Sydney to Brisbane via the Pacific Coast
Explore one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines in this 7 day track up the New South Wales coast to Queensland’s Gold Coast and on to Brisbane.
- Sydney to Port Stephens
- Port Stephens to Port Macquarie
- Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour
- Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay
- Byron Bay to Gold Coast
- Gold Coast to Brisbane
Distance: 965km Download: Sydney to Brisbane self-drive itinerary
Day 1. Sydney
Pick up your rental car or campervan this morning in Sydney. if collecting a camper allow at least 1 hour for collection and in order to familiarise yourself with the vehicle before you leave the branch.
Sydney is one of Australia’s most popular destinations, boasting many postcard pictures including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. The Sydney Harbour is the best place to see all the attractions, and once finished, jump on a ferry to Manly. There you will find some of Sydney’s world-class beaches and beautiful cafes, to sip your latte right on the waterfront.
Stay: NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park
Day 2. Sydney to Port Stephens
Depart this morning and take the M1 and follow through to the M2. Exit at Epping Road and take the A3. Take the ramp to the Pacific Highway and turn right onto the F3. Merge onto the M1 and then take the A1. Exit onto the B63 and follow until Port Stephens.
Grab your snorkels and go swimming at Fly Point Park. The vibrant underwater sea life is like no other, where you can swim up and close with the fish. If you’re up for more of a challenge, go swimming with dolphins at dawn. The once in a lifetime experience takes you close to the animals, guided by instructors who are full of marine life knowledge.
Distance: 208 km, 2 hours 35 minutes
Stay: BIG4 Koala Shores Port Stephens Holiday Park
Day 3. Port Stephens to Port Macquarie
Depart this morning and take the B63 to the A1 in Twelve Mile Creek. Follow the A1 and take the National Route 34 exit to get on the B56 in Sancrox. Follow the B56 until you reach Port Macquarie.
Take a tour of the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie. Walk around the grounds where sick Koalas are treated and recuperating from injuries, such as car accidents and dog attacks. Learn how local volunteers help to protect and save one of Australia’s cutest animals.
See Port Macquarie by foot and walk along the Googik Heritage Trail. Try and spot kangaroos, deer and birdlife as you weave through the Lake Innes Nature Reserve.
Distance: 249 km, 2 hours 40 minutes
Stay: Flynns Beach Caravan Park
Day 4. Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour
Depart this morning and follow the Pacific Highway to Coffs Harbour.
Take a photo in front of Coffs Harbour’s most iconic attraction, The Big Banana. Built in 1964, the Big Banana became a must-visit as tourists drive through Coffs Harbour. The icon has expanded to include the Big Banana Fun Park, a day full of rides and attractions to keep the whole family entertained. Bring a picnic and spend the whole day exploring each aspect of the park.
The Coffs Harbour Butterfly House is an award-winning attraction, allowing visitors the unique experience of walking amongst the butterflies. The indoor sub-tropical setting is set perfectly to the butterflies’ natural habitat, making it the perfect place to see these critters up close.
Distance: 159 km, 2 hours 10 minutes
Stay: Park Beach Holiday Park
Day 5. Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay
Depart this morning and follow the Pacific Highway to Ewingsdale. Follow Ewingsdale Road to Byron Bay.
Stone & Wood Brewing Company brew handcrafted beers, made and produced locally in Byron Bay. They often run tastings and tours of the brewery, offering an insight into the history and philosophy of the company, as well as the brewing process. Try their beer of the season or be more experimental and try from their pilot batch – new brews, which are being tried and tested.
Take a picnic to the Cape Byron Lighthouse, Australia’s most easterly point. From the Lighthouse, you can often see dolphins, turtles, and when in season, humpback whales. Explore the surrounding national park and hike up Mt Warning to see the giant volcano plug. The national park is full of picturesque waterfalls and fairy-like trees, the perfect escape for an afternoon.
Distance: 239 km, 2 hours 50 minutes
Stay: First Sun Holiday Park
Day 6. Byron Bay (NSW) to Gold Coast (QLD)
Depart this morning and take the M1 north into Queensland and on to Elanora. Take exit 92 towards Palm Beach and follow the Gold Coast Highway to the Gold Coast.
Gold Coast is home to Australia’s most popular theme parks. Warner Bros. Movieworld is proclaimed as “Hollywood on the Gold Coast”, boasting attractions from well-loved movies such as Scooby Doo and The Justice League. Wet’n’Wild is a waterpark, featuring multiple water slides and attractions, ranging from those who like the extreme, to those who enjoy a gentle paddle. Dreamworld is pitched to those with younger kids, offering rides themed from film and television shows such as Giggle and Hoot, and Madagascar.
The Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk allows you to walk among the treetops, with their cantilever bridge reaching the heights of 30 metres. Enjoy strolling through the forest floors as you slowly make your way up to the upper canopy.
Distance: 87 km, 1 hour 10 minutes
Stay: Gold Coast Holiday Park
Day 7. Gold Coast to Brisbane
Depart this morning and follow Rio Vista Boulevard until you reach State Route 90. Take the Pacific Motorway and follow to Brisbane.
Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland, which means there are loads of attractions to see! The Queensland Art Gallery| Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) are two buildings, split by the river in Brisbane’s South Bank. The galleries hold a collection of over 17,000 works, from artists both in Australia and internationally. The exhibitions are constantly changing, and you will always find something fresh and new in the building.
Suncorp Stadium is one of Australia’s premier sporting facilities, playing host to the Rugby League, Rugby Union Tests, State of Origin, Football Internationals and Concerts. Take a tour to learn the inner workings of such a big stadium, including the history behind developing a world-class stadium for rugby-mad Queenslanders.
When returning your campervan, allow up to 60 minutes at the depot.
Distance: 83 km, 1 hour
Stay: Brisbane Holiday Village
DriveNow's suggested itineraries are made available to assist travellers create and build personalised journey plans. DriveNow does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of these itineraries and they are provided as is and as advisory only.
Special caution and planning should be taken when travelling in remote areas to ensure sufficient provisions, fuel and prescribed medicines are carried.
Weather conditions can make sealed roads impassable particularly during the northern Wet season. All rental vendors in Australia have restrictions on where their vehicles can be taken, therefore it is recommended that you consult with your vehicle provider on your intended journey when collecting your vehicle. Travelling where restrictions are imposed voids all insurance cover.
You acknowledge that any reliance on or use of any itinerary shall be at your sole risk.