Planning your 7-day road trip from Sydney to Gold Coast? You’re in for a real treat! This route will take you through some of Australia’s most breathtaking coastal scenery – perfect for a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Quick pit stops at charming seaside towns offer a wealth of delicious eats, stimulating sights, and plenty of opportunities to capture amazing pictures. The picturesque views come one after another as you take this journey up north – from relaxed rural areas to dense rainforests to golden beaches – all in one walloping dose. So make sure you set aside time for appreciating your surroundings as well as making great memories along the way!

Sydney to Gold Coast Distance

Soak in the beautiful views of the countryside as you drive along a 937km stretch that takes approximately 11 hours. With numerous stopping points on the way, enjoy the freedom of customisation and plan your trip accordingly. From snorkelling to bushwalking and surfing to beach hopping, there is something for everyone. Get ready to experience Australia’s east coast like never before.

Campervan on road in Gold Coast, Australia

Quick stats

937km trip distance

7 day roadtrip

Campervan recommended

road trip map

Day 1: Sydney to Newcastle

Travel Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
View from Tomaree Head, Port Stephens

Day 1 kicks off with a drive up north to Newcastle, if you wanted a quick trip up to Stockton beach, you could head 30 mins along the water. Or for a bit of a longer journey, you could keep heading north up to Nelson Bay along the Pacific Highway. This city offers an abundance of attractions, making it an ideal destination for those looking for a fun and exciting vacation. With its warm, sandy beaches, vibrant streets, luxurious cafés and markets, as well as its historical landmarks and sights, this former industrial town has something to offer every traveller. Whether you’re into outdoor activities or simply want to take in the sun and unwind on the beach, don’t miss out on all that Newcastle has to offer!

Sightseeing #1: Fort Scratchley

Fort Scratchley is a valuable and integral part of Newcastle’s history. Located on the headland, the lookout site has been used since pre-colonial times by local Aboriginal tribes, taking advantage of its elevated viewpoint as well as seams of coal found near its base. With an art deco style design, recently renovated structures, and spectacular harbour views, Fort Scratchley occupies an essential place in Newcastle’s rich and fascinating past that is well worth exploring.

Sightseeing #2: Bogey Hole

A visit to Bogey Hole, the oldest European-built ocean pool along the NSW coast, provides travellers with a unique experience. This iconic landmark is not only a beautiful sight but also holds immense importance in local history. Its one-of-a-kind charm means that it’s an absolute must when exploring Newcastle – you won’t find another adventure quite like this. The memories made at Bogey Hole will undoubtedly stay with you for years to come.

Day 2: Newcastle to Taree

Travel Time: 2 hours
Campervan on road driving through lush forest

Admire picturesque views of forests, beaches, rivers and national parks in lush surrounds as you wind your way from Newcastle to Taree, taking a moment or two along the way to stretch your legs and take in nature’s splendour. An unforgettable experience awaits you upon arrival in Taree – explore this captivating town’s galleries, museums, cafes and shopping districts as you immerse yourself in local culture and history.

Sightseeing #1: Apex Lookout

Apex Lookout in Taree offers stunning farmland views and nearby water features, making it an ideal spot for nature lovers. Hikers will love exploring the trails around the lookout, while animal spotters can expect to see some interesting local wildlife. If you’re looking to take some amazing photos, then visiting at sunrise or sunset is highly recommended.

Sightseeing #2: Coorabakh National Park

Coorabakh National Park is a sight to behold, providing stunning vistas and breathtaking scenery. Visitors will get to observe the recent remains of ancient volcanoes that have shaped the landscape for thousands of years. There are multiple activities in this naturally gorgeous spot that abound, with options for hiking, picnicking and birdwatching.

Day 3: Taree to Port Macquarie

Travel Time: 1 hour
Lighthouse beach seen from the lighthouse in Port Macquarie

On day 3 of your 7-day Sydney to Gold Coast drive, stop in the dynamic city of Port Macquarie. Visit its well-known Koala Hospital and take advantage of its plethora of activities, including skydiving, paragliding, horseriding, surfing, boating and more. Explore the region’s mesmerizing national parks, scenic waterways like Hastings River and idyllic beaches. Spend some time soaking in the local atmosphere by enjoying a leisurely stroll or having some freshly caught oysters for lunch.

Sightseeing #1: Koala Hospital

Located on the grounds of Roto House, the Koala Hospital is truly a unique and special place – it is the world’s first hospital dedicated solely to the care and preservation of koalas. Equipped with state-of-the-art treatment rooms and intensive care units, along with 24 Hour Rescue & Treatment operations and recovery yards, this facility features an exciting insight into koala rehabilitation. To experience everything that Port Macquarie’s Koala Hospital has to offer, stop by during opening hours (8:30 am to 4 pm every day) for a guided tour or free visit around our facilities.

Sightseeing #2: Sea Acres National Park

This protected area hosts one of the largest and least altered coastal rainforests in New South Wales, despite facing pressure from agricultural expansion, mining or housing. The separate rainforest section adjacent to Shelley Beach creates a unique nature experience right by the sea. Take in the lush surroundings, listen to the calls of native birds or follow boardwalks offering spectacular views over timber-framed landscapes – all without leaving Port Macquarie’s boundaries.

Day 4: Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour

Travel Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Campervan in front of Big Banana in Coffs Harbour

Famous for its ‘Big Banana’, Coffs Harbour is a popular holiday and service centre known for its banana plantations, resorts, mild climate and fishing opportunities. There are many different activities available within the mountains, which tumble down to the sea at this location, and you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of this naturally stunning region. From snorkelling to whale-watching tours and taking unique adventures in the rainforest or exploring old gold mining towns, you’re sure to have a memorable time in Coffs Harbour.

Sightseeing #1: Dolphin Marine Conservation Park

With a wide range of activities and experiences, you can get up close and personal with dolphins, sea lions, penguins and more. Whether you book a private land-based experience or swim with the dolphins, these incredible memories are guaranteed to be some of your fondest. Plus, as a conservation park that has made it its mission to protect and save marine animals and oceans, being at the park is sure to inspire all who visit about the work being done. So come along and enjoy the best family experience Coffs Harbour has to offer!

Sightseeing #2: Dorrigo National Park

Just one hour’s drive away, the national park rests high on the Dorrigo Plateau overlooking breathtaking views and providing an ideal nature escape. Noted for its diverse sub-tropical vegetation and surrounding native birdlife, this World Heritage-listed region is a paradise for those seeking a memorable outdoor adventure. With wheelchair-accessible paths, plenty of scenic spots for BBQ lunch or picnics, and captivating waterfalls nestled in lush forests to explore, Dorrigo National Park is not to be missed.

Day 5: Coffs Harbour to Yamba

Travel Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Campervan parked next to beach in Australia

As you embark on your seven-day voyage from Sydney to Gold Coast, don’t miss the chance to explore Yamba’s mesmerizing natural beauty and vibrant culture! On day five of your journey, this picturesque coastal village will captivate you with its rustic riverside shops and myriad travel routes. From gorgeous beaches to bustling markets–Yamba holds an abundance of activities that make it a beloved holiday destination for both locals and visitors alike. Uncover why many have fallen in love with Yamba when visiting on your road trip.

Sightseeing #1: Yamba Lighthouse

Standing tall for more than a century, the Yamba Lighthouse provides magnificent views of the surrounding grassland. This is the perfect spot to take a break from swimming at the beach and have a picnic or grab some local fish and chips. Whale watching is also possible during certain times of the year, and on full moon nights, you can watch it rise in all its glory.

Sightseeing #2: Yuraygir Coastal Walk

The Yuraygir Coastal Walk is an incredible journey along the coast of Yamba, taking in heathlands, beaches, creeks, lagoons and more. You’ll have stunning views as you traverse ancient trails preserved by the local Aboriginals. Wildflowers are abundant throughout the route, and there’s an abundance of wildlife to observe. It’s possible to complete the 65 km track with camping stops or break it up into shorter segments. The walk is best undertaken going north to south and will offer adventurers a unique experience they won’t quickly forget.

Day 6: Yamba to Byron Bay

Travel Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cape Byron Light House in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia

On the sixth day of your Sydney-Gold Coast journey, you will find yourself in Byron Bay – Australia’s easternmost point. Be sure to check out its famed lighthouse and all of its fascinating stores, eateries and culinary delights! Moreover, there are plenty of exciting festivals taking place throughout the year, with live music gigs, sports events and art galleries for you to explore.

Sightseeing #1: Cape Byron Lighthouse

Offering incredible views of the breathtaking and majestic Cape Byron Headland, the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse offers a striking presence on the horizon of Byron Bay. As Australia’s most easterly point along mainland shores, this lighthouse is truly one-of-a-kind with its impressive 27-nautical mile beam. Aside from being a vibrant piece of maritime history, this destination also provides an excellent spot for whale watching or simply taking in their beauty as they leisurely pass by.

Sightseeing #2: Tallow Beach

Whether you’ve been to Byron Bay or not, it’s easy to visualize the incredible view of its serene coastline. Tallow Beach boasts a stunning array of natural splendour, with its iconic lighthouse at one end and Broken Head at the other. Not only is this beach a sight for sore eyes, but also a well-loved spot for pet owners as pooches are allowed to roam around leash-free within several kilometres from the shoreline.

Day 7: Byron Bay to Gold Coast

Travel Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia

On the seventh and final day of your Sydney to Gold Coast road trip, you will arrive in the beautiful coastal city of Gold Coast. From its iconic surf beaches, lush national parks and famous theme parks to shopping, nightlife and hinterland attractions, there is something for everyone on the Gold Coast. With all its attractions, it’s no wonder visitors keep coming back time and time again to experience everything this vibrant city has to offer.

Sightseeing #1: Surfers Paradise Beach

Surfers Paradise is one of the most beautiful spots in Gold Coast, and it’s not hard to see why. Lined with white umbrellas, colourful beachfront hotels, and a stunning three-kilometre strip of golden sand, it is no surprise that this famously pristine beach attracts surfers, swimmers and joggers from all around the world. Breathtakingly beautiful sunsets, countless activities to enjoy, and happening beachside bars make Surfers Paradise Beach an idyllic spot for sightseeing unlike any other.

Sightseeing #2: Tamborine Mountain

Tamborine Mountain offers visitors 10 different types of forest, offering numerous opportunities for exploration and discovery. Its forests provide habitat for an incredible 900 different species of plants which comprise a remarkable 65% of all plant species found in the biodiverse Gold Coast area. Tamborine Mountain is sure to be an engaging and enjoyable experience for those seeking a nature-filled itinerary and is guaranteed to provide long-lasting memories.

Happy Exploring!

Campervan on road with view of Byron Bay Lighthouse

For more information on hiring a campervan in Sydney, speak to the Travellers Autobarn Team or get a free online quote today!

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

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