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Sydney to Brisbane - where to stop off/stay overnight?

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posts: 8
reviews: 5
Sydney to Brisbane - where to stop off/stay overnight?

My husband and I (eary 30's) are hiring a car (is it best to do this in advance via the net or when we arrive?) and driving up to Brisbane from Sydney on 14th February. We've allowed 5 days and are trying to decide where to stop off en route and how much time we'll have. At the moment I've picked out the following and I'd be very grateful for any advice/suggestions!:

Blue Mountains


Nelson Bay

Hunter Valley

Barrington Tops

Port Macquarie

Coffs Harbour


Are Grafton/Yamba/Ballina worth going to or indeed Bangalow/Lismore?

Many thanks in advance!!!

posts: 1,306
1. Re: Sydney to Brisbane - where to stop off/stay overnight?

Do a car hire over the net.You may be looking at a significant drop off fee.

Well you have already got a list that would exceed 5 days.Some of the places you have listed are quite similar...you are going to have to focus on say two areas.

Do a loop..sydney /blue mountains/mudgee/hunter

then drive thru to the byron bay and hinterland area.

maybe you could stay overnight at


Newcastle, Australia
posts: 131
2. Re: Sydney to Brisbane - where to stop off/stay overnight?

Depends what you want to (beaches v. country), and how built-up you like your towns.

Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie are the larger coastal towns between Sydney and Brisbane. You will find larger resort-style accomodation and more restaurants to choose from. And Byron Bay, while not so large, is usually rather crowded. If you want something a bit quieter along the coast, I suggest Forster/Tuncurry or South West Rocks.

Bangalow is definitely worth a stop for a coffee or a meal pretty much anywhere on the main street.

Sydney Australia
posts: 6,581
reviews: 59
3. Re: Sydney to Brisbane - where to stop off/stay overnight?

Barrington Tops access roads are a mixture of gravel and sealed. Although accessible in 2WD in terms of ability of car to do it, you may find your insurance coverage a problem in a hired 2WD. If this area is high on your list of priority stops, you might be well advised to hire a 4WD. Beyond the roads in the park itself, quite a few of the other roads to get into the area are also unsealed. You still may find some very pleasant spots to visit, but you could also find it frustrating.


Similar issues for the "Mudgee" route to the HV. At least via the only route I'm aware of, which is via Bylong there's extensive sections of unsealed road.

IMHO a lot of the best places to get off the highway involve some unsealed roads. So if you can afford it, I'd encourage you to hire 4WD.

Another example is the Pines Picnic area at Yarriabini National Park. Quite spectacular, but no sealed access.

Again IMHO the inland route up the New England Hwy to Glouster (near Barrington Tops) is more scenic than the Pacific Hwy. Beautiful countryside up that way. YOu can do that all on sealed roads, but it comes out north of the Myall Lakes/Nelson Bay area, so if you're keen to do that you'd be backtracking.

Port Macquarie is about 1/2 way, so makes sense to stop there. Nice beaches and plenty to do.

Bellingen is lovely. Dorrigo NP likewise.

posts: 8
reviews: 5
4. Re: Sydney to Brisbane - where to stop off/stay overnight?

Thanks very much all for you for the great advice - think we'll be able to decide what to do now!!