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Driving to the Darling River from Melbourne
The drive from Melbourne to the Darling River offers many options, even one via the Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles. Now that is a different option, and well worth it.
Regardless of the route, there is so much on offer with the border towns of Wentworth, Mildura and Echuca as options on the Murray River which borders New South Wales and Victoria.
Melbourne to Wentworth
The Calder Highway: (Distance = 570km approx)
The most direct route to Wentworth from Melbourne is along the Calder freeway and allows the traveller to experience a pleasant drive though the western districts of Victoria, up though the Mallee, onto Mildura then following the Murray downstream (westward) to Wentworth.
Wentworth is where the Murray and Darling rivers meet and the pefect place to start or end your Darling River Run adventure. Mungo National Park is a short drive from Wentworth and should be included in any trip through the lower Darling region of Outback NSW.
Great Ocean Road - 12 Apostles - Grampians - Mildura: (Distance = 1,205km approx)
By far the best route (if time permits), this tour via the Great Ocean Road, Cape Otway, the Grampians, Victoria's Mallee, and the Murray Riverland is specacular and can be done over a few days to really appreciate what western Vistoria has to offer.
The Great Ocean Road is regarded by many as the greatest coastal drive in Australia, and one of the Top 10 in the world. Taking in Torquay, Bells Beach, Anglesea, Lorne and Apollo Bay, the route then traverses Cape Otway.
The route then heads west along the spectacular Shipwreck Coast and the 12 Apostles, Port Campbell and finally, Warrnambool. Leaving the coast, the tour continues north though the dramatically changing Victorian landscape to the Grampians National Park and Halls Gap.
From The Grampians, it is a great drive up to the fruit growing region of Sunraysia (to Mildura) and then following the Murray downstream to its junction with the Darling River at Wentworth.
Melbourne to Bourke:
The Kidman Way: (Distance = 1,020km approx)
The Kidman Way, which starts at Jerilderie, is reached easily reached from Melbourne either via the Northern Highway to Echuca then the Cobb Highway to Deniliquin and then through Conargo to Jerilderie or via Shepparton and Tocumwal (Goulburn Valley Highway) then though Finley on the Newell Highway.
The journey along the Kidman Way takes in Darlington Point, Griffith, Hillston, and Cobar before reaching Bourke.
Melbourne to Walgett:
The Newell & Castlereagh highways: (Distance = 1,110km approx)
The drive from Melbourne to Walgett up the Newell highway makes a great country adventure through the Riverina via Finley, Narrandera, West Wyalong, Forbes, Parkes, Dubbo, and Gilgandra. From there, The Castlereagh Highway through Coonamble completes the journey to Walgett.