Southern Capitals - City Meets Bush

You can drive between Melbourne and Sydney in a day. But what fun would that be? In between Australia’s two largest cities on this epic Sydney to Melbourne trip, take in the dreamy landscapes of the Southern Highlands, the country’s cool little capital on Canberra guided tours, and historic gold rush towns. With plenty of time for fun-fuel adventures, like a Melbourne laneway tour or Phillip Island penguin tour, of course.
Tour details
Tour Provider AATKings
Price From
Number of Days
Start Location
Sydney, Australia
End Location
Melbourne, Australia
Age Range
Avg. 45+
Group Size
20 to 45
Tour Style
Tour Themes
No specific theme
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Itinerary Open all
Sydney - Canberra
It’s hard to believe that just 1.5 hours from Sydney lies a patch of countryside that could have been transplanted straight from the English Cotswolds. Think atmospheric villages amid rolling hills of grape vines – the Southern Highlands is the closest wine region to Australia’s largest city, after all. And then there are the grand gardens and emerald farms, one of which you’ll visit to meet Craig Starr and his family. Gold Creek Station farm is your backdrop for a Be My Guest BBQ lunch and tales about life on the land. This is your entrée to the country’s cool little capital of Canberra, home to Parliament House, where you’ll go behind the political scenes. Tonight, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Dinner.
Canberra - Wangaratta
Thanks to architect Walter Burley Griffin, Canberra is an urban planner’s delight – the city is that well laid out, as you’ll discover when you head to the summit of Mt. Ainslie for panoramic views. You won’t yet be able to see the mighty Murray River, but you’ll soon cross it en route to Beechworth. From Australia's longest river, travel through Victoria's High Country to the well-preserved gold rush town of Beechworth. Beechworth saw an influx of fortune-seekers from all over the world during the 1850s. Get the lowdown on Beechworth over a chat with the publican of the historic local pub and enjoy afternoon tea in the oldest hotel in town. Then you'll be set on your way to explore honey and gold shops, galleries and museums at your leisure, before Wangaratta beckons.
Wangaratta - Melbourne
Meandering south toward historic Glenrowan, you’re well and truly in Ned Kelly country – this is where the infamous bushranger and his gang were finally captured in 1880. The story is remembered on pretty much every city corner, whether in enormous statues or at the museum. We’ll tell you all the tales – some of them true, many of them hearsay. All of them entertaining. Then we’ll tell you a bit more about Melbourne, like how it’s the home of Aussie rules football, covets some of the country’s best arts institutions, and has a swag of stellar restaurants, cafés and bars. Small wonder it’s known as Australia’s cultural, culinary and sporting capital. After a city tour, immerse yourself in a guided galleries tour of our First Peoples arts and cultural centre, Koorie Heritage Trust, then head off to explore. Forget your map – one of the joys of being in Melbourne is getting lost. Discovering a hidden jazz bar. Stumbling upon a hole-in-the-wall restaurant or another gallery that catches your eye. Enjoy.
Melbourne Free Time
You could spend weeks exploring Melbourne and its surrounds and not tire of the attractions. But you just have today, so make the most of it. We wouldn’t hold it against you if all you want to do is jump on a tram and ride the rails to the city’s character-filled neighbourhoods. But if you want to explore further afield, we’ve got you covered on an optional experience. For a bird’s-eye view of the bay, sign up to scale the Melbourne Skydeck, offering dizzying vistas in every direction. Or, perhaps exploring the city on foot with a History and Donuts Walking Tour is more your thing. Animal lover? Venture to Phillip Island to see hundreds of little penguins pad along the sand en route to their burrows (all own expense). The choice is yours.
Farewell from Melbourne
Wait, how did you just pack so much action into a working week? Cities, countryside, farms, wineries, islands… This Sydney to Melbourne trip has been quite the adventure.
  • • Specialist team of two highly experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide • Centrally located hotels • Arrival and departure private airport transfers
Departure dates
Start End Availability Price NZD
29 Aug 2024 02 Sep 2024 Available $3,073
17 Oct 2024 21 Oct 2024 Available $3,254
21 Nov 2024 25 Nov 2024 Available $3,483
06 Feb 2025 10 Feb 2025 Available $3,483
20 Mar 2025 24 Mar 2025 Available $3,483
10 Apr 2025 14 Apr 2025 Available $3,419
28 Aug 2025 01 Sep 2025 Available $3,419
16 Oct 2025 20 Oct 2025 Available $3,419
20 Nov 2025 24 Nov 2025 Available $4,055
05 Feb 2026 09 Feb 2026 Available $3,650
19 Feb 2026 23 Feb 2026 Available $4,055
19 Mar 2026 23 Mar 2026 Available $3,650