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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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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