East Coast Australia – Suggested Itinerary
The East coast of Australia boasts some of the most beautiful beaches, rainforests and cities in the world. While a flight can mean quick travel and more time in each destination, the best way to see this part of the country – or in fact any of Australia – is to go by road. A hire car – or camper van will let you comfortably see the picturesque countryside, and sweeping coastal landscapes, without missing a thing. The only problem – how to fit it all in, and where to stop!
Jervis Bay to Huskisson
Starting your journey on the lower eastern NSW coast is an opportunity to see more than just breaking waves and beautiful dairy farm landscapes. Small coastal towns and villages in this area are a prime chance to get closer to nature, experiencing the magnitude of whales, through to the playful brilliance of dolphins. Tours run regularly from these areas in season, and can be complimented by stunning rain forest walks, quaint sea-side coffee shops, and unique holiday houses or bed and breakfasts with views of the ocean.
Two and a half hours north of Jervis Bay, is Australia’s largest city, Sydney. With weather as diverse as its population, the sightseeing and entertainment options in Sydney are endless.
Five things not to miss in Sydney:
The Bondi to Bronte walk is a unique coastal walk with amazing sweeping views, often featuring artwork on the way.
Dinner at Centrepoint Tower or any number of other skyline restaurants offer an opportunity taste test extraordinary menus, all while peering over the entire city!
Climb the Harbour Bridge – if you dare!
Sydney is a great cultural hub – take in a show at the Opera House, or any of the other historical theatres such as the Capital or State Theatre, being careful not to disturb the gargoyles!
See how Australia’s first settlers lived, with a day time tour, or a ghost tour through The Rocks at Circular Quay. Visit the Barracks to learn about the convicts who first called Australia home.
Sun, sand, surf and shopping at Surfers Paradise
Between Sydney and Surfers Paradise are hours of beautiful scenery and towns and cities that are ‘must sees’. Don’t forget to visit the giant prawn in Coffs Harbour, grab an Aussie beer and take in a band at a local Brisbane Pub, or marvel over the sugar cain fields and banana plantations as you drive on from Grafton and follow the river.
Once you hit the city, Surfers Paradise accommodation is plentiful, with options from hotels and cabins, to fully serviced, Surfers Paradise apartments. Again, the options for entertainment and sightseeing are endless, but itinerary must haves are:
a cabaret show at the infamous Draculas Restaurant
a visit to the amazing sights of Ripley’s ‘Believe it or not’ museum
a dabble at Jupiter’s Casino
a long day at the city’s many fantastic shopping and factory outlets
a thrill seeking visit to at least one of the four theme parks in the area
Airlie Beach – door to the Whitsundays
Moving further up the coast, you will want to stop at the renowned and amazing Australia Zoo, established by the late Steve Erwin, get a picture at the Big Banana, and sample Queensland’s best produce at the Big Pineapple.
Beyond the joys of the flora and fauna on offer, you will reach a small coastal town, Airlie Beach, which offers the opportunity to take in exquisite coastal views and make your way to the Whitsunday holiday islands. From here, relax at a local pub or bar, or snorkel or scuba dive in one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Great Barrier Reef. Charter a boat and fish for game fish the likes of giant Spanish Mackerel or simply enjoy the serenity from the decks of a luxury touring ship.