10 DAY ROAD TRIP FROM SYDNEY – NSW ITINERARY!

Looking for the ultimate 10 day or even 2 week NSW Road Trip itinerary from Sydney? A road trip is one of the absolute best ways to explore New South Wales, and there are so many incredible places to see in this state. From world-class wineries to iconic beaches, incredible waterfalls, National Parks, rainforests and once-in-a-lifetime animal encounters. Check out this 10 day loop itinerary for all the details on great locations to visit on a 10 day road trip from Sydney, as well as the best places to stay on your NSW road trip!

Note that a 10 day road trip is definitely not enough time to see all of NSW, however if it is all you have – with some planning you can still see a great deal! You may find that this 10 day NSW road trip itinerary from Sydney may be a bit fast paced for you, in which case you could spread it out over 2 or even 3 weeks if you have the time. Alternatively you can pick and choose which of the destinations you want to visit, or instead of doing a loop from Sydney, pick if you want to go north or south.

10 DAY ROAD TRIP FROM SYDNEY – NSW ITINERARY

  • Sydney
  • Bouddi National Park
  • Central Coast
  • Caves Beach
  • Newcastle
  • Stockton Sand Dunes
  • Port Stephens
  • Seal Rocks
  • Booti Booti National Park
  • Port Macquarie
  • Dorrigo National Park
  • Coffs Harbour
  • Yuraygir National Park
  • Yamba
  • Ballina
  • Byron Bay
  • Minyon Falls
  • Nimbin
  • Glen Innes
  • Hunter Valley Wineries
  • Blue Mountains
  • Wollemi National Park
  • Kiama
  • Jervis Bay
  • Pretty Beach
  • Cunjurong Beach
  • Royal National Park
  • Sydney

koala sign picture Australia NSW road trip itinerary

Campervan Rental In Sydney

For my 10 day NSW road trip from Sydney I travelled in a JUCY Coaster – a Toyota Hiace which is perfect for 1 or 2 people travelling together.

10 DAY ROAD TRIP FROM SYDNEY – NSW ITINERARY

Day 1: SYDNEY TO CENTRAL COAST

Prior to your NSW 10 day road trip from Sydney, I recommend you spend some time exploring this beautiful city: head over to Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs Beaches and do the famous Bondi to Coogee or head north of the Harbour to do the Spit to Manly walk. Or maybe you’ll want to visit the most Instagrammable places in Sydney such as The Opera House, Harbour Bridge or Parsley Bay. Then head one hour north of Sydney to Bouddi National Park. Bouddi National Park is located along the southern part of The Central Coast, which is a 48km span of stunning coastline between Newcastle and Sydney.

When in Bouddi National Park you must do The Bouddi Coastal Walk. It is definitely under rated and not known by tourists, yet it was nominated by the Australian Geographic as one of Australia’s best day hikes! There are several really beautiful beaches all along the Coastal Walk for you to enjoy, and throughout the walk the coastal views are absolutely stunning. The beaches along The Central Coast are incredibly beautiful but much less crowded than the ones in Sydney. Also remember to look out for dolphins and even whales if it’s migration season!

BOUDDI COASTAL WALK

– 8km one way (can do shorter 3km one-way walk if you prefer).
– located in Bouddi National Park – from Putty Beach to MacMasters Beach (or to Maitland Bay Beach if doing the shorter walk).
– relatively easy walk

Along the Bouddi Coastal Walk you can get spectacular views across the water to Sydney’s northernmost beach: Palm Beach and the Barrenjoey Lighthouse, as well as Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park and other sections along The Central Coast such as Box Head and even Patonga.

CENTRAL COAST BEACHES

After you’ve finished The Bouddi Coastal Walk, drive to some other nearby Central Coast locations – such as Avoca Beach, Terrigal, Long Jetty at Lake Tuggerah (stroll along the 350 metre jetty), and head to The Entrance to feed the pelicans!

Where to stay: Blue Lagoon Beach Resort

bouddi coastal walk NSW road trip itinerary bouddi coastal walk

Day 2: CENTRAL COAST TO BOOTI BOOTI

CAVES BEACH

After visiting the beautiful beaches on The Central Coast keep heading north and stop off at Caves Beach in Swansea. As the name suggests, the beach has sea caves – and they are some of the best caves in the whole of New South Wales! The beach is about a kilometre long but the caves lie at the southern end of the beach. Head into the caves and explore them and afterwards, continue your journey up north to Newcastle.

NEWCASTLE

A swim in the iconic ocean pool The Bogey Hole is a must when you are in Newcastle! These historic ocean baths are a much-loved swimming spot and make for some fantastic photographs. The Bogey Hole is a really fun place to swim but you do need to be careful there. Despite The Bogey Hole being a pool, remember it backs onto the ocean. Sometimes the ocean can be calm but equally sometimes the waves can be very, very strong and the ocean waves crash into the pool with a lot of force.

Read:  The Bogey Hole Newcastle - Secret Swimming Spot!

PORT STEPHENS

Once you have spent time enjoying Newcastle, make your journey to Port Stephens. If you are looking for something really unique and memorable to do in Port Stephens, how about a camel ride along Birubi Beach – similar to the camel rides in Broome in Western Australia. A camel ride along Birubi Beach and exploring the Stockton Sand Dunes at Worimi National Park is an absolute must do when in Port Stephens. The Stockton Sand Dunes lie right behind Birubi Beach and face out towards the sea. They are the largest moving sand dunes in the southern hemisphere and really are an incredible sight.

Now if swimming with dolphins is on your Australia bucket list, you can also do that at Port Stephens! Port Stephens is a great place, and once you have experienced swimming with the dolphins you can climb to the top of Tomaree Mountain (about a 20 minute moderate level difficulty hike) for a fantastic aerial 360 degree view. At 161 metres high the views from the summit of Tomaree Head are spectacular and the walk to the top makes a really popular activity for both locals and tourists. To reach the start of the walk head to the far end of Shoal Bay Road right to the end until you get to the boom gate by Tomaree Lodge and you’ll see the Tomaree Track which is where the walk starts from. From the lookout you will look down to Zenith Beach, Fingal Spit and Shark Island on one side, and Shoal Bay and Port Stephens on the other.

SEAL ROCKS

After Port Stephens, make the drive up to the secluded Seal Rocks. Seal Rocks is a small, sleepy village known for it’s great surf and stunning views as well as several incredibly picturesque beaches and lighthouse. At Seal Rocks there are a handful of beautiful beaches such as Number One Beach, Boat Beach and Lighthouse Beach all within walking distance of each other that you can relax on. Enjoy sunset in Seal Rocks, then head to nearby Booti Booti National Park to spend the night.

Where to stay: Booti Booti National Park – The Ruins Campground

The campsite lies right behind Seven Mile Beach and you can even hear the waves from here – it is so peaceful!

port Stephens camel ride zenith beach port Stephens

10 DAY ROAD TRIP FROM SYDNEY – NSW ITINERARY

Day 3: BOOTI BOOTI TO COFFS HARBOUR

BOOTI BOOTI NATIONAL PARK

This secluded Booti Booti National Park has some of the best beaches along the whole coastline despite being seldom visited! Booti Booti National Park includes striking headlands (perfect for whale watching), rainforest and a beautiful thin 8km peninsula that separates Wallis Lake from the Pacific Ocean Enjoy a walk along Seven Mile Beach when you wake up, then drive (or do the 3km hike) to Elizabeth Beach. Make sure to also visit Shelly Beach and Blueys Beach!

PORT MACQUARIE

Once you’ve finished enjoying Booti Booti National Park, drive to Port Macquarie – a lovely coastal town. There is a fabulous coastal walk here going from Town Beach all the way down to Tacking Point Lighthouse. Port Macquarie is also known for being home to the world’s largest urban population of koalas, and a visit to the famous Port Macquarie Koala Hospital is a must!

DORRIGO NATIONAL PARK

If you have time, make the tiny detour to Dorrigo National Park. You can find the epic Crystal Shower Falls waterfall here (along The Wonga Walk, a 6km loop walk). This is not only the best walk in Dorrigo National Park, but also one of Australia’s best day hikes! Plus you can head to the Skywalk and enjoy the view from here! The Dorrigo Skywalk is an elevated wooden walkway that takes you out over the valley and provides some spectacular views. Make sure you don’t miss this as the views are seriously stunning.

Head to Coffs Harbour to stay overnight.

Where to stay: Big4 Park Beach – Coffs Harbour Holiday Park

tacking point lighthouse port Macquarie things to do in port Macquarie nsw

Day 4: COFFS HARBOUR TO BALLINA

COFFS HARBOUR

Coffs Harbour is another big town along the NSW coast, similar to Port Macquarie (but not as beautiful in my opinion). When in Coffs Harbour, head to Park Beach for a morning swim and wander round enjoying the atmosphere before continuing your journey to Yuraygir National Park.

YURAYGIR NATIONAL PARK

Yuraygir National Park is home to 48 sweeping beaches that have views reaching for miles and miles! It is the largest coastal park in NSW, and you can walk along a section of the coastal walk – from Wooli Beach around to Diggers Camp. As the views are so vast here, this is a great place to look out for dolphins and even humpback whales if you are here during the migration season.

YAMBA

After enjoying Yuraygir National Park take the drive up to Yamba. Yamba is an up and coming trendy and easygoing town that is home to stunning beaches and great cafes. It is dubbed the new Byron Bay as it is the laid-back beach town that Byron Bay once was, before it became overcrowded and overpriced. One of the best things about Yamba is that for such a small town it packs in a lot of beaches! The surf on the ocean facing beaches is world class and there is also a sheltered beach called Whiting Beach that faces the river so it is protected and has really calm water, making it perfect for families! You can even do a coastal walk around the five beaches that surround the town if you want to visit all the beaches!

Read:  Must See Instagrammable Places in New Zealand South Island

Make sure to relax on a beach or in one of the cute cafes here and soak up the vibes before heading up to Ballina. On the way into Ballina you’ll pass The Big Prawn, which is worth a quick photo!

Where to stay: Flat Rock Tent Park

convent beach Yamba NSW wooli beach Yuraygir coastal walk NSW road trip itinerary

10 DAY ROAD TRIP FROM SYDNEY – NSW ITINERARY

Day 5: BALLINA TO BYRON BAY

FLAT ROCK

If you’re an early riser, Flat Rock is a great place to watch the sunrise. Stroll along the peaceful beach and then make your way to Ballina Head Lookout, which offers fantastic views over Lighthouse Beach and Shelly Beach – two beaches that are absolutely great for surfing!

MINYON FALLS & NIMBIN

If hiking and swimming underneath waterfalls if your thing, then a trip to Minyon Falls should definitely be on the cards for you before you head to Byron Bay. Hike down to the waterfall and swim at the base of the waterfall (100 metres high) before hiking back up and continuing your journey to Nimbin. Nimbin is the hippie and marijuana capital of Australia and is certainly an interesting place – you’ll feel like you’ve walked back into the 1970’s! Make sure to leave Nimbin by dark and head to Byron Bay.

Where to stay: Clarkes Beach Holiday Park Reflections Byron Bay

ballina shelly beach bangalow byron bay sign NSW road trip itinerary

Day 6: BYRON BAY TO GLEN INNES

BYRON BAY

A must when you are in Byron Bay is to watch the sunrise at Cape Byron Lighthouse – mainland Australia’s most easterly point. It gets busy but it is certainly a magical experience. You can then do the coastal walk back into Byron Bay, soak up the atmosphere, enjoy the trendy boutiques and cafes.

Here at Byron Bay you can kayak with dolphins – which is an incredible experience, or you can simply relax on the beach for a while. If you are travelling with young children, you may find you want to head up to Torakina Beach in Brunswick Heads. Torakina is an ideal beach for small children as the water is calm, there is very little swell and the beach is protected from the ocean.

GLEN INNES

After you’ve enjoyed the day in Byron Bay make the journey inland towards the highlands and New England! Head to the charming Celtic town of Glen Innes, which is full of majestic old buildings. It will take you almost 4 hours to get to Glen Innes from Byron Bay, but luckily in typical Celtic style you’ll find many a place to enjoy a good beer and some food when you arrive.

Where to stay: Fossicker Caravan Park Glen Innes

byron bay beach byron bay the pass

10 DAY ROAD TRIP FROM SYDNEY – NSW ITINERARY

Day 7: GLEN INNES TO HUNTER VALLEY

GLEN INNES

Start your day in Glen Innes by visiting the famous Australian Standing Stones. They were built as a memorial and tribute to all the Celtic convicts who helped to build Australia. Standing Stones were originally used by Celtic people in olden days to be able to tell the seasons and thus know when it was time to sow the crops. The ‘Excalibur’ Sword in the Stone is also located here.

When you leave Glen Innes and head south you’ll see the ‘Celtic Country’ sign and Stonehenge on your left. You can stop off here for some photos before starting the long drive down to the Hunter Valley.

ARMIDALE

Make your way down to Armidale, on the way stopping off at The Red Lion Tavern for a true old English pub experience. Armidale is a beautiful little town, so you can stop off and stretch your legs here and stock up on any supplies. Continue to the drive down through to Tamworth, again stopping here for a rest and stretch, before arriving in the Hunter Valley.

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HUNTER VALLEY

The Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine region and you’ll find some beautiful Cellar Doors and vineyards here. Pokolbin – a small town, is the best place to see some picturesque vineyards and Cellar Doors in the Hunter Valley. Audrey Wilkinson and Scarborough Vineyards are also really stunning.

Where to stay: Wine Country Tourist Park

Armidale NSW road trip itinerary hunter valley vineyard

Day 8: HUNTER VALLEY TO KIAMA

BLUE MOUNTAINS OR WOLLEMI NATIONAL PARK

Leave the Hunter Valley and drive down to The Blue Mountains to see the iconic Three Sisters, take a trip on the Scenic World railway, or head to Hanging Rock or Wentworth Falls.

Visiting The Blue Mountains is one of the most popular day trips from Sydney, so if you have already previously explored here and are looking for something different, an alternative place to visit is Wollemi National Park. A little bit of a detour, Wollemi National Park has impressive canyons, forests and towering cliffs. There are some nice bush walks you can do – with the Pagoda Lookout walk by Ganguddy (Dunns Swamp) having the best views over the whole area.

Afterwards, bypass Sydney and drive south to Kiama.

Where to stay: Killalea Camping Area Reflections (near Kiama)

capertee valley Wollemi national park NSW road trip itinerary

10 DAY ROAD TRIP FROM SYDNEY – NSW ITINERARY

Day 9: KIAMA TO PRETTY BEACH

KIAMA

Kiama is a lovely beachside town full of attractions that is located 80 miles south of Sydney. Here you can visit the Kiama blowhole, swim in the picturesque Kiama Rockpool, relax on the beach or go surfing, or walk the scenic Kiama Coastal Walk from Minnamurra down to Cathedral Rocks and the rockpool.

Kiama’s closest beach is Surf Beach which is just south of the main centre. It is a pretty beach and is popular with surfers. The South Coast of New South Wales is known for having some really great surf and stunning beaches and Kiama’s Surf Beach is no exception.

JERVIS BAY

After exploring Kiama, drive down towards Jervis Bay – home to some beautiful white sandy beaches including Hyams Beach! Hyams Beach supposedly it has the whitest sand in the world and is the most famous beach in the Jervis Bay region, so it is often quite crowded. If you want some beaches that are less busy, head to the equally stunning beaches of Nelsons Beach, Huskisson Beach and Chinamans Beach.

If it is whale watching season, a popular activity here is to go on a whale watching boat trip. If you don’t fancy this or it isn’t whale migration season, you may want to do the White Sands Walk from Greenfield Beach to Hyams Beach.

To experience another completely stunning white sand beach and even less crowded, drive to nearby Murrays Beach in Booderee National Park!

Where to stay: Pretty Beach Campground – Murramarang National Park

kiama rock pool Murrays beach NSW road trip itinerary

Day 10: PRETTY BEACH TO SYDNEY

PRETTY BEACH

Pretty Beach campsite is popular as you can often spot possums and kangaroos here at sunset and sunrise! The kangaroos often chill in the campsite and on the beach, so book a spot in advance as the campsite can get booked up quickly. Whilst in Pretty Beach you can enjoy a beach walk towards Island Beach or Snapper Point Lookout.

CUNJURONG BEACH RESERVE

On your drive back up to Sydney, stop off at Cunjurong Beach Reserve. From here you can enjoy absolutely incredible views across to Green Island and Conjola Beach. The water is really calm if you wish to take a swim, and if you fancy climbing up on the sand dunes you can get some great aerial views and photographs of the area!

SEA CLIFF BRIDGE & ROYAL NATIONAL PARK

Continuing the drive up towards Sydney, be sure to take the route via the Sea Cliff Bridge on Lawrence Hargrave Drive. This is one of the most scenic drives in Australia! If you do have time, stop off at The Royal National Park – the second oldest National Park in the world. The Royal National Park is just 30km south of Sydney and there are some epic places here to explore such as the Figure 8 Pools and Wedding Cake Rock.

cunjurong beach NSW road trip itinerary sea_cliff_bridge_lookout_NSW

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