Welcome to my travel guide to Melbourne-New South Wales (NSW), Australia! Australia has always been a very popular destination for many travellers, especially for those in Singapore. I guess it’s because of how we speak the same language and even drive on the same side that makes it easy for Singaporeans to travel there at ease! Also for me, I like Australia because they have what we don’t have in Singapore – LAND! That makes the country far more fun to enjoy long scenic drives, camping or glamping while exploring the untouched lands of Mother Nature!

So what are you waiting for? Check out my travel guide to Melbourne-New South Wales(NSW), Australia below!

Travel guide to Melbourne - New South Wales - 109N itinerary

10D9N Travel Itinerary in Melbourne – NSW, Australia

For this Melbourne-NSW travel guide, although it’s meant for a 10D9N trip, you can also choose to spend betweeen 8 to 10 days to complete it. You can pick where you want to go from the recommended highlights below and tweak it to what suits you and your travel mates. Feel free to spend more time in Melbourne City if that’s where you like it, or spend more days up in the Grampians if nature is your calling!

This is also designed with the assumption that you’ll be comfortable to drive around on your own. I rented a normal sedan car that brought me through all of the below mapped route. Be rest assured too that the roads are really easy to navigate around too! The route I recommend based on a round trip back to Melbroune would be as such:

Travel guide to Melbourne - New South Wales - 109N itinerary mapped route
My recommended itinerary around Melbourne – New South Wales, Australia

Iconic Highlights of Melbourne – New South Wales, Australia

This Melbourne – New South Wales travel guide covers a good mix of the beautiful city in Melbourne, and in nature with both Phillip Island and the Grampians National Park. Here is what I would recommend to do:

1. Phillip Island – Visit the cute and cuddly Penguins at their habitat

First stop in this itinerary, Phillip Island Nature Park! It is located 90 minutes by car from Melbourne and is easily one of my favorites of this itinerary. You will not regret seeing the Penguin Parade in action as you get to be just a metre away from the natural phenomenon of the penguins and their natural habitat. As they scurry up and down the path of their habitat. They can be eating, rolling around, climbing through the bushes, or simply just standing at a certain spot. On a typical day, approximately 600 penguins would go by. Just imagine how spectacular that can be! Take note to dress warm as the temperature tends to go much lower than the day that since it’s outdoors.

If you’re looking for something to occupy your day, I highly recommend going for the 2-hour seal cruise ride to visit one of Australia’s largest colony of Fur Seals, at Seal Rocks. It’s also located close to Phillip Island and the best part of this is that you get to see an average of 5000+ seals up close. I can’t imagine how cool that’ll be!!!

Visit some Kangaroos, Wallabies and Koalas at the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Park

If you have time to spare, do also visit the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Park earlier in the day too before you arrive at Phillip Island for the Penguin Parade. This park entirely exceeded my expecations of a wildlife park! I like how the animals had all the freedom to roam about. I literally saw kangaroos, wallabies, and other animals just walking in open areas and even crossing the paths of human visitors if they want to. I’m sure it must have felt really nice for the animals and also the humans too! To add on, you also get to see the iconic Koalas of Australia here too! If you’re keen, do sign up for the feeding & photo session with them for memory’s sake too.

2. Brighton Beach – Visit the colourful beach houses at Brighton Beach and Shop at the large Chadstone Shopping Centre

Brighton beach is known for its colourful beach houses and is a 30 minutes drive away from Melbourne. It is nearly a century old and was initially built with the intention for seaside bathing. It has since been mainly used by local residents during summer, for changing and storing of their belongings and towels before they head towards the waters. Do remember to pay for parking at the machine in the middle of the carpark or you will easily be fined there. Parking costs about A$5.30/hour if you arrive anytime between 8am to 8pm. Otherwise, arrive early enough in the morning to avoid having to pay for parking. Somehow when I was there, the machine did not accept cash and a kind soul offered to pay for me with his card (of course, I paid him in cash too). So, wishing you the luck you need at the parking lot~

You can pair this visit to the Brighton Beach before Phillip Island as it is on the way. Otherwise, if you’re just wanting to relax like me and not jam-pack your day with long drives, I would recommend visiting the Chadstone Shopping Centre that’s nearby too. It is the biggest shopping mall in the southern hemisphere and for sure it was huge! Although we drove there, you can also take a Tourist Shuttle Bus from the Melbourne City Centre to get to this place. The Chadstone’s free tourist shuttle bus departs from Melbourne City daily too.

3A. Melbourne City – Have a fun photoshoot at Degraves street/Hosier Lane before a leisure City Tour

The graffiti art at Degraves street and Hosier lane is iconic for anyone visiting Melbourne. I had a really fun time just exploring the artsy streets and snapping away on my camera. The streets are filled with so much imagination of the artists and their stories through the never-ending artworks there. I’m sure you’ll love it too! Then once you’re satisfied with your “photoshoot” (like I did hehe), head over to the restaurants along Hosier lane for brunch in the graffiti-filled zone. You’ll continue to be pleased seeing how each restaurant is unqiuely designed with artworks once again.

Then, with a full stomach, continue on with a visit to the Flinders Street Railway Station, Australia’s first train station. There are many stories revolving around this train station, even that it was haunted! Of course, take such stories with a pinch of salt and as an additional flavour to the place as a visitor! Thereafter, head on towards the State Library of Victoria, the oldest public library in Victoria. With its impressive collection of books and also its beautiful historic interior, you’ll be able to get some really good photos there. Just keep in mind to keep your volume down! Finally, end off the day with dinner at the beautiful Melbourne Central and do look out for the iconic Marionette Fob Watch. Catch the surprise that drops slowly down from inside every hour, revealing some beautiful gold marionettes and Australian wild birds!

3B. Melbourne City – Test your limits at The Edge at the Eureka Skydeck and admire the beautiful Melbourne skyline

Continuing your day in Melbourne, if you’re looking for a challenge, head up straight to the Eureka Skydeck! It is a 297.3 m skyscraper in Melbourne and you can choose to stand at the Edge to put your fear of heights to the test! My experience at the Edge differentiated itself from various other observatories across different countries. Just see that box in the picture above. They begin by asking you to step into a frosted box. Then, as we wait, the operator would eject the box out from the building and the frost would suddenly “crack” and disappear. You’ll find yourself standing on clear glass everywhere around you. I realised I was tightening my grip on the railings as this happened and just couldn’t wait to get out of the box though it was really cool!

After that, go on to the Queen Victoria Market where you can experience a local fresh produce market in Australia. I especially like visiting farmer’s markets after my New Zealand Working holiday as that’s where you can find many interesting produce which are usually super cheap!! For a start, I bought blueberries and huge mangoes for a dollar each. If you plan to cook some of your meals there while travelling, this is the best place to get really good deals for fresh vegetables too! Finally, you can end off your day with a night walk along the harbour where I got to enjoy a really peaceful and serene night view of Melbourne’s skyline.

4. Cape Schanck – Get lost in the Enchanted Adventure Garden and enjoy a leisure walk to the Cape Schanck Lighthouse

Travel guide to Melbourne - New South Wales - 109N itinerary - Cape Schanck
Pathway to Cape Schanck Lighthouse

The Enchanted Adventure Garden is a place where you can lose yourself in the beautiful colours of the gardens that changes colour according to the seasons. It’s not a typical garden where you take a simple walk in, but instead, you can enjoy many activities such as getting caught in mazes, tube slides, canopy walks and board walks. On top of that and also my favorite activity, is the adrenaline-pumping high elements obstacle course amidst the tall trees. They call this Tree Surfing and it’s suitable for both adults and even kids! Take note that a separate fee applies, on top of the General Admission fee, to whichever Tree Surfing course you decide to do. Make sure you set aside enough time to fully immerse yourself in this experience here. I recommend a minimum of 2 to 3 hours here to cover the area sufficiently!

Moving on to the next area of interest, I recommend going for the Arthurs Seat Circuit Walk. It is a leisure 1.8km walk of moderate difficulty to reach the 314-metre summit. At the peak, you’ll be gifted wtih spectacular views of the bay and Port Phillip Heads or even the city skyline on a clear day. I especially like how I can ease the digestion of the hearty meal I had with a leisure hike after. If you have time, drive a bit deeper in to get to the Cape Schanck Lighthouse. The hike around it is really peaceful and comfortable, very suitable for a sunset hike. However, if you’re keen to climb up to the peak of the Lighthouse and expore one of the oldest lighthouses in Victoria from the inside, make sure you arrive before sunset to be in time for their guidedtour!

5. Great Ocean Road – Drive down the mesmerizing oceanic blue road on a sunny afternoon

Yes, the Great Ocean Road! The entire coastal route takes about 3 hours 30 minutes by car, excluding all the stops you’ll make to see the various lookout points. Also, the time you need to complete this depends on how much of the hikes you want to conquer at each lookout point too. Here are some of the stops you can make:

  • Gibson Steps – 2 huge limestone stacks that rise up from the sea. Trekking time: 15 minutes return
  • Twelve Apostles – Made up of rock stacks created by the erosion of limestone cliffs Trekking time: 15 minutes return
  • Loch Ard Gorge, Razorback – A lookout point with one of the longest trekking time of up to 2 – 3 hours if you want to explore all the trails
  • The Arch – A uniquely shaped landform that has waves crashing in and creating a mini waterfall that forms underneath The Arch from the huge waves. Trekking Time: 20 minutes return
  • London Bridge – Used to be a bridge connecting the archway to the mainland but collapsed unexpectedly in 1990. Trekking Time: 20 minutes return
  • The Grotto – See the ocean through a bird’s eye view from the cave, it is easily accessible down a small flight of stairs. Trekking Time: 20 minutes return

Consider staying overnight along the Great Ocean Road

In this itinerary, I’ve planned for it to go all the way up to the Grampians National Park. Hence, I would recommend breaking the drive down from Melbourne City to Grampians through the Great Ocean Road by staying the night in between. I found a great accommodation by an old couple at Yuulong then via Airbnb. Our host shared so much about the history of Australia and its birds with us, and even recommended us to visit the Maits Rest Rainforest Walk the next morning. It was beautiful and definitely something I want to recommend to you too! The walk goes through a lush green rainforest, coupled with air that was so fresh!

6. Grampians National Park – Immerse in the fresh air of the Grampians while hiking up The Balconies and The Pinnacle

The Grampians National Park lies just three hours away from The Grottot at the Great Ocean Road. I would recommend spending two to three days here in this area to fully explore all the hikes there. Here is my list of recommended hikes you can take:

  • MacKenzie Falls – One of the largest falls in Victoria. It has a steep trail down to the base of the waterfall, so be really careful as you descend. Trekking Time: 1 hour return. Do note that parking is free at the MacKenzie Falls Carpark YAY!
  • The Balconies – Hiking up the Balconies gives you a panoramic view of the lush mountains. Take an easy two kilometre stroll along the path leading towards the lookout, and be awed be the stunning rock formations at the end of the path. Trekking Time: 1 hour return.
  • Reeds Lookout – Enjoy the scenic views of Victoria Valley at the summit. Reeds Lookout is a fantastic spot for catching the sunset but I ran out of time to experience that myself. Let me know how your experience was if you do get to see it before me! Trekking Time: 10 minutes return.

We also visited The Pinnacle via Grand Canyon before our 3 hours drive back to Melbourne on the last day. There are a few paths one can take to reach the peak, however, we picked the one that started at the Wonderland Carpark as that was the most convenient. It was such a picturesque trail that made me stop for pictures everywhere. From me sitting on the rocks to climbing through the valleys, and of course, also at the peak! Definitely a recommended route for you when you’re there.

How to get to Melbourne, Australia?

In this Melbourne-New South Wales travel itinerary, you can arrive at Melbourne airport or even couple it with a trip to other parts of Australia so you can fly in from there too on a domestic flight. Take note that costs included here for flights are estimates from pre-Covid times and may differ when travel opens once again!

1. Arrive at Melbourne

The best way to get to Melbourne is to get on a direct flight from Singapore. The flight is 9 hours long and can costs as little as $500 for a budget round-trip flight. Take note that Australia has a time difference of 2 to 3 hours with Singapore, depending on whether there’s daylight savings, hence make sure you pick the right arrival time at Melbourne too. You don’t want to end up at a time that’s ungodly and have trouble hailing cabs or even checking into your hotel or Airbnb.

2. Fly in on a domestic flight from other parts of Australia

This is a very affordable option in my opinion, especially if you are keen to pair this Melbourne-NSW trip with some other part of Australia. I personally paired this itinerary with a trip to Sydney, and the one-way ticket from Melbourne to Sydney costs me around S$90. The route I took was from Singapore – Melbourne – Sydney – Singapore. As a result, the total amount I’ve spent on this three-legged flight costs me just slightly below S$600.

Getting around Melbourne – New South Wales, Australia

1. Driving on a Road trip

I highly recommend driving for this itinerary as this provides you with the most convenience. You can stop for as long as you need to at each lookout point along the Great Ocean Road, schedule your time accordingly to when you complete each hike at the Grampians. Also in my opinion, the best part about having a vehicle means not having to carry around my belongings everyday as I shift locations. All I need to do is just put it in the car and off I go! No need for lugging around heavy luggages YAY!

To add on, the roads are also generally easy to drive on with the light traffic volumes. You can easily rent a car either in Melbourne City or at the airport. One thing to note is the road tolls that you may be liable to pay for when you return your rental vehicle. Such tolls are applicable when you take roads like the expressways on the Great Ocean Road, to Grampians and even back to Melbourne. It can costs up to $20 to $30 per day.

2. Utilising the Train, Tram and Bus Networks within the City

Within Melbourne City, you actually don’t need a car to get around. Their train, tram and bus networks are sufficient to get you around most of the area! I really like the trams as we don’t have that in Singapore. It looks like our buses here but just operates like a train above ground. Also, one perk about using the public transport in the City is that you don’t have to worry about parking as that’s usually quite troublesome and costly from memory.

Best time to visit Melbourne – New South Wales, Australia

The best time to visit Melbourne – New South Wales in my opinion is during Autumn (March to May) or Spring (September to November). Temperature ranges from 10 to 15 degrees Celsius during Autumn, and 11 to 23 degrees Celsius during Spring. As compared to the permanant summer we have in Singapore, this is considered PERFECT WEATHER!

I personally went during early November and the weather was amazing everyday! It is the best to explore the country when it is sunny and the weather is clear. You get to appreciate the beautiful clear views on the peaks of each hike at the Grampians and also the crystal blue waters reflecting the sun’s rays at the Great Ocean Road. Further, it is not as hot then as compared to a full-blown summer but you still get to experience the warm sun rays on your skin.

Top 6 Items You Must Pack for Melbourne-New South Wales, Australia

As part of this travel guide to Melbourne – New South Wales, I would recommend the following things to pack. Depending on the season you’re there at and also the area you’re at, you will experience a range of temperatures in a span of a day. I experienced a colder temperature while being at Grampians compared to the Melbourne City, and that’s because we were higher up in the mountains too. Hnce, layering is very important!

  1. A Lightweight Jacket – This is perfect in keeping you warm throughout your trip during Autumn or Spring. The weather was really mild during my hikes at the Great Ocean Road and Grampians. The only thing was probably the strong winds I felt at the Great Ocean Road, so if you’d like,a wind-proof jacket may be what you need too!
  2. Light Exercise Clothes – I would recommend packing in a few stretchable leggings and sports wear to help you through the various hikes. Otherwise, as most hikes are moderately flat, normal clothes would be fine too. I actually hiked through the routes in my loose jeans for perspective.
  3. Wet Wipes or Hand Sanitisers – This will be especially useful before you tuck into your meals each day or when you’re at the Grampians and having your lunch at the peak of the mountains.
  4. Camera and Tripod – Need I say anything more for this? 🙂
  5. Portable Charger – This is an essential item for any road trip as you want to be sure you have enough power for your devices. Be it whether you use it to charge your phones, cameras or anything else. This would definitely come in handy!
  6. Universal Travel Adaptor – This is different from what we have in Singapore so remember to bring one. Australia uses the I plug type, which is the plug that has three flat pins in a triangular pattern.

Budgeting for Melbourne – New South Wales, Australia

This budget is based off an itinerary for 10 days in this travel guide to Melbourne-NSW, Australia. I’ve included all the activities mentioned above for your easy reference. However, do plan for the activities accordingly to your budget and the time you have at each location.

tegoryAmount (SGD)Amount (USD)
Flight from Singapore to Melbourne500 – 800380 – 600
Accommodation (per person based on a twin room using Airbnb mainly) for 10 days550420
Car Rental for 7 days (inclusive of insurance and toll charges)350265
Fuel for 10 days250190
Cash (for food, souvenirs etc.)800 – 1,000600 – 760
Activities (optional):
– Penguin Watching at Phillip Island (I highly recommend going for the Penguins Plus)6045
Phillip Island Seal Cruise – Nature Parks9070
Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Park3025
Eureka Skydeck 88 ($25) + The Edge ($12)4030
– Enchanted Adventure Garden (Tree Surfing Grand + General Admission)7055
Total2,740 – 3,2402,080 – 2,460

Visa requirements to Australia

Unless you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you will need a valid Australian visa to enter the country. With that, you do actually need a visa to travel to Australia if you’re holding a Singapore passport. There are many types of visas to Australia that you may possibly apply to you:

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading my travel guide to Melbourne – New South Wales, Australia! May it be useful to help you decide where to go in Australia!

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