Am doing this the lazy way as I haven’t had time to fully write out the details of my planning but am just going to attach the Google Map of my road trip here as well as some comments about the places we visited.
View Australia Road Trip in a larger map
Since reading an article about a road trip on the Great Ocean Road from Sydney to Melbourne, embarking on a road trip with the kids in Australia was one of the must do things for me. As we had the budget and my husband’s cousin in Brisbane happen to be getting married in September 2011, we decided why not?
We booked a Singapore Airlines ticket which would get us into Brisbane International and back home from Sydney Airport 12 days later. Here’s a quick run through of the itinerary –
Day 1 – Land in Brisbane early morning. Take in the city – visit the free entry Queensland Museum to learn more about the local civilisation, then stroll down South Bank and Street Beach
Day 2 – Take a CityCat ferry ride down Brisbane River towards New Farm where Jan’s Farmer Market opens every third Saturday of the month… if I recall correctly. Drive up to Mount Tamborine via Pacific Highway
Day 3 – Morning at Thunderbird Bird Park to mine for thunder eggs, a type of mineralised stone. Wedding reception and dinner at Tamborine Gardens
Day 4 – Buy macademia nuts from the Macademia Nut House then head downhill towards Gold Coast. Shopping in Gold Coast and taste of the super breezy Pacific Ocean
Day 5 – Enjoy the fine sand of Gold Coast and then start 4-hour drive through Border Ranges Park to see huge caldera against the setting sun. Head towards Byron Bay
Day 6 – Visit the 100 odd year old Cape Byron Lighthouse and take a hike to see humpback whales and dolphins off the coast plus bonus encounters with wild bush turkeys and wallabys. Drive south to Lennox Head for more whale watching and then to south along scenic Clarence River towards Coffs Harbour
Day 7 – Book a whale watching boat trip through choppy waters (not for the weak stomach), catch sight of scores of mutton birds and thereafter hit the roads again towards South West Rocks to see Trial Bay Goal, a prison turned museum, camping grounds and home to a pack (?) of wild kangeroos. Beware of kangeroo poo everywhere! Continue south on Pacific Highway to Port Macquarie
Day 8 – Visit the free Koala Hospital and catch sight of those cute cuddly tree hugging creatures and learn about their plight. Alternatively can visit Koala Petting Zoo for a fee. From Port Macquarie, head south through Myall Lakes National Park. Climb the lookout tower for panoramic views at Cape Hawke, stop by at Green Cathedral (one of most romantic places in the world to get married) and stopover at Port Stephens
Day 9 – Enjoy a touristy visit to Worimi Conservation Land and roll about in the sand dunes or ride a camel/horse. Enjoy the day in town and catch dolphins swimming around near the port
Day 10 – Drive south towards Sydney but stop short of entering the city. Turn towards Blue Mountains and enjoy the scenic mountain view (too cold for me when I was there so we basically hibernated in the room)
Day 11 – Take a picture of the Three Sisters in many different angles at Scenic World, enjoy rides on one of the world’s steepest railway, cable car and skyway plus learn about the natural environment of the Blue Mountain National Park. Head downhill to Sydney and check out Chinatown (Hay Market) after snapping shots of the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge
Day 12 – Let the children get a full taste of the really unique truly Australian wildlife at the Sydney Wildlife World and Aquarium. Later take a walk along Circular Quay towards The Rocks, the old part of Sydney which is still reminiscence of 1800s cowboy town
Day 13 – Final shopping for gifts and souvenirs along George Street and taking photos of the really well maintained Victorian looking buildings. Then hitch a cab to the airport for the 8 hour flight home after an exhausting but fulfilling road trip
That’s our itinerary more or less. Will upload the photos of our trip and comments soon….