Week 157: Drive to Sydney

A week of long drives, beautiful country, rugged coasts, whale-spotting, live kangaroos, beach days, cocktails, opera houses, Jacaranda trees, and more long flights.

Posted on by Rowan Manning.
Tagged with HolidayWalkingFood

  • Driving is pretty easy in Australia (at least in Victoria and New South Wales). It’s on the left, roads are wider and better-maintained, and everything’s signposted well. Our trip along the coast was very stress-free. We did a lot:

    • We went for a walk through a rainforest which made a nice change from the miles of eucalypt forests that line the route.

    • A view over a cliff into the bright blue sea below

      We stopped for lunch in Eden which is a nice little town. We walked to a few of the viewpoints and along the cliffs and we saw Humpback Whales breaching off the coast which was super cool. Then we drove to Horse Head Rock for another cliff walk and some more whale-spotting.

      A large rock protruding out of the sea that is called Horse Head Rock but looks nothing like one
    • We stayed in Bateman’s Bay which is nice but a bit dead pre-summer. We had a disappointing McDonald’s (not a lot of unique options, very average). We walked along part of the bay and went stargazing in the evening. The various motels we stayed in were all great, the whole coast seems to be set up for people doing the same route.

    • Some kangaroos resting in the shade

      We had a beach day, stopping at a few beaches on the way to Jervis Bay. Maloneys Beach was completely empty and we saw some live Kangaroos who spend the daytime just chilling in the shade at the side of the beach. We had amazing fish & chips at Mollymook beach.

    • A view over miles and miles of endless dry bush

      We drove inland a little to Kangaroo Valley which involved some fun switchbacks along mountain roads. There was a walk through the bush outside town which lef to some viewpoints, it was worth the walk once we got there but walking through the bush is super repetitive – I can understand why people get lost 😅

    • We visited Kiama Blowhole before driving into Sydney, it was the most tourist-filled place we visited along the route but it was really pretty, at the right angle you can see rainbows dancing all around the blowhole.

  • Trees with bright purple blossoms lining a small street

    We arrived in Sydney in the evening, checked into our hotel and then went for food and drinks nearby. Everywhere does really excellent cocktails and we had a couple of bottles of wine between us. Jacaranda trees are in bloom at the moment so the part of the city we were staying in looked really pretty with bright purple highlights everywhere.

  • Our only full day in Sydney was a little hungover but we crammed in a lot of sightseeing. We walked along the botanic gardens, saw Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, got a bus out to Bondi and did part of the cliff walk to Bronte. Our whole time in Sydney was uncharacteristically cold and rainy due to some polar winds but it was still a lot of fun. We ended the day with maybe the best Italian food we’ve eaten outside of Italy.

    A selfie of me and Charlotte standing in front of Sydney Opera House on a rainy night
  • Our last half day in Sydney was all about brunch (excellent avocado toast) and admin before heading off for the next leg of our trip.

  • We bid farewell to Australia after a couple of excellent weeks and flew to Thailand. We’ll be in Bangkok for half of this week (where I’m writing from) and then off to Chiang Mai.