Australian Road Trip | Sydney to Brisbane

Australia is full of world famous cities (think Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Cairns etc). It’s also chocka with lesser known towns that are pretty up there on the awesomeness scale. Today we’ll be looking at the super exciting portion of the east coast of Australia; from Sydney to Brisbane.

This is the second part of a three part adventure, taking you all the way from hipster Melbourne to tropical Cairns. Check out part one and part three below;

Melbourne to Sydney | Brisbane to Cairns

Sydney to Brisbane


Home of the iconic bridge and the Opera House, Sydney is a must on any Australian itinerary. If you watch this space, there will be a link to a brand spanking new blog post about the best way to spend a weekend in Sydney.

Blue Mountains

Sydney to Brisbane - Katoomba Waterfall

Only an hour away from Sydney, the Blue Mountains feels a world away from the cosmopolitan city. There are hiking trails and waterfalls galore, so you can spend a few hours or a whole week exploring the beautiful scenery.

Katoomba is the biggest town in the range, with of a population of just over 8,000 people. It’s also the most touristy part, with busloads shipped in daily to see the famous Three Sisters and the (in our opinion) overpriced Scenic World.


A laid back city three hours up the coast from Sydney, Newcastle is known for its surfing. Novices may find the surfing conditions a little bit taxing, but there are also a bunch of seaside attractions that make a couple of days up here nice before heading inland.

Definitely seek out Bogey Hole, hewn out of the rock by slaves on the order of the Commandant of Newcastle in 1820. It is now open to the public, for free, and it’s spectacular to be showered by sea foam while splashing about in the water.

Hunter Valley

If you are a fan of wine, cheese or chocolate, the Hunter Valley is the place to go! Known as the fancypants place for Sydney-siders to spend the weekend; it is a tiny bit expensive. Still, if you know where to go, you can get casually sozzled for less than a tenner.

The most perplexing part about visiting the Hunter Valley is that you’ll need to find someone to be designated driver, or pay for one of the many, many minibus tours.

Sydney to Brisbane - Giant Golden Guitar

At some point you will suddenly notice that Australia has a slight obsession with ‘Big Things‘. One of the first we came across was the giant guitar at Tamworth – home of Australian country music (which is an actual thing, who knew?).

Tamworth is an otherwise sleepy town, but almost every bar is filled with a country and western singer every night. If you happen be in the area in January, there is the Tamworth Music Festival. The roads are closed and buskers compete in the streets to attract the crowds of people who travel from all over the world to be at the festival.


Hands up if you have ever heard of Yamba? Well, a gold star to you if you have. It’s an untouristy place to hang out on the beaches with the locals or show off your athleticism with just how great you are at watersports. There’s also a little museum if you’re feeling like your brain cells are dying with all this sun and salt-water.

Top thing to do in Yamba though – is eat a giant plate of fish and chips.

Big Banana
Sydney to Brisbane - Big Banana

Yup, it’s another ‘Big Thing’. This one a whole amusement complex has grown up around. This is a great spot to stop for some banana milkshake and a banana split as it is right next to the highway. It’s only really worth sticking around longer if you have younger kids with you as all the attactions are a bit more geared up to them. Sadly.

Byron Bay
Sydney to Brisbane - Byron Bay

If I chose a place to live in Australia, it would be Byron Bay. As well as the pristine beaches and crappy learner surfer friendly sea, it sports a wonderfully undeveloped town centre. There are more independent shops than you could shake a stick at! Although, frankly, I’m not sure why you’d do that.

To top that all off, there is a gorgeous walk to the Byron Bay lighthouse which is practically on top of the most easterly place on mainland Australia. This is also a great place to do some turtle spotting or whale watching at the right times of year.

Surfer’s Paradise

Surfer’s Paradise is a little like Byron Bay’s cousin who wanted to be cool, but took it too far and ended up selling out. The surfing conditions are good, and the beaches are glorious – like much of the Gold Coast. But apart from that, there’s not a lot except some crumbly holiday apartments and too many topless guys running along the seafront with their tank tops tucked into their shorts.

But if (a) you like that kind of thing, or (b) it’s on your to-do list and you have to cross that baby off, then it’s a ice enough place to hang out on the beach during the days and party during the nights.


Sydney to Brisbane - Brisbane Sign

Congratulations on making it all the way from Sydney to Brisbane! It was a long drive and I bet you have spent a butt-load on fuel for your car. But I have some great news – there is lots to do in Brisbane for free! So go out there, have some fun, and spend time chilling out in the sunshine.Plus, stay tuned for part three!

Melbourne to Sydney | Brisbane to Cairns

Have you road tripped in Australia? Did we miss anything out? Let us know in the comments below!!

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22 thoughts on “Australian Road Trip | Sydney to Brisbane

  1. Sonali says:

    I like road trips. And this roadtrip looks amazing. Would love to enjoy this. A road trip in my dream city is like heaven.

    • D of Love C and D says:

      Yes Sonali, this road trip was awesome! You should totally get yourself a car and get driving the east coast of Oz.

  2. Gareth says:

    A really interesting article and one which is a great precursor to my upcoming Australian roadtrip. And while this isn’t the route I’ll be taking it’s great to see a little slice of life down under. Who knew there would be country and western?! Hopefully have the opportunity to catch a little cricket in Oz when I finally make it down there

    • D of Love C and D says:

      Thanks Gareth and exciting to hear you’re heading down under soon. Who knew indeed! And yes catching a cricket game would be cool, whereabouts are you planning on watching it?

  3. kidsandcompass says:

    This looks like an amazing road trip. Australia seems to have it all! I’d love to see the iconic sights of Sydney and then go hiking in the Blue Mountains. A friend of mine moved to Brisbane and she’s not coming back to the UK. Can’t say I blame her!

    • D of Love C and D says:

      Yes the journey was wicked! Sydney is definitely a must see just, well, just because and the Blue Mountains are stunningly beautiful. I think Brisbane would be a great place to live so I’m not surprised! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Tony (tonyandkimoutdooradventures) says:

    Well done one your road trip from a person that lives in sunny Brisbane. I’ve had the opportunity to do this trek as well. We headed Brisbane to Sydney, stopping first in Port Macquarie then onto Sydney. The coming back we stopped at Coffs and Yamba. Alot of overseas people wouldn’t understand how far this trip is. It is on the cards to do the trip again but stay west down the New England Highway where we will pass Tamworth.

    • D of Love C and D says:

      Thanks Tony! We were planning on stopping off in Coffs and then changed our mind last minute. That sounds like a great plan and I’m sure you’ll really enjoy Tamworth, we did!

    • D of Love C and D says:

      Thanks for stopping by Simon and glad to hear you enjoyed your road trip too. Where abouts did you go? Yes the Blue Mountains were beautiful and would love to go again.

    • D of Love C and D says:

      Definitely way more fun than flying, you get to see so much! It is a ridiculously long drive; we ended up doing it on the way back in 2 and a half days. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Cat says:

    You’ve hit quite a few places on your roadtrip from Sydney to Brisbane! As a wine lover, I’d love to stop by Hunter Valley to do a wine tour. Byron Bay would be of interest too to spot turtles and whale!

    • D of Love C and D says:

      Cat you would love the Hunter Valley. So many different wineries, nearly all with cellar doors. Lots of free wine tasting too! We fell in love with Byron and would love to go back in a different season to see Whales. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. neni says:

    No way 😀 I never heard of the Banana Thing and now I’m kind of hooked. I googled it and it sounds so fun. I really need to see it next time I’m in Australia.

  7. Kana says:

    Hi guys! So happy to see you back on Fly Away Friday! 😀 Also, this comes at the perfect time since we’re planning a trip to Australia! Love the map insert, too! Thanks for joining Fly Away Friday – hope to see you again this weekend! xo

  8. Chloe Hahn says:

    Aw I love road trips! I had a friend who drove around Australia in a van and they said it was the best trip of their lives. I really want to do one too! Looks amazing!

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