LEGENDARY PACIFIC COAST
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.