Road trips are part of our Aussie culture. There’s so much to see in this great big country and the best way to do that is by road. If you want to make some holiday memories with the fam and take them on a road trip they’ll remember forever our Ultimate Family Road Trip from Sydney to Ballina is for you.
There’s plenty for the family to do to break up the 730km journey. You can tick off seeing some of the Big Things and stop in at some of the prettiest beaches in NSW. We’ve put together our top stopover destinations if you’re heading to the Far North Coast.
Here’s your trip broken into bite sized drive times so you can see more of our stunning coastline and maintain your sanity entertaining the kids! Stop as many times as you want and you can even spend an extra night in some of these great locations.
Sydney to Jimmys Beach (2 hours and 45 minutes)
An oasis for families, Jimmys Beach with its pure white sands and calm clear waters will have you thinking you’ve landed in the Caribbean. You’ll be waking up to the call of the kookaburra in this Australian paradise.
A stroll from Hawks Nest and a short drive to Tea Gardens you can have it all but feel miles away from everything. You can even take a flatwater ferry ride across to Nelson Bay.
There are heaps of things for the kids to do here. In the calm waters everyone can swim or try stand up paddle boarding and kayaking. They can burn some energy on the playground or biking around the park and nearby trails. If you have older kids, climbing the Yacaaba Headland walking track, whilst challenging, will treat you to the spectacular views over the Port Stephens Headland.
Jimmys Beach to Bonny Hills (2 hours)
The kids (and you) will be amazed by the view before you even park the car when you arrive at Reflections Holiday Parks Bonny Hills. Situated on top of a headland the park overlooks the beautiful white sands and blue waves of Rainbow Beach.
While you’re here be sure to build a mighty sandcastle and go for a surf, swim or bodyboard in the waves. Drop a line and see what you can catch while fishing and walk up to the historic Tacking Point Lighthouse.
You’re not far from the hustle and bustle of Port Macquarie. Make sure you meet some of Australia’s cutest native animals at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital.
After a stop at the Big Banana Fun Park, Reflections Holiday Park Moonee Beach is just a few minutes on from Coffs Harbour. The park, right on a calm, clear estuary, is surrounded by lush bushland and is only a stones throw from Moonee Beach.
This is a stop over the kids won’t want to leave, the safe waters in the estuary perfect for paddle boarding and kayaking and the beach is a surfing haven. There’s a tennis court and playground too! Plus, plenty of room in the park for bike riding and nearby trails to explore. Once the sun sets the communal campfires are great for sitting around and toasting marshmallows.
Stay in a tiny house or cabin or make the most of the parks facilities and stay on a powered or unpowered site. Moonee Beach is the perfect base for exploring Coffs Harbour, Dorrigo and Bellingen.
You’ve reached the beautiful Far North Coast! Settle in for good times at this holiday town when you arrive at one of our Ballina Parks. Reflections Holiday Park Ballina is located across from the Richmond River and is a short stroll from town. An ideal waterfront park, Shaws Bay is located in East Ballina.
Do some fishing from a boat or the beach or check out Angels, Lighthouse or Shelly Beach for more swimming, surfing and sandcastles. Shaws Bay has a playground for the kids, or they can burn some of their energy by biking part of the 25km of bike trails around Ballina.
While you’re here be sure to explore the township with its cafes, restaurants, pubs and shops. Byron Bay and Brunswick are also a short drive away if you want to tick off more of the Far North Coast.
The Farm Byron Bay 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.
Before you go
It’s always best to check your car is in tip top shape before starting a road trip. Be sure you’ve packed a first aid kit too and checked the weather conditions for the drive. To keep little ones entertained games like I-Spy are a must. Or if you’re up for something more creative check out these great ideas for road trip games with kids.
Along the Pacific Highway there’s plenty of rest stops along the way for everyone to stretch their legs and have a rest.