Selling cars often comes at times of change in our lives. If you’re selling in Melbourne then perhaps you are expanding your family and in need of a bigger vehicle, or maybe you’re tired of staying in the city on weekends and you’re upgrading to something that can handle a rougher ride. Whatever your story is, taking a self-driven excursion away from the city centre can bring refreshingly new perspective to our lives or some much needed excitement and inspiration. We previously shared some scenic loops that get you home to Melbourne in a matter of hours. This drive is designed to be taken as a one-day tour with five stops to your final destination. For increased freedom opportunities it is advised to pack some camping gear, but if it’s not your thing then the more luxurious accommodation option is available..
Starts things off in the morning somewhere near the CBD and take M1 to the M3 and drive 83 kilometres south towards Mornington Peninsula. If you prefer, you can also take the M3 first towards Ringwood then connect with the 780 for the rest of the trip. Both of these routes have tolls but you can avoid this by taking State Route 30 to Kings way and getting on National Highway Alt 1 to the A780 and on the the C777. If you didn’t eat breakfast on your way out, then stop on the way in Hastings at the Pelikan Societe on Marine Parade for beautifully prepared food with equally delightful views out to the water. Now you’re ready to begin the journey.
Breakfast stop at Pelikan Societe in Hastings.
Continue onto the next one-hour leg of the journey all the way around the Western Port Bay on the M420 and B420 to the second stop, Phillip Island. What used to be a small farming community has turned into a major tourist attraction, namely the penguins. [On a short side note: if penguins are what you’re after, then you can turn this into your final destination and plan to arrive at Summerland Beach before sunset and snuggle in with the swaths of tourists and see the cute penguins march across the sand. If you aren’t into the large crowd events, then continue on with the rest of this drive!] Phillip Island is also a fabulous view spot for the thousands of fur seals that tan on the rocks of the Nobbies. Drive to the centre at the southwestern tip where you can use binoculars to get a good look. If you’ve got the wherewithal for sightseeing then you can also stop in at the Koala Conservation Centre, the History of Motorsport Museum, and even a chocolate factory. If you’re making the trip during the Winter months then you can expect a much slower and quieter experience.
Fur seals bathing in the sun on the Nobbies of the Southwestern tip of Phillip Island.
If you’ve got the bug for island hopping then you can take this optional stop number three up to French Island, (but if you’re itching to get on your way, then go ahead and skip this step… but you might regret it). Park your car at Cowes Jetty and grab a $13 return ticket ($6 for kids) and hop on the 15 minute ferry ride to Tankerton Jetty. Fur future trips, you can also take a passenger ferry from Stony Point Jetty near where you had breakfast this morning. Once on French Island, you can wander in a few different directions. At the Jetty there is a map of various trails where you can spend anywhere from 30 minutes to a whole day walking or biking if you’ve hire a bike. You can also opt to take a leisurely stroll along the beachfront instead. One-third of the island has been used as prolific farmland since settlement in the early 1800s but the rest has been declared National Park land and is home to over 200 bird and 500 plant species plus incredible koala colonies. In addition to the flora and fauna, French Island is particularly remarkable for it’s lack of a city council, police department, or even an electricity grid. It is also home to only about 100 residents! If you find it hard to peel yourself away from this unique Australian treasure, there are a few campsites and accommodation options, including an Eco Inn.
One of the peaceful French Island coastlines with few inhabitants.
If you didn’t decide to settle down and stay forever in the charming French Island, then make your way back to your car on Phillip Island to continue on to stop four. Make sure to check the ferry timetable to make sure you don’t get stuck longer than you’d like, the times may vary on weekends. From Cowes Jetty get back on the B420 then onto the B460 towards Kilcunda. At Wonthaggi, make a detour onto C435 so you can hit the glorious 12 km stretch between Cape Paterson and Inverloch with views of Bass Strait, Shack Bay, Eagles Nest, Flat Rocks, and many more beauties. This portion takes about an hour, roughly 60 kilometres and If you haven’t sourced out any food by now, you are likely starving for lunch. Head to the beachfront near the C435 and choose from the many cafe’s and Deli’s close to the water. If you want to stretch your legs you can get a take-away sandwich and walk along the Screw Creek Nature Walk to see Anderson Inlet, or head out to follow the tracks of the Bass Coast Rail Trail along the water.
View from the stunning stretch between Cape Paterson and Inverloch.
You’re on the fifth and final leg! From Inverloch it is about 80 kilometres, just over an hour, to the delicious lands of Wilson’s Promontory Marine National Park. If it’s getting late as you head down the C444 through Yanakie, and you aren’t too fond of setting up tents and cooking over a fire then stop at one of the hotels, private home rentals, villas, retreats etc before you hit the park entrance, or see if there’s room in the Lightstation. If it’s a long summer’s day and you’ve still got daylight to spare then drive down to Tidal River campground at the Southernmost tip of mainland Australia and set up camp. There is a small general store nearby if you need some basic supplies. Wilsons Promontory is Victoria’s treasure and can provide an organic sanctuary for walking and exploring for as many days as you have to spare. This is Traditional country to the Gunaikurnai, Bunurong, and Boon Wurrung and is home to precious rainforest, granite mountains, and protected waters off the coastline. Some of the most-loved spots to visit are Squeaky Beach, Whisky Bay, Telegraph Saddle, Refuge and Sealer’s coves and the Summit of Mount Oberon. It would be near impossible to list all the magical places in this area and it would spoil the experience of self-discovery, but don’t worry because you really can’t go wrong here.
A day hike through Sealer’s Cove on the Northeast coast on Wilson’s Promontory.
Once you’ve had your absolute fill of Wilson’s Prom’, or if you’re forced to go back to your city-life commitments, you can make a straight shoot back to Melbourne in about three hours on the A440 to the M1, roughly 200 kilometres. No doubt you’ll be dreaming of this drive for many nights to come, until you can set out for round two, perhaps with a few more friends on board.