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Road Tripping – Sydney to Gold Coast

  • August 26, 2015
  • By 50 Shades
  • 22 Comments
Road Tripping – Sydney to Gold Coast

Road tripping from Sydney to the Gold Coast, being a meagre 840 kms, is easily doable in two weeks with stops along the way at some of the great seaside villages dotting the Pacific Coast.

The legendary Pacific Coast drive will take you to the Central Coast towns of Terrigal and Avoca; the huge expanse of the city of Lake Macquarie; the yachstmen’s paradise of Port Stephens; the Great Lakes area and fishermen’s favourite Forster/Tuncurry;  the timberland area and city of Port Macquarie: the magnificent sub-tropical Coffs Coast and Coffs Harbour; the North Coast surfing meccas of Yamba, Angourie, Evans Head, Lennox Head, Broome Head and Byron Bay; and finally to the green cauldron of the Tweed Coast which takes you across the border into Queensland and the Gold Coast.

Stops 1 & 2 – The Central Coast

Central Coast-Lake Macquarie

Terrigal, The Entrance, Lake Macquarie & Caves Beach

Travelling one hour north of Sydney is the Central Coast and the twin towns of Terrigal and Avoca both with beautiful beaches and a refreshing sea change from the over-populated beaches of Sydney.

Terrigal features the iconic Skillion which is the most prominent landmark of the region, with a steep cliff facing the ocean rising to a convenient lookout area that is easily accessed by a flat grassy area leading up from the reserve.

Avoca Beach stretches between two dominating rocky headlands and is renowned for surfing and an upmarket holiday resort area.

A further 15 kms is The Entrance which has the best of two worlds; with great surfing beaches and a large lake known as Tuggerah Lake.

Australia’s largest inland salt lake, Lake Macquarie, which covers and area of 110 square kms, is only 130 kms north of Sydney. Linking the lake, beaches and mountains are more than 90 villages including TorrontoMorissetWarners BaySwansea and Belmont, offering great boating facilities, surfing beaches and heritage-listed towns throughout the area. You could easily wile away a few days on this magnificent waterway.

Stop 3 – Hunter Valley

Hunter Valley Vineyards

Hunter Valley Vineyards

A small detour of 136 kms inland from Lake Macquarie, is the Hunter Valley Wine Region. It is definitely worthy of a stop on your Pacific Coast road trip, particularly if you enjoy a drop of wine. A Hunter Valley getaway offers a taste of the good life. Australia’s most visited wine region is home to more than 150 top-class wineries, vineyards and cellar doors as well as superb restaurants.

Stop 4 – Port Stephens

Port Stephens - Shoal Bay, Nelson Bay, Tomaree NP & Soldiers Point

Port Stephens – Shoal Bay, Nelson Bay, Tomaree NP & Soldiers Point

The yachtsmen’s paradise of Port Stephens features 25 beaches with sheltered bays and stunning surf breaks and is 207 kms from Sydney. The gleaming oceans are full of marine life such as bottle-nosed dolphins, visiting whales and there is plenty of fresh seafood to be devoured in the local restaurants and fish markets.

Stop 5 – The Great Lakes/Forster-Tuncurry

Forster-Tuncurry

Forster-Tuncurry

At the Northern tip of the Great Lakes, the twin towns of Forster-Tuncurry, which are separated by a kilometre long bridge, are where Wallis Lake meets the ocean. The twin townships, 303 kms north of Sydney, are surrounded by National Parks and feature majestic headlands and long secluded beaches. Boating, fishing, diving, paddling, cruises, whale watching and coastal walks combine with galleries, unique shopping and award-winning restaurants create an exceptional coastal destination.

Stop 6 & 7 – Port Macquarie & Camden Haven

North Haven Beach & River

North Haven Beach & River

Port Macquarie extends from the mouth of the Hastings and Camden Haven Rivers west to the Great Dividing Range, with a coastline of 84kms. The main towns within the Greater Port Macquarie region are Port Macquarie, Wauchope, Laurieton, North Haven, Dunbogan, Comboyne, Kendall, Kew, Bonny Hills and Lake Cathie.

Port Macquarie & Lake Cathie

Port Macquarie & Lake Cathie

Greater Port Macquarie is a treasure trove of impressive convict built buildings, Pacific Ocean, golden beaches, pristine rivers, lush rainforests and abundant wildlife and is 384 kms north of Sydney and roughly half way to the Queensland border.

Stop 8 – Crescent Head

Crescent Head

Crescent Head

Crescent Head on the mid NSW North Coast is surrounded by some of the most stunning natural environments in the State. As well as long stretches of coastline with fabulous beaches, there is a string of coastal national parks to explore. Crescent Head has one of the best right-hand point breaks in the world, and the town is one of the hot spots of international surfing.

Stop 9 & 10 – Coffs Coast

Urunga Heads, Sawtell & Woolgoolga

Urunga Heads, Sawtell & Woolgoolga

The sub-tropical Coffs Coast is a breathtaking tapestry of colour, encompassing quaint villages, national parks, mountain escarpments, 90 km of sandy beaches, islands and marine reserves.  Coffs Harbour is the regions hub, surrounded by the delightful seaside and hinterland communities of Bellingen, Sawtell, Urunga, Woolgoolga and is 532 kms north of Sydney.

Red Rock & Corindi

Red Rock & Corindi

Only 36 kms north of Coffs Harbour are the seaside villages of Red Rock and Corindi. Red Rock is a small holiday village in the northern beaches of the Coffs Harbour coast beside the banks of the Red Rock River. Whilst the adjacent village of Corindi is another idyllic seaside holiday destination.

Stop 11 – North NSW Coast Surfing Meccas

Angourie, Yamba, Evans Head & Lennox Head

Angourie, Yamba, Evans Head & Lennox Head

At the mouth of the Clarence River is the coastal town of Yamba, a beach lover’s paradise with excellent beaches for swimming and surfing and is 672 kms north of Sydney. Only a short drive away is Australia’s first surfing reserve and famous point break of Angourie. Both places are perfect for family holidays or short breaks with great camping facilities.

A further 70 kms north is the town of Evans Head which is an old-fashioned beach town surrounded by national parks, with 6 km of surfing beaches and pretty coastal scenery. It has one of the largest caravan parks in NSW and is extremely popular family holiday spot.

Travel 56 kms to the surfing mecca of Lennox Head which is a quiet seaside village situated at the southern end of Seven Mile Beach between Ballina and Byron Bay. Surfers know the beach well for its internationally famous right-hand point break, whilst Lake Ainsworth on the northern end of Lennox Head is renowned for its distinctive blue-brown waters caused by the surrounding tea trees.

Stop 12 – Byron Bay

Byron Bay

Byron Bay

A must see on the Pacific Coast road trip is the laid-back unspoilt town of Byron Bay which is 775 km north of Sydney.  From the lush hinterland to the sparkling beaches on the coast, the region is full of natural wonders. Byron Bay is a melting pot of surf culture, alternative philosophies and hedonistic indulgence.

Stop 13 – Tweed Coast

Hastings Point, Cabarita & Pottsville

Hastings Point, Cabarita & Pottsville

Almost at the doorstep to the Gold Coast is the far northern NSW Tweed Coast. The Tweed Coast stretches from world-famous Byron Bay in NSW to Queensland’s sun-drenched Gold Coast and is dotted with small fishing villages where you can enjoy an Aussie beach holiday swimming at safe patrolled beaches or paddling a kayak up the creek.

Stop 14 – Gold Coast

Coolangatta, Burleigh Heads, Miami & Surfers Paradise Beaches

Coolangatta, Burleigh Heads, Miami & Surfers Paradise Beaches

Depending on your personal preference for holiday destinations, the Gold Coast is possibly the most sought after beach holiday experience in Australia and maybe even in the world. Here you can discover a city experience with great shopping, nightlife and entertainment, tourist attractions, glamorous high-rise accommodation and top-class restaurants, whilst enjoying the beach. With a full range of water activities, you can surf, dive or snorkel, explore national parks and the thrills of the many theme parks. The Gold Coast is 840 kms from Sydney and with such so much to see and do, could not possibly be seen in one day!

Do you go on road trips? Which ones have you been on?

Linking up with Wednesday Wonderlust

 

 

 

 

 

By 50 Shades, August 26, 2015 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

22 Comments
  • Johanna
    August 26, 2015

    Every time I read about your East Coast road trips I want to pack up and head over. Somehow in my head I have that I’d like to live and retire around Coff’s Harbour, but don’t ask me where that urge comes from because we’ve never visited! Your pics are delightful and you tell us just enough to pique our interest and not too much to make me want to skim through. Yes, I’m planning a road trip (dreaming to make it happen) and will be following your recommendations ;)

    • Kathy
      August 26, 2015

      The East Coast is pretty special. I don’t know how many times I have taken this drive along the Pacific Coast – far too many to count. But each time we try to stop at somewhere different and we are never disappointed. There are hundreds of fabulous places to see and enjoy! :)

  • Lyndall from Seize the Day Project
    August 26, 2015

    There are so many beautiful beaches along our Pacific Coastline. Love your photos Kathy. You reminded me about the Hunter Valley too – such a lovely place to visit and do some wine tasting.

    • Kathy
      August 26, 2015

      We are very blessed with so many great spots between here and Sydney. Over the years we have explored so many of these gorgeous little seaside towns along the coast. The Hunter Valley is also very special. :)

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    August 26, 2015

    I’m so excited we’ll have access to all these places next year! Bring it on! I have rellies that live in Port Macquarie too.

    • Kathy
      August 26, 2015

      You will be off road tripping every weekend! Port Macquarie is a lovely spot, but so are all of the other places along the Pacific Coast. I really love Northern NSW. :)

  • samselim
    August 26, 2015

    We are doing a 6 week campervan trip from Melbourne to Cairns next April and I always get so excited when I read different blog posts on parts of our journey! Your pictures are stunning, so can’t wait to see all of this for ourselves :-)

    • Kathy
      August 27, 2015

      That will be a great road trip and 6 weeks will be the perfect amount of time to do it in. The South Coast from Sydney to the Victorian border is also very pretty. Also the drive Brisbane up to Cairns has some spectacular countryside. Enjoy! :)

  • Ruth
    August 27, 2015

    I am in full envy mode right now ;0) I love road trips and this one looks like an epic one. You photos are simply amazing. It is almost impossible to count the number of beautiful beaches you encountered.

    • Kathy
      August 27, 2015

      Yes road trips are the best! Particularly when there is spectacular scenery to devour and interesting little coastal villages to explore. I think Australia does have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. But I am biased!

  • Cerys
    August 27, 2015

    I love road trips – I know when we go to Australia this will be one of our trips (along with the train over to Perth!) and love your pictures that have given me a glimpse and some inspiration to sit down with my guidebooks and maps and start planning.

    • Kathy
      August 27, 2015

      And I have only just touched the surface of great road trips in Australia! Australia is such a massive place, but I can tell you that this road trip is definitely a winner. Thanks for visiting my blog. :)

  • Malinda (@MBPaperPackages)
    August 30, 2015

    This has to be one of the best road trips to do in Australia and one that I have done a fair few times since I was a wee little one. Still love it.
    Thanks for linking up for #wednesdaywanderlust

    • Kathy
      August 31, 2015

      Isn’t it just the best road trip? We have done it many times and each time we stop somewhere new along the Pacific Coast. There are so many gorgeous place to see along the drive. :)

  • Life Images by Jill
    September 2, 2015

    We are yet to visit this part of Australia, but hopefully in the next few years. Thanks for the great travellog. I will have to bookmark your post for later reference. Thanks Kathy.

    • Kathy
      September 3, 2015

      Jill you will love the East Coast of Australia. There is so much diversity and unlike the West Coast, you only have to drive for half an hour and you are at another town. It is much more populated over here, however it is still possible to find some quieter spots that aren’t that busy. :)

  • Linda ~ Journey Jottings
    September 7, 2015

    I love the way you have stressed each point with a numbered STOP!
    It’s all too easy on a road trip to keep on driving and miss the undiscovered nooks and crannies between the petrol stations!
    I hope everyone notes that you only get to see all those wonderful beaches if you turn off the Highway and do as you say… Stop :)

    • Kathy
      September 8, 2015

      Thanks Linda. You are so right about ensuring that you don’t just try to go from point A to point B. You really have to take the time to stop and explore the little coastal villages along the North NSW coast. That is why I recommend at least a 2 week road trip. Thanks for dropping by my blog. :)

  • Red Nomad OZ
    September 7, 2015

    It’s ALL good up that coast, isn’t it?! I haven’t done the trip as often as you have, but one of our favourite spots is South West Rocks! We stumbled upon it a few years ago, and it was an excellent base from which to explore the whole area, including Pt Macquarie, Hat Head, Crescent Head etc. And the bakery is AWESOME!

    • Kathy
      November 15, 2015

      Oh yes South West Rocks is a wonderful place to stay. We have stayed here a couple of times camping with our kids at Christmas when they were young. Love Trail Bay and the Lighthouse.

  • Michele Peterson (A Taste for Travel)
    September 9, 2015

    Wow, there’s no shortage of stunning scenery when road tripping Sydney! And there’s barely a cloud in the sky too – heaven! I really do have to get to Australia one day.

    • Kathy
      September 9, 2015

      It is a very stunning road trip Michele. I hope you get to come and see our wonderful country one day. Thanks for dropping by my blog. :)

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