During summer holidays, the 10-hour stretch from Sydney to Melbourne down the Hume Highway is usually clogged with trucks and semi-trailers, caravans, patrol cars and learner drivers. While the journey may seem perilous to some, the simple Australian-ness of this stretch of road and the towns you travel through brings a sense of nostalgic adventure and excitement.
Approximately two hours from Sydney in the town of Goulburn you’ll pass the Big Merino, a 15m high and 18m long sheep that commemorates the region’s wool industry and the town’s history. A little further down just off the highway in the town of Gundagai, the Dog on the Tuckerbox waits to be visited, a famous landmark that recalls the pioneering efforts of teamsters and their dogs in the early 1900s. Holbrook marks the halfway point on the journey and is the perfect place to stop for a rest and a play in the park where the HMAS Otway, a decommissioned navy submarine, has been moored. The submarine was once commanded by Norman Holbrook and the submarine was purchased by the town using funds gifted from his widow.
Named one of the best known and best looking state indicators, the Murray River runs through twin towns Albury and Wodonga where you cross the border from New South Wales to Victoria. These twin cities have a population of approximately 50,000 and is by far the biggest community you will pass through on the highway. Stop by the river in one of the many parks and refuel before heading back to the highway.
South of Wodonga is Ned Kelly country. If you detour to Glenrowan, Victoria, there is a large statue of Ned Kelly commemorating his last stand with the Kelly gang, and multiple museums dedicated to the bushranger.
If you’d like to take the scenic route, a short detour through Bright and Mount Buffalo National Park from Wangaratta will offer magnificent views during the summer and spectacular sights in winter, tiding you over for the last stretch of your journey.
To plan your trip from Sydney to Melbourne along the Hume, be sure to use the RACQ Trip Planner to find service centres and other stops along the way.
Image credit: Grant Williamson.