We are about to take you on one of the best road trips in all of Australia. The trip from Sydney to Brisbane is called the Legendary Pacific Coast Drive. Sydney is in New South Wales and Brisbane is the capital of Queensland is 950 km to the north right along the coast. In one shot, it can be done in about 12 hours but for this road trip, you will want to take at least a week to enjoy all the beautiful coastal sights along the way. Of course, you can travel from Brisbane south to Sydney or vice versa. A four wheel drive vehicle won’t be required, but there are some excursions you might want to take that you would need a four wheel drive vehicle to see everything. The good news is that you can hire a 4WD or all-terrain vehicle or truck from Budget Trucks locations in both Brisbane and Sydney. Even better news, there is almost always a special offer on one way rentals, so if you aren’t planning on driving the round trip, you can take advantage of this great deal and avoid paying extra for a one way truck rental. There are so many places you can stop and so much to see along the way. In addition to coastal destinations and beaches, just inland there are national parks, rainforests, mountains, and more. Here are some of the highlights you might check out while on this fantastic coastal road trip journey.
Port Stephens is a great spot for dolphin and whale watching. In fact, it is the dolphin watching capital of Australia, so even if it isn’t whale watching season, you can likely see dolphin frolicking off the coast. Boat charters are abundant but there are also plenty of vantage points and lookouts right along the coast.
South West Rocks
South West Rocks is a quiet coastal city with a rich history and culture. It is warm and sunny all year, so beach fun and surfing are very popular. It is where one of the many natural rock pools Australia is known for is. Other popular features of South West Rocks include Fish Rock Island’s underwater cave, the Smoky Cape Lighthouse, Hat Head National park, and the Hastings-Macleay Important Bird Area.
Coffs Harbour is another excellent spot for whale watching cruises. Whale watching season runs from June to November; however, you can charter a boat for sightseeing, snorkelling, fishing, or just cruising around anytime of the year. In addition to Dorrigo National Park being one of the top spots to visit in Coffs Harbour, it is a great destination for families with Big Banana theme park, Dolphin Marine Magic, and the Butterfly House.
Just before reaching the city of Yamba you will pass Yuraygir National Park. The unique red sand cliffs are definitely a unique site to see. Yamba is a coastal city and is known for some of the best fishing in the region and therefore, has a very large fleet of fishing charters. Of course, beach side cafes, surfing, and swimming are all popular too.
Lismore and Kyogle
As you continue your road trip northward, Kyogle and Lismore are two towns located in the mountains and rainforest just about a 30 minute drive inland from the coast. They are well worth the excursion to see Border Ranges National Park, Nightcap National Park, Toonumbar National Park and the quaint mountain towns. Kyogle is the gateway to the rainforest where you can explore Kyogle Botanical Gardens.
As you continue north and head back to the coast, Byron Bay is one of the ultimate coastal cities and a very popular beachside vacation spot. It is the easternmost point on mainland Australia. The Byron Bay Lighthouse is one of the must-see sights in Byron Bay. The rest of the best of Byron Bay is off the coast, you can learn to surf, go kayaking, snorkelling, or frolic on the beach.
Tweed Heads is right on the border of Queensland. Tweeds Head is a coastal town so there is plenty more fun in the sun and beaches to be had plus you can take a Tweed River cruise, visit the Fingal Lighthouse, checkout the view from Danger Point, or explore the region from the Aboriginal perspective at the Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre. If you want to see more national parks, Lamington and Springbrook are nearby.
Gold Coast is known for amazing beaches and being the theme park capital of Australia. The theme parks located here include WB Movie World, Dreamworld, Seaworld, Wet n’ Wild, and White Water World.
Surfer’s Paradise is just north of Gold Coast. The beaches are lined with luxury high rises and Surfer’s Paradise is known for its wild nightlife and bar scene. That means holiday goers can enjoy the beach and waves all day, then party all night. From Surfer’s Paradise, you have less than 80 km to go to get to Brisbane. Enjoy your road trip and don’t forget to explore as much as you can along the way!