Sydney, Australia. Photo credit: Destination NSW.
David Elliott wrote this guest post on road trips around Sydney. He is a freelance writer who loves to get away whenever he can to immerse himself in foreign cultures and lap up the history of great cities.
There are loads of things to do in New South Wales, and a road trip of the area around Sydney in particular will throw up new experiences around every corner.
The landscape is rich and varied and will take you through scenery as diverse as that of the Snowy Mountains, the exhilarating coastal stretch and the fabulous outback. If you take the time beforehand to map out a proper itinerary, you’ll get the most out of your visit to this incomparably beautiful region of Australia.
Mungo National Park. Photo credit: Destination NSW.
If you base yourself in Sydney you can take out a cheap car rental to enjoy the famous coastal drive between here and Melbourne. This will take you ultimately to the border with Victoria and on the way you’ll pass a string of historic villages and quaint seaside towns and attractive bays to stop off at for refreshments and a dip in the clear waters. There are also more than 30 national parks along the route, along with spectacular wildlife reserves, making this a drive full of new experiences. Some of the finest dairy cheeses in Australia are made in this area, and wineries too are never far distant, with eating out one of the many pleasures of the trip.
Wollongong Harbour. Photo credit: Destination NSW.
Or try the Grand Pacific Drive out of Sydney, which takes you straight through the Royal National Park and along the Sea Cliff Bridge, curving out beneath the Illawarra Escarpment for some fabulous views. You can stop off for cheap and fresh fish ‘n’ chips at Wollongong Harbour and watch the sea blast up through the natural blowhole at Kiama along the way.
Blue Mountains. Photo credit: Destination NSW.
There’s also a popular road trip to the west of Sydney that takes you over the Blue Mountains and right across the central western plains. There is a sense of endless space here and you can almost feel the spirit of the outback. Alternatively, opt for the slower but much more scenic and less-traveled route across the mountains, the so-called Bells Line of Road trip, and relax with coffee and lunch with a stopover at the Mount Tomah Botanic Garden.
Coastal walking. Photo credit: Greater Port Macquarie Visitor Information Centre.
The drive between Sydney and Port Macquarie will take a leisurely five hours. You can head off the Pacific Highway just a little beyond Raymond Terrace and you’ll soon find yourself in the Buckett’s Way region of hair-bend turns and rolling hills. This country is a lot rougher than those of the other routes; with many of the roads being little more than dirt tracks. Stop off at the quaint little township of Stroud, which was largely built by convicts in the early 19th century. There are plenty of arts and crafts stores here and at nearby Gloucester and Tininee.