free. But if it’s a hot day, you will be pretty happy with a cold one on the beach!
Even if your van is big, it stays a small area to live in for a week or more. Better travel light! Choose a backpack instead of a hard suitcase, it will be easier to fold in the van and forget about it during the road trip. We bought some clothes nets and these are the best! One for your warm clothes, one for your summer clothes and a smaller for your underwear: it takes no room, your clothes are always fold and organized , easy to find ! You can find them in Katmandu for ex or Decathlon in France.