Cairns to Sydney Road Trip in 4 Weeks
Surprise Road Trip. Let the adventure begin!
I was lost for words when I found out that Ian had surprised me with four weeks in Australia and a full on road trip in a motorhome for our honeymoon! Then two further weeks in Samoa – but I’ll post about that later 😉 We love to travel and what better way to see Australia but to road trip! The last time we did a road trip was back in New Zealand FIVE years ago. This was long overdue! So, I thought I would share with you our road trip itinerary for our time spent travelling down the East coast of Australia. I’m just going to warn you… it might be a bit of a long post!
Cairns (7 days)
We hadn’t made any plans where to stay or what to see, therefore making this honeymoon super exciting. The joys of indulging in a road trip!
We spent a day in most places, however if we liked the area then it turned into two or three. We will share with you the sights/things to do and where we stayed during our road trip (either free camping or in a campsite).
- Daintree Rainforest – the oldest surviving rainforest, home to thousands of rare species. Try jungle surfing!
- Cape Tribulation – walk along the boardwalks of the rainforest, stop off at Myall beach, Coconut beach. Sample the strangest flavours of ice-cream at the Daintree Icecream Company
- Soak up the sun and relax at the many secluded beaches eg. Palm Cove, Ellis beach
- Port Douglas
- Kuranda National Park
- Visit a mango winery and sample sparkling mango wine and dragonfruit port!
- Take the waterfall circuit in the Atherton Tablelands (There were a total of 17 waterfalls but we could only fit in 11!)
- Great Barrier Reef – scuba diving
- Mamu Canopy Skywalk & Paronella Park (Personally I would give Paronella Park a miss)
Stay (based on two people and a powered site)
- Daintree River View Lodge Park $20
- Rifle Creek Rest Area (free)
- Kuranda Rainforest Accommodation Park $32
- Paronella park (free if you purchase the Mamu canopy and Paronella Park ticket)
Kurrimine, Garners and Mission Beach (1 day)
- Walk along Kurrimine, Garners and Mission Beaches – totally secluded, not a peep in sight!
- For the adrenaline junkies out there, try your hand at sky diving and white water rafting
- Tully showground (free for self contained only)
South Mission Beach (1 day)
I preferred South Mission Beach compared to Mission Beach, maybe because, again, there were very few people on the beach, but also because we spotted a load of starfish!
- Bluewater Park Rest Area (free)
Airlie Beach (3-4 days)
- Sail the Whitsunday islands with Eco Tall Ship Adventures
- Take a scenic flight and be amazed by the views of the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday islands
- Scuba dive
- Walk along Abell Point Marina and Airlie lagoon
- Flametree Tourist Village $29 (very helpful and booked our trips too)
Took us most of the day to reach Rockhampton and we free camped at Woolwash lagoon. This site was perfect with only one campervan in the area, and a stunning sunset as we prepared for our dinner. The following morning, we headed to 1770…this is where Captain Cook landed (definite must see!).
Hervey Bay (2 days)
- Take the ferry over to Fraser Island (no motorhomes) and self-drive a 4×4 around the island (the world’s largest sand island in the world!)
- Visit the beautiful lakes with crystal clear water on Fraser island
- Bundaberg Rum factory
- Visit the town 1770 where Captain Cook landed
Rainbow Beach and Noosa (1 day)
- Quick stop at Rainbow Beach – soft yellow sand, although seemingly filled with relentless amounts of backpackers 😉 (so if you want to party then this place is brilliant but if you’re looking for some quiet time then move on)
- Go surfing at Noosa
- Both Rainbow Beach and Noosa offer great surfing lessons
- Explore Sunshine beach
Brisbane (1 day)
- Explore the city as it’s the capital of Queensland
Surfer’s Paradise (1 day)
- Learn to surf
- Try one of the 4 theme parks
- Explore the beaches – North Burleigh was very chilled
- Pottsville North $38
Byron Bay (1 day)
- Try surfing
- Sky diving
- Visit Byron Bay Lighthouse
- Stopped at Broadwater National Park for the whale watching. We stayed overnight here and caught the gorgeous sunrise the following morning.
Coffs Harbour (1 day)
- The BIG BANANA
- Explore the many sandy beaches north of Coffs eg. Emerald and Sapphire beaches
- Myelstom Holiday Park $38 (Beware, wifi was a bit iffy)
Port Macquarie (1 day)
- Visit the Koala Hospital and watch the koalas being fed at 3pm
- Drive along Ocena Drive and explore the many beaches
- Coopernook Forest Rest Area (free)
Hunter Valley (2 days)
- Hunter Valley Gardens
- Wine tour
- Try the epic ultimate wine tasting at Hungerford Winery
- Enjoy lunch at Margan Winery and sample the strawberries in the garden
Blue Mountains (3 days)
- Stop off at Wall’s Lookout in Bilpin (Breathtaking views of the Blue Mountains)
- Explore the Jenolan Caves
- Stop at the following lookouts: Hassan’s, Bardens, Echo Point, The Three Sisters, Sublime Point, Govett’s Leap, Anvil Rock, Evans
- Explore the waterfalls
- Scenic railway
- Drive along Megalong Valley
Sydney (3 days)
- Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge
- Visit the Sydney Opera House
- Walk along Bondi beach and Manly
- Take a stroll in the Royal Botanic Gardens
We had such an amazing time in Australia and found the Aussies super friendly! We would definitely come back and explore the rest of Australia.
Where was your favourite place on the East coast of Australia? Where would you recommend us road tripping next?
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