Whether you’re trying to keep your family entertained or you simply want to discover some of the amazing sights on the route from Brisbane to Coffs Harbour, we’ve got you covered! Below, you’ll find 10 of the most amazing places to visit from the Gold Coast to Woolgoolga.

What is the Driving Distance from Brisbane to Coffs Harbour?

The driving distance from Brisbane to Coffs Harbour is 385km (239 miles), and the estimated driving time is 3 hours and 45 minutes, depending on traffic.

While this isn’t the longest distance or time to drive, it would be a shame not to stop and check out some of the sights and points of interest along the way. From beautiful beaches to art galleries, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

What Are Some Places We Recommend Checking Out Along the Way?

Below, you’ll find some awesome places to take a break from driving, stretch your legs, and marvel at the sights that can be found along the route from Brisbane to Coffs Harbour.

  1. The Gold Coast
  2. Byron Bay
  3. Ballina
  4. Yamba
  5. Woolgoolga
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385km trip distance

day roadtrip

Campervan recommended

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The Gold Coast

The Gold Coast

Sightseeing #1: Surfers Paradise Beach

One of Australia’s most iconic beaches, Surfers Paradise Beach stretches from Northcliffe to Narrowneck and is alive with activity throughout the year. This beach is particularly popular with surfers (hence the name), cyclists, and skateboarders.

You’ll also find a beachfront market here between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, as well as a variety of restaurants and bars with live music that are perfect for refuelling on your way.

The Skypoint Observation Deck can be found at Surfers Paradise as well, offering incredible 360-degree views of the Gold Coast. A restaurant with panoramic views of the Gold Coast can also be found here, making for both a memorable experience and a meal.

Sightseeing #2: Tallebudgera Creek

Surrounded by the Burleigh Heads National Park and Springbrook National Park, Tallebudgera Creek offers a picturesque spot to stop for a picnic, go for an impromptu swim, or simply take a moment to unwind before the final leg of your journey. Here, you’ll also find some of the most incredible views in New South Wales.

There are loads of useful amenities at Tallebudgera Creek that most drivers will find useful too, including accessible toilets, baby changing facilities, and dog exercise areas. The Creek is easily accessible from both the Pacific Highway and Gold Coast Highway, making it a super convenient place to rest and get straight back on the road when you’re ready.

Byron Bay

Byron Bay

Sightseeing #1: The Farm Byron Bay

Open all year round, The Farm Byron Bay is both a working farm and a collection of micro-businesses, all with one common goal: to grow, feed, and educate. Here, you’ll be able to explore the land, see the animals, and learn more about sustainable produce.

The Farm Byron Bay is also home to the Three Blue Ducks Restaurant, which is the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat on your drive. There is a plant nursery here too, as well as a rustic playground for kids to enjoy and a coffee stop. With something for all the family, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Sightseeing #2: Cape Byron Walking Track

For those with a little more time to kill, the Cape Byron Walking Track offers a great way to get out of the car and into nature. The 3.7km loop takes around 1.5 hours to complete and offers spectacular views of the coast and a trek through the rainforest, guiding you to a clifftop lighthouse.

It’s a good idea to take your binoculars on the Cape Byron Walking Track, as not only is it home to some incredible wildlife, but the view across Byron Bay offers the opportunity to do some whale watching. It is the perfect pit stop for any nature lover looking for a break from their road trip.



Sightseeing #1: The Big Prawn

Located at 507 River Street, Ballina’s “Big Prawn” is one of the area’s most famous visitor attractions. It’s exactly what you think it is: a 35-ton sculpture of a prawn that was constructed in 1989 in honour of the local prawning industry.

Interestingly, you used to be able to walk inside the prawn and use the head as a viewing platform. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible, but the immediate area does offer gift shops and seafood restaurants to help commemorate your visit to this unique icon.

Sightseeing #2: Richmond River Lighthouse

One of the oldest landmarks in New South Wales, the Richmond River Lighthouse was designed by James Barnet and constructed in 1866. A short walk from Lighthouse Beach, the lighthouse is surrounded by views of the beach and over the water and is the perfect place to catch a beautiful sunset.

It should be noted that the lighthouse itself is not open to the public to enter, but the architecture and history of the building, along with the views, are well worth the visit alone.



Sightseeing #1: Yamba Museum

Perfect for any history lover, the Yamba Museum is part of the “Museums and Galleries of New South Wales” organisation and offers information and a glimpse into the area’s past. It has also won awards for its collection of artefacts and interactive displays.

It is heavily focused on the maritime history of Yamba and its early days as a settlement. Items of interest, such as Francis Freeburn’s telescope and a shark-bitten surfboard, can be found here, as well as information on the Port of Yamba’s history and models of steam riverboats and sail ships.

Entry is free for children, and adult entry costs just $5, so it’s a great place to see some interesting and rare items for a low price!

Sightseeing #2: Clarence River Lighthouse

Another incredible piece of architecture to discover along the Brisbane to Coffs Harbour route, Clarence River Lighthouse was built in 1955 to replace the original 1880 tower.

Standing at 7 metres tall, this lighthouse truly is a sight to behold, and the grounds are open all year round. This is a great place for those interested in learning more about the history of Australia between Brisbane and Coffs Harbour, and signs with information about the lighthouse and the area can be found here.

There’s also a car park on the grounds, making it a super convenient pit stop.



Sightseeing #1: Woolgoolga Art Gallery

One of New South Wales’ hidden treasures, the Woolgoolga Art Gallery displays arts and crafts from local artists and sells them at realistic prices. This makes it the perfect place for any art enthusiast to stop along the journey, as well as a great way to show your children the work of some of Australia’s most creative talents!

The Woolgoolga Art Gallery is located slightly off the beaten track but is still accessible and has a car park for convenience. It is worth calling ahead, however, as they aren’t always able to open as advertised during the summer.

Sightseeing #2: Wedding Bells State Forest

The Wedding Bells State Forest is a favourite spot for those on a road trip who would prefer to avoid busy country towns. Like most national parks, here you’ll find loop walks through forests and historical landmarks, including an old gold mine and abandoned tramway.

A playground can also be found in Wedding Bells State Forest, offering a place for children to burn off some excess energy and, hopefully, sleep for the rest of the journey!

Final Thoughts

Campervan in front of Big Banana in Coffs Harbour

As you can see, there are some amazing places to discover as you travel from Brisbane to Coffs Harbour. If you’d like some more information on how to make even more of your Brisbane road trip, find out how to hire a campervan in Brisbane by speaking to the Travellers Autobarn Team and getting a free online quote.

Or, if you’re looking for even more road trip ideas from Brisbane, look here. What are you waiting for? Get out and explore all that New South Wales & Queensland has to offer!

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