Amazing country a driving force
WHETHER you’re planning to hit the road this winter or embark on a great Australian road trip, here are some of the best drives our country has to offer.
Legendary Pacific Coast, NSW
Epic surf beaches, lush, green hinterland, wildlife-filled national parks, ancient rainforest walks and quirky historic villages offering lipsmacking local produce.
The NSW stretch of the Pacific Coast drive is legendary indeed.
While the full 1000km route stretches from Sydney to the bright lights of Brissie, it’s the NSW portion of this trip that holds the most allure.
Taste stunning wines in the Hunter Valley, explore the largest sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere in Port Stephens – and make a pit stop at Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters, where you can don a wetsuit and enter the water to feed and handle giant stingrays and huge tawny nurse sharks – before arriving at the unspoilt coastal village of Seal Rocks.
Here you can take in the famed Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse on the dramatic headland, or even stay for the night in one of its lighthouse keeper’s cottages, and snorkel or dive among the largest population of grey nurse sharks in NSW.
Further north in Pacific Palms, flanked by the beautiful Booti Booti National Park and Cape Hawke, Blueys Beach is the place to live out your beach house dreams. Expect daily epic sunrises and sunsets and sightings of resident dolphins frolicking in the surf.
Other must-visits include the riverside hippy haven that is Bellingen and the world’s first hospital dedicated to the care of koalas in Port Macquarie. Pull into Yamba for its famous prawns, world-class surf and more empty, pristine beaches than you can shake a stick at, before arriving at Australia’s most famous beachside town, Byron Bay.
Make sure to set your alarm so that you can be among the first in the country to see the sunrise at the most easterly point of Australia on the Cape Byron Walking Track.
WATCHING THE WAVES: A surfer prepares to head into the ocean at Lennox Head, Northern Rivers.
Scenic views of Nambucca Heads.
The Nullarbor Plain in southern Australia.