Driving the route south down the Pacific east coast of Australia is a favourite amongst backpackers, holiday makers and Australians. This well loved road trip is just over 900 km in distance and can take you from as little as two days to two weeks to complete, it all depends on what kind of road trip you’re looking for.

Here is a suggested road trip itinerary with some ideas for places to stop and top things you should see and do on the way!

Quick stats

900km trip distance

7 day roadtrip

Campervan recommended

road trip map

Brisbane to Byron Bay

Stop 1
Byron surf wreck

Time: 2 hours

Distance: 160 km

Head south out of the Brisbane and get onto the M1 which will take you right into the heart of Byron Bay. This famous little town is the perfect place to park up, hit the beach and relaaaaax. Grab breakfast at one of Byron’s great cafes, stroll around the famous farmers market or hit the surf!  

If you want to fit in some extra exploring before you land in Byron then check out Tamborine Mountain to the south west of Brisbane city and try the treetop walk through the rainforest. It’s also an area that’s great for scenic rainforest hikes and picnics.

Get more tips on hiring a campervan in Brisbane and top things to do here.

Byron Bay to Coffs Harbour

Stop 2
Coffs Harbour kangaroos

Time: 2 hours 45 mins

Distance: 230 km

When you’re ready to move on from Byron that it’s time to shake the sand from your beach towel and pack your things back into your campervan. Wind your way down south via small towns such as Grafton and the seaside of village of Yamba. Grafton is famous for it’s Jacaranda trees, so if you’re driving through in October you might be lucky enough to see them in full bloom!

Coffs Harbour has some stunning beaches. If you are up for more beach time after Byron then you should check out:

  • Gallows
  • Park Beach
  • Sapphire
  • Emerald
  • Sawtell Beach.

Coffs Harbour to Port Macquarie

Stop 3
The Big banana Coffs Harbour

Time: 1 hour 45 mins drive time

Distance: 153 km

As you’re leaving Coffs Harbour make sure you drive by the Giant Banana Fun Park for a photo stop, this popular tourist attraction is a backpack must see!

The easy drive from Coffs Harbour to the nearest large town, Port Macquarie, will take you just under two hours, but if you want to pull over there are plenty of remote beaches and picnic spots on the way.

Port Macquarie to Port Stephens

Stop 4
Port Macquarie to Port Stephens

Time: 2 hours 15 mins

Distance: 218 km

The beautiful coastal town of Port Macquarie is known for its beaches and wildlife. If you’re stopping here then make sure you visit Lighthouse Beach, Sea Acres National Park and one of the many classic Aussie cafes for a great flat white.

There are lots of great campsites here with full facilities, which make this the perfect place to park up and stay put for a few nights.

When you leave Port Macquarie then we recommend that you take the scenic route to Port Stephens by turning off the highway and driving along the coast, passing some stunning spots such as Myall Lakes National Park, Blueys and Boomerang Beaches.

Port Stephens to Sydney

Stop 5
Port Stephens

Time: 2 hours 15 mins

Distance: 177 km

Port Stephens is a great holiday destination and there are lots of activities on offer here. Many are water based due to the fact that Port Stephens covers a whopping 126,000 square meters of water, that’s two and a half times the size of Sydney Harbour! Book yourself on some sailing or whale watching trips, go swimming or snorkeling or go on a sand dunes quad bike tour.

Continue south past the Central Coast and through the Berowra Valley National Park before driving over the harbour bridge and pulling into Sydney city. If you want to carry on your trip then here are some top ideas on road trips from Sydney here.

sales and rentals

Beach surfing sunset

If you’re looking to hire a campervan in Brisbane for your road trip to Sydney then speak to the team at Travellers Autobarn about our great rates and deals today! Want to start from Sydney? Then check out the deals and special on campervan hire in Sydney.

If you want to read more of our Brisbane adventures, come and explore the dedicated Brisbane Road Trips. Happy Exploring!

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