Australia was always on cards but it being an expensive travel destination, I’d been skipping it everytime I thought of it. But November 2018 is when I got to travel to Australia in a super affordable budget. The entire trip costed Rs. 1.5 lakh for two of us. That’s a story for another time. For this post, I am writing down the roadtrip itinerary for Sydney to Gold Coast and if you haven’t read the prequel of it, you should totally read A roadtrip itinerary from Melbourne to Sydney in Australia.
Day 1 – Roam around Sydney
Sydney had to be on itinerary because who goes to Australia and doesn’t visit Opera House and Sydney Harbour bridge. Honestly, I hadn’t planned anything in Sydney and left all of it to an ex colleague who is now a dear friend. We met him in the morning and he drove us to Brighton Le Sands which is also called as Brighton Beach. The beach had some quirky installations which added to the beauty of the beach. The locals were doing their things on the Saturday morning and having a good time at the beach.
Next up was a visit to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair from where we got to see the Harbor bridge and Opera House in one frame. The sight was quite iconic and what made it more memorable was the maddening crowd who had come to attend a Red Bull event. So, the event was about making flying objects and the craft which takes the longest leap gets to win. It was indeed hilarious to see people trying to fly their crafts and most of which did not even take off.
We started walking to the parking and noticed the beautiful Art Gallery by New South Wales. Of course it was so inviting, we decided to check it out. Although we didn’t understand the nitty gritties of work there, but I realized that I am certainly an art enthusiast and could spend the entire day there gazing at the splendid work at display. We then crossed Botanical Garden to reach Opera House. After a plenty of pictures against the unique Opera House, it was time to see it up close. The beautiful architecture of it definitely calls for a visit and the Harbour bridge looks magnificent from there.
Darling Harbor is another very popular place in Sydney which is lit up with party places, live shows and so much energy. We took a ferry from Circular Quay and enjoyed the views of Syndey Harbor Bridge, Opera House and Luna park before getting down at Darling Harbor. We had to check out a casino and it was quite an experience.
Day 2 – Drive to Blue Mountains
Next day, we met our cousin who had just landed in Sydney the previous night. We picked her up early morning and left for Blue Mountains. It was a gorgeous drive of around 80kms before we reached the landmark of Three sisters. The panoramic views from this view point were mind boggling. We spent sometime hiking through the various cliffs and the scenery all throughout kept us hooked.
Day 3 – Drive to New castle and Port Macquarie
The plan for this day is to explore the coastal areas and thus we took a pit stop at New Castle to check out the Anzac Memorial walk which is a huge tourist attraction in New castle. After a stroll at the walk, we headed to Port Macquarie. After dropping our luggage at the resort, we decided to hit Flynns beach. By now, I was confused to figure out which beach was the best from a plethora of beaches I had visited in Australia till now. Every beach I visited looked the best to me.
Day 4 – Drive to Coffs Harbor to Byron Bay to Gold Coast
This day we aimed to reach Gold Coast by evening and thus started early. First pit stop was Coffs harbor where we checked out the the Coffs Harbor Beach which is outlined by mangroves and had a wooden path to walk amidst the mangroves. Also, we wanted to attend the show at Dolphin Marine Conservation Park which we couldn’t attend because we reached when the show had just gotten over. We drove further for the best ever views from Forest Sky Pier. Its a huge lookout pier which gives sweeping views of Coffs Harbor and surrounding areas.
In next 3 hours, we were at Byron Bay. Byron Bay is the most hippie place I have ever seen. It was flooded with crowd which came as a different experience for us. We road tripped from Melbourne to Sydney and now even further but this sight was unmatchable. The place looked lively, chirpy and so happening. We checked out Cape Byron and hung out at one of the quirky cafes in the area.
We made it to Gold Coast by evening and decided to explore the Gold Coast beach and then the eat street. From street food to plush 5 star restaurants to breweries, this cobbled street was a delight to spend our last night in Australia at.
Day 5 – Roam around Gold Coast
There are a lot of national parks around Gold Coast and we decided to explore Tamborine National Park. We drove through the hills and waterfalls in the park and had our little picnic time at the plateau of Tamborine Mountain.
All through Australia, we had seen a lot of rock pools which were made naturally in the ocean. By this time, I had picked up deep fascination for these. Gold Coast also had one which is called Snapper Rocks. The huge waves hit by the rock had made it so gorgeous that I could spend hours just indulging in the observing the crashing waves.
The country which is so talked about for surfing sees a lot of surfing enthusiasts in Gold Coast. To check that out, we drove to the main beach. Spent some time there fascinating about learning surfing whenever we will be there next time.
We concluded our trip by climbing the stairs of huge ass elephant rock. The views were spectacular from there from Surfer’s paradise to North and Coolangatta to the south. It was quite a small but impressive view point.
Our roadtrip in Australia was more about experiencing things rather than touching only the touristy things. Hence, I insist that roadtrip is the only way to explore Australia. The small encounters which we had on the road will all be talked about in my future posts of Australia. Stay tuned!