Heading north to chase the sun and take a dip in the wonderful beaches of Byron Bay? No need to hurry! Wirth around 800 kilometres of road to drive and awesome beaches, quaint rivers, national parks, lots of fresh produce, microbreweries and other creative places to spend the night, you owe it to yourself to enjoy the journey with a few stops.
Time to call work, get a few extra days off and start looking at car hire companies in Sydney to secure your own car and start off your Sydney to Byron Bay trip. These locations will give you all the excuses you need.
Top-Rated Spots to Visit on Your Sydney to Byron Bay Road Trip
1. Central Coast.
The majestic Central Coast is just a 90-minute drive from Sydney, its calm water, surf beaches, small villages and many national parks, are amazingly unspoilt.
If you’re light on cash, you can just claim a patch of grass or caravan at a Central Coast Holiday Park. Otherwise, you may also check into an easy and airy two-bedroom apartment at the Patonga Beach Hotel, coolly perched on the banks of the Hawkesbury River.
Across Broken Bay lies Killcare. Where you can tuck into tasty, hatted Italian while encircled by designed gardens at Manfredi or eat a $5 bacon and egg roll at nearby The Fat Goose. Next, stretch your legs while taking in panoramic coastal vistas in the Bouddi National Park.
A short two-hour drive will lead you to immense Newcastle, the former steel capital, now the arts community and recently one of Lonely Planet’s top ten cities. Take a comfy sleepover in a sunny room downtown by staying at The Lucky, which reopened in 2014 after a major revamp.
Detour for a coffee (and lavish lounges) at Sprocket Roasters, a carefully prepared cuppa at Tea Project or a cold, locally-brewed beer at Foghorn. If you want, get some exercise walking among the CBD’s diverse independent artists’ laneways and spaces plastered with street art, or go to the Newcastle Memorial Walk for a stroll.
3. Port Macquarie.
Another three hours drive north, Port Macquarie is nestled on the Hastings River and awesomely surrounded by eighteen beaches. Stop overnight at Old Bar to rest with a rock star (be that Nick Cave, Dave Grohl, David Bowie, or Louis Armstrong) in the Boogie Woogie Beach House.
Every room in this fantastic, boutique hotel, situated a short dash from the beach, is devoted to a music legend and has its own vinyl player. Also, there’s live music every Friday and Sunday.
In the tiny town of Wingham, you can find farm-fresh produce being turned into mouth-watering dishes at Bent on Food. If you will visit in October, time for your visit to happen together with the Wingham Akoostik Festival.
4. Coffs Harbour.
Another hour of road time will bring you to Coffs Harbour. Before going swimming at Aanuka Beach Resort or choosing the Arthouse Beachfront Apartment on Emerald Beach to avoid the crowds, take the compulsory photo with the Big Banana., just 20 kilometres north.
The whale watching season is May to July and September to November, so secure a spot at a vantage point with a picnic and be watchful. Get to Muttonbird Island’s viewing platform or Emerald Beach’s Look at Me Now Headland as they are the prime spots. Otherwise, jump on a local tour boat to get up close and personal.
That’s it! Don’t forget to secure your own ride by going online to see the car hire companies in Sydney and the range of vehicles available for rent.
Enjoy your Sydney – Byron road trip!