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.

Australia in a Campervan – a weekend trip from Sydney

Finally, a free weekend! The typical travel recommendation for taking a holiday in New South Wales is to visit the beautiful city of Sydney! Climb the Harbour Bridge, take in the spectacular view of Sydney Opera House from the Manly ferry and surf at Bondi Beach.

But what about the locals who have already climbed the Harbour Bridge twice, who see the Opera House every morning on the way to work and who regularly surf at Bondi Beach? They want to leave the city on their free weekends, but where do they go?

Hop in a campervan you have booked through Salamanda Travel and get ready for a great weekend getaway, Sydney’s surrounding areas offer a variety of places to see and activities to escape from the fast pace of the city.

Our supplier’s Sydney campervan hire location is only 11 km from the city centre. Once checked in and after the vehicle show-through is complete, you are as free as a bird to start your adventure across this beautiful region.

Go whale spotting at Whale Beach – 50 minutes
Whale beach is a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery. It is beautiful and one of the least crowded of the northern beaches. The beach is hidden away south of Palm Beach and the approach to Whale Beach from either directions is spectacular. Go up to the cliff and you might see plenty of whales showing up during the sunset, don’t waste your money on whale watching cruises, just buy a $3 parking ticket.

Climb the Blue Mountains – 1 hour
The Blue Mountains national park is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage. The most famous attraction in the national park are the ‘Three Sisters’ rock formation. It is the most spectacular landmark, and definitely a must-see.  Explore The Blue Mountains Bushwalks which are spectacular. When you want a more adventures way to see the ‘Three Sisters’, you should catch the steepest passenger skyway in the world, the Scenic Skyway. Glide between cliff tops and gaze at the rainforest canopy through the glass floor of the Scenic Skyway! The Blue Mountains are easily accessible via Katoomba and only two hours from the harbour city of Sydney which will be easy with your campervan.

Hike the Royal National Park, Bundeena – 1 hour
The Royal National Park, know to locals as the ‘Nasho’ or ‘the Royal’, is the worlds second-oldest national park. It contains a wide variety of terrains and it is perfect for a bush-walk to see the fascinating plants or for a hike along the dramatic coastal cliffs. Pack your picknic and head down to Garie Beach in your Salamanda camper for a surf.

StarRV_PhoenixRV_4Berth_PicnicGo fishing at Jervis Bay – 1 ½ hours
Jervis Bay beaches are world famous for their white sands and crystal clear waters. Walk the beach at Jervis Bay beaches and witness for yourself the stunningly white — and uncrowded — beaches. If you like fishing you should visit Jervis Bay. It is well known for its abundance and variety of marine life, whether you fish on land or from a boat, there is a great variety of fish here.

Observe the the Kiama Blow Hole – 1 ½ hours
Kiama is an idyllic little town, with lots of nice cafés & unique shops. However the main attraction is the Blow Hole. Wait for high tide and the south-easterly winds for a spectacular 260 degree view. Don’t forget to follow the coast south, it is a pleasant walk to the little blow hole, which on some days is even better then the main blow hole.

Take a dip in the Bogey Hole – 2 hours
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. The hole was hacked out by convict labour in 1819. Once you the Bogey Hole yourself you will realise what an achievement this was. It was constructed for personal use by order of a commandant.

Discover the ‘Great Lake Marine Park’ in Port Stephens – 2½ hours
Port Stephens offers a unique diversity of activities.  Discover the ‘Great Lake Marine Park’, which is a 98,000-hectare marine reserve. You can enjoy eco-tourism activities such as diving, snorkelling, surfing, swimming, take a boat tour or spot dolphins and whales. 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.
StarRV_AquilaRV_2Berth_CoupleLifestyle_Champagne-Get tipsy in the Hunter Valley – 3 hours
If you have a passion for wine, you should definitely visit the Hunter Valley. It is home to some of the oldest wine families of Australia. They produce a range of tempting wines that use traditional methods and techniques. Visitors describe the Hunter valleys as charming, romantic and picturesque. But remember, don’t drink and drive in your campervan. Give your campervan the afternoon off, there is a wide range of wine tours; which can pick you up and drop you back off to your camp site.

Surf & Golf at Mollymook – 3 hours
Mollymook is one of the South Coast’s most popular beaches. The golden stretch of sand has ideal conditions for experienced surfers and anyone else who is keen to learn to surf. Besides its gorgeous beach, Mollymook also offers two golf courses with absolutely spectacular views.

Ski the Snowy Mountain – 5 hours
Across all four seasons, the Snowy Mountain Australia’s ultimate playground is a true alpine wilderness and offers a long list of year-round activities. The roots of Australia’s Indigenous culture stretches back thousands of years. Immerse yourself in Aboriginal culture and take a Wiradjuri Wonders Tour in the Snowy Mountains. A must-do is one of the Segway Eco Tour, they offer the highest Segway tour in Australia at 1200m above sea level, a unique ‘off piste’  experience. In addition, visit the Yarrangobilly Caves. The location is divine; breathtaking scenery, kangaroos, fantastic bushwalks and spectacular rock formations. After you’ve visited the Caves, don’t forget a dip into the thermal pool.