Canberra might be the nation's capital, but Sydney is its tourism capital, welcoming more than eight million visitors every year. The three-hour drive between the two cities isn't exhausting, but it can be too easy to miss these great attractions if you’re unfamiliar with the Hume Highway.
See the Big Merino
Image: maarjaara via Flickr
It'd be a shame to go past the Goulburn exit without seeing the Big Merino. Besides, how many opportunities do you get to see a concrete sheep standing more than 15 metres high? The massive manmade sheep, which is about an hour from Canberra, was built in 1985 to pay tribute to Goulburn's thriving wool industry.
You can admire him from the road, but it's worth stretching your legs and stepping inside his body to learn more about Australia's rich wool traditions and shop for your own wool items at the gift shop. Make sure you walk all the way to the top of the merino's head, so you can peer out his eyes and take in the view below.
Pay Tribute to The Don at the Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame
You needn't be a cricket nut to appreciate the talents of The Don. Arguably Australia's greatest sporting legend, Don Bradman's enduring legacy is remembered in his hometown of Bowral at the Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame. You'll find it around an hour and a half outside of Canberra in the beautiful Southern Highlands region. It's a great place to stop your road trip in your rental car to learn some history.
The museum has innovative interactive displays and exhibitions, which celebrate not just Bradman's career, but the achievements of Australian sides throughout history. The cricket-themed playground adjacent the museum has gas barbecues for lunch and plenty of space for children to stretch their legs.
Stroll the Japanese Gardens and Teahouse
Once you hit Campbelltown, the finish line is in sight. However, if the last half hour of your journey seems daunting, a stop at the Japanese Gardens and Teahouse can put you in a better frame of mind. This gift from Campbelltown's sister city, Koshigaya, was designed with Shinto and Zen Buddhist principles in mind. No matter what your beliefs, it's therapeutic to listen to the soothing sounds of its rock waterfalls and admire the manicured plants and ornamental Koi pond. The Campbelltown Arts Centre and its café also share the Japanese Gardens and Teahouse grounds.
Once You're in Sydney
Once you arrive in Sydney, you're spoiled for choice. Darling Harbour offers great food with water views, vibrant shopping opportunities, and the major tourist attractions of Wildlife Sydney Zoo, Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, and Madame Tussauds Sydney. Art lovers can get their fix at the Art Gallery of NSW and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.
Image credit: Jan Smith via Flickr
The view from the top of Luna Park's Ferris wheel is only rivalled by the one you'll enjoy climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. If all that sightseeing has left you feeling a little exhausted, you can enjoy Sydney at a slower pace from one of the harbour cruise ships or the sands of the city's famous beaches.
The NSW capital has more than its fair share of attractions, but there are so many great things to see along the way it's worth splitting your trip from Canberra to Sydney in half. With the convenience of your Bayswater Car Rental, you can see everything these two destinations have to offer.