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A Road Trip from Sydney to Canberra - Your Aussie Adventure Itinerary

by Roxana Oliver

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The capital of Australia is located is located less than a four-hour drive south of the gem of New South Wales, Sydney. While the route from Sydney to Canberra is typically not that exciting if you’re following the M31 straight to your destination, there are numerous ways you can make your motorcycle trip more thrilling and enjoyable.

By straying off the beaten path a bit, and following the A1, M1, and then the A48 motorway until re-joining the M31 line after Wollongong, you can transform your motorcycle road trip from Sydney to Canberra into a scenic route full of exciting stops and sightseeing opportunities. Here is your essential adventure itinerary taking you from Sydney to Canberra.


Royal National Park



Photo credit: frugalfrolicker.com

Not an hour into your drive south from Sydney, you will be entering a magnificent expansive nature reserve – the Royal National Park. Home to rich wildlife and eucalyptus-rich bushland, you’ll want to spend the next few hours exploring the beautiful scenery, partaking in whale watching, heading up to the Bungoona Lookout overlooking the Hacking River and, if you can spare the time, head down to the Forest Path as well.



Photo credit: dolphinwatch.com.au

Your next two stops are just outside the national park – Sri Venkateswara Temple and the Symbio Wildlife Park. Make a quick stop here to revel in the beauty of the Hindu temple and its magnificent surroundings. The Symbio Wildlife Park is a great stop for all of you wildlife lovers, as the zoo is home to numerous exotic species, as well as some well-known Aussie critters. 






Following the Grand Pacific Drive south, you will get the chance to admire the expansive ocean as you approach the coastal city of Wollongong. Here, you will find everything your adventurous heart could want, from surfing Wollongong’s breaks and chilling out at the secluded beaches and natural coves to hang gliding from Bald Hill to the north.

Alternatively, you can use this opportunity to give your arms and legs a rest if you’re traveling by motorbike, and enjoy the beautiful coastal architecture of the city, soaking in the positive vibes, and having a nice, cold pint (non-alcoholic, of course) before heading back on the road. Wollongong is a great place to spend the night as well if you have the time to spare.


Lake Illawarra




Just a few minutes south of Wollongong lies Lake Illawarra, a beautiful gem overlooking the ocean to the east. Between Lake Illawarra and Wollongong lies a large Buddhist temple complex offering on-site lodging, a dining hall, and a museum. This is a great family destination, so if you’re not traveling by bike you might consider coach hire from Sydney instead, especially if you are traveling in a bigger group, or organizing a family excursion. Be sure to visit Port Kembla as well for some truly inspiring views.

The lake itself is home to numerous species, including pelicans, cormorants, musk ducks, hoary-headed grebes, black swans, black ducks, grey teal ducks, and herons. It’s popular for its fishing opportunities and snorkeling. If not for the recreational activities, it’s worth visiting for its beauty.


Lake George




Turning right from the M1 and joining the A48 highway at the Macquarie Rivulet, you will be able to enjoy a nice long drive without many interruptions, save for the upcoming Macquarie Pass National Park. This eight-kilometer (five-mile) road passing through the national park is surrounded by beautiful natural sceneries, and it’s definitely worth stopping and taking a few photos as well.

Upon joining the M31, you are in for a steady drive southwest until you reach Lake George by M23, just over two hours from Wollongong. This 25-kilometer (15-mile) long endorheic lake is a wonderful destination for hang gliding, or simply driving along the bank and experiencing the surrounding scenery.


Canberra wine district




From Lake George onward, it’s all wine regions and valleys surrounding the capital. This is the part of the road where you definitely want to hop off your metal steed and explore the finest of what Australian wineries have to offer.

All along the A23 road leading into Canberra, you have vineyards, wine houses, and cellars with guided tours, wine tasting, and lodging. Turn at the A25 to explore the wineries some more, or simply follow the A23 into Canberra where you will be greeted by the beautiful capital of Australia.


The Sydney-Canberra drive can be quite uninteresting to motorcyclists if you stick to the fastest route possible. However, by following this route and stopping at the right locations, you will have no problem creating a truly adventurous drive through the magnificent Aussie countryside.


Take the road less traveled and discover the rugged beauty of the world’s smallest continent on a motorcycle tour in Australia!

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