Byron Bay to Sydney

Old Sep 20th, 2004, 12:59 PM
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Byron Bay to Sydney

While visiting our son in Sydney during Feb 05 we are planning to fly to Byron Bay and drive back to Sydney over about 12 days. The obvious stops are Coffs Harbour, Port McQuarrie, and Nelson Bay (went here last year and loved it), We are in our 50's and enjoy the quieter spots and accomodation with character. Can anyone suggest an itinary to take in the most beautiful places.Would you include the Barrington Tops?
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Old Sep 20th, 2004, 01:36 PM
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alicat54 - I guess you know that Byron Bay township, has turned into a crazy tourist town, mainly inhabited by backpackers. We thought the streets & pavements looked a bit shabby & dirty. It was once my favourite holiday location, but not now. However, having said that, there is alway Wattegos Beach area (very upmarket holiday accommodation can be found in this area).
As for Coffs Harbour - a nice city, with lots of holiday accommodation. Have you thought about staying a little bit further down at a place called Nambucca Heads. Not so touristy like Coffs. Some great little restaurants along the river drive.
Further south again, is another gem, South West Rocks, with the old gaol at Trial Bay, also a great spot for swim just below the old gaol. Another pretty spot is Smokey Cape Lighthouse.
When you leave South West Rocks, don't go back to the main highway, take the back road to Kempsey via the farms,etc a lot more scenic.
When you get near the little township of Nabiac, turn off to Gloucester, and base yourself in this town for a night or two, and drive up into Barrington Tops NAtional Park. There are some beautiful cooling streams enroute for a swim. We once drove from Scone across the Tops, and down into Gloucester, a great drive.
From Gloucester, drive south on the inland road to STroud & Dungong (there is a pretty drive from Dungong across to Singleton, but this would be out of your way). From Dungong, you could drive up to Barrington Guest House, and go for walks in the lower part of Barrington Tops National Park (its near a place called Salisbury). HOwever, from Dungong, retrace your journey back to Stroud, and then back onto the Pacific Highway, then turn off to a place called Hawkes Nest or Tea Gardens. This in the northern side of Nelson Bay, the much quieter side.
From Hawkes Nest, you can visit part of the Myall Lakes National Park (bitumen road) up to Mungo Brush, with the lake on one side, and the ocean on the other side.
After visiting this area, you can drive the short distance back to the Highway, and down to Nelson Bay, that's if you haven't decided to stay in Hawkes Nest instead.
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Old Sep 20th, 2004, 01:42 PM
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alicat54 - seeing you like quieter spots & accommodation, I forgot to mention that in the Hawkes Nest/Tea Gardens region, you will generally find uncrowded beaches, and some nice restaurants at Tea Gardens. If the waves on Hawkes Nest beach are not your scene, then go over the Bayside at Hawkes Nest, for the calmer water, and great walk to near the headland (can't think of the name. I know Mt.Tomaree is on the Nelson Bay side, but what is the mountain on Hawkes Nest side?)
If you want to do something really special, then look into a day trip out to Broughton Island.
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Old Sep 20th, 2004, 07:20 PM
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Well Tropo I had a surf at Clarks Beach Byron Bay this morning.
Just great
balmy,warm spring morning
town pretty quiet
water refreshing
sea kayakers taking off for their morning paddle
Lighthouse counterpointed with Mt Warning across the bay.

Perhaps it was the shower overnight but the place looked clean and tidy to me...not a McDonalds wrapper in sight.

spend 4-5 days in byron and surrounds and then potter down the coast.
Special spots include
Coffs (take the boat out to the solitary islands)
Smoky Cape (check out the lighthouse B&B)
Port Stephens
Stay at Dangar island in the Hawkesbury the night before you get back to sydney.

Take a loop up to the new england via the waterfall way (bellingen,Dorrigo,Armidale)
Stay overnight at the old gold town of Nundle.
Take the thunderbolt way back to the coast via the upper manning.

Don't take the barrington tops road but rather go to Barrington House from the upper hunter.

BTW Tropo
Dungong is the extinct marine relative of the Dugong sometimes seen in Hervey bay.
Dungog is the town in the upper hunter from where you go to the Barrington Guest House.
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Old Sep 21st, 2004, 12:31 PM
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Johhj au - I must preview my posts in the future, yes it is Dungog.
I like Clarks Beach, great surf there, however, I've gone off Byron Bay township, just too many people there now, the town seems to be a magnet for young people, and thats okay, but not my scene.
Years ago, Byron Bay hadn't been discovered by a lot of people in Australia, nor overseas tourists, then it all changed, house prices went up, accommodation prices went up, and now I believe young people born in that town, will be unable to afford real estate down the track, which I guess will force them to move away. Byron seems to be No.1 destination for backpackers, and with the great surf there, its easy to understand why.
You mention you had a swim at Clarks Beach. I went windsurfing yesterday, just south of Urangan Pier. Fantastic wave jumping (little waves, that is)and I almost reached Woody Island, on each run. The kities were having a ball also. Do you windsurf at all?
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Old Sep 22nd, 2004, 05:28 AM
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alica54: With all that time, you should consider wandering inland away from the coast for part of your trip. More unspoilt, wild and less touristy than much of the coast. This year, we spent some time in the New England region of northern NSW and SE Queensland. Bald Rock and Girraween NPs are really worth seeing. Also loved the drive from Armidale down to the coast through Dorrigo and Bellingen with side drives to New England National Park, rainforests and various waterfalls. Also, when in Byron, you should definitely consider a day trip up to Lamington NP (O'Reilly's or Binna Burra), via the beautiful Numinbah Valley.
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