According the Whereis, the preferred route from Brisbane to Melbourne is:
- via the Pacific Highway — 1788.0 km 19 hr, 2 min.
By way of comparison, travelling some alternative routes:
- via the Newell Highway — 1664.9 km, 20 hr 3 min
- via Bourke and the Kidman Way — 1900.7 km, 21 hr, 52 min
They are interesting statistics. Travelling via the Newell Highway takes 61 minutes longer, but is 123.1 km shorter.
Travelling via Bourke and the Kidman Way feel like you are going to the end of the earth, particularly in the stretch between Cobar and Hillston where there is no fuel for 250+ km. However, it is only an extra 112 km over the Pacific Highway route and takes and extra 2 hr 50 min!
I am not sure how Whereis works out its time figures, because I think I was definitely averaging higher average speeds on the Western routes because there were fewer towns with slow speed limits and the posted speed was generally higher.
Anyway, if you are travelling between Brisbane and Melbourne, and can spare an extra 3 hours, it is definitely worth seeing the most western sealed north-south road in New South Wales. Plan your stops, carry extra water, and be aware that mobile phone coverage is VERY limited out there (I hired a satellite phone).