18 January 2017
Australia is a long way away, so while you are there it is best to make the very most of your visit. This Pacific Coast self drive tour, which begins in the stunning city of Sydney, where you pick up your car, and ends in Brisbane, where you drop it off, is designed for you to see all the sights along the way including the lush Hunter Valley wine growing region, Port Macquarie, Smiths Lake, Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay and lots of beautiful surfing beaches and spectacular scenery along the Gold Coast. This is undoubtedly one of the top drives you can take Down Under
Be sure to spend as much time as you can in Sydney before starting your journey. Visit the harbour, with its famous Opera House and coat hanger bridge, before picking up your rental car either at Sydney Airport or the city depot and beginning your tour. Leave the city and drive to the beautiful Hunter Valley wine growing region where you stay for your first night at the Hunter Valley Resort.
Today you drive the 220 miles to Port Macquarie. Leave the Hunter Valley and travel through Cessnock, Kurri Kurri to Raymond Terrace where you join the spectacular Pacific Highway. Just north of Bulahdelah, take a turn-off to Forster and Tuncurry. On the way to Forster, you will pass Smiths Lake. The drive to Forster and Tuncurry is very pretty. When you reach Port Macquarie, which is renowned for its eight beautiful beaches.
A 150 mile drive today to Coffs Harbour. In a short time you will be back on the Pacific Highway travelling north to Kempsey and Nambucca Heads. Visit the Koala Hospital where more than over 200 injured Koalas are housed each year and take a walk and talk tour at this very special facility. Nambucca Heads lies at the centre of the North Coast region, famous for its surf beaches, fresh oysters and seafood and the colourful Vee Wall where visitors can leave their mark. Drive inland and drop by the Pub With No Beer, which boasts its own range of boutique brews. Historic towns like Gladstones, Bellibrook, Bowraville, Dorrigo and Bellingen make great stopovers with their colonial and art deco shops.
Enjoy a full day at your leisure in Coffs Harbour, which is recognised as having the most liveable climate in Australia. The pretty town is nestled between a high mountain backdrop and dozens of unspoiled beaches. Today you can relax, go swimming and soak up the sun, have a surf lesson, or explore the surrounding area, much of which is farmland. In the evening try one of the may excellent restaurants in town.
Today you leave Coffs Harbour via South Grafton and Maclean. At Maclean, an interesting detour to take is to join the coast road to Yamba, which is a scenic and popular surfing beach and fishing resort. Later rejoin the Pacific Highway back at Maclean, travel through the town of Woodburn to Ballina. At Ballina, again leave the Pacific Highway and drive along the picturesque coast road through the pretty resort town of Lennox Head, to reach Byron Bay, where you stay tonight.
Say farewell to Byron Bay and take the Pacific Highway and travel via Brunswick Heads and Murwillumbah, crossing the New South Wales and Queensland border at the twin border towns of Tweed Heads and Coolangatta. Here you join the Gold Coast Highway and drive through Burleigh Heads to arrive at Surfers Paradise. A point of interest along the way is the Currumbin Sanctuary, a wildlife sanctuary near Coolangatta, where you can see a fine collection of Australian parrots, which come down to be hand-fed daily.
Today you drive the 50 miles to Brisbane, again using the Pacific Highway. Queensland's vibrant capital, is known for its laid back lifestyle, picturesque city skyline and lush parks. Enjoy shopping at Queen Street Mall, or explore the colourful weekend markets at South Bank. Visit the Gallery of Modern Art, or take a dip in the large man-made lagoon, complete with a sandy beach. Go on a City Cat cruise, one of the best ways of exploring this lovely river city, and stop for a meal at one of the excellent restaurants at Eagle Street Pier before dropping off your rental car at the city depot or Brisbane Airport.
Standard Rate fr £572pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated