Ready for a road-trip? Set your GPS for Canberra

Ready for a road-trip? Set your GPS for Canberra

Buckle up and enjoy the drive!

Fasten your seatbelts and get your playlist ready for your drive to Canberra, where one good thing after another awaits. Perfect for a weekend getaway or short break, Canberra is only three hours' drive from Sydney and eight hours from Melbourne, with plenty of picturesque scenery to keep you occupied along the way. So whether you’re a fan of highway driving or prefer to take the scenic route, look no further than Canberra for your next trip away. 

Driving from Sydney to Canberra

Direct driving route: 3.5 hours

Depart Sydney via the M5 tollway, connecting to Hume Highway 31. Turn left after Goulburn on to the Federal Highway to Canberra. The route from Sydney to Canberra is a dual carriage freeway.

Scenic drive routes

Option 1: Follow the coastal Princes Highway to Batemans Bay on the south coast. Turn onto the Kings Highway and head to Canberra via the historic towns of Braidwood and Bungendore.

Option 2: Take the Mittagong exit from the F5 Freeway and follow the Old Hume Highway through picturesque Mittagong, Bowral, Moss Vale and Sutton Forest. Rejoin the F5 to continue to Goulburn and Canberra. This route includes single carriage highway.

Driving from Melbourne to Canberra

Direct driving route: 8 hours

Follow the City Link tollway to the western ring road then join the Hume Highway. Near Yass, take the Barton Highway A25 turn off to Canberra. This route is a dual carriage freeway.

Scenic drive routes

Option 1: Follow the coast road through Genoa, Bairnsdale and Eden to Batemans Bay. Turn onto the Kings Highway and head to Canberra via the historic towns of Braidwood and Bungendore. This route includes single carriage highway.

Option 2: Take an inland drive through Bendigo, Echuca and Albury-Wodonga, then travel direct to Canberra. Alternately, take a scenic detour through the Snowy Mountains and Alpine region. Follow the Kosciuszko Road to Cooma, then follow the Monaro Highway to Canberra. This route includes single carriage highway.

A couple checks the map in front of their car on their way to Canberra.
You’ll be looking for excuses to stop when the scenery is this good. Image: Hamilton Lund – Destination NSW.

Some other delightful drives

The Capital, Coast and Country Touring Route is an unforgettable driving experience from Sydney to Australia’s capital. Journey through spectacular coastlines, picturesque historic townships, pristine national parks, world class national attractions and a plethora of foodie delights surrounding Canberra. Feeling especially hungry? Check out the gourmet highlights on the route.

History buffs will love the Sydney-Melbourne Heritage Drive, an inland self-drive route that brings Australia’s pioneering past to life. The route takes in Canberra, the mighty Murray River, as well as towns and villages built by early settlers, river traders and gold miners.  

Need somewhere to stay once you arrive? Choose from the wide range of Canberra accommodation options on offer and organise your perfect 'home away from home'.