Do we need to give the east coast of Australia an introduction? Chances are this coastline adventure is already on your bucket list (but if it's not, then please let us introduce you… ahem).
As you travel between the iconic Australian cities of Sydney and Brisbane, there are so many gems to explore. From boho-chic Byron Bay to the wine country of the Hunter Valley to the adrenaline rush of riding roller coasters at Movie World, there is so much to see and do along this jam-packed coastline. That is why we have sat down with our in-house road trip experts to create this (seriously dreamy) 7-day itinerary from Sydney to Brisbane.
In this 7-day coastal road trip route, spanning 1000km, you’ll have the chance to tick off so many experiences on your iconic Australian east coast bucket list. While you drive along the famous Pacific Highway, you can take in the sights of the stunning coastline, swim with dolphins, take a surf lesson, skid down sand dunes on a sandboard, and so much more, all while filling your heart (and camera) with experiences to remember.
Sydney to Brisbane
Best Time of the Year
- Take a surf lesson
- Go Sandboarding
- Ride rollercoasters at Movie World
- Big Banana Fun Park
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Sydney to Hunter Valley
Distance 250 km - Driving Time 2 hour and 52 minutes
Start your journey by picking up your campervan from Mighty Campers Sydney at 1/1801 Botany Road, Banksmeadow. Get straight on the highway and head north via Patonga to enjoy a delicious lunch at The Boathouse Hotel overlooking the water. Once you have had your fill, continue driving north, taking in the coastal views from The Skillion Cliff in Terrigal along the way.
In Port Stephens, be sure to check out Nelson Head Lighthouse for panoramic views overlooking the bay and explore this impressive coastline. Port Stephens boasts 26 spectacular beaches to choose from, including Stockton beach dunes, where you can have a go at sandboarding. Then once you have had your fun, check-in at Ingenia Holidays Hunter Valley for the night. Make use of the campsite facilities and onboard kitchen to cook up your first campervan dinner.
Hunter Valley to Port Macquarie
Distance 242 km - Driving Time 3 hours 9 minutes
Wake up early and treat yourself to an east coast bucket list hot air balloon experience. Nothing quite like starting your day up in the air, watching the sunrise from up in the clouds as the fog rolls through the hills of this stunning wine country.
Spend the rest of the morning exploring all that's on offer in this beautiful wine country. Head to a cellar door to enjoy a wine tasting, explore the Hunter Valley Gardens or head to the Hunter Valley Wildlife Park for a kid-friendly morning.
On your way north towards Port Macquarie, be sure to take the scenic route along The Lakes Way. This route offers amazing views of the Great Lakes famed in this region. Once you arrive in Port Macquarie, spend the night at Flynn's Beach Caravan Park and take advantage of the powered camping sites to recharge your travel essentials and camera batteries.
Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour
Distance 161 km - Driving Time 1 hour 38 minutes
Wake up and take advantage of the incredible surf spots on offer in Port Macquarie. If you’re a beginner, no problem - there are plenty of places where you can take a surf lesson and be catching waves in no time. Once you’re done, head to the local Koala Hospital for a self-guided outdoor walk to meet the koalas. Continuing north, stop at Sawtell Beach on the way for a picnic on the picturesque golden sand before arriving in Coffs Harbour.
Make the most of the afternoon with a visit to the Dolphin Marine Conservation Park where you can learn about these intelligent creatures and even join them for a swim. If you have kids (or you’re just up for some fun) check out The Big Banana Fun Park; there’s something for everyone with waterslides, ice skating, mini-golf and more. When you’re ready to hit the hay for the evening, make your way to Reflections Holiday Park for the night.
Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay
Distance 232 km - Driving Time 2 hour 20 minutes
Start the day by putting some kilometres behind you and make a pitstop along your drive at Bundjalung National Park just north of Yamba. With wide-open spaces and stunning rivers, this is a great spot to stop for morning tea. Stop in at Ballina to enjoy lunch and a paddle in the calm waters of Shaws Bay before exploring the many things to do in Byron Bay, Australia.
When you arrive in Byron Bay, stretch your legs and take a walk along the Cumbebin Wetland Sanctuary boardwalk (make sure you take insect repellent to deter the swamp-dwelling mosquitoes). Then you can either drive or walk up to the Byron Bay lighthouse and see if you can spot a whale. As the most easterly location in Australia, Byron Bay is a great spot for whale watching. Humpback whales can sometimes be seen on their annual migration to the Great Barrier Reef and then back home to Antarctica. Head a little out of town in the tranquil Ingenia Holidays Byron Bay.
Tourism and Events Queensland
Byron Bay to Gold Coast
Distance 92 km - Driving Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Start the day by driving to The Farm to experience this suburban farmland. Be sure to book a table at Three Blue Ducks Restaurant on-site to treat your taste buds to the local seasonal delights on offer while the resident chickens roam freely around the dining area. Heading further north toward the Gold Coast, visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, famous for its diverse animals and wildlife hospital.
Once you arrive on the Gold Coast, head to Surfers Paradise Beach. You would’ve seen Surfers Paradise Beach on a postcard before, but it’s even more impressive in person. If you're an adrenaline junkie, the Gold Coast is jam-packed with amazing theme parks including Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World or Wet ‘n’ Wild. After a long day of city fun, stay the night close to the beach at a campsite in Ocean Beach Tourist Park.
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Gold Coast to Brisbane
Distance 79 km - Driving Time 1 hour 41 minutes
Take advantage of this short driving day by getting up early and taking a detour to Morton Island. This island is one of the few untouched areas along this coastline and offers an abundance of natural wilderness, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters.
Some great day tour options include snorkelling in a shipwreck, wandering through the island's wildflowers, exploring the historic sites or simply laying back to unwind in this island paradise. Once back on the mainland, finish the day by driving the final leg to Brisbane to stay at Sunnybank Hills Caravan Park for the night.
Tourism and Events Queensland
Now that you’ve arrived in Brisbane, it’s time to check out what this great city has to offer. With over 280 days of sunshine each year, there are so many incredible adventures to be had in this riverside city. Take advantage of the weather by taking a stroll through the botanical gardens, head to the cliffs at Kangaroo Point, or take a spin on the Wheel of Brisbane to see the city from above.
When you’re ready to drop your campervan off, you can find Mighty Campers Brisbane at 87 Bancroft Road, Pinkenba or you can choose to extend your trip and make your way back towards Sydney spending more time at some of your favourite stops along the way.
Ready to explore the Pacific Coast?
There you have it! A 7-day campervan trip itinerary full of unforgettable experiences and iconic Australian attractions between Sydney to Brisbane.
If you’re looking to rent a van to start ticking off some of these bucket list experiences, then be sure to check out all our latest deals and book your Mighty camper today in a branch or online. Otherwise, if you’re looking for more travel inspiration and ways to get the most out of your campervan trip you can read more on our blog.