Days 10 - 11: Merimbula
Distance: approx 175 km / 109 miles
It's back onto the Princes Highway this morning as you travel south to Merimbula, the ‘holiday resort’ of the Sapphire Coast.
Situated between Tathra and Pambula on the coast, Merimbula has a population of around 4,000 (and far more in summer) and is situated around the beautiful coastal waterways of Merimbula and Top and Back Lakes. These clean tidal lakes provide the perfect site for the many water sports that can be enjoyed on the lakes, which make Merimbula's waterways a major attraction for visitors.
Days 12 - 14: Lakes Entrance
Distance: approx 267 km / 166 miles
Travel via the towns of Bellbird Creek, Orbost and Nowa Nowa today as you make your way to Lakes Entrance, which is aptly named as it's the entrance to the Gippsland Lakes, Australia's largest inland water system. It's a popular destination due to its wonderful beaches as well as a spectacular hinterland featuring mountains, rivers and forests. The local area is home to dolphins, water birds, kangaroos, wombats and koalas giving you the opportunity to see these wonderful creatures. A short walk across a footbridge brings you to the Entrance and Bass Strait, with Ninety Mile Beach stretching away into the distance.
Optional activities nearby include a winery cruise or a visit to a nature sanctuary to see some of Australia’s native animals.
Days 15 - 17: Melbourne
Distance: approx 312 km / 194 miles
In Melbourne you might like to visit Mornington Peninsula, arguably Melbourne's best kept secret. Some of the highlights of the area include art and craft markets, antique stores, coastal and bush walks plus koala and penguin reserves which provide opportunities to see the animals in their natural environment. The region has much of Victoria's earliest history, excellent golf courses, great restaurants and is also one of Australia's finest wine producing regions. There are a number of good vineyards for you to explore such as Dromana Estate and Main Ridge Estate.
Why not visit Phillip Island, the home of the Fairy Penguins, so called as they are the smallest breed of penguin. At dusk, they emerge from the surf, completely ignoring the thousands of curious onlookers.