Three unreal coastal drives

Bucketlist worthy drives in New South Wales


Three unreal coastal drives

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The New South Wales coast is as spectacular as any other in the world, and whether you hug the coastline or venture just a little to the west, there is no shortage of scenic drives. Discover quaint towns, awesome picnic spots or just great places to enjoy nature. Here are some of our favourites, in no particular order.

Grand Pacific Drive, Wollongong

Image source: Grand Pacific Drive

The Grand Pacific Drive is most famous for the magnificent Sea Cliff Bridge, which takes the road out over the ocean. Start your journey at Bald Hill Reserve and enjoy a picnic (or a chilidog from the chilidog van that often sets up here) and watch surfers below or hang gliders above. Follow it south and check out any of the frequent regional and foragers markets that happen most weekends, or lunch at a beachside café. Continue south to Kiama or Jamberoo and you could visit the Nan Tien Buddhist Temple, the Kiama Blowhole or even control the action at Jamberoo Recreation Park.

Rainforest Way, Tweed Coast

Image source: Destination NSW

Set back from the popular coastal hotspot of Byron Bay, the hinterland above is filled with quaint and earthy little towns where life is quiet. Head into Mount Warning National Park for the easy Lyrebird Walk or the more challenging hike to the mountain peak. If you’re coming from NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Resort, try taking the Tamewin Mountain Road from Currumbin Valley, cross the border into New South Wales and turn into Dulguigan Road until you get to Tumbulgum on the Tweed River. Stop at the Birdwing Café for the biggest big breakfast you have ever seen and sort through the antiques and second-hand books on display in Curio. Head back through Bilambil or follow the Tweed Valley Way back to Highway 1.

Waterfall Way, Coffs Harbour

Image source: Destination NSW

The hinterland above Coffs Harbour receives a lot of rain, combine this with steep mountains and you get the perfect conditions for waterfalls. This 190km drive through Bellingen, Dorrigo and Armidale could literally have you driving through, over and under waterfalls. Call into the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre and check out the lookout that’s 21 metres above the canopy. Don’t miss Ebor Falls, just a short walk from the carpark. Other highlights include Dangar Falls and Wollomombi Falls of Oxley Wild Rivers National Park.

Stay at NRMA Darlington Beach Holiday Resort on the pristine Arrawarra Beach, just a short stroll from the Arrawarra Headland. The 110-acre beachfront resort is a nature lovers’ paradise with accommodation ranging from spa villas to camping and caravan sites. The resort has family-friendly facilities like a resort pool with twin waterslide and spa, a nine-hole golf course and a restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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