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Sydney to Coffs Harbour Family Road Trip


Planning a Sydney to Coffs Harbour road trip with your family? You're in for an epic adventure. This 8-day Australia road trip itinerary is packed with unforgettable experiences, from the dramatic landscapes of the Blue Mountains to the playful encounters at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and from the iconic Big Banana in Coffs Harbour to the relaxing vibes of Avoca Beach. With the freedom of a campervan, you can explore at your own pace, making memories that will last a lifetime. Let’s dive into this iconic Sydney to Coffs road trip, ideal for families seeking fun, adventure, and the great outdoors.


Day 1: Sydney to Govetts Leap Lookout

Distance: 115 kilometres

Travel time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Start your adventure by picking up your campervan at Apollo’s Sydney branch. Before you leave the city, immerse yourself in Sydney's lively atmosphere. There's a wealth of experiences waiting, from the iconic Sydney Opera House to the bustling streets filled with cafes and galleries and the nearby golden beaches perfect for a quick dip! For a curated list of must-dos in this buzzing city, check out the best things to see and do in Sydney.

Once you have explored this magnificent harbourside city, it’s time to tackle the journey to Govetts Leap Lookout. Driving around 1 hour and 45 minutes in your campervan takes you through scenic landscapes that lead to the heart of the Blue Mountains. On arrival, go for a wander to Govetts Leap Lookout, where you will be treated to a spectacular view of cascading waterfalls and rugged cliffs. It's an ideal spot for a family picnic or a short hike to stretch your legs and breathe in the mountain air before heading to camp for the night.

Where to stay on arrival: As the day winds down, settle in for the night at Murphy's Glen Campground. It's a serene spot to rest, surrounded by nature, allowing you and your family to reflect on the day's adventures and look forward to what's next.

Image: Destination NSW


Day 2: Govetts Leap Lookout to Newcastle

Distance: 250 kilometres

Travel time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

If you and your family are early risers, why not get up early and catch the sunrise at Govetts Leap Lookout? The early morning light brings a magical touch to the valley below, offering a moment of tranquillity before the day's adventures begin. Otherwise, start your day with the next stop on this Sydney to Coffs Harbour road trip by making your way to the quaint town of Katoomba to grab a bite to eat and explore the cute town. 

After breakfast, it's time to head to Newcastle – a city known for its stunning beaches and vibrant culture. In Newcastle, start by exploring the Newcastle Museum to dive into local history and culture. Then, make your way to the Honeysuckle Foreshore – a perfect setting for an afternoon stroll, with plenty of spots to grab a bite with views of the harbour. Last but not least, Newcastle's beaches are great for family fun in the sun, whether it's building sandcastles, dipping into the ocean, or trying out some surfing, you could easily spend a few hours here just watching the waves roll by. 

Where to stay on arrival: End your day at the NRMA Stockton Beach Holiday Park. It's a comfortable base for the night, offering easy access to the beach for an evening walk or a chance to unwind and plan for the adventures that lie ahead on your road trip.


Day 3: Newcastle to Port Macquarie

Distance: 244 kilometres

Travel time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Today’s leg of the Sydney to Coffs road trip stretches between Newcastle and Port Macquarie, which will take around 2 hours and 45 minutes in your campervan. If you need a place to stop along the way, the twin towns of Forster-Tuncurry are the perfect solution. Here, you can enjoy the tranquillity of pristine lakes and beaches – a perfect spot for a leisurely lunch or a quick dip. 

Upon reaching Port Macquarie, a visit to the Koala Hospital is a must for any animal lover. This unique conservation facility offers a close-up experience with Australia’s beloved koalas. Next, stretch your legs with the Port Macquarie Coastal Walk, where scenic ocean views are your constant companion. Lastly, wind down for the day at Town Beach, a spot perfect for families looking to relax or play on the sand. Or, if you prefer an off-the-beaten-path experience, check out the Sea Acres Rainforest Centre for an immersive walk through one of the largest coastal rainforests in NSW.

Where to stay on arrival: Settle in for the night at Sundowner Breakwall Tourist Park, where you're just steps away from the water.

Image: Destination NSW


Day 4: Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour

Distance: 152km

Travel time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

After enjoying a morning brew or a final dip in the ocean, it’s time to hit the road for the final northern stretch of this Sydney to Coffs Harbour road trip. Today's leg covers 152km and will have you in Coffs Harbour in approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes in your campervan. Along the way, we recommended a road trip stop at Nambucca Heads, where you can enjoy lunch by the river and a leisurely walk along the boardwalk.

Then, it's time for the main event: Coffs Harbour. There are plenty of attractions to explore in this northern NSW coastal paradise. The Big Banana is a classic first stop and a big family favourite — but it is more than just a giant fruit; it’s a fun park with activities for the whole family. Once you are done here, you can dive into the marine world at Dolphin Marine Conservation Park and end the day with a relaxing swim or a picnic at Jetty Beach.  

Where to stay on arrival: Your home in Coffs Harbour will be the Big4 Park Beach Holiday Park, a fantastic family-friendly spot with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay.


Day 5: Exploring Coffs Harbour

After a big day of road-tripping up the coast and exploring the best things to do in Coffs Harbour, today is dedicated to discovering all that Coffs Harbour has to offer beyond the Big Banana and other popular town attractions. 

The first stop is the Coffs Coast Wildlife Sanctuary, which offers a hands-on experience with Australia’s native wildlife in a natural setting. Then, for a unique adventure, you can venture to the Dorrigo National Park, a short hour’s drive in your campervan from Coffs Harbour. The park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area and offers stunning scenic views, waterfalls, and walking trails that are manageable for the whole family. The Skywalk lookout provides a panoramic view of the rainforest canopy and beyond to the coast.

Back in Coffs Harbour, round off your day with a stroll along the Coffs Harbour Marina and feast on the breathtaking views and wildlife along the Solitary Islands Coastal Walk. Then, finish the day by treating yourself to fresh seafood or local cuisine at one of the waterfront restaurants. 

Where to stay: Big4 Park Beach Holiday Park.

Image: Destination NSW


Day 6: Coffs Harbour to Blackmans Point

Distance: 144km

Travel time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

After two days of exploring the beauty of Coffs Harbour, it's time to begin the return journey from Coffs to Sydney. This first leg stretches 144km to Blackmans Point – about 1 hour and 30 minutes drive in your campervan. Midway, Kempsey offers a perfect pit stop. Here, you can grab a snack and stretch your legs while exploring this charming town known for its heritage and natural beauty. 

Upon arrival at Blackmans Point, you will be greeted by the picturesque junction of the Hastings and Maria Rivers, setting the scene for a serene afternoon. Blackmans Point Park is ideal for setting up your campervan for a few hours and spending the afternoon surrounded by nature before heading to camp for the night. This area is ripe for bird-watching and fishing, so don’t forget your binoculars and fishing rod! 

Where to stay on arrival: Edgewater Holiday Park


Day 7: Blackmans Point to Avoca Beach

Distance: 291km

Travel time: 3 hours, 45 minutes

Continuing south on the return journey from Coffs Harbour to Sydney, the next stop is Avoca Beach, around 3 hours and 45 minutes in your campervan. Driving south, Port Stephens is the first stopover of the day, where lunch with a view awaits at one of the beautiful beaches like Shoal Bay Beach. The area is known for its clear waters and white sands, making it a haven for relaxation or a bit of adventure.

Once you reach Avoca Beach, you're in for another coastal treat. This beach is a popular spot for families, surfers, and sunbathers. It's the perfect place to relax by the water, try your hand at surfing, or just enjoy the sun. For those looking for a hidden gem, why not end the day with a visit to the Avoca Beach Picture Theatre, where you can choose from an eclectic mix of films in a charming, vintage setting.

Where to stay on arrival: The night’s rest is at NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort, offering a wide range of activities and accommodations to make your stay enjoyable.


Day 8: Avoca Beach to Sydney

Distance: 99km

Travel time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

The final leg of your journey is a 99km drive back to Sydney, taking approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes in your campervan. Upon your return, take the opportunity to explore any final Sydney attractions you may have missed the first time around. From hidden beaches to local markets, Sydney is a city that always has something new to discover. Once you’ve soaked in those last moments, it’s time to drop off your camper at Apollo Sydney.  

Image: Destination NSW


Get your family packed and hit the road with Apollo

This road trip from Sydney to Coffs Harbour and back again is the ultimate East Coast Australia road trip, combining the beauty of the East Coast with the excitement of some of Australia’s best coastal and hinterland attractions. Ready to get your family packed and hit the road with Apollo? Luckily, it is as easy as booking your Apollo motorhome online today and picking it up from any Apollo branch when your road trip begins. Your Australia road trip awaits.

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