Brisbane to Melbourne Road Trip – A Travel Itinerary Guide

Brisbane to Melbourne Road Trip
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For multiple reasons, a trip to Melbourne can be the best road trip from Brisbane. It is about 1776 km from Brisbane, which may take 18 hours and 22 minutes of direct drive via Pacific Hwy/A1 and M31. You can get there by different modes such as train, bus, flight, or cycle to get to Melbourne from Brisbane.

To make your journey more interesting and relaxing you must stop at some best destinations. At these destinations, you get the chance to explore nature, history and beautiful landmarks. So let me share some ideas to visit places, hotels to stay and restaurants to dine in the route  Melbourne from Brisbane.

Brisbane to Melbourne Easy Road Trip: Itinerary, Places, Distance & Attractions

Transportation ModeApproximate time 
Car18 hours 27 minutes
Bus39 hours
Train28 hours

Travel time to Melbourne from Brisbane will vary depending on available transportation. Here is an estimated travel time via different transportation modes; it may help you to make the right decision.

Brisbane to Gold Coast

Driving Distance:77.7 km

Driving Time:  1 hour and 6 minutes by car

The first beautiful destination to stop is Gold Coast. It is about 1 hour and 6 minutes via M1 by car.

Gold Coast is popular among tourists for its beautiful beaches, theme parks, and rainforest hinterland. Visitors can enjoy surfing, swimming, and sunbathing on the beach.

There are also many hiking trails and lookout points in the hinterland where visitors can take in the area’s natural beauty. Additionally, the Gold Coast offers a wide range of dining, shopping, and nightlife options, making it a popular tourist destination.

Top Attractions on Gold Coast

You have hundreds of attractions on the Gold Coast, but below are some top-rated destinations worth visiting.

  • Surfers Paradise Beach
  • Movie World
  • Dreamworld
  • Sea World
  • Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast

Accommodation in Gold Coast

For the accommodation facility, you can choose from the following hotels.

  • The Star Gold Coast
  • Palazzo Versace Gold Coast
  • InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort
  • Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise
  • QT Gold Coast

Restaurants on Gold Coast

Following are a few good restaurants to enjoy tasty meals.

  • Rick Shores
  • Mamasan Kitchen and Bar
  • Social Eating House
  • Fish Lane Bistro
  • The Fish House

Gold Coast to Ballina

Driving Distance: 114 km

Driving Time: 1 hour and 25 minutes by car 

Ballina is the next attractive destination to stop. It is about 114 km from Gold Coast; it takes approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes to get there via M1 by car.

Ballina is located on the coast and has several beautiful beaches perfect for swimming, surfing, and fishing. The area around Ballina is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including kangaroos, koalas, and dolphins.

It has a rich cultural heritage, and visitors can learn about the area’s history by visiting the Ballina Heritage Centre and the Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum.

Top Attractions in Ballina

Your visit to the following attractions will be unforgettable.

  • Ballina Lighthouse and Lighthouse Beach
  • Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum
  • Ballina RSL Memorial Club
  • Ballina Fair Shopping Centre
  • Ballina Jet Boat Tours

Accommodations in Ballina

Here is the list of some affordable accommodations in Ballina.

  • Ramada Hotel Ballina Byron
  • Ballina Manor Boutique Hotel
  • Ballina Island Motor Inn
  • Ballina Beach Village Holiday Park
  • Ballina Fair Motel

Restaurants in Ballina

To enjoy tasty meals in Ballina, below are some excellent restaurants to dine at.

  • The Balcony Bar & Restaurant
  • Ballina RSL Club
  • Ballina Fair Chinese Restaurant
  • The Ballina Hotel Bistro
  • The Lennox Point Hotel

Ballina to Coffs Harbour

Driving Distance: 205 km

Driving Time: 2 hours and 9 minutes by car

Next to Ballina, Coffs Harbour is a famous tourist destination to stop at. It is about 205 km from Ballina. You may need to drive for approximately two hours via Pacific Hwy. 

sea ocean summer mountains

Coffs Harbour has several beautiful beaches, such as Park Beach and Diggers Beach, which are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing sports. The area is known for its diverse marine life, and visitors can go snorkelling or diving to explore the vibrant coral reefs and see a variety of fishes.

Visitors can enjoy a range of adventure activities, such as skydiving, paragliding, and hot air ballooning, to take in the region’s stunning views.

Top Attractions in Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour is a great destination to explore new things. Following are some magnificent attractions in Coffs harbour. 

  • The Big Banana
  • Dolphin Marine Conservation Park
  • Coffs Harbour Jetty
  • Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve
  • Park Beach

Accommodations in Coffs Harbour

Accommodation is costly in Coffs Harbour, but you can stay in the following hotels with your family. 

  • Novotel Coffs Harbour Pacific Bay Resort
  • Park Beach Holiday Park
  • BreakFree Aanuka Beach Resort
  • Mantra Coffs Harbour
  • Pacific Marina Apartments

Restaurants in Coffs Harbour

To enjoy modern cuisine in Coffs Harbour, visit the below restaurants. 

  • Lagoons Restaurant
  • The Saltwater Restaurant
  • The Reef Restaurant
  • The Oceans Restaurant.
  • Boathouse Restaurant

Coffs Harbour to Kempsey

Driving Distance: 107 km

Driving Time: 1 hour and 13 minutes by car

Kempsey is the next best destination to stop on your route to Melbourne. It is 107 km far from Coffs Harbour. You will get there after a 1 hour and 13 minutes car drive. Pacific Hwy/A1 is the fastest and shortest route to reach there. 

Kempsey is a small town in New South Wales, Australia, known for its scenic countryside, beautiful beaches, and friendly community. It is a great destination for those seeking a quiet and peaceful getaway.

The town also has a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants for visitors to enjoy. Overall, Kempsey is worth visiting for those who appreciate nature and a laid-back lifestyle.

Top Attractions in Kempsey

In Kempsey, you must visit the below attractions to explore history and nature. 

  • Kempsey Regional Botanic Garden
  • Macleay River
  • West Kempsey Heritage Walk
  • Kempsey Showground
  • Kempsey Museum

Accommodations in Kempsey

For accessible accommodation, you can visit the below hotels. 

  • Kempsey Palms Motor Inn
  • Big River Motel
  • Kempsey RSL Motel
  • The Colonial Court Hotel
  • Acacia Motel Kempsey

Top Restaurants in Kempsey

Kempsey has many restaurants to dine at, but for quality foods, visit the following. 

  • The River Restaurant
  • The Old Bank Cafe
  • The Kempsey Hotel Bistro
  • The Hungry Monkey
  • The Rusty Anchor

Kempsey to Gosford

Driving Distance: 350 km

Driving Time: 3 hours and 45 minutes by car

Next to Kempsey, Gosford is a small town to stop and explore the region’s beauty. It is 350 km from Kempsey that may take almost 4 hours by car to get to Gosford via Pacific Hwy/A1.

Gosford is a picturesque coastal town that is worth visiting. The town boasts a rich history and culture, with plenty of heritage-listed buildings and landmarks to explore.

You can enjoy a vibrant nightlife scene, with plenty of live music venues and bars to explore. For those looking for outdoor activities, Gosford offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and water sports.

Top Attractions in Gosford

Your stay in Gosford will be fabulous if you visit the below attractions.

  • Australian Reptile Park
  • Central Coast Stadium
  • Gosford Regional Gallery
  • Mount Penang Parklands
  • Gosford Classic Car Museum

Accommodations in Gosford

To enjoy accessible accommodation in Gosford, I recommend the hotels below. 

  • Mercure Kooindah Waters Central Coast
  • Novotel Central Coast
  • The Great Northern Hotel
  • Ibis Budget Hotel Gosford
  • Mantra Ettalong Beach

Top Restaurants in Gosford

You can enjoy spicy foods at the following restaurants in Gosford. 

  • The Hill Restaurant & Bar
  • The Oyster Bar & Grill
  • The Boathouse on the Bay
  • The Beach House
  • The Hungry Bear

Gosford to Bowral

Driving Distance: 183 km

Driving Time:  Approximately 2 hours and 6 minutes by car

Bowral can be the next best destination to rest and have fun. It is approximately 183 km that may take 2 hours to get there via Hume Motorway/M31 by car. 

Bowral NSW 2576 Australia panoramio 5

Bowral is known for its stunning gardens, historic architecture, and charming local shops and restaurants. It is a popular destination for tourists looking to explore the natural beauty of the region, as well as those interested in history and culture.

Bowral is a great destination for those who want to escape from the busy life of the city and experience the tranquillity of the countryside.

Top Attractions in Bowral

Bowral offers you the opportunity to explore beautiful attractions. Following are some best attractions to visit. 

  • The Bowral Classic
  • The Bradman Oval
  • The Bowral Art Society
  • The Bowral Golf Course
  • The Bowral Heritage Walk

Accommodations in Bowral

My recommendation for accommodation in Bowral is the following hotels. 

  • Peppers Craigieburn
  • The Robertson Hotel
  • The Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa
  • The Briars Historic Homestead & Lodge
  • The Retreat at Parker Hill

Top Restaurants in Bowral

You can visit the following restaurants for local and international cuisine. 

  • The Press Shop
  • The Red Door Bistro
  • The Bowral Bistro
  • The Bowral Hotel
  • The Bradman Museum Café

Bowral to Gundagai

Driving Distance: 259 km

Driving Time: 2 hours and 40 minutes by car

Gundagai is the next best tourist destination to stop on your route to Melbourne from Brisbane. It may take two hours and forty minutes to get there via Hume Hwy/M31.

Gundagai offers a wide range of information on local attractions and activities. The town is also known for its beautiful countryside, scenic drives, and bushwalks through the surrounding hills and valleys.

The town is known for its historic buildings, including the famous Dog on the Tuckerbox statue, which celebrates the local legend of the faithful dog that waited at his owner’s grave. 

Top Attractions in Gundagai

In Gundagai, the following are some good attractions to visit.

  • Gundagai Tourist Information Centre
  • Jugiong Heritage Walk
  • Dog on the Tuckerbox
  • Gundagai Heritage Museum
  • Gundagai Heritage Walk

Accommodations in Gundagai

You can reserve your accommodation in the following hotels.

  • Gundagai Tourist Park
  • The Imperial Hotel Gundagai
  • The Heritage Motor Inn
  • The Sturt Highway Motel
  • The Mates Retreat

Top Restaurants in Gundagai

To enjoy tasty meals, I recommend the below restaurants in Gundagai.

  • River Deck Café
  • The Commercial Hotel
  • The Royal Hotel Gundagai
  • The Grand Hotel Gundagai
  • The Gundagai Club Hotel

Gundagai to Benalla

Driving Distance: 299 km

Driving Time: 2 hours and 59 minutes by car

Benalla can be a worth stopping place. It is about 299 km from Gundagai that may take 3 hours to get there via Hume Hwy/M31 and National Highway M31 by car.

Benalla VIC Australia is a stunning destination with plenty to offer. From its picturesque views of the countryside to its vibrant culture and history, Benalla is sure to leave you with cherished memories. 

With plenty of attractions, activities, and restaurants to explore, Benalla is a must-visit for any traveler looking for a unique experience.

Top Attractions in Benalla

In Benalla, you can visit the attractions below to explore the town’s beauty.

  • Benalla Art Gallery
  • Benalla Botanical Gardens
  • Reef Hills State Park
  • Winton Wetlands
  • Lake Benalla Walking Track

Accommodations in Benalla

Here is the list of some best hotels to stay in Benalla.

  • North Eastern Hotel – The Northo
  • The Royal Hotel
  • Comfort Inn Benalla
  • Benalla Motel
  • Benalla Central Accommodation

Top Restaurants in Benalla

To enjoy local and international foods, you can visit the following restaurants.

  • Gallery Restaurant
  • The Grand Hotel Benalla
  • The Enchanted Cafe
  • The Benalla Bowls Club
  • The Royal Hotel Benalla

Benalla to Melbourne

Driving Distance: 212 km

Driving Time: 2 hours and 21 minutes by car

Finally, you will be in Melbourne after an approximate two and a half hours drive. It is 212 km from Benalla via National Hwy/ M31.

Melbourne is a city that draws visitors from all over the world. From its vibrant culture and nightlife to its stunning architecture, beautiful parks and gardens, and world-class restaurants and shopping, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

With its unique mix of urban and rural attractions, Melbourne is certainly worth visiting for a few days or even longer. You’ll find all the necessary ingredients for an unforgettable holiday experience, from art galleries to live music venues and chic cafes. 

Top Attractions in Melbourne

To make your stay memorable, you can visit the below attractions in Melbourne.

  • Federation Square
  • Melbourne Zoo
  • Royal Botanic Gardens
  • Eureka Skydeck 88
  • Melbourne Museum

Accommodation in Melbourne

You can enjoy the best accommodation in the following hotels in Melbourne.

  • The Langham Hotel
  • The Westin Melbourne
  • Park Hyatt Melbourne
  • Crowne Plaza Melbourne
  • Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens

Restaurants in Melbourne

Below are some top-rated restaurants in Melbourne.

  • TOTE Bar & Dining
  • Tipo 00
  • Hazel
  • NOMAD Melbourne
  • Sunda Dining


How many days do I need to drive from Brisbane to Melbourne?

The driving distance between Brisbane and Melbourne is approximately 1,776 km, and the estimated time to drive is around 18 hours. However, it is recommended to plan for at least 2-3 days of driving to allow for rest breaks, accommodation, and sightseeing along the way.

How much is it to drive from Brisbane to Melbourne?

The cost of travelling from Brisbane to Melbourne may vary depending on fuel price. Currently, a two-way road trip from Brisbane to Melbourne may cost you between 400$ and 420$.

Is Melbourne less expensive than Brisbane?

No, the overall cost of living in Melbourne is around 6% more expensive than in Brisbane. However, the cost of specific items such as groceries, restaurants, and transportation can vary between the two cities.

Train or bus, which is more convenient from Brisbane to Melbourne?

The train is a better mode of travel than the bus because the train may take 28 hours to get to Melbourne from Brisbane. But the travel time via bus is higher, that is almost 39 hours. Tickets for the train are also cheaper than the bus.

How costly is a flight from Brisbane to Melbourne?

The flight cost will vary depending on the airline and month of the year. But an average cost for Melbourne from Brisbane may cost between 600$ and to 700$ for return tickets.


The road trip from Brisbane to Melbourne is a thrilling and scenic journey that takes you through diverse landscapes, charming towns, and beautiful beaches. With plenty of rest stops, scenic viewpoints, and must-see attractions along the way. This trip is a great way to explore Australia’s eastern coast and experience the country’s natural beauty.

Hi, I'm Md Abid Hasan. The owner & content editor of is a travel blog that covers road trips, day trips, and destinations guide.

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