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11 Day Australian Pacific Coast Vacation

11 days 10 nights
Sydney to Brisbane
from NZD$2,265pp
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Discover the cities and towns of Australia's Pacific Coast on this 11 day self drive journey. Starting in Sydney, you'll have time to explore iconic attractions like the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and Bondi Beach, before getting in your car and heading north through Newcastle and Coffs Harbour before taking some time out in the chic surf town of Byron Bay. From there, you'll continue north through the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise to your destination of Brisbane, meeting plenty of friendly locals and wildlife along the way.

Classic driving toursFamily touringWildlife & nature

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Tour full itinerary
Itinerary
Day One - Arrive Sydney
Tour day 1
11 Day Australian Pacific Coast Vacation - Day 1
Itinerary information by APP & in country support

Access to our exclusive Touring App. The App includes your full itinerary and reservation details, all available online and offline as well as lots of other great information such as restaurant guides, weather forecasts, and local activity suggestions. Instant itinerary updates and changes are available and it's easy to keep in touch with us. The App is free and easy to download on your mobile using Android or IOS.
You also have access to our free call number and after-hours service if you require support while on tour.

Private Transfer from Sydney Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, a private transfer will collect you from Sydney Airport and transfer you to your accommodation.

Arrive into Sydney

Sydney is Australia's most famous city and with almost 20% of the country's population, is also Australia's largest city. Situated on the east coast of Australia it has beautiful white sand beaches, including the famous Bondi Beach and Manly Beach as well as the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and of course, the Sydney Opera House. Rich in history, art, and food Sydney has something for everyone.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Evening Dinner Cruise on Sydney Harbour

Sydney harbour is like a sunset painting in progress. The aquamarine colours of Summer give way to the warm orange hues of Autumn before deepening to a magical Winter twilight blue. Year-round, sun-up or sun-down and everything in between, the colours of Sydney Harbour will welcome you onboard the evening Dinner Cruise. This is the perfect start to an evening or stunning end to an amazing day in the greatest city in the world.

Accommodation: Mantra 2 Bond Street Sydney
Accommodation type: Apartments
Sydney is yours for the taking when you stay at Mantra 2 Bond Street. With tourist attractions like Sydney Harbour, Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay and Darling Harbour right on your doorstep. Take it all in as you overlook the Harbour from the rooftop's heated pool and spa.

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Day Two - Sydney free day
Tour day 2
11 Day Australian Pacific Coast Vacation - Day 2
Explore Sydney

Often mistaken as Australia's capital city, Sydney is a vibrant coastal city with plenty to see and do. Wander around Circular Quay for great views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge; explore the Royal Botanic Gardens, get your science and culture fix at the Powerhouse Museum, Maritime Museum or the Sydney Observatory; take a ferry and explore the Harbour, Luna Park or Taronga Zoo, or simply shop til you drop in the city centre. With plenty of great bars and restaurants, there is no shortage of things to see, do, eat and drink!

Sydney Opera House Tour

Step inside an iconic landmark. The Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s most recognisable landmarks and this is your chance to truly get up-close. Run your hands over the world-famous shell tiles, take a seat in the elegant custom-made white birch timber chairs and marvel at the vaulted ceilings. Visit areas off-limits to the public and capture photographs from rare vantage points. Watch unforgettable moments from past Concert Hall performances, learning about the history and future of this world-famous hall in an immersive digital experience. Experience the future within a  purpose-built venue that boasts heritage-inspired interiors, and state-of-the-art technology, including 270-degree visuals and surround sound.
From the jaw-dropping sweep of the sails to our soaring cathedral interiors, it is impossible to complete a tour of the Sydney Opera House without being compelled to look up.

Accommodation: Mantra 2 Bond Street Sydney
Accommodation type: Apartments
Sydney is yours for the taking when you stay at Mantra 2 Bond Street. With tourist attractions like Sydney Harbour, Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay and Darling Harbour right on your doorstep. Take it all in as you overlook the Harbour from the rooftop's heated pool and spa.

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Day Three - Sydney to Newcastle
Tour day 3
11 Day Australian Pacific Coast Vacation - Day 3
Collect your rental car

Our rental car range includes the latest vehicles from the top suppliers. We have a fantastic range, from economy hatchbacks to prestige sedans and SUVs. Insurance can often be included with a small excess or deductible.

Sydney to Newcastle via Central Coast

After departing Sydney through the leafy northern suburbs, take the scenic route to the Central Coast. A popular stop on the way is the Australian Reptile Park, where you can see an array of local animals and even feed a kangaroo or cuddle a koala.
Continuing along the highway, you should take some time to explore the area with towns like Terrigal, Avoca Beach and The Entrance which are home to long sandy beaches, popular surf breaks, and great cafes and restaurants.
Continue north, skirting Lake Macquarie, Australia's largest coastal saltwater lake before arriving into Newcastle, the second biggest city in NSW.

Accommodation: Travelodge Hotel Newcastle
Accommodation type: Hotel 3 star
Travelodge Hotel Newcastle is smack-bang in the middle of all the wonderful things Newcastle has to offer. Jaw-dropping coastline, the vibrant foreshore, exciting nightlife, and beautiful beaches worth dipping your toes into are just some of the many charms of this coastal city.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 147 kms / 91 miles : 2.2 hours

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Day Four - Newcastle to Coffs Harbour
Tour day 4
11 Day Australian Pacific Coast Vacation - Day 4
Newcastle to Coffs Harbour

This full day journey follows the Pacific Highway north, through coastal national parks, across waterways and with plenty of detours available to small towns, all with their own charms. 
Stop into Port Macquarie to stretch your legs on the white sandy beaches and stop for lunch and pop into the Koala Hospital to learn about Australia's cutest inhabitants, the threats that they face, and the important conservation work done by the hospital's staff and volunteers.
If you're a country music fan, take a short detour into Kempsey, where a visit to the Slim Dusty Museum will give you an insight into the history of country music in Australia and local icon, Slim Dusty. Kempsey is also home to the Akubra hat factory, so for a truly authentic souvenir, a visit to the showroom is a must.
Continue another hour north to your destination, Coffs Harbour. Grab a photo with the famous Big Banana, symbolic of one of the regions largest economic drivers, the tropical fruit industry. With gorgeous beaches and spectacular lookouts, this is a great place to put your feet up and relax.

Accommodation: BreakFree Aanuka Beach
Accommodation type: Apartments
Positioned on the stunning Northern New South Wales Coastline, BreakFree Aanuka Beach Resort offers everything you need in your Coffs Harbour accommodation, with recreation and relaxation all rolled into one, making for a delightful beach escape.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 377 kms / 234 miles : 3.9 hours

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Day Five - Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay
Tour day 5
11 Day Australian Pacific Coast Vacation - Day 5
Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay

Today's drive will cover about 240km up the Pacific Coast, leaving you plenty of opportunities to stop off and take in the sights. Before heading off from Coffs Harbour, head to the Solitary Islands Marine Park to explore the surrounding waters on a snorkelling tour. These waters are home to diverse coral, colourful fish, turtles, and dolphins.
From Coffs Harbour, snake along the coast for 120km until you reach signs for Yamba. This sleepy hamlet has beaches that rival those of Byron Bay but remains a little more low-profile. Take a stroll on one of the beautiful beaches, or head to the Pacific Hotel for some great views.
From Yamba, return to the Pacific Highway and continue to head north. If you want an opportunity to spot a second "big thing" today, take a short detour into Ballina to see the Big Prawn. Back on the highway, it's just 30km (18 miles) further to your final destination, Byron Bay.

Accommodation: Eco Beach Resort Byron Bay
Accommodation type: Apartments
Eco Beach Resort Byron Bay is nestled on the edge of Byron Bay’s thriving town centre, in a stunning location famous for its beaches, sun sparkled ocean, and lush surrounding mountains. The resort’s central swimming pool will beckon you after you have visited the beach which is only a short walk away, or you can relax in the spa and have a barbeque if you prefer a quieter option to the nearby bustle of Byron.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 219 kms / 136 miles : 2.1 hours

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Day Six - Explore Byron Bay and surrounds
Tour day 6
11 Day Australian Pacific Coast Vacation - Day 6
Explore Byron Bay

Byron Bay is Australia's easternmost town and is home to beautiful beaches, lush rainforest, luxury retreats and some fantastic restaurants. People have always been drawn to the region for its fantastic surf, but today it also caters to those looking for a slow-paced break.
Take advantage of some of the town's beautiful walks, such as the Cape Byron track - the perfect place to watch the sunrise. This 3.7km loop takes you through rainforest and shear cliffs with panoramic views of the region. If you're there between June and November keep your eyes peeled for whales migrating along the coast.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Sunset Eco Rainforest River Cruise

Every sunset on the river is special. Feel the breeze cooling you on a summer afternoon as you watch the birds return to roost for the night. The rainforest and river scenery is beautiful at this time of day. If you are looking for a unique local experience and fantastic bird watching in Byron Bay this is the cruise for you. You may even see one or two of the beautiful kingfisher species or majestic eagles that call the Brunswick River home. Enjoy a complimentary drink and tasty tapas including a selection of local fine produce as you relax and let the cares of the day float away. The licensed bar is open for local Brookie's Gin cocktails, a selection of local Stone & Wood beers, wine, and bubbly. Return to harbour as the sun slowly sinks behind Mt Chincogan and see the lovely reflections in the river.

Accommodation: Eco Beach Resort Byron Bay
Accommodation type: Apartments
Eco Beach Resort Byron Bay is nestled on the edge of Byron Bay’s thriving town centre, in a stunning location famous for its beaches, sun sparkled ocean, and lush surrounding mountains. The resort’s central swimming pool will beckon you after you have visited the beach which is only a short walk away, or you can relax in the spa and have a barbeque if you prefer a quieter option to the nearby bustle of Byron.

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Day Seven - Byron Bay to Gold Coast
Tour day 7
11 Day Australian Pacific Coast Vacation - Day 7
Byron Bay to the Gold Coast

The drive from Byron Bay to the Gold Coast will see you crossing state lines from New South Wales to Queensland. This short drive will take little more than an hour, so have a leisurely start to your morning in Byron Bay before hitting the road.
Travel past Coolangatta, a surf and diving mecca revered for its unpretentious culture and bountiful array of aquatic life and continue onto the Gold Coast, famed for its white-sand beaches, theme parks, and shopping. Stop at the iconic Surfers Paradise, take a surf lesson, or, for a bird's eye view of the city and surrounding beaches, head up the 270m tall (886 foot) Q1 building.

Accommodation: Mantra Broadbeach on the Park
Accommodation type: Apartments
Mantra Broadbeach on the Park offers stylish accommodation just metres from the Gold Coast's best beaches, restaurants, nightlife and shopping malls.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 76 kms / 47 miles : 0.8 hours

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Day Eight - Get some sand between your toes and explore the aptly-named Surfers Paradise
Tour day 8
11 Day Australian Pacific Coast Vacation - Day 8
Gold Coast

The Gold Coast's star attraction is its white sand beaches, including the world-famous stretch of sand at Surfers Paradise. Beyond the beaches, a the Gold Coast boasts Australia's tallest building - the Q1, a booming culinary scene, rainforest walks and the Gold Coast's famous theme parks.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Gold Coast City Tour & River Cruise with Aquaduck Gold Coast

The “World’s First” amphibious Aquaduck Safari, operating since 1996, is an established Gold Coast icon.
Departing from the heart of Surfers Paradise, tours aboard the amphibious ‘Duck’ combine informative city tours with a unique and exciting river cruise, travelling past the glitzy waterfront mansions of the rich and famous and taking in the spectacular views of the Gold Coast waterways and its famous landmarks.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Evening Rainforest & Glow Worm Experience with Southern Cross Tours

Experience an exciting nighttime tour with stargazing, delicious dessert at a local restaurant and a fully guided rainforest walk to the waterfall. This is a great tour for you to discover the bio-network of rainforests and to experience nocturnal wildlife spotting. Journey to the peaceful and picturesque Gold Coast hinterland. A local mountain-top restaurant awaits you to serve tea, coffee or hot chocolate accompanied by a selection of delicious cakes.
With the knowledge of your guide, discover the lush forests of the Mount Tamborine National Park and spot native nocturnal wildlife. Everyone has a flashlight to light the walkway. At the end of the trail emerges Curtis Falls, a subtropical waterfall and habitat to the stars of the show, the ever-fascinating, glow worms.

Accommodation: Mantra Broadbeach on the Park
Accommodation type: Apartments
Mantra Broadbeach on the Park offers stylish accommodation just metres from the Gold Coast's best beaches, restaurants, nightlife and shopping malls.

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Day Nine - Make the most of today with the scenic route through the Scenic Rim
Tour day 9
11 Day Australian Pacific Coast Vacation - Day 9
Gold Coast to Brisbane via the Scenic Rim

The Scenic Rim driving route between Gold Coast and Brisbane is one of spectacular beauty, bursting with stunning mountain ranges and unique topography. Nestled in an ancient volcanic caldera, its abundance of flora, fauna, scenery and local produce is not to be missed.
Begin your journey by making your way westbound out of the city towards Nerang, and from there carry on west to Canungra. Once you reach Canungra, you will head south on Lamington National Park Road.
This UNESCO World Heritage site will take your breath away with its exceptional beauty. Home to rainforest, ancient trees, deep valleys and streams, you can immerse yourself in its 160km of walking trails. If you are looking for an easy walk, head for the Centenary Track which should take roughly 30 minutes. If you're feeling a bit more invigorated, carry on to the Morans Falls Track from Centenary Track for a 2 hour return journey.
After you've had your fix of short walks, head back to Canungra before heading north towards Tamborine Mountain. Home to a Rainforest Skywalk, Treetop Challenge, and brewery, there is something for everyone in the family. The plateau is the product of lava flow from the Mount Warning volcanic eruption 22 million years ago and prior to European settlement, it was inhabited by Aboriginal People for tens of thousands of years. Today, it is celebrated for its natural beauty, exceptional fresh produce and abundance of outdoor activities.
Drive north towards Brisbane and if you're still hungry, Yatala Pies are a Queensland icon, making meat pies for over 130 years and definitely worth a quick stop. From here, get back on the motorway and follow it all the way into Brisbane.

Accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane
Accommodation type: Apartments
Immerse yourself in this grand historic building suitably in the center of Brisbane. The Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane is heritage-listed and artfully restored with a classic yet contemporary design. Located on George Street, the ground floor lobby space celebrates the building’s Art Deco origins. A stone’s throw from Queen Street Mall and Queen’s Wharf, or a brief stroll will find you in amongst buzzing Southbank’s cool bars, restaurants and parklands. The building has a wonderful and rich history. Initially built to accommodate the Queensland Government Savings Bank, it opened in 1922.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 174 kms / 108 miles : 3.3 hours

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Day Ten - Free day to explore Brisbane
Tour day 10
11 Day Australian Pacific Coast Vacation - Day 10
Brisbane

Brisbane is the third-largest city in Australia and is the capital of Queensland, the "Sunshine State". It is set along the Brisbane River and was the traditional home to the Jagera and Turrbal Aboriginal clans before Europeans founded a convict colony in what is now the central business district in 1824. Over the years it grew and by 1859 was formally established as a city. Today, Brisbane is one of the fastest-growing cities in Australia and has a rich, culturally diverse population.
Spend your day eating and shopping your way through the CBD and Fortitude Valley, or cross the bridge and visit picturesque Southbank, with beautiful parklands and the Cultural Precinct, home to some of the state's best museums and galleries.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Delectable Taste of Queensland Food Tour

A Delectable Taste of Queensland is a culinary journey from coffee to cocktails and is the perfect introduction to some of Queensland’s most renowned local produce and flavours. With everything from coffee to a seasonal seafood lunch, as well as some delicious wines, cocktails, and delectable nibbles along the way, this food tour will introduce you to some of the best food and beverages in Brisbane.

Accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane
Accommodation type: Apartments
Immerse yourself in this grand historic building suitably in the center of Brisbane. The Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane is heritage-listed and artfully restored with a classic yet contemporary design. Located on George Street, the ground floor lobby space celebrates the building’s Art Deco origins. A stone’s throw from Queen Street Mall and Queen’s Wharf, or a brief stroll will find you in amongst buzzing Southbank’s cool bars, restaurants and parklands. The building has a wonderful and rich history. Initially built to accommodate the Queensland Government Savings Bank, it opened in 1922.

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Day Eleven - Farewell from Brisbane
Tour day 11
11 Day Australian Pacific Coast Vacation - Day 11
Depart Brisbane today

Explore more of Brisbane before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

Farewell from Australia

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