DAY 01: Sydney to Blue Mountains (100 km)
Departing Sydney for the picturesque Blue Mountains, cross over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and drive through the trendy suburbs of Sydney before hitting the highway. Make the time to stop at the Featherdale Wildlife Park (own expense) to meet the local animals. Have your photo taken with a koala, kangaroo or emu and a quick bite to eat before heading up into the hills.
DAY 02: Blue Mountains
Today is at your leisure, take a trip to Scenic World and ride the Scenic Railway, the steepest incline railway in the world. Or take the Cable Way over the forest and enjoy the spectacular view.
DAY 03: Blue Mountains to Hunter Valley (247km)
Following the highway north, today you are heading out of the Blue Mountains, towards the Hunter Valley. The Hunter Valley is a world renowned wine region, filled with luscious gardens, vineyards and friendly cellar doors. Pick up a few bottles of local wine to enjoy over dinner and take a walk through the extensive Hunter Valley gardens where you might just find yourself in the middle of a fairy tale.
DAY 04: Hunter Valley to Port Macquarie (271 km)
Depart Hunter Valley and travel on towards Newcastle. Stop for lunch and a stretch of your legs at Taree, the centre of the Manning River district before continuing North on to Port Macquarie, one of the oldest towns in New South Wales.
DAY 05: Port Macquarie to Byron Bay (396 km)
Travel north to Kempsey, on the way to Coffs Harbour, the capital of the Holiday Coast. The highway follows the coast to the seaside town of Woolgoolga then turns inland towards Grafton. Travel to Woodburn and on to Ballina and then a further 35 kilometres to Byron Bay. Nearby Cape Byron, is the most easterly point on the Australian coast and also has Australia’s most powerful lighthouse. Byron Bay, renown for its beaches, makes it an ideal spot for a stroll, picnic, and swim or surf.
DAY 06: Byron Bay to the Gold Coast (92 km)
Departing Byron Bay travel north to Brunswick Heads and then on to Murwillumbah. From here there is a choice of routes to get to the Gold Coast and into Queensland. First option is to take the main highway via Tweed Heads and Coolangatta, continuing on to Surfers Paradise, travelling through the beachside towns of Burleigh Heads, Miami and Mermaid Beach. Second option is to travel via the Numinbah Valley, and the Lamington National Park, then to Surfers Paradise via Nerang. Surfers Paradise is Australia’s holiday Mecca, with a vast array of apartments and hotels stretching for 36 kilometres from Tweed Heads to Southport along the many beaches.
DAY 07: Gold Coast to Brisbane (81 km)
This morning spend at leisure relaxing on one of the magnificent beaches or exploring the Gold Coast area. Visit Australia’s most well known theme parks: Sea World, Warner Bros. Movie World, Wet n Wild and Dream World. From Surfers Paradise it’s only a 90-minute drive along the Pacific Motorway to Brisbane. Brisbane is the capital of Queensland and Australia’s third largest city.
DAY 08: Brisbane to Taroom (463 km)
It’s time to head inland today and experience some of the typical Queensland outback countryside, with lush grazing country, historic country towns and superb Australian panoramas. It’s about 6 hours drive to Taroom.
DAY 09: Taroom to Yeppoon (342 km)
Turning north, the road now takes you back through the outback towards the coast. Travel north along the Leichhardt Highway via Theodore and Biloela. Turn north on the Burnett Highway and travel to Mount Morgan and then it is a 30- minute drive into Rockhampton. On the way into Rockhampton there is a large spire at Curtis Park on the main highway and this marks the exact line of the Tropic of Capricorn. 45 kilometres from Rockhampton is Yeppoon a seaside resort located on the coast overlooking Great Keppel Island.
DAY 10: Yeppoon to Airlie Beach (500 km)
Depart Yeppoon and return to the Bruce Highway travelling north towards Marlborough (120 kilometres) and onto Mackay. Continue north to Proserpine and then to Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour. Airlie Beach is one of Australia’s favourite holiday destinations and gateway to the seventy-two islands of the Whitsundays.
DAY 11: Airlie Beach
Spend the day at leisure to enjoy what the beautiful Whitsunday’s has to offer. We suggest you take a sailing trip to spend the day on one of the many beautiful Whitsunday Islands. There are many operators offering different cruise and island combinations for you to choose from.
DAY 12: Airlie Beach to Townsville (274 km)
Continue your journey north, leading you into the Tropical north and the city of Townsville. Detour through Bowen and pass through the twin towns of Home Hill and Ayr. Townsville is a modern, tropical city and the administrative capital of North Queensland. A visit to the Great Barrier Reef Wonderland is recommended; it houses the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium. This evening join in with the locals for a walk along the waterfront esplanade, known as “The Strand”.
DAY 13: Townsville to Cairns (348 km)
Today your journey takes you to the far North, into the heart of the tropics and gateway to the Great Barrier Reef – Cairns and Palm Cove. Pass through Ingham and Tully, the wettest place in Australia. Travel via Innisfail to Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the World Heritage Daintree Rainforest region and the rugged outback of the Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Your car is booked until tomorrow and should be dropped off at the city or airport, by the same time as it was picked up on Day 1, to avoid any additional charges.