DAY 01: Sydney to Hunter Valley (247 km)
Depart Sydney and travel north over the Harbour Bridge and onto the Pacific Highway. Detour through the towns of Gosford and Newcastle. Newcastle is Australia’s sixth largest city – enjoy a scenic walk along the foreshore. From Newcastle, travel via Maitland and into the Hunter Valley. With wineries in abundance, take the opportunity to taste and purchase some of Australia’s finest wines. Explore the art and gourmet delights that the Hunter Valley offers.
DAY 02: Hunter Valley to Port Stephens (161 km)
Leave the Hunter Valley and travel northeast to Port Stephens. Known as the Blue Water Wonderland, Port Stephens is a natural bay 2 1/2 times the size of Sydney Harbour and almost enclosed by two dormant volcanic headlands. There is fabulous seafood and over 26 golden sandy beaches to explore. Perhaps take an afternoon cruise to see the Bottlenose dolphins.
DAY 03: Port Stephens to Coffs Harbour (418 km)
Depart Port Stephens and continue north to Bulahdelah, the entrance to the Myall Lakes National Park. Travel north along the Lakes Way, a scenic route through rainforest with spectacular views of the inland lakes and ocean beaches. Travel on through the Manning Valley and Taree to Port Macquarie. Continue on to Coffs Harbour, which is the start of the sub-tropical northern coast of New South Wales and the surrounding district produces timber, bananas, vegetables, dairy products and fish. The ‘Big Banana’ is open daily with a comprehensive display on the banana industry.
DAY 04: Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay (240 km)
This northern stretch of New South Wales contains some of the most beautiful landscapes in Australia. From Coffs Harbour, the highway follows the coast to Woolgoolga and then turns inland towards Grafton, a graceful old country town on the banks of the mighty Clarence River. From Grafton travel to Woodburn and on to Ballina, and then a further 38 kilometres to Byron Bay, which attracts surfers from near and far to Wategos Beach, on Cape Byron – its northerly aspect makes it one of the best beaches for surfing on the East Coast of Australia. Cape Byron is the most easterly point on the Australian coast.
DAY 05: Byron Bay
Today is free to spend at your leisure. Enjoy the restaurants and cafes, take a surfing lesson or simply relax on the beach. For those who may have an extra day on their hands, we recommend an additional night’s stay at Byron Bay.
DAY 06: Byron Bay to Brisbane (165 – 180 km)
For early risers, it’s well worth going a trip to the beach this morning to watch the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean. Depart Byron and travel north to Brunswick Heads. You can either continue along the coast via Pottsville Beach and Kingscliff and travel onto Brisbane via the Gold Coast, or travel inland to Murwillumbah. Continue on the Pacific Motorway for the short, direct route to Brisbane or travel via Burleigh Heads and Surfers Paradise. You can also discover the Gold Coast Hinterland, stopping at Lamington National Park, before arriving in Brisbane. 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.