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Sydney to Brisbane Road Trip

Pacific Highway Sydney, NSW

Sydney to Brisbane is one of many road trips people take when they hire a car or campervan. It's a 12-hour drive when you're actually on the road, even though it looks like a quick drive when looking at it on the map. VroomVroomVroom would like to share some tips on how you can make most of your adventure in the Land Down Under. 

Recommended road trip itinerary

woman taking photo of bar beach and merewether in Newcastle

If you're looking for a safer road to take, drive your way to the Pacific Highway. There are plenty of nooks and crannies where you can make a quick stop and visit.

One of the first famous places for a stop is the Hawkesbury River, which flows into Broken Bay and is fenced by three national parks. If you don't have much time to spend, make sure to visit Ku-Ring-Gai Chase which is the most popular – plenty of lovely walks and interesting Aboriginal paintings you can see at different sites. Or there's always a spot of fishing and sailing at Broken Bay itself.

Drive up a little further and you'll reach Terrigal. It follows the tradition same as Byron Bay

Newcastle will be your next stop. You can enjoy Newcastle's five beaches like Nobbys Beach. The city has a thriving music scene, huge student population and some beautiful architecture you can marvel with its colonial buildings - and when you want to dine in, go straight to Darby Street.

An hours drive away from Newcastle is Port Stephens. You can experience dolphin spotting here. A population of bottle-nosed dolphins play near the coast. There are charter vessels available so you can head out and enjoy the town even more.

Driving further, you'll enter plenty of little towns and laid-back cities. You'll be driving through Port Macquarie and Nambucca Heads.

The north- east corner of NSW is home of marvelous towns like Bangalow, Mullumbimby, and Byron Bay; the alternative vibes of Nimbin (left); and tiny villages like Mooball – where telephone poles and local servo are painted in the pattern of dairy cows. There's rolling hills, odd communes, pretty beaches, rainforest, spectacular bushwalks and enough chilled out vibe to make you seriously consider investing in a comby and a didgeridoo.

Surfers Paradise skyline at dawn

The local pub scene is really worth checking out. Byron Bay's Beach Hotel, the Nimbin Hotel (in Nimbin of course), and the Tumbulgum Tavern to name a few.

You will probably have a shock leaving the area and driving through Tweed Heads, Coolangatta and the Gold Coast. Don't worry too much about the first two town, all fibre glass and concrete. But the beaches can be lovely (try up market Kingscliff and beach bum Cabarita).

Surfers Paradise is where the well-off go to spend money in Jupiter's Casino and where the young dress in skimpy clothing so they can assemble in the loud, vibrating clubs that muscle up against each other in Orchid Ave. Spend some time here, and you'll eventually be making your sorry way up to Brisbane penniless or hung- over, or both.

Don't worry, sunny Brisbane can calm your travel wrinkles. You've got Southbank, South Brisbane and West End to relax, watch the river and the traffic and the people roll on by. East side Bulimba is a bit more chic, Western Milton is one for good food and nearby Rosalie is a delicious option for delicatessens and innovative cuisine. A must is the Fortitude Valley New Farm area, where there's lots of boutiques, cafes and restaurants to satisfy any tastes.

Do you want to share other tips or suggestions to those who are planning to go on a road trip from Sydney to Brisbane? Please leave your message in the comment box below.


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