The Great Australian Road Trip – Part 3

Blue Mountains – Melbourne
Two weeks in, over 1,000km covered and in our second Spaceship campervan. (For more on the previous fortnight check out the road trip section of my blog). After half a day exploring the Blue Mountains National Park we jumped back in the van and headed for the Jenolan Caves. So the drive to the caves was pretty exciting in itself, the roads are super windy, narrow and seen as you’re literally driving down out of the mountains at points you really shouldn’t look down… Arriving at the caves was interesting, you drive through a curved crevice to get to the car park – there’s also a restaurant, some accommodation and coach parking although I would not like to be driving the coaches down the winding roads in!

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The caves are pretty interesting it feels like something out of Jurassic Park with huuuuge caves and little glimpses through to greenery, we took a few of the unguided routes but there are also guided tours available through the narrower, dark sections of the caves. The caves are quite out of the way from anywhere so if you’re under tight time constraints and this isn’t your usual thing maybe skip it but if you do have some time to spare it would be easy to spend a whole day taking the tours.

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The next stop on the road trip was Canberra. We’d had such a long day: breakfast in Sydney, lunch in the Blue Mountains, exploring the Jenolan Caves and finally the long drive on to Canberra – so it was pretty much straight to bed when we arrived. After a good night’s sleep we were ready for all the activities Canberra has to offer, we wandered around the city, visited Canberra Museum and Gallery and then spent a couple of hours soaking up the history in the Australian War Memorial.

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The Australian War Memorial was probably the most moving experience of the whole road trip, I’d always learned about the wars from a British point of view so to see first hand the sacrifice made by Australia was truly moving. Aside from the immense history at the memorial the grounds are beautiful, the architecture and maintenance of the building are faultless.

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After a cultural time in Canberra it was time to continue on the road trip towards Melbourne. Weirdly we love to be by the sea so after leaving Canberra we took a slightly longer route to Melbourne via Eden, a small coastal town in NSW. We only spent a day in Eden recuperating from our long drives but it’s such a peaceful town 24 hours was all we needed to recover and get us back on the road. We went for an early morning paddle and jog on a tiny quiet beach before hitting the road again for Melbourne.

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Like most of the destinations on our road trip we arrived passed sundown…. except in Melbourne the bright lights welcomed us! We did a little lap of the city (probably driving very much like tourists with eyes out the windows rather than on the road) and parked up down by Brighton beach to look back at the city skyline. Wow. 

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So the next few days consisted of tram rides, beer drinking and funfair riding at Lunar Park – all in all I loved Melbourne’s atmosphere and would love to visit again in the summer to fully appreciate the beaches! The trams are adorable and I was sooooo in my element just riding the city circle tourist tram… could have spent a whole day taking pictures of the city from the window. We spent a good few days admiring the city and when we left we totally got why it’s been voted the world’s most liveable city.

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So that’s it for the third leg of the road trip series… the next post will tell all from The Great Ocean Road to Perth and WA, keep your eyes peeled!

Abbie May Travel