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Eight Day driving trip from Brisbane to Sydney

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Aug 5th, 2012, 09:22 AM
  #1
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Eight Day driving trip from Brisbane to Sydney

We are planning a drive from Brisbane to Sydney with our twelve year old daughter from 15th August to 22nd August and would appreciate comments on our itinerary. We are from Malaysia.



15-Aug-12 Byron Bay - lunch
Newrybar - coffee break
Night in Ballina
16-Aug-12 Ulmarra - Lunch break
Night in Yamba
17-Aug-12 Night in Yamba (day trip to Ulmarra and Grafton)
18-Aug-12 Coffs Harbour - Lunch break
Bellingen
Nambucca Head
Night in South West Rocks
19-Aug-12 Night in South West Rocks
20-Aug-12 Crescent Head - lunch
Port Macquarie
Night in Taree
21-Aug-12 Night in Lake Macquarie
22-Aug-12 after breakfast or lunch head to Sydney

We are trying to avoid the larger towns and are keen to explore smaller (and hopefully quaint little ) towns.

Not sure if we are trying to to too much in too little time.

Any advice / comments would be much appreciated.

Regards
wdsonline is offline  
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Aug 5th, 2012, 10:16 AM
  #2
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Sorry, everyone, made a mistake there. It should read as follows:

15-Aug-12 Byron Bay - lunch
Newrybar - coffee break
Night in Ballina
16-Aug-12 Head to Yamba
Night in Yamba
17-Aug-12 Night in Yamba (day trip to Ulmarra and Grafton)
18-Aug-12 Coffs Harbour - Lunch break
Bellingen
Nambucca Head
Night in South West Rocks
19-Aug-12 Night in South West Rocks
20-Aug-12 Crescent Head - lunch
Port Macquarie
Night in Taree
21-Aug-12 Night in Lake Macquarie
22-Aug-12 after breakfast or lunch head to Sydney
wdsonline is offline  
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Aug 5th, 2012, 03:44 PM
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wds, what are you hopping to do or see along the way? That is the thing which determines and itinerary for me.
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Aug 5th, 2012, 05:27 PM
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If it were me I would do either Ballina or Yamba, not both.
Yamba is a good deal smaller and less busy than Ballina and would be easy to get to on Day 1 after lunch at Byron Bay.
This would give you an extra night to spend somewhere else.

Day trip to Ulmarra/Grafton:
The pub on the river at Ulmarra is a great spot for lunch.
On the way back from Grafton drive up the West side of the river to Larence and take the car ferry across the river. Just before you reach the ferry you will come to a lagoon/swamp which is a Spoonbill and Egret rookery, there can be hundreds of birds there, qite a sight.

Yamba to South West Rocks:
At Grafton, head inland a little and take the Orara Way via Glenreagh, Nana Glen and Cormaba. Much nicer drive than the Highway and avoids a lot of Highway construction North of Coffs Harbour. This will bring you back to the Highway just South of Coffs Harbour and you could visits Sawtell instead of Coffs. Sawtell is smaller and IMO nicer than Coffs. Good place for lunch.

South West Rocks to Taree:
Instead of staying in Taree, you might find Wingham (inland) or Harrington (coast) more interesting.

Taree to Lake Macquarie:
A good place for lunch is Moffats Oyster Barn Restaurant at Swan Bay, turn off the highway near Karuah.

If you decide to drop Ballina, then you could add a night in Dorrigo, a great small town, to get a taste of something away from the coast.
So you could do Yamba-Grafton-Nymboida-Dorrigo, lots to see along that drive. Then the next day gives you plenty of time for Bellingen, Coffs/Sawtell and Nambucca on the way to South West Rocks.
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Aug 5th, 2012, 10:46 PM
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Hi AlanJG, we just want to drive though and see and experience small towns along the way. I am an avid amateur photographer as well and I hope to get some good pictures of the beautiful landscapes.

Wallaby, thank you so much for your detailed suggestions. Car rental companies do not allow rental cars to be taken aboard a ferry so I will have to skip the Grafton -> Lawrence drive.

Also, my twelve year old is not going to want to be in the car for too long so I need to balance my own interests with peace within the vehicle

I've changed my itinerary now as follows (caps for towns we will spend the night in) :


15th Aug Byron Bay – lunch
Newrybar – break
Ballina
YAMBA
16th Aug YAMBA – relax in Yamba
17th Aug Grafton -> (Orara Way) Glenreagh, Nana Glen, Coramba
SAWTELL
18th Aug Bellingen
Nambucca Heads
SOUTH WEST ROCKS
19th Aug SOUTH WEST ROCKS
20th Aug Crescent Head – lunch
WINGHAM
21st Aug Swan Bay – lunch
LAKE MACQUARIE
22nd Aug After breakfast – drive to Sydney

WE have no reason for choosing Lake Macquarie except for the fact that it seems a good point to stop given the 200 km or so we would have driven on that day. Any suggestions on this would , of course, be much appreciated.

Thank you for making a visitor feel so welcome before we even set foot in your fine country.
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Aug 6th, 2012, 03:37 AM
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Hi Wallaby,

The more I read this, the more I feel I should make just one or two more changes. Oh thank goodness for the internet and the reach it gives between people !

We are thinking of stopping over at Dorrigo now.

Which route wold you recommend ?

1. Yamba - Grafton -> (Orara Way) Glenreagh -> Nana Glen -> Coramba -> Dorrigo

2. Yamba -> Grafton -> Nymboida -> Dorrigo


Winston
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Aug 7th, 2012, 12:54 AM
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I'm guessing that the night in Dorrigo would be instead of Sawtell, which would give you 2 nights away from the coast (Dorrigo and Wingham) and 5 nights on the coast, a good mix.
For Yamba to Dorrigo I would go via Nymboida, and even extend the drive to Ebor on the way to see the waterfalls there.
DO NOT take the road from Coramba to Dorrigo via Ulong, parts of it are very rough gravel (dirt) road.
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Aug 7th, 2012, 01:01 AM
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Also, I think the car rental ferry restricion would only apply to large ferries such as to Kangaroo Island. I don't think there are any restrictions on using little cross-river ferries. Maybe you should ask them to clarify this.
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Aug 7th, 2012, 05:55 AM
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Thank you Wallaby. Much appreciated.

I've made the change you recommended for the Yamba -> Dorrigo route.

Also I've changed the route from South West Rocks to Crescent Head via Kinchella and Belmore River to avoid the highway and take the scenic route instead.
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Sep 8th, 2012, 02:10 PM
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Hi, just thought I'd mention that when you're driving from Byron Bay to Ballina, take the coast road rather than the highway. It passes through a little town called Lennox Head and the view along the coast from Lennox to Ballina is spectacular. There is a headland just out of Lennox Head where they do hang gliding rides on windy days. I think the lookout is called Pat Morton lookout, or something like that. I've always wanted to be brave enough to do that.
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Sep 8th, 2012, 02:15 PM
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Also, when you leave Ballina heading south, try to go via South Ballina. It means you have to take a little car ferry across the river, then when you get off the ferry turn right and drive for 5 minutes or so to the coastline where you'll find miles and miles of pristine, uninhabitated coastline. Be careful swimming there though, there are very strong rips and no lifeguards.
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Sep 8th, 2012, 02:19 PM
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Goodness me, wrong directions! When you get off the car ferry, turn LEFT (the other right. After you've finished at South Ballina you'll need to back track towards the ferry before continuing south along the road that meanders next to the river. The road eventually re-joins the highway at Wardell. That drive is very picturesque too.
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Sep 8th, 2012, 05:15 PM
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This is a lovely drive & it's such a pleasure to see someone taking the time to enjoy it.

The Lawrence cross river " car ferry" is just a punt & im sure would be fine with rental firms. You drive your car onto the flat deck, stay in the car & less than 5 minutes later, you're on the other side.

There is a newish gallery "Glasshouse" in Port Macquarie that you may like. And a koala sanctuary/ hospital just near the highway before you make the turn to Port McQ.

Good regional gallery in Grafton, and the jacarandas should be out when you go through. These spectacular trees, wide streets & some lovely old homes, the magnificent river and famous bridge are just a few of the things that will have you snapping away with your camera.

Posting on my iPhone & can't post links, but have a look at www.visitnsw.com.au
Lots of good info on the regions & towns along your way.

I agree with the others- take a day or so away from the coast.
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Sep 13th, 2012, 06:01 PM
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I just saw this now - not sure if you are still reading this post, but a great place 25 km south of Coffs is the Kalang River. A beautiful place to have lunch is the restaurant Anchor's Wharf:

http://anchorswharf.com/

Otherwise I agree Sawtell is nicer than Coffs, a good place for a coffee or a break. Coffs is OK. City Beach is quite a good beach. Your daughter may like the Pet Porpoise Pool Oceanarium in Coffs.

Lavandula
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Sep 15th, 2012, 09:33 PM
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i havent been but apparently wooli south of yamba is beautiful
we have been to byron a few times and yamba once
i prefer byron to all the places cos its so vibrant ( apart from the druggies lol)
but id like to go up to wooli ...looks so pretty on the brochures
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