If you’re seeking a road trip full of coastal vistas and foodie experiences, then look no further than our Explorer Road Trip from Sydney to Byron Bay.
Spend the time in the car surrounded by New South Wales’ beautiful rain forests and stop off at some of the most spectacular beaches in the state. This journey is must on any Aussie’s travel to do list. With plenty of highlights along this 750km road trip we’ve picked out the best spots for you!
You can have as many overnight stops as you want, but we’ve broken the trip into bite sized drive times so you can see more of this stunning coastline.
Sydney to Jimmys Beach (2 hours and 45 minutes)
Once you arrive at Jimmys Beach, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve landed in the Caribbean. The sands are pure white, and the waters are clear and calm, but the call of the kookaburra confirms that you are in fact in an Australian paradise.
For a unique dinner experience, take the scenic flatwater ferry ride across to the many restaurants or pubs in Nelson Bay.
While you’re here, stretch your legs climbing the Yacaaba Headland walking track and see the spectacular views over the Port Stephens Headland. Check out a dolphin cruise from Nelson Bay and be sure to hit the beaches, Jimmy’s Beach and Bennetts beach.
Jimmys Beach to Bonny Hills (2 hours)
Drive a bit further north and this stunning town overlooks the dazzling white sands and deep blue waves of Rainbow Beach. Proving you can find gold at the end of this rainbow, enjoy time under golden sunshine and the beach or walking up to the historic Tacking Point Lighthouse.
The cabins are equipped with kitchens or if you’re staying on a site the camp kitchen will have you cooking up a storm. You’re also not far from Port Macquarie’s thriving food scene if eating out is more your thing. While there, be sure to visit award-winning Cassegrain Winery for some wine tasting backed by a 30-year heritage of French grape growing and winemaking traditions.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and meet some of these iconic Aussie animals.
Bonny Hills to Corindi Beach (2 hours 10 minutes)
Be sure to stop at the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour on your way to our next stop, Corindi Beach. The park is filled with natural beauty, whales breaching offshore, kookaburras cackling in the trees and kangaroos grazing all around. Here you can sit back, relax and bask in the easy-going atmosphere and bushland setting.
With the mighty Pacific Ocean on your doorstep you’ll breathe easier, yet have your breath taken away by the natural wonders of this holiday haven.
Have a hit of tennis and be sure to do some fishing. After you’ve caught dinner try your hand at cooking your catch in the camp kitchen.
Corindi Beach to Byron Bay, Clarkes Beach (2 hours 15 minutes)
You’ve arrived at Australia’s Celebrity hotspot Byron Bay, the town where you can effortlessly pack plenty of experiences in or you can just sit back and soak up the good vibes. Our Clarkes Beach Park is light on commotion, but big on convenience and charm.
With so many things to do in Byron you’ll need more than a few days to tick everything off. You can hit the beach for a swim or try a surfing lesson from one of the local schools. Jump on a bike and see the sights around town or at low tide do the Byron to Brunswick Beach Trail.
The Farm is a must-visit for an authentic farm-to-table experience. Visit the animals and eat from the market garden at Three Blue Ducks Café on-site. If craft beer or spirits is more your taste, meet artisan brewers with Behind the Barrel tours across the Byron region and book a day tour or an afternoon tasting.
For serenity and stunning views, the delightful Minyon Falls (featured in the image) is worth seeing.
Just to name a few things to do- there’s whale watching, snorkelling with turtles, kayaking and the Byron Bay hinterland to explore. You’ll never want to leave the array of restaurants, cafes and distilleries in the region. We’re so certain Byron will charm you that we’re confident you’ll be back!
Before you go
Make sure to check the car, pack a first aid kit and inspect the weather conditions before you push north on the Pacific Highway (M1) from Sydney. Remember, it’s recommended that drivers take a break every two to three hours when driving. Luckily there’s plenty of rest stops along the way for when you need to stretch your legs and sharing the drive is also a great way to ensure everyone gets a rest, oh and don’t forget about your road trip playlist!