The Legendary Pacific Coast Road Trip between Sydney and Brisbane

Congratulations! You’ve booked a motorhome or campervan through Salamanda Travel and are looking forward to a self-drive holiday from Sydney to Brisbane (or Brisbane to Sydney). So the next thing is to find out what to do along the way. We will try and help you with that here.

Cheapa 6 Berth

The legendary Pacific Coast road is Australia’s national highway number one, stretches for approximately 1 000 km and is arguably Australia’s top tourist drive. On the way you will spot some signs showing the brown-coded scenic tourist route which points the way to some of the best beaches and most picturesque towns. It can be an adventure just to follow any of the Scenic Route drives without knowing where you will end up. Once there, you can visit local pubs and cafés – you never know who or what you’ll find. However, we also recommend planning some activities and places to visit before you start out on your road trip. Here is our list of some highlights along the way.

Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains National Park is one of the most popular national parks in Australia and just a short trip west of Sydney. The most famous attraction in the park is the ‘Three Sisters’ rock formation. It’s a spectacular landmark, and highly recommended. Explore The Blue Mountains Bushwalks which are extensive and impressive. If you are looking for a more adventurous way to see the ‘Three Sisters’, you could ride the steepest passenger skyway in the world, the Scenic Skyway. Glide between clifftops and gaze at the rainforest canopy through the glass floor of the Scenic Skyway! Or go horse riding, and take one of the segway tours where you can discover the spectacular beauty of riding in the Blue Mountains in a different way.

Blue Mountains 2

Newcastle
A few hours drive north of Sydney, Newcastle is located in the heart of the Hunter Region and bordered by a stunning coastline with beautiful beaches. Take a dip in the “Bogey Hole” which was hacked out by convict labour in 1819. Once you see the Bogey Hole in real life you will realise what an achievement this was by the convicts. It was constructed by order of a commandant for his own personal bathing use.

Port Stephens
Further north again, Port Stephens offers a unique diversity of activities, especially for tourists. It is well worth discovering the ‘Great Lake Marine Park’, which is a 98,000-hectare marine reserve. You can also enjoy other water-related activities. The marine park was established by the NSW Government in December 2005, and has since developed into a stunning habitat full of diverse wildlife thanks to its rich variety of ecosystems. Go on a camel riding tour or a quad tour and experience the thrill of riding over the vast sand dunes of Port Stephens.

Port Macquarie
Further north from there, Port Macquarie is a bustling town with stunning beaches. Port Macquarie is known as the “Koala Capital” of Australia. Visit the Koala Hospital and Wildlife Park. There is a free Koala Hospital tour at 3pm every day.

Coffs Harbour
Heading towards the northern part of NSW is Coffs Harbour. No matter in what time of year you visit Coffs harbour, the area won’t fail to entertain and delight. Did you always want to travel to Holland and see how clogs are built? You don’t have to travel to the other side of the world – visit the Clog Barn to find a little piece of Holland in Australia. Take a leisurely walk around the model Dutch village with its miniature working windmills and working miniature railway. All the models are replicas of actual buildings in Holland. Visit Big Oma’s Coffee House, and taste some of the Dutch specialties, like croquettes, frikendellen and poffertjes.

Coffs Harbour has more to offer than just clogs. “Coffs” has some outstanding beaches, such as Gallows, Park Beach, Diggers, Sapphire, Emerald, Sawtell, Sandy and more. A popular attraction is the Big Banana,  one of the most photographed objects in Australia. Other attractions include a downhill taboggan ride, an ice skating rink and a waterslide.

Byron Bay

Byron Bay
On the way from Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay, make sure you visit South West Rocks and Scott’s Head along the way. They both have a caravan park overlooking beautiful beaches. Byron Bay iself is recognized as one of the homes of alternative lifestyle culture in Australia. Make a short scenic journey into Byron’s hinterland to Crystal Castle  to see a slice of the alternative lifestyle. In Byron Bay itself, you can hike to Cape Byron Lighthouse, the most easterly point in mainland Australia. It is definitely worth the walk for the amazing view. Don’t forget to try ‘Stand Up Paddling,  it’s one of the fastest growing sports, and there is no better place to try stand up paddling then in Byron!

Gold Coast
The Gold Coast is THE holiday destination for a lot of Aussies and tourists as well, due to the sunny subtropical climate, surfing beaches and plenty of nightlife, family entertainment, shopping and hotels. Apart from this, the Gold Coast has a lot of different theme parks, such as Dream World, Warner Bros Movie World, Sea World. Another popular attraction is the Tamborine rainforest skywalk. The skywalk is a great way of exploring the rainforest – during your walk you will be able to observe the diverse flora and fauna the rainforest has to offer from a birds eye view.

Brisbane Kangaroo Point lookout Brisbane

Brisbane
Your final destination is Brisbane – a town that offers plenty of things to do. At the Cultural Precinct at South Bank, visit the Gallery of Modern Art, the Queensland Museum, take the family for a swim at the “City Beach” at South Bank, or cruise over the river on the frequent ferries. Plan a trip down the Brisbane River on the special ‘Bat Cruise” to observe the flying foxes that take off each sunset to go foraging for fruit across Brisbane. There is also Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary at Fig Tree Pocket, just a short trip downriver by ferry where besides koalas you will see plenty of other Australian wildlife. The city itself offers plenty of shopping and historic buildings such as the Brisbane City Hall at King George Square, and then in the city on the river’s edge is the Brisbane Botanic Gardens. For more information, check out the Visit Brisbane website.

New Zealand in a Campervan – A Snow Fields Road Trip

Been bitten by the snow bug and the travel bug at the same time? Then you should definitely visit the beautiful snow fields of New Zealand in wintertime. You can travel around New Zealand and try out the different ski areas as well.Apollo Euro Tourer

The south island of New Zealand offers lots of stunning areas to discover. Hire a motorhome from Salamanda Travel so you can enjoy your own outdoor adventure to the max. The greatest thing about renting a motorhome is that you and your fellow travellers are independent and can decide for yourselves where and when you’ll go. You’ll be free as a bird, you can stay flexible and decide to stay at one of the snowfields a bit longer than you planned. But we don’t recommend staying in one place for the whole trip, because there is lots to discover in New Zealand.

If you are able to head to New Zealand right now and if you are a massive snowfield lover, we recommend hiring a motorhome and doing a round trip through the south island. Christchurch is a good location to start and end your trip. Not just because of the international airport, but you can start your trip right away. Pick up your motorhome  and drive directly to the “Porters ski field”, and within two hours you will be standing on one of New Zealand’s magnificent snowfields, where beginners can join a class and the skilled discover the right terrain for them.

The second stop should be the Franz Josef Glacier, where you can discover Heli-hiking. Yes, it is exactly what you think. First you will fly in the helicopter to the Glacier with the finest panoramic view and then your guide and your group will hike amongst the ice caves and the seracs while be told all about the astonishing glacier – an experience you will never forget.

Travel along to Mount Cook, which is New Zealand’s highest mountain at 3.724 meters. Mount Cook will take your breath away; it’s the home of the kiwi adventures. The greatest thing about the Mount Cook area is that there are lots of different activities; go on a 4WD Argo Adventure, take a dip into one of the hot Tekapo Spings Pools  or take a tour and visit the amazing Tasman Glacier.

Drive towards Wanaka, where you must book one of the ‘Heli-Skiing’ tours. Again, yes it is exactly what you think. First you will fly in a helicopter to the mountain, take a deep breath and ski or board down the untouched powder-snow. It’s the ultimate snow adventure for both skiers and snowboarders.

When you love adventure, Queenstown is definitely not a city you can skip. There are tons of activities to  participate in, especially if you are an adrenaline junkie.  This town offers different bungee jumps, sky swings, jet boat rides, sky diving, paragliding, parasailing and many more activities. Next to this, Queenstown offers four excellent snowfields within easy reach of the town during winter.

After Queenstown it will be time to return to Christchurch, but not before you’ve stoped in Timaru. Timaru is the second largest city in Canterbury, with everything you need for a pleasant stopover. Here you can capture the spirit of the region, which means tasting the local flavours when you join a South Canterbury Food & Wine Trail, the perfect ending to a holiday you will never forget!