An eco-friendly EV road trip from Sydney to Melbourne
Driving from Sydney to Melbourne in an electric vehicle (EV) can be eco-conscious the whole way. From a minimal-waste cafe to wineries with chargers and eco-certified kayaking, here’s your guide to a green road trip.
Sydney to Berry
Food fuel is essential ahead of any good road trip. As you head out of Sydney drop into inner west favourite, and well-respected food-waste-hacker, Cornersmith. This family-run cafe in Annandale offers an acutely seasonal menu, featuring toasties and porridge made with produce donated by the local neighbourhood, house made preserves and jams, and baked goodies such as beetroot brownies.
Once you’ve had your sustainable treat, head toward the South Coast. First stop is Wollongong: a vibrant coastal city with a rainforest-covered escarpment to the west and rugged coastline to the east. While you’re in the city, drop into Cleaver and Co, an ethically and responsibly sourced butchery selling hand-cut meat. Grab some pork and fennel sausages or beef brisket burger patties and head to the free barbecues at North Wollongong Beach for a lunchtime cook-up.
Charge up: if you weren’t fully charged before setting off, Novotel Wollongong Northbeach offers free, three-phase Tesla charging for guests (it’s $5 per hour otherwise).
If you’d prefer dining out for lunch, drive inland toward Bowral to Centennial Vineyards. Centennial is part of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia, an organisation striving to improve sustainability in winemaking across environmental, social and economic aspects. Dawning Day Farms, in nearby Exeter, is part of the same initiative. Eschalot in Berrima is also a contender for your midday stop. The upmarket bistro’s menu highlights fresh local produce, with much of it grown on-site in the restaurant’s gardens and greenhouses.
Come nighttime, opt for an eco-friendly stay at the Shoalhaven's Bangalay Luxury Villas. The villas were designed and built using sustainable principles and the native landscaping surrounding the villas also supports the local ecosystem.
Charge up: if you’re in need of a powered rest stop, stay in the Berry area and book into Silos Estate for a night of vineyard-side sleep. While the estate doesn’t exclusively operate under an eco-friendly lens, it does offer super-fast EV charging.
Berry to Bega
Day two of your environmentally friendly EV road trip sees you head toward Bega. First stop is Nura Gunyu, near Burrill Lake. Nura Gunyu is an Aboriginal-led organisation providing education, bush food and cultural walks, workshops, camps and more. Keep an eye on its website and social media for updates on tour dates and availability.
Region X‘s kayak hire is a little further south near Mossy Point. Here you can hire a kayak for a self-guided tour of Tomago River, home to stingrays, soldier crabs, birds and much more. Region X is an ecologically sustainable tourism business, meaning your experience will leave a low carbon footprint with minimal environmental impact.
Southbound Escapes also offers eco-friendly experiences. Less than an hour further south from Mossy Point to Narooma, Southbound Escapes offers e-bike ‘pedal to produce’ tours where punters can embark on a private tour of Coxon's Oyster Farm, including an oyster tasting, followed by a ride along the coast to Big Niles Brewery for a craft beer tasting.
When it comes time to rest, the Tathra Beach Eco Camp is great eco option if you don’t need to charge overnight. The camp is nestled into Tathra’s bushland opposite Tathra Beach and offers powered and unplugged camp sites and a glamping option. There's also a chicken coop, kitchen garden, dedicated kangaroo resting area and a bush tucker garden.
Charge up: if you need to charge, book yourself and your vehicle into the Bodalla Dairy Shed Guest Rooms – it has one Tesla connector available for customers.
Bega to Eden
The final day of your journey, before you reach the border, will take you through the magnificent Sapphire Coast. The first stop along your drive is also in Tathra: Navigate Expeditions, an eco-certified tour company. The all-encompassing offering boasts immersive, regenerative travel experiences including bushwalking, kayaking, e-biking and other speciality tours.
A 40-minute drive south will see you arrive at the Pinnacles Loop Walking Track in the Beowa National Park. This gently undulating 1.1km trail immerses walkers among eucalypt and pine forest and offers views over the Pacific Ocean to Lennards Island in the south and Haycock Point in the north. The Bundian Way Story Trail, a little further south in Eden, is part of a greater 365km pathway Aboriginal people from Yuin, Ngarigo, Jaitmathang, Bidawal Country have walked for thousands of years. The 1.8km trail provides a snapshot of this incredible journey and features eight interpretive, information signs and incredible coastal vistas.
If you’re in the mood for one more hit of nature, consider a stop at Bittangabee Bay, just north of Wonboyn. The small bay features a scenic beach, ideal for secluded swimming and fishing, in a pristine, natural environment. Nearby Wonbyn Rock Oysters, a Sydney Rock oyster farm employing environmentally sensitive farming products and practices, is a great place to stock up for a luxurious beachside lunch.
Charge up: for your final night’s rest before crossing the NSW-Vic border, drop into the Seahorse Inn. This well-kept, luxurious secret set on Twofold Bay houses ocean- and garden-view suites and villas, along with two Type 2 charging outlets, free to use.