LE­GENDARY PA­CIFIC COAST

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Aus­tralia is teem­ing with re­gions that will take your breath away, en­tice you with great food and en­ter­tain­ment, or make your heart pound with ad­ven­ture ac­tiv­i­ties. If you’re look­ing for some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent and love tak­ing to the open road, the Le­gendary Pa­cific Coast is one of Aus­tralia’s lead­ing tourist drives.

The drive takes you from Syd­ney in the south to Bris­bane in the north through some ab­so­lutely stun­ning re­gions. From the Cen­tral Coast, Hunter Val­ley, New­cas­tle and Lake Mac­quarie, you will have the chance to em­brace surf beaches and dis­cover in­ti­mate hide aways, stop in at the largest coastal salt­wa­ter lake in Aus­tralia, visit some of the coun­try’s best winer­ies and take a walk through gor­geous colo­nial towns, and en­joy a pic­nic on the beach, go for a surf or stop in at a salt wa­ter ocean bath for a re­fresh­ing dip.

Travel fur­ther north to Port Stephens, the Great Lakes, Man­ning Val­ley and Port Mac­quarie; through clas­sic coastal coun­try to quiet sea­side towns, visit the dol­phin cap­i­tal of Aus­tralia and come face to face with hun­dreds of bot­tle nosed dol­phins, en­joy a walk or 4WD tour on the largest mov­ing coastal sand dune sys­tem in the coun­try, and see where the Hast­ings River meets the sea while ex­plor­ing the beaches, parks and river­ways.

Fur­ther to the Mcleay River, Nam­bucca Heads and Coffs Har­bour. See the le­gendary Smoky Cape Light­house and Trial Bay Gaol; camp out un­der the stars, catch your own fish and ex­pe­ri­ence ocean life with a div­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, visit a his­toric town in the hin­ter­land, en­joy some shop­ping or take a cruise in Coffs Har­bour and, if you’re up for it, ride a camel on the beach for some­thing dif­fer­ent and ex­cit­ing. Visit Wool­go­olga, home to the largest re­gional Sikh/pun­jabi pop­u­la­tion in Aus­tralia, which was set­tled by Euro­peans in the 1870s, and be­fore this was home to the Gum­bain­girr Abo­rig­i­nal tribe. It was an early cen­tre of Sikh mi­gra­tion for fam­i­lies who ar­rived be­fore the White Aus­tralia Pol­icy was in­tro­duced.

As you reach the fi­nal stretch it will take you through the Clarence Val­ley, bounded by the Kyo­gle in the north, the Co­ral Sea in the east, Coffs Har­bour in the south and Ten­ter­field in the west. There are rain­forests, marine parks, ru­ral and coastal com­mu­ni­ties and an abun­dance of ad­ven­ture ac­tiv­i­ties avail­able. The Clarence River is the largest river on the eastern se­aboard and it stretches some 400 kilo­me­tres, through open plains, an­cient forests, lush farm­land and quiet vil­lages.

From here visit the sec­ond largest fish­ing port in Aus­tralia, Yamba: fa­mous for its prawns and with ex­cel­lent swim­ming and surf­ing beaches. Voted the “best town in Aus­tralia”, it has a re­laxed life­style, award win­ning restau­rants and plenty of sights.

Take a dip in the ocean pool which has been built into the rocks, take a river cruise, try to catch the big one on a fish­ing char­ter or, at the right time of year, en­joy some whale watch­ing off the coast.

The re­gion around Bal­lina, Nim­bin and Lis­more is the per­fect place for you to re­lax, re­ju­ve­nate and re­con­nect with na­ture. Bal­lina lies on the coast and is quiet and pop­u­lar with fam­i­lies. Nim­bin and Lis­more are tucked away amongst World Her­itage Na­tional Parks, where you will find an abun­dance of wa­ter­falls, walk­ing trails and look­outs.

By­ron Bay is home to the eastern most point of Aus­tralia and has much to of­fer, from the light­house and views of the point, to the quirky gift­shops and cafes spe­cial­is­ing in lo­cal pro­duce, and the pop­u­lar beaches which are great for surf­ing.

On to the Tweed re­gion, nes­tled in the caldera of an an­cient shield vol­cano from Coolangatta in the north, down to Kingscliffe and Cabarita in the south. Tweed is at the heart of Aus­tralia’s Green Caul­dron – nom­i­nated by Tourism Aus­tralia as a “Na­tional Land­scape” and with its gor­geous un­spoilt beaches, to the lush World Her­itage listed rain­forests, strik­ing moun­tain ranges and rolling farm­land.

Ex­plore the rain­forests and World Her­itage listed na­tional parks or check out one of the three ma­jor river sys­tems in this part of the coast: with the Tweed, Rich­mond and Clarence, pro­vid­ing the per­fect back­drop to a re­lax­ing get­away or the ideal set­ting for an ad­ven­ture or fish­ing trip.

Tweed Heads it­self is the most northerly town in the state of New South Wales and show­cases some world-class surf­ing beaches as well as the ex­pan­sive Tweed River, a great place to take a kayak or boat out if you’re keen on some fish­ing, or bring a pic­nic to en­joy along the river’s edge. Hire a house­boat, take a re­lax­ing cruise, visit the art gallery or Abo­rig­i­nal Cul­tural Cen­tre and ex­plore the re­gion.

Wel­come to the Le­gendary Pa­cific Coast.

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