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Driving Gold Coast to Sydney Dec '15. Ideas?

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Will be visiting Australia for Christmas-New Year this year, staying with family in Sydney and the Gold Coast. We are planning to drive from Sydney to the Gold Coast and back, leaving Sydney on the 14 Dec and returning at some time before New Year. On the return, we will have our three sons with us, ages 24, 27, and 30. We are all very experienced traveling in Australia.

Over the years, we've done the Sydney-Gold Coast drive (inland and along the coast) a number of times usually just trying to get from A to B without seeing much in-between. This year, we're contemplating doing the return drive at a more leisurely pace, staying 2 nights somewhere along the way. Looking for suggestions on interesting places to see and nice places to stay that aren't too pricey. We love the outdoors, seeing wildlife, taking walks, enjoying nature, etc. Would love to hear your ideas and experiences.

Ralph

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