The east coast is the best coast.
A 13-hour drive is never going to be fun, we realise that. But, what better way to see the east coast than a Style tried-and-tested itinerary to the best beaches, hottest bars, and novelty experiences? This all-inclusive itinerary is packed with a just the right amount of stops and plenty of beaches.
Set that alarm and pack your boot with bikinis and books for the ultimate road-trip. Don’t forget you now get to drive past the Gold Coast’s strange new 200 million dollar Hi-Lights sign… Get that Spotify playlist sorted and get going!
Stop 1: Yamba 283km
About four hours away is your first, much-anticipated destination. Here in beloved Yamba, you’ll get your first glimpse of NSW’s rock pool beaches and lines of deep-rooted pine trees. We recommend hitting up Sandbar Yamba for a seafood lunch loved by locals (and us), followed by a long and leisurely dip in the Yamba main beach and rock pools. Soak up those rays then head down the road to a much more adventurous stop.
Stop 2: Angourie, Blue Pool 287km
Angourie is one of the most concealed, sensational spots along the way. For the more adventurous, there is a particularly arduous but popular rock climb above the blue pools. All your hard work climbing up is repaid with the exhilarating jump into to deep blue water, filled with locals and visitors watching in awe at your bravery. However, for a less adrenaline junkie option, there is a beautiful (and smaller) natural springwater swimming hole nearby, with a more realistic jump into a translucent blue pool – this was more our kind of thing. With man-made stones lining the outside, you’re sure to get an epic Boomerang jumping in.
Stop 3: Coffs Harbour 396km
Five hours from home and we can guarantee you won’t be looking back anytime soon. The picturesque Coffs Harbour is a bustling spot to stay the night, breaking up that long-haul drive and all the rock climbing! Check out the Big Banana and Diggers Beach if you have time, as well as the stunning green drive through abundant banana tree farms. Airbnb is your go-to for the best accommodation on offer, depending on your price range (we like to splurge). We love the look of this huge bohemian home and this Diggers Beach bungalow.
Stop 4: Lighthouse Beach, Port Macquaire 561km
You guessed it, another beach! Same same but different, this is another exceptional New South Wales beach so stop by if you’re in need of a quick splash!
Stop 5: Seal Rocks Beach 692km
Panoramic views span this majestic beach. This is our absolute favourite of the NSW beaches (that’s a pretty big deal), with pristine water, a stunning rounded beach and a large rock formation to climb.
Stop 6: Nobbys Beach, Newcastle 784km
The Kiosk is your final coffee and snack spot, overlooking the stunning beach and boardwalk to Nobbys Lighthouse. Fill up (your stomach and the car) and hit the road because Sydney is your next stop babe!
Take a deep breath and stretch those tanned legs, you’ve made it a whopping 925 kilometres to Sydney! As this is an article about the drive rather than Sydney itself, we’ve made a concise list of memory-making things to do and places to see.
• Ferry to Manly
• Bondi to Coogee Beach Walk
• Palm Beach Day Trip (be on the set of Home and Away!) 41km north of the CBD but worth the drive!
• The Opera Bar
• The Sheaf – our favourite bar in Sydney’s renowned Double Bay
You now have the choice to brave the drive or take a night to stop on your way home. Either way there are two beaches that are a must. Nelson Bay Beach is a stunning bay that’s ideal for paddle boarding and other water sports. Paddling out among boats is such a fun way to see things a little differently.
There is no better way to wind down the end of a wild week away than a final swim at the lovely Wategos Beach paired with lunch on the main strip in Byron Bay. Effortless and idyllic, you’ll find this the perfect end to your trip, before going back to a reality without sun, sand and beaches on the daily.
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