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Sydney to Melbourne by the Inland Route

If you were to drive from central Sydney to the center of Melbourne in one go, it would take around 11 hours to cover the 860km (534 miles) -- much of it driving through pretty boring landscape.

This is how I'd do it: I'd set off from Sydney, head down the Hume Highway, and take my first break in Goulburn (famous for its tough "supermax" prison -- you can't visit!). The journey takes about 2 hours. Depending on what time I left Sydney, I would have lunch or a coffee break here, then continue southwest past Gundagai, another almost-2-hour stretch. (At a pinch, you can stay in a cabin park here.) Then on to Holbrook (another hour), where I'd have a good rest. There's a huge submarine next to the highway that you can't miss, as well as a submarine museum. It's a great stop if you have kids. The cafe next to the submarine, in the park, has excellent snacks and good inexpensive meals; don't bother eating in any of the local pubs (called "hotels"). It's about another hour to Albury in Victoria. From here, make a detour to explore Ned Kelly country and the Alpine region. (Stay in the pretty town of Bright -- less than 1 hr. from Albury.) Otherwise I'd be very tempted to stay the night in Wangaratta (visitor center: tel. 1800/801 065; www.visitwangaratta.com.au). Wangaratta is about an hour from Albury. Continue on to Melbourne the next day. It's about another 3 hours.

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