Top 5 Brisbane to Sydney adventures
The interstate rivalry between QLD and NSW is legendary but a road trip between their capitals provides plenty of gems for travellers, wherever their loyalties lie. Guest blogger Jacob reveals his must-visits.
Have you woken up recently and just thought “If this is the Sunshine State, then I need to head south for the winter!”? Nothing cries freedom like a spontaneous road trip with your besties, and while Sydney has a lot to look forward to, I’ve compiled the top sights – from corny to classy – you just have to see on your way down the coast.
1. Story Bridge Climb
Firstly, we’ve got to know what we’re leaving behind. And there’s no better way to say goodbye to Brisbane than from up here, on top of its most iconic structure, the Story Bridge.
Sydney can keep the Harbour Bridge – from up here you can see all the way from the Sunshine Coast to the Gold Coast.
Can’t wait to hit the road? There are now options to abseil down the Story Bridge as well!
2. Byron Bay Lighthouse
No East Coast road trip is complete without stopping at Byron Bay. Park the car, and enjoy the feeling that stretching your legs provides on the short climb up to the lighthouse, and Australia’s most easterly point.
Plenty of spontaneous road trips stop in Byron Bay, and not just overnight. On these shores the weight is completely taken off your shoulders – some people just never leave!
Byron is a crowded town when the festivals – Bluesfest or Splendour in the Grass – are in town; for the rest of the year it remains the perfect place to walk along the beach with an organic smoothie in hand.
We can use the café bathroom as an excuse to stop if you prefer – just be sure not to miss a photo with Coffs Harbour’s most famous resident.
Wondering what to order for lunch? Um, banana split comes to mind.
4. Port Macquarie
Just over half way through the trip, Port Macquarie is one of the most popular sleep-over destinations between Brisbane and Sydney.
And it’s the best place to make the most of the Pacific Highway’s namesake – the Pacific Ocean. For six months of the year – mid-May to mid-November – this is a prime whale watching location, an opportunity to see these majestic creatures moving along their annual migration. Definitely an experience best done from aboard a boat with a local and experienced crew.
For the rest of the year, which are also Australia’s hottest months, there’s a different lure to go out onto the water – the cool ocean breezes, and magnificent sunsets.
5. Terrigal, Central CoastNobody wants to arrive in fabulous Sydney looking tired and dishevelled from their drive, so it’s important to add in one final stop – and the Central Coast, less than two hours north of the big smoke, has plenty to choose from.
If you ask a local for their favourite beach nook hidden somewhere on the Central Coast, they will definitely have an answer for you – and they will almost certainly be lying! No self-respecting New South Welshman gives away their favourite holiday spot, lest they find it overflowing with Queenslanders next school holidays.
So you’ll have to trust us on this one – there are plenty of gorgeous spots, but Terrigal is sure to please everyone. It’s the combination of open beach and the protected rock pools, plus that headland, notto mention cute boutiques and trendy cafes, that make this the perfect spot to refresh toward the end of a long drive (or as a roadtrip destination in its own right).
So dip your feet (or more) in the gorgeous ocean, and get yourself ready for the big arrival in Sydney-town.
Just don’t wear the Story Bridge Teletubbie suit, OK?