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Self-Drive Suggested Itinerary
Sydney → Central Coast → Port Stephens → Port Macquarie → Coffs Harbour → Byron Bay → Gold Coast
On arrival, collect your car and head north towards Hunter Valley, one of the most beautiful wine counties in Australia. Along the way, stop at the beautiful Central Coast or have a try at horse riding at Glenworth Valley, which is highly recommended for new riders. Don’t miss the tree top adventure and the crazy rider, the world’s longest rollercoaster zip line located at the TreeTop Adventure Park. You may like to drop by to watch the daily Pelican feeding at The Entrance, Memorial Park at 3.30pm. Stay an extra night in central Coast or continue your drive for your overnight stay at Hunter Valley.
Overnight: Hunter Valley (Hunter Valley Resort or similar)
Enjoy a hot air balloon ride, followed by a champagne breakfast. Choose from over 140 wineries, including more popular ones like Mount Pleasant McWilliams, Lindemans Winery and Peterson’s Champagne House. Watch what really happens behind the scenes at the Hunter Wine Theatre from the harvesting to the bottling of wine. Alternatively, sign up for a wine & food-matching tutorial or enjoy a fine dining experience at San Martino to complete your evening. You may also go for some interesting activities like cheese tasting, beer tasting, horse riding or a Segway ride though the vineyard. Proceed to Port Stephens. Experience a thrilling sunset quad bike tour or 4-wheel drive over Stockton beach, Australia’s largest coastal moving sand dunes.
Overnight: Port Stephens (Oaks Pacific Blue Resort or similar)
This morning, go on a dolphin watching cruise to spot the playful dolphins. Have a go at para-sailing, camel riding or enjoy the sumptuous Port Stephens oysters. Continue your drive into Port Macquarie, stopping at Australia’s third oldest lighthouse at Taking Point. Follow the Pacific Drive to the Koala Hospital and join the 3pm Walk and Talk Tour, the only wildlife hospital solely dedicated to the care and conservation of wild Koalas. Pick strawberries or tomatoes at Ricardoes.
Overnight: Port Macquarie (Best Western Plus HW Boutique Hotel or similar)
Enjoy camel riding on the beach at Port Macquarie and head to the beachside city of Coffs Harbour known to the locals as a modern city with a small-town atmosphere – and the hub from which to explore Coffs Coast’s enormous selection of things to see and do. From scuba diving to sky diving, surf rafting to whale watching, there are enough activities to keep you entertained and for those looking for a quiet getaway. Take the short drive up to Sealy Lookout in Bruxner Park, northwest of the city, where you’ll enjoy superb views of the city and beaches below from the new Forest Sky Pier. The city center’s unique shops and boutiques, al fresco cafés and the Thursday Growers’ Market are popular with office workers, regular shoppers and visitors alike.
Overnight: Coffs Harbour (Novotel Coffs Harbour Pacific Bay Resort or similar)
This morning, drive down to “Dolphin Marine Magic” − a multi-award winning tourist attraction where guests can have a personal experience with the marine life. Another important role that Dolphin Marine Magic undertakes is the rescue and rehabilitation centre for native marine animals. Continue north to Yamba. A great little village for a short stopover, Yamba has all the attributes you would expect of a coastal city, including great beaches, a marina, lots of cafés, a broad river and a lighthouse. After lunch, head up into the Summerland House Farm; where you can find the best local products around the region, like Macadamia and Avocado. Crystal Castle is an enchanting place where you can wander through the magical gardens of mystic statues, walk the ancient labyrinth, marvel at the exquisite jewellery and crystals. From Crystal Castle, take a short drive to the village of The Channon which holds one of the region’s best markets every second Sunday of the month. To end your day, return to Byron Bay, which provides a good choice of restaurants for dinner.
Overnight: Byron Bay (Lord Byron Resort or similar)
Tempting as it is to simply relax by the pool or on its picture-perfect beaches, we invite you to get out and explore the Tweed’s beautiful backyard. In the Valley, you’ll discover World Heritage rainforests, art galleries, historic buildings and gorgeous country cafes. At Tweed Heads, you can explore the Tweed’s hidden treasures – volcanic caves, rainforest waterfalls, historic cemeteries & tranquil creeks where you can kayak for miles, all these places only the locals know! Catch a crab cruise or visit Tropical Fruitworld for an exciting range of fruits. At night, hop-on an exciting 4WD glow worm night tour in Gold Coast with local commentary in their natural environment at a secluded National Park waterfall. A local family café will open just for us to provide our supper, with a choice of homemade cakes and biscuits topped off with a Cappuccino, Tea or Hot Chocolate. This is more than just a glow worm tour, its all about seeing the Rainforest come to life at night and experiencing exciting off road driving along the way.
Overnight: Gold Coast (Mantra on View or similar)
Today, visit one of the best theme parks in Australia or enjoy a free day at leisure, the world-famous Surfers Paradise beach and breathtaking skyline remains a major draw cards for millions of Gold Coast visitors each year. With the emergence of a fresh cultural scene, Surfers Paradise is thriving as a diverse cafe, restaurant, and fashion and nightlife hub.
Overnight: Gold Coast (Mantra on View or similar)
This morning proceed to the airport for your flight back home.
- Dolphin Watch: 10:30am or 1:30pm daily. (1230pm for lunch followed by 1:30pm cruise)
- 4WD Tour: There is a departure every 30 minutes between 10am and 3:30pm.
- Nocturnal Rainforest & Glowworm night tour pick-up approximately 7pm daily (minimum 4-to-go).
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