Driving from Sydney to Gold Coast
Roadtrip from Sydney to Gold Coast is the most travelled path taken by visitors, backpackers and holidaymakers in Australia throughout the year. Covering a distance of 1000 km from Sydney to Brisbane the road passes through several amazing stopovers and destinations for short stays.
If you are travelling with family, it is advisable to break down your trips into two to three stops. Drive through the central coast is one of the best scenic routes you can take where you can stop to enjoy beautiful beaches, small towns and plenty of outdoor activities. Pacific Highways is the shortest route from Sydney to Gold Coast. Alternatively, you can take New England Highway which meaders through small country towns like Scone, Uralla and Tenterfield.
Driving along Central Coast to Newcastle
There are a couple of different ways to travel to the Gold Coast. Country roads offer a detour from the main highways and take you through historical towns, places of interest, vineyards and other places of interest for tourists.
One of my favourite road trips close to Sydney includes driving from Gosford to Newcastle passing through the interesting towns of Swansea, Toukley and the Entrance. These places are great for outdoor activities as lake Tuggerahis popular for fishing and water sports and coastal towns provide a great opportunity for deep-sea fishing.
Further up from Newcastle, Port Nelson and Port Stephens have the longest stretch of dunes.
If you have limited time to yourself and want to reach Gold Coast in the shortest possible time it is best to drive along Pacific Highway 1 towards Coffs Harbour which is a great stopover for a family holiday. almost midday between Sydney and Gold Coast. An alternative option is to explore the central coast and travel along the beautiful ocean and lakes. The distance is relatively long but takes you through some of the best locations in New South Wales.
Newcastle -162 km from Sydney
Newcastle is the next big city on the way to Gold Coast and is a great spot for a night stay. The population of Newcastle has increased in the last couple of years and along with it, there is a spate of development in the downtown area with a new tram, several restaurants and places of attraction for tourists.
Newcastle waterfront has a picnic area stretching up to Nobby’s Beach is popular with surfers. The lighthouse on the top of the hill is an interesting landmark. Further up towards the beach are public baths and some hotels overlooking the ocean.
Newcastle has interesting architecture and a great public culture and food scene. Darby Street has several popular restaurants and my favourite coffee shop “Goldberg” serves amazing desserts, coffee and midday brunch.
Forster-Tuncurry Area – 306 km from Sydney
After a short stay at, it is best to take the Pacific Coast Highway 1 towards Buladelah. Forster and Tuncurry offer a great location for an enjoyable weekend break or a family holiday. A popular laid-back town attracts large crowds in summer with a relaxed lifestyle, an amazing waterfront, scenic views and plenty of accommodation in all price ranges.
A bridge connect Forster with Tuncurry. Aquamarine water pools next to the bridge are a great spot for swimming, snorkelling and kayaking. The water is very calm and clear and blends in nicely with the sandy beaches. Enjoy River Cruise or Ocean Cruise for Whale and Dolphin Watching.
Forster is also popular with local fish and seafood. Pop into one of the favourite fish and chips shops “Lobby’s Fresh Seafood”.
During my couple of trips to Forster, I stayed at Discovery Park Forster, ideally located on the outskirts of the town. The holiday park offers fully-contained units that can accommodate up to 6-10 people. The Park also offers a splash area for kids, Foxtel, a BBQ area and a common sitting area with an indoor kitchen. This location is ideal to stay in if you are travelling with your family.
Coffs Harbour – 526 km
Coffs Harbour is the next big stop almost halfway between Sydney and Gold Coast. Coffs Harbour is a mid-size town with several attractions for kids and families. The waterfront is lined with several quality bars and restaurants including Hogs Breath, Latitude 30 and Lime Mexican Tapas Restaurant. Coffs Harbour offers great accommodation options for families such as serviced apartments for long-term Rental. Check out rates online.
Ballina and Byron Bay – 766 km
The towns of Ballina and Byron Bay are must-visits if you are travelling to Gold Coast. Byron Bay is a mecca for tourists, backpackers and visitors because of its laid-back atmosphere and beautiful Bay. There are plenty of places to stay and eat. Byron Bay hostel music festivals attract thousands of visitors to town in peak season. Our team highly recommend exploring Byron Bay as a part of your trip.
Coolangatta and Surfers Paradise – 843 km
With the highest number of hotel rooms in Australia, Surfers Paradise has become the heart of fun and nightlife on the Gold Coast. The canal and waterways network in Surfers Paradise is longer than Venice and is home to several celebrities. Coolangatta, Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise offer accommodation in all price ranges.