On this two-week, self-drive journey through Australia, visit two major cities, and plenty of scenic stops in between. Begin in Melbourne before heading to Mount Baw Baw for some hiking, biking, or fly fishing. Next, spend two days in Yarra Valley, followed by a return to Melbourne to do some sightseeing. Then, head to Sydney to launch into more offshoots—Katoomba, Blue Mountains, Mudgee, Lithgow, and Hawkesbury River included. The vacation concludes in Sydney with visits to Bondi Beach, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the famed Sydney Opera House.

Highlights

  • Explore the stimulating Hedgend Maze in Yarra Valley
  • Tour the sites of Melbourne, along with its iconic sports complexes
  • Take in exceptional views at Scenic World in Katoomba, Blue Mountains
  • Visit popular sites like the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Melbourne Melbourne
Day 2 Drive to Mount Baw Baw Baw Baw Village
Day 3 Drive to Yarra Valley Healesville
Day 4 Yarra Valley - Free Day Healesville
Day 5 Drive to Melbourne and City Tour Melbourne
Day 6 Melbourne - City Sports Highlights Tour Melbourne
Day 7 Travel to Sydney Sydney
Day 8 Drive to Katoomba, Blue Mountains Katoomba
Day 9 Drive to Mudgee Mudgee
Day 10 Drive to Lithgow Lithgow
Day 11 Drive to Hawkesbury River Wisemans Ferry
Day 12 Drive to Sydney Sydney
Day 13 Sydney - City Tour and Sydney Opera House Tour Sydney
Day 14 Depart From Sydney  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Melbourne

Welcome to Melbourne!
Welcome to Melbourne!

Welcome to Australia! Upon arrival in Melbourne, proceed through customs and to the designated area for your shuttle transfer to the hotel. Once at the hotel, meet with a local representative to go through your Australia itinerary.

The rest of the day is at your leisure. If you do a bit of sightseeing, bookmark Flinders Street StationFederation SquareQueen Victoria Markets, and the Royal Botanical Gardens, to start. Since Melbourne is the cultural capital of Australia, expect funky street art and bohemian coffee shops tucked in many corners of the town. 

The evening is at your leisure to enjoy a nice welcome dinner, along with exploring the local bar and pub scene—maybe even catch some live music.

Day 2: Drive to Mount Baw Baw

Mount Baw Baw
Mount Baw Baw

This morning, make your own way to collect your rental car from the car depot. 

Then, drive out to Mount Baw Baw and check into your accommodation. Enjoy your afternoon at leisure exploring the town. The mountain town is located on the Baw Baw Plateau, along the Great Dividing Range in Victoria. Some things to do in Mount Baw Baw include the following: 

  • Go bushwalking: Explore trails on the namesake alpine resort and Mount Baw Baw National Park
  • Do some mountain biking: DH1 is the downhill biking track or cruise the cross-country trail
  • Play disc golf: This fun spin on traditional golf is popular beginning November 24
  • Cast a line: Embark on a guided fly fishing tour of the region

The evening will be at your leisure to enjoy a local dinner and some relaxation. 

Day 3: Drive to Yarra Valley

Yarra Valley
Yarra Valley

Enjoy the morning in Mount Baw Baw before making the drive to the Yarra Valley region. 

First, explore the Hedgend Maze. This unique park is an outdoor space with different attractions that stimulate learning and interpersonal connection. Explore the main attraction's maze, along with several others. Play 18 holes of mini-golf or eight rounds of frisbee golf, join a fossil dig, explore the edible garden, and play with farmyard animals.

Next, visit Healesville Sanctuary, a zoo that is home to many native Australian species with a strong focus on saving endangered animals.

Then, indulge at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery, which hosts tastings and workshops. The mom-and-pop shop is in the heart of the wine region and features thousands of chocolates, along with plenty of pastries and ice cream flavors available at the all-day café. 
 
The evening is at your leisure to enjoy.

Day 4: Yarra Valley - Free day

The Puffing Billy

Today, explore more of Yarra Valley at your own pace. Some ideas include the below:

  • Visit the Rainbow Trout Farm, where you can take the family and catch your own rainbow trout
  • Make your way to the Rayners Orchard Farm, where you will get to pick your own fresh fruit produce
  • Go on a train ride on the Puffing Billy, Australia's premier preserved steam railway which takes you through the Dandenong Ranges

For wine lovers, link up with Yarra Valley Wine Tasting Tours to explore the region and taste the local varietals. 

The evening is yours to enjoy on your own time.

Day 5: Drive to Melbourne and city tour

Melbourne Block Aracades
Melbourne Block Arcades

This morning, drive back to Melbourne to drop off your rental car and make your own way to the hotel.

Meet your guide at 2 pm at Federation Square for a walking tour of Melbourne. The Lanes and Arcades walking tour is the ideal way to discover and learn about the town and its history. 

On the tour, discover designers and specialty retailers that are often only found in the city. Locate some of the quirkiest cafes, independent designers, street art, architecture, and hear historical tales of Melbourne along the way.

After the tour ends, make your way back to the hotel, and enjoy dinner at your leisure.

Day 6: Melbourne - City sports highlights tour

Melbourne Cricket Ground
Melbourne Cricket Ground

Today, tour behind the scenes of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, a super stage for the sport that was utilized in the 1956 Summer Olympic GamesMelbourne 2006 Commonwealth GamesInternational Cricket, and Australian Rules Football.

Then, explore the National Sports Museum, including the Champions Racing Museum & Gallery, as well as more than 2,500 sporting artifacts and extensive multimedia displays, showcasing great moments in Australia’s sporting history.

Enjoy lunch at Urban Alley Brewery in Melbourne's Docklands, followed by a visit to Living Legends, which is now home to some of the region's favorite retired champion racehorses. Meet the horses and enjoy afternoon Devonshire tea, while spotting kangaroos in their natural habitat. 

Following the active first half of the day, enjoy the afternoon and dinner at your own leisure. 

Day 7: Travel to Sydney

An aerial view of Sydney
An aerial view of Sydney

This morning, transfer to the Melbourne domestic airport to board your flight to Sydney. Upon arrival, a private transfer will drive you to your hotel. 

This afternoon, discover Sydney at your own leisure. Join an evening pub tour, where a guide takes you through the alleys and cobbled streets of The Rocks neighborhood while sharing stories of Australia’s first European settlement. Hear about the legends, gangs, and hauntings of this distinctive neighborhood as you sample some of its finest libations.

Day 8: Drive to Katoomba, Blue Mountains

Katoomba, Blue Mountains

This morning, make your own way to the car depot to get a rental car and drive to Katoomba, Blue Mountains.

Take advantage of an unlimited discovery pass to Scenic World. For a view you can't get anywhere else, take a trip on Scenic World's three, main rides. Capture birds-eye views of the Three Sisters and Katoomba Falls on the Skyway and Cableway, then ride the world's steepest railway down into the rainforest, located in the floor of the Jamison Valley.

At Scenic World, there are two dining options. The first is Eats 270, which is more formal, with indoor and outdoor tables overlooking the Skyway and Three Sisters, and a substantial lunch menu, including Angus steak burgers, baguettes, and more. The Terrace Café is more of a grab-and-go place, serving takeaway tea and coffee, snacks, and ice cream.

After the day of exploration at Scenic World, enjoy the evening in Katoomba at your leisure.

Day 9: Drive to Mudgee

The vineyards in Mudgee
The vineyards in Mudgee

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before departing on the scenic self-drive to Mudgee. Take in the fresh country air, the breathtaking views, and get back to nature in and around Mudgee. There are plenty of activities to engage in and landmarks to explore. 

First, head to Castle Rocks for a relatively easy stroll along a track to see the famous sandstone pagoda at Munghorn Gap

Then, visit the Putta Bucca wetlands, just north of town, an international destination great for birdwatching enthusiasts. 

Consider renting a bike to embark on your very own self-guided wine tasting expedition, which is a popular excursion.

Stroll through Robertson Park, a high-traffic destination for local residents and visitors from Australia and overseas.

Visit the Prince Of Wales Opera House. It is the oldest opera house in the Southern Hemisphere still in operation. Built in 1871 by John Hart Cogden, this classic building is now owned by the Gulgong Amateur Musical and Dramatical Society

Following your exploration of Mudgee, take the evening to relax and unwind on your own.

Day 10: Drive to Lithgow

Lithgow
Lithgow

Today, make the journey to Lithgow. Within minutes of the city itself, walk through historic villages, visit spectacular lookouts beside clear-flowing creeks, and discover the many beautiful valleys that dominate the region.

Best known for its industrial heritage, Lithgow is also a scenic area boasting seven national parks and rare flora and fauna. Visit Blast Furnace Park, with its remains of a one-time ironworks factory complex-turned-sprawling, verdant park. Then, stop by Hassans Walls Lookout, the Lithgow State Mine Heritage Park & RailwayBowenfels Gun Emplacements, among other sites scattered around town.

Day 11: Drive to Hawkesbury River

Hawkesbury River
Hawkesbury River

Today, journey through the Blue Mountains to Hawkesbury River, which offers some great activities for everyone to enjoy. Rent a Tizzana Mini Tug for a fun and unique nautical experience, or go kayaking in the river. You can also take one of the many cruises offered along the river.

Then, visit the working Tobruk Farm and stay to watch the world-famous Tobruk Australian Outback show featuring plenty of performers, stockmen on horseback, whip-cracking, and boomerang throwing.

Spend the night in Wisemans Ferry at your leisure. 

Day 12: Drive to Sydney

Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge

Today, drive back to Sydney to return your rental car. Check in to your hotel and then continue exploring Sydney on your own time. 

For an adventure, consider making your way down to the BridgeClimb to reach the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge—440 feet above sea level—for an uninterrupted panorama of the city and its surroundings. From the top, soak up the world around you while your climb leader captures your photo. After completing your BridgeClimb, stop by the visitor center, located at the base, to learn more about the history, preservation, and celebration of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 

In the afternoon, return to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day and evening at your leisure. Tomorrow, embark on a more in-depth tour of the capital of New South Wales.

Day 13: Sydney - City tour and Sydney Opera House tour

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House

In the morning, embark on a local sightseeing tour. Visit many notable destinations around Sydney, such as the historic area known as The Rocks and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair for scenic views of the harbor. Continue on past Kings Cross and Double Bay, through to Watson’s Bay and the famous Bondi Beach, where you will have free time to discover the area.

Then, enjoy lunch on your own, and plan to visit one of Sydney's most famous landmarks: the Sydney Opera House. Enter beneath the iconic sails to discover what makes the venue so awe-inspiring. Uncover the stories, history, and magic of the Sydney Opera House with an educating guided tour.

Following the tour, head back to your hotel, and enjoy the rest of the day and evening on your own. Toast to your final night in Sydney, before your departure tomorrow.

Day 14: Depart From Sydney

Farewell, Sydney!
Farewell, Sydney!

Today, it is time to bid farewell to Sydney. Depending on your flight departure time, a driver will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport to catch your international flight home. Safe Travels!

Map

Map of Self Drive Tour: Melbourne, Healesville, Blue Mountains, Sydney, & More - 14 Days
Map of Self Drive Tour: Melbourne, Healesville, Blue Mountains, Sydney, & More - 14 Days