Consider arriving the day before you absolutely have to be there. You can have a delayed flight which causes you to miss your connection with a cruise, a train or pre-booked tour group. Even before you arrive you spend your time on the flight wondering how on earth you are going to join the activity you have been planning on for over six months. Travel the day before, chill out and relax. You will have an extra night’s accommodation to pay for, think of the expense as part of your personal travel insurance.
Accommodation, especially if you have one or two days in a place location is critical as you do not want to spend your time travelling to and from places and activities. Location versus the cost of the accommodation is the tricky balancing act I have not always got it right myself.
Question one: Where do you want to go and in which direction? Check out Sydney to Melbourne classic road trip (one week). You can start in either Sydney or Melbourne. Perhaps the airlines are running specials to Melbourne, or you have family and friends in Sydney with a few extra days planned at the beginning of your road trip.