The quickest way by car to get from Sydney to Melbourne is via the Hume Highway. Most of the way the Hume bypasses most of the towns that it used to connect, making it a bit hard to plan your stops. Here are the places I stop at when travelling through.
Goulburn, NSW (180km)
Take the second exit to Goulburn (after the town) and you arrive at the Big Merino. Conveniently located next to a mobile service station, McDonalds and a great bakery, it is really close to the highway.
Gundagai, NSW (170km)
5 miles before you get to Gundagai on the highway, is a reststop commemorating “the dog on the tuckerbox”. A pretty lame story and statue, at least there is a park to wander around it (for dogs, too) and a big BP servo with a decent food court.
Holbrook, NSW (120km)
The Hume actually travels through Holbrook, so you don’t need to go out of your way at all to enjoy the sights of this landlocked submarine. A good toilet stop, with cafe next to the sub for a quick pick me up. The only big thing on this journey you can climb up. Still spectacular at night.
Wangaratta, VIC (140km)
You have to get off the highway for Wangarrata, but the bypass doesn’t really take you much out of the way. Lots of nice restaurants in town (we enjoyed Thai) and the only Vicorian town I know a song to.
Melbourne, VIC (240km)
Arrive at your destination ready for a walk and a sleep or coffee, depending on the time of day.
Note – Most of the Hume is dual lane, dual carriageway but the part between Gundagai and Albury is single lane each way. That part of the journey requires concentration and patience, as well as good luck (or timing) to avoid as many of the huge trucks on the road as you can which are both intimidating to the much smaller car and slow when you are fast and fast when you are slow. The journey takes about 8 hours full throttle, but Priscilla and I tend to take 10-11 once stops are included.