What Is There To See Between Sydney And Brisbane?

The coastal route between Sydney and Brisbane, often referred to as the Pacific Coast Highway or Pacific Highway, offers a range of attractions and scenic spots to explore. Here are some notable places to see and visit along the way:

  1. Central Coast: Located just north of Sydney, the Central Coast offers beautiful beaches, national parks, and charming coastal towns. You can visit popular spots like Terrigal Beach, Avoca Beach, and Bouddi National Park.
  2. Newcastle: Known for its vibrant arts scene, Newcastle is a city with a rich industrial heritage. Visit the Newcastle Memorial Walk for panoramic ocean views, explore the city’s beautiful beaches, and discover its diverse dining and entertainment options.
  3. Port Stephens: Famous for its stunning coastline and clear blue waters, Port Stephens is a great place for water activities. You can go dolphin watching, sandboarding on the Stockton Sand Dunes, or take a relaxing cruise through the picturesque bay.
  4. Forster-Tuncurry: This twin town offers gorgeous beaches, lakes, and waterways. You can enjoy fishing, boating, and swimming, or visit the Great Lakes Museum to learn about the area’s maritime history.
  5. Coffs Harbour: Located roughly halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, Coffs Harbour is known for its beautiful beaches, the iconic Big Banana monument, and the lush rainforest of Dorrigo National Park. You can also explore the Solitary Islands Marine Park and go snorkelling or diving.
  6. Byron Bay: A popular tourist destination, Byron Bay is renowned for its stunning beaches, bohemian atmosphere, and alternative lifestyle. Climb up to the Cape Byron Lighthouse for panoramic coastal views, relax on the beaches, and explore the town’s unique shops, cafes, and markets.
  7. Gold Coast: As you approach Brisbane, you’ll encounter the vibrant Gold Coast, known for its theme parks, high-rise skyline, and golden beaches. You can visit attractions like Surfers Paradise, and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, and explore the lush hinterland of the Gold Coast Hinterland.

These are just a few highlights along the coastal route between Sydney and Brisbane. The journey offers a mix of coastal scenery, outdoor activities, charming towns, and cultural experiences, providing plenty of opportunities to explore and enjoy the beauty of Australia’s east coast.

Port Macquarie Rockwall Walk

Is It Easy To Drive From Sydney To Brisbane?

Yes, driving from Sydney to Brisbane is relatively easy and straightforward. The distance between the two cities is approximately 900 kilometres (560 miles), and the journey typically takes around 9-10 hours of driving time, depending on traffic conditions and the stops you make along the way.

Here are a few points to consider when driving from Sydney to Brisbane:

  1. Route Options: There are a few route options to choose from. The most common and direct route is to follow the Pacific Highway (M1) along the coast, which offers scenic views and access to coastal towns and attractions. An alternative inland route is the New England Highway (A15), which takes you through the picturesque countryside and smaller towns.
  2. Road Conditions: The highways between Sydney and Brisbane are well-maintained and generally in good condition. However, it’s always advisable to check for any road closures or maintenance work before your journey, especially during periods of heavy rain or extreme weather.
  3. Rest Stops and Amenities: Along the route, you’ll find numerous rest areas, service stations, and towns where you can stop for fuel, food, and restroom breaks. It’s recommended to plan your stops in advance, particularly for longer journeys, to ensure you have sufficient breaks and stay refreshed.
  4. Traffic: Traffic conditions can vary, especially around major cities and during peak travel times. It’s advisable to avoid peak traffic hours and plan your journey accordingly to minimize delays. Be mindful of school holidays and long weekends, as these periods can result in increased traffic.
  5. Safety and Speed Limits: Observe the speed limits and road rules throughout your journey. Take regular breaks to prevent driver fatigue and ensure you’re well-rested before embarking on the trip.
  6. Scenic Stops: Consider making stops along the way to explore the attractions and natural beauty of the coastal towns and national parks, such as Port Stephens, Coffs Harbour, or Byron Bay. These detours can add to the overall experience of your road trip.

Always check for any updates or road advisories before your journey and plan your route accordingly. It’s also a good idea to have a map or GPS navigation system to assist you during the drive.

Newcastle NSW

How Much Does It Cost To Drive From Sydney To Gold Coast?

The cost of driving from Sydney to the Gold Coast can vary depending on several factors, including the type of vehicle you are driving, fuel prices, tolls, accommodation, and personal spending. Here are some cost considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Fuel: The distance between Sydney and the Gold Coast is approximately 850 kilometres (530 miles) one way. The cost of fuel will depend on your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and current fuel prices. You can estimate the fuel cost by considering your vehicle’s fuel consumption rate and the average fuel price per litre. Averaging at about $80 AUD for petrol and $100 AUD for diesel vehicles per full tank.
  2. Toll Roads: When driving from Sydney to the Gold Coast, you may encounter toll roads along the way, such as the M1 Pacific Motorway. Tolls can vary depending on the specific sections of the road you take and the size of your vehicle. Make sure to check the current toll rates and factor them into your budget. Averaging between $3-$6 AUD per toll, there are 2 toll roads from Brisbane to Sydney.
  3. Accommodation: If you plan to break up the journey and stay overnight, accommodation costs will be an additional consideration. The price of accommodations can vary depending on the location, type of accommodation, and the time of year you travel. You can expect to spend roughly $110 AUD per night in a hotel room for 2 people.
  4. Meals and Snacks: You’ll need to budget for meals and snacks during the journey. This can include dining at restaurants, and cafes, purchasing groceries for picnics or self-catering if you have access to cooking facilities. It’s suggested to put aside $200 for food and snacks for two people.
  5. Attractions and Activities: If you plan to make any stops or visit attractions along the way, such as national parks or theme parks, be sure to consider the entrance fees or ticket prices in your budget. Most theme parks charge around $89 AUD per person on the Gold Coast and $45 AUD per person in Sydney.

It’s advisable to plan your budget in advance, considering all these factors, and allow for some flexibility for unexpected expenses. Fuel and toll costs can be estimated based on current prices and the distance of your journey, while accommodation and personal expenses will depend on your preferences and choices during the trip.

What Town Is Halfway Between Sydney And Gold Coast?

The town that is roughly halfway between Sydney and the Gold Coast is Coffs Harbour. Coffs Harbour is located on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, approximately 540 kilometres (335 miles) north of Sydney and about 440 kilometres (273 miles) south of the Gold Coast.

Coffs Harbour is a popular coastal town known for its stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and the iconic Big Banana monument. It serves as a convenient midpoint for travellers driving between Sydney and the Gold Coast, offering a range of amenities, accommodation options, and attractions to explore.

If you’re looking to break up your journey and take a rest or explore the area, Coffs Harbour provides opportunities to enjoy its beautiful beaches, visit the Coffs Harbour Jetty, or take a walk in the nearby Dorrigo National Park. It’s also known for its vibrant fishing industry, and you can sample fresh seafood at local restaurants and markets.

Keep in mind that actual distances and travel times may vary depending on the specific route you take, traffic conditions, and any stops or detours you make along the way.

Where Should I Stay Between Sydney And Gold Coast?

There are several towns and cities between Sydney and the Gold Coast where you can consider staying during your journey. The choice of where to stay depends on your preferences, travel plans, and the specific route you take. Here are a few popular options:

  1. Port Macquarie: Located approximately halfway between Sydney and the Gold Coast, Port Macquarie is a coastal town known for its beautiful beaches, scenic riverfront, and relaxed atmosphere. It offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly motels.
  2. Coffs Harbour: As mentioned earlier, Coffs Harbour is a major coastal town and a convenient midpoint between Sydney and the Gold Coast. It provides various accommodation choices, including beachfront hotels, holiday apartments, and caravan parks.
  3. Byron Bay: While Byron Bay is closer to the Gold Coast, it can be an excellent place to stay if you plan to explore both the Gold Coast and the surrounding region. Known for its stunning beaches, bohemian vibes, and alternative lifestyle, Byron Bay offers a range of accommodations, from backpacker hostels to luxury resorts.
  4. Ballina: Situated just south of Byron Bay, Ballina is another coastal town with beautiful beaches and a laid-back atmosphere. It offers a range of accommodation options, including beachfront resorts, motels, and holiday apartments.
  5. Tweed Heads/Coolangatta: Located near the New South Wales and Queensland border, Tweed Heads and Coolangatta are twin towns that serve as the southernmost part of the Gold Coast. They offer a variety of accommodation options, including hotels, apartments, and resorts, and provide easy access to the attractions of the Gold Coast.

When selecting a place to stay, consider factors such as your budget, preferred amenities, proximity to attractions, and the duration of your stay. It’s also a good idea to book accommodation in advance, especially during peak travel periods, to secure your preferred choice.

In Conclusion

Between Sydney and Brisbane, there are numerous attractions and scenic spots to explore. Some notable places to visit along the way include the Central Coast with its beautiful beaches, Newcastle with its vibrant arts scene, Port Stephens for water activities and dolphin watching, Coffs Harbour with its stunning beaches and the iconic Big Banana monument, Byron Bay is known for its bohemian atmosphere and Cape Byron Lighthouse, and the Gold Coast with its theme parks and golden beaches. These are just a few highlights of the many attractions and experiences you can enjoy during your journey between Sydney and Brisbane.


We have travelled to many great places around Australia and hope to share our travel tips, hacks, and adventures with you. So come with us as we explore the great down under!

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