The Hume Highway (Hume Freeway) is one of Australia's most important and notable interstate highways which runs for 880 km inland between Sydney and Melbourne. It is part of the Auslink National Network and is a vital link for road freight to transport goods to and from the two cities as well as serving Albury, Wodonga and Canberra.
The hume highway is a particularly fast route for hitching; there is a lot of traffic going all the way between these cities. Melbourne and Sydney are the largest cities in Australia and the Hume is the shortest route between them, so there is a lot of truck traffic as well as people travelling between the cities. If you get lucky, you may be able to catch a ride all the way.
To get onto this route Louisa and Liam caught a train to Craigeyburn (the northernmost suburb of Melbourne) and then walked around 500m to the highway. There is a shopping complex next to the highway for those last minute supplies as well; if you ask at the station they can tell you how to get there (but its right next to the highway anyhow).
Hitching this route is facilitated by heaps of large and well-advertised rest stops that combine service stations and fast food restaurants. Most people taking a break along the highway will choose to use one of these stops so they make for great places to get a ride. Generally the personal approach works better then standing by the highway: when people are travelling slowly or stopped at a rest point, they have time to evaluate you and decide whether or not they'll give you a lift. Talking to people can also demonstrate that you're safe to give a ride to. In contrast, even if someone driving past would give you a lift, they only have seconds to decide to stop and pick you up.
Louisa and Liam covered this in about 12 hours, but we heard others in the competition did it in nine. They waited nearly two hours for the first ride by the side of the Hume Hwy at Craigeyburn, but thereafter got rides within 15~20 minutes each time at rest stops and service stations.