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CAIRNS TO SYDNEY ROAD TRIP: East Coast Australia Itinerary!

The journey from Cairns to Sydney (or Sydney to Cairns!) an epic road trip to do whilst you are in Australia! Seeing Australia is best done on a road trip and this road trip itinerary hugs the coastline, really encompassing some of the best Australia has to offer. The beaches are stunning, the towns are lovely and there’s plenty to do along the way!

Read on for the best Cairns to Sydney road trip itinerary!

koala sign picture Australia 

CAIRNS TO SYDNEY ITINERARY – EAST COAST AUSTRALIA ROAD TRIP

How Long Does It Take To Drive From Cairns To Sydney?

To drive from Cairns to Sydney on the coastal route (Bruce Highway/M1/A1) would take 29 hours driving if you were to drive non-stop. That’s 2,600km. A lot of driving.

Of course driving non-stop would be pointless, and on the road trip there will be a lot of places you’ll want to stop off along the way between Cairns to Sydney, so in reality you’ll probably be driving around 3,500km. Therefore many people tend to do a Cairns to Sydney road trip over 3 weeks or so. 

3 weeks was how long we spent on our Cairns to Sydney road trip and we felt it was a good amount of time. Of course longer would be better, but if it’s much shorter it will feel rushed and you’ll have to miss out some stops.

The first time we did the Cairns to Sydney road trip we did it in a car converted into a campervan, although we have since done parts of the trip again both in a bigger rental campervan (a JUCY  Toyota Hiace) and in a car, staying overnight in motels. 

It’s totally possible to do the road trip in a car (or even by Greyhound bus) and book hotels, motels or hostels to stay in each night if you won’t be sleeping in a campervan. If you will be travelling like this and won’t be staying overnight in your campervan I would definitely 100% book all accommodation beforehand as often accommodation can get booked out in small towns quickly, especially during the peak holiday seasons. I book all my accommodation using booking.com.

the lord byron hotel Byron Bay

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Do A Cairns To Sydney Road Trip?

You can do a Cairns to Sydney road trip year round, but do take note of the seasons.

November to February is peak season when you’ll have the warmest weather, but it’s also when everywhere will be super busy and prices may be higher.

June to September are the cooler months when there will be less people around and lower costs, but be prepared for a few showers and cool nights in NSW.

The shoulder season (March/April and October) is personally my favourite time to do this trip as the weather is great and it’s not too busy. I get really lethargic travelling in Australia in the summer months December and January as it can be unpleasantly hot at times, especially if you’re staying in a campervan!

JUCY_Coaster_campervan_review

If you want to avoid crowds (and kids everywhere!) it’s always good to check when the QLD/NSW school holidays are, including Easter and long weekend dates.

As you’re getting further north into Far North Queensland remember that November to April is technically the wet season and monsoon rains are common. Don’t let this put you off though, as it usually just means sunny mornings and a short but heavy downpour in the afternoon or evening. We were in Cairns during the rainy season, and honestly it was pretty refreshing to have a quick downpour to cool you down!

Campervan Safety In Australia

Australia is a great country when it comes to doing road trips in camper vans – it’s very safe, although it’s always good to familiarise yourself with these Campervan & Van Life Safety Tips to ensure you stay safe on the road and at night! I have done several campervan trips both as a female solo traveller and with my partner across Australia, and I have never had any issues.

Note just reverse this itinerary if you will be doing your road trip from Sydney to Cairns!

JUCY Coaster campervan cairns to Sydney roadtrip

Cairns

Cairns is a great place to start your roadtrip! Not only is it a really nice city, but there are so many things to do in and around Cairns, from diving or snorkelling The Great Barrier Reef to visiting the famous Millaa Millaa Waterfall, going White Water Rafting, taking a trip up to Port Douglas and Palm Cove or going on a Crocodile Viewing trip!

Honestly Cairns has such a nice relaxed vibe we spent several days here before we started our road trip! Make sure to go for a dip in the Lagoon swimming pool (it’s free!), as well as stroll along The Esplanade and pleasant waterfront. Visit The Botanic Gardens, enjoy a stroll around the local shops or hit the bars in the evening and enjoy Cairns’ lively nightlife scene.

cairns lagoon roadtrip

Cairns is in Queensland’s Tropical North so as mentioned, during November to April you may have a monsoon shower in the afternoon/evening during those months. Usually when this happened we would just jump in the Lagoon like you can see in the picture above (or a bar!) and wait for it to pass – it never lasted long! So definitely don’t let it put you off if you’ll be travelling during these months!

Also note to always obey the no swimming signs at the beach in Cairns – there are crocodiles around.

One hours drive north from Cairns will take you to the beautiful beachside town of Port Douglas. The drive up to Port Douglas and the town itself is really stunning. When in Port Douglas, Four Mile Beach is a great place to visit. If you do the Four Mile Beach Coastal Walk it’ll take you over the hill to Rex Smeal Park.

Driving back down south towards Cairns direction, definitely make a stop at Palm Cove and Clifton Beach – the palm trees here are amazing and you can get some really Instagrammable photos! Palm Cove and Clifton Beach are just next to each other and the sunrises here are lovely!

After enjoying Palm Cove and Clifton Beach, drive south west through the beautiful Atherton Tablelands to Millaa Millaa waterfall – an absolute must visit waterfall

millaa millaa falls cairns Queensland herbal essences road trip

Townsville

A 4 hour drive south of both Cairns and Millaa Millaa waterfall will take you to Townsville – a really pleasant city on the coast. If you want to break up the drive, stop off at Mission Beach.

When in Townsville, enjoy a stroll along The Strand, a really lovely palm tree lined 2.2km long esplanade and head to the lagoon for a dip. Like Cairns, there are crocodiles in Townsville so don’t just go swimming anywhere. You’ll see in Townsville the beaches have a netted area to swim in – make sure you only swim within these safe swimming spaces!

Year round, but especially during the months of November – April dangerous stinging jellyfish (known as ‘stingers’) are also in the water so these swimming nets are here to protect you from getting stung. 

Despite all the scary animals, Townsville is lovely and make sure you go up to Castle Hill Lookout – right in the town! 900 feet high above the city, you’ll get stunning views of the city and coastline from this granite monolith. It’s an absolute must do when in Townsville! You can either drive up or walk up, and sunset is the best time to visit!

For some lively bars and nice restaurants in Townsville head down to Flinders Street.

Magnetic Island

When in Townsville, a trip to Magnetic Island, or ‘Maggie’ as the locals call it, is a must do!

Magnetic Island is a stunningly picturesque island with beautiful beaches, impressive scenery and lots of hiking trails. It’s a truly beautiful place and is definitely worth a day trip – plus it’s really easy to get to from Townsville!

Take the ferry from Townsville to Magnetic Island and hire one of the colourful topless jeeps with MI Rentals to explore the island in the best way possible! It’s definitely wise to book a jeep in advance as they do sell out during peak times!

Taking your own vehicle across to Magnetic Island actually works out more expensive than renting one of these jeeps! Jeeps cost around $139 to hire for the day, whereas the minimum it costs to bring a car across to Magnetic Island is $222 – even more so during the Christmas and Easter holidays! Camper vans are even more expensive to bing across and always need to be booked beforehand with the office to see if they can accommodate your vehicle. 

Seeing as it costs just $36 return for a walk on passenger, it’s much easier to just leave your vehicle in Townsville and head across yourself on the ferry to Magnetic Island for the day and hire a jeep. There are two main ferry companies: Magnetic Island Ferries – a vehicle and passenger ferry that takes 40 minutes, and Sealink a passenger only ferry that takes 20 minutes. Click here and here for their respective ferry timetables.

Alternatively you can take the tourist bus around the island for half a day (Magnetic Island’s Best Bus Tour). Although hiring a jeep lets you explore at your own pace and gives you more flexibility – plus how fun are topless jeeps!

A 3.5 hour drive from Townsville will then take you to your next stop: Airlie Beach! If you need a stop along the way, Horsesehoe Bay Beach Bowen is a lovely place to relax for a while.

CAIRNS TO SYDNEY ITINERARY – EAST COAST AUSTRALIA ROAD TRIP

Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach is the starting point for trips to The Whitsunday Islands – an absolutely unmissable stop on any Cairns to Sydney road trip. The Whitsunday Islands are known world-wide for their stunningly white sandy beaches, rugged islands and crystal clear water.

You will need to book on one of the boat trips to see The Whitsundays – we did the Ocean Rafting Southern Lights trip ($174) which was really fun and the best day tour of The Whitsundays as you get to see so many places!

With Ocean Rafting you visit both ends of the iconic Whitehaven Beach, relax on the beach, go snorkelling and bushwalking up to the famous Hill Inlet Lookout to see the perfect turquoise water and stunning swirling sands from above.

There are many tours from Airline Beach to The Whitsundays, including sailing tours which are so relaxing (both day tours and overnight trips), so just find the one that suits your timeframe, style and budget!

whitsunday islands hill inlet view point Sydney to cairns road trip itinerary

Cape Hillsborough

An hour and a half drive from Airlie Beach will take you to Cape Hillsborough. I recommend arriving to spend the night in Cape Hillsborough as you’ll want to wake up early!

At Cape Hillsborough beach at sunrise you’ll be able to see kangaroos and wallabies on the beach! A local conservation ranger comes onto the beach at sunrise to feed the kangaroos and wallabies. It’s amazing to see, but don’t be late as they don’t hang around after they’ve been fed!

Yeppoon

4.5 hours drive south of Cape Hillsborough will take you to Yeppoon, a lovely coastal town with beautiful beaches, the nearby Keppel Bay Islands, and provides access to the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

You can take a day trip to Great Keppel Island with Freedom Fast Cats (half an hour ferry ride), stroll along the Yeppoon foreshore, walk the Bluff Point Walking Track and visit the Capricorn Caves.

Hervey Bay

A 5 hour drive from Yeppoon will take you to Hervey Bay – one of my favourite spots in Australia! If you want to break up the journey you can stop off in Bundaberg, 1.5 hours north of Hervey Bay.

If you will be doing your Sydney to Cairns road trip between the months of July and October count yourself lucky! Hervey Bay is blessed during these months when it comes to whale watching: it is in fact the whale watching capital of the world!

Every year from July to October you can get right up close to humpback whales in the waters of Hervey Bay.

Hervey bay whales whale watching Australia

In other popular whale watching spots in Australia, the whales can be seen just passing by, but what makes Hervey Bay so special is that the whales stay for a good amount of time in the bay as they use the calm waters as a resting place.

There are many whale watching companies that can take you out to see the whales on a day trip – Tasman Venture even takes you out to swim with the whales!

swim with humpback whales Hervey Bay tasman venture 

Being this close to these majestic animals was honestly one of the most amazing moments of my life!

CAIRNS TO SYDNEY ITINERARY – EAST COAST AUSTRALIA ROAD TRIP

Fraser Island (K’gari)

As well as being known for the humpback whales, Hervey Bay is also known as the gateway to Fraser Island (K’gari) – the largest sand island in the world!

At 120km long and 25km wide, Fraser Island is pretty big! And as it’s a sand island it means only 4×4 vehicles are permitted on the island. For this reason many people choose to do a tour of Fraser Island. The more common tours are of the eastern side of Fraser Island, visiting spots such as Lake McKenzie, Champagne Pools and S.S. Maheno shipwreck. 

Fraser Island Mckenzie lake east coast cairns to Sydney road trip

You can either go on a one day trip below, or if you have more time I definitely recommend the 3 day trip!

 

Alternatively, even though the East Coast Fraser Island trips are the most popular ones, a day trip to the west coast of Fraser Island from Hervey Bay is even more stunning in my opinion. Plus you’ll encounter far less people as this part of the island is so remote!

You’ll get to visit stunning creeks like the one below and see a totally different rugged side of the island that very few people actually get to see!

wathumba creek clear water beaches australia

Rainbow Beach

1.5 hours drive south of Hervey Bay takes you to Rainbow Beach! We loved Rainbow Beach – it has a nice relaxed vibe and is named so because you can find many different coloured sands along the sand dunes at the beach!

You can drive along the beach at Double Island Point and Rainbow Beach if you have a 4wd here, but don’t worry if you don’t – you can still enjoy a lot at Rainbow Beach! Head up to the Carlo Sandblow for sunset (or the smaller sand blow pictured below if you want to escape the crowds!) for a stunning view.

rainbow beach Queensland cairns to Sydney road trip blow hole Carlo

Whilst you are in the area, make sure to head over to Tin Can Bay where you can feed wild dolphins every morning at 8am! Each morning the dolphins swim to the shore and the volunteers will help you feed them. We loved this activity so much!

It costs $5 to enter the centre, and $5 to feed the dolphins.

Noosa

A 1.5 hour drive south from Rainbow Beach and Tin Can Bay will take you to Noosa.

Noosa is another amazing stop on the Cairns to Sydney road trip. It’s an incredibly popular holiday destination and is known for its epic surf, stunning beaches, boutique shops and trendy restaurants. There is a real holiday vibe here in Noosa!

The coastal walk around Noosa National Park is a must do with ocean views all the way! Along the coastal walk you’ll find the Noosa Fairy Pools as well as Hells Gate where you’ll often spot pods of dolphins!

Noosa fairy pools

CAIRNS TO SYDNEY ITINERARY – EAST COAST AUSTRALIA ROAD TRIP

Glasshouse Mountains

One hour driving south of Noosa will take you to The Glasshouse Mountains.

The Glasshouse Mountains are a cluster of 12 very uniquely shaped mountains. They stand out not only because of their unusual shapes, but also as the rest of the landscape is completely flat. The Glasshouse Mountains are one of the most famous landmarks in Queensland, formed around 25 million years ago as the result of extinct volcanic activity.

You can climb up several of the mountains, all of which offer stunning views out over the hinterland. Some of them are a lot more difficult to climb that others, with Mount Ngungun being one of the easiest to climb as it is one of the smallest mountains at just 253m tall. It is a relatively quick climb, although it is steep in parts. And what it lacks in height it certainly makes up for in views!

mount ngungun glasshouse mountains cairns to Sydney roadtrip

Brisbane

Just over one hour drive south of The Glasshouse Mountains will bring you to sunny Brisbane, the capital of Queensland!

There are so many things to do in Brisbane – you can take the free ferry ride to enjoy gorgeous views of the city and South Bank, head to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and hold a koala here and feed the kangaroos, stroll along The South Bank or take a wander up to the stunning Kangaroo Cliffs.

So many people bypass Brisbane but that’s definitely a mistake as it has so much to offer! I even prefer Brisbane to Melbourne!

Brisbane skyline

Gold Coast

No East Coast Australia road trip is complete without a stop on Queensland’s Gold Coast, located 1 hour south of Brisbane.

The Gold Coast (or GC as the locals call it) is famous for its long sandy beaches, great surf and tall skyscrapers – it actually reminds me of Miami a lot.

Another really popular holiday destination in Australia, there is so much to do on the Gold Coast, whether you wish to drive a bit inland to see the waterfall at Springbrook National Parks, visit the theme parks, go up the Skypoint Observation Deck or just beach hop. Surfers Paradise – love it or hate it, is somewhere you should visit at least once.

surfers paradise Queensland Gold Coast

Towards the south end of the Gold Coast is Currumbin. Elephant Rock here provides great views across to the Gold Coast, and at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary you can feed the lorikeets for free at 8am and 4pm. It is actually really fun – at one point I had about 8 lorikeets on my head!!

Head inside the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary if you wish to get a photo with a koala!

Coolangatta

If you’re keen to see the Queensland/New South Wales border, head a few beaches down from Currumbin to the twin towns of Coolangatta/Tweed Heads just south of the Gold Coast!

Here you can see Boundary Statue located on Boundary Street. This statue marks the Queensland/New South Wales border. Tweed Heads is officially in NSW and Coolangatta in Queensland and are often known as the Twin Towns.

Get a photo of the Boundary Statue, with NSW on one side and QLD on the other. The statue is located next to a busy street but there’s plenty space to get a photo. There are lots of nice cafes on Marine Parade with Coolangatta Beach opposite to enjoy.

NSW QLD border statue Coolangatta tweed heads boundary street

Fingal Head

A short 15 minute drive from the border will take you to Fingal Head.

Everybody knows The Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland, yet few have heard of The Giants Causeway in Australia – located in Fingal Head. Very similar in appearance, with it’s hexagonal black columns rising from the sea, the Fingal Head Causeway is truly one of the most magnificent natural sights in NSW.

Despite this, Fingal Head Causeway is relatively unknown, which of course is good as there aren’t crowds of people! The Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland and The Giants Causeway in Australia are identical in geological terms, both featuring the same unique step-like rock formations. 

They were both formed by cooling volcanic rock, and whilst The Giants Causeway in Australia is smaller than the one in Northern Ireland, it receives considerably less visitors so is much more pleasant to visit!

Fingal head giants causeway australia

CAIRNS TO SYDNEY ITINERARY – EAST COAST AUSTRALIA ROAD TRIP

Byron Bay

A 45 minute drive south of Fingal Head will take you to the trendy laid-back town of Byron Bay!

Byron Bay is a very popular place for backpackers and free spirits and is a firm favourite on any East Coast Australia roadtrip itinerary. This well-known iconic town is simply a must visit. Plan to spend at least a couple of days here in Byron Bay soaking up the good vibes and energy.

There are plenty things to do here such as:

Byron Bay the pass cairns to Sydney road trip cape byron lighthouse

Cape Byron Lighthouse marks mainland Australia’s most easterly point and is an absolute must see on your Byron Bay itinerary. The lighthouse is so picturesque, located ontop of a cliff overlooking the ocean and you can get some fantastic pictures here, especially at sunrise and sunset.

If you want to escape the crowds, head to Tallow Beach on the other side of Byron Bay.

You can also take half day excursions from Byron Bay to:

  • Nimbin – a hippie town in the mountains where you can find lots of hemp!
  • Minyon Falls – an iconic giant waterfall
  • Crystal Castle – see the tallest amethyst crystals in the world!

crystal castle byron bay photography instagrammable places

Yamba

Over the years Byron has become increasingly overcrowded and overpriced, so if you wish to enjoy a quiet laid-back beach town like Byron used to be, head south 1.5 hours to Yamba.

For such a small town, there are a lot of beaches in Yamba, so make sure to do the coastal walk to see them all! You’ll often spot dolphins near the surfers at Turners Beach, and there’s even an ocean pool at Main Beach to go for a dip in!

convent beach Yamba NSW

Less than 7km down the road from Yamba Town Centre is the sleepy coastal village of Angourie. Like Yamba, Angourie has some great beaches and swimming spots.

Spooky Beach is a really good snorkelling spot and Angourie Point Beach is a famous surf spot for die-hard surfers.

Angourie Blue Pool and Angourie Green Pool are really impressive and deserve a visit – both are freshwater pools with views across to the ocean and are popular places for swimming and cliff diving. Both pools were actually created as they were used for mining and quarries in the 1890s, but they flooded with water in 1899 and have been popular swimming spots ever since!

Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie is a stunning seaside resort town on the Mid-North Coast of NSW, 3 hours drive south of Yamba.

There is a beautiful 9km Coastal Walk here that goes from Town Beach all the way down to Tacking Point Lighthouse – it is a must do on your stop (you can even drive and stop off at the main points if you don’t want to walk all the way).

Port Macquarie beaches Watonga Rocks lighthouse beach

There are also many other things to do in Port Macquarie – the coastal city famed for it’s great surf and beaches as well as top dolphin and whale spotting sights, as well as being home to the world’s largest urban population of koalas.

No visit to Port Macquarie is complete without a visit to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital. Port Macquarie Koala Hospital looks after sick koalas and koalas injured through bushfires, motor vehicle accidents and dog attacks. Established in 1973 it is the world’s first hospital dedicated solely to koalas.

It has one treatment room, eight Intensive Care Units and several recovery yards for the koalas. It also has a 24 Hour Rescue and Treatment operation. Normally anything between 200 and 250 koalas are admitted here every year.

port Macquarie koala hospital

CAIRNS TO SYDNEY ITINERARY – EAST COAST AUSTRALIA ROAD TRIP

Booti Booti National Park

Continuing the drive down south, it will take you 1.5 hours to reach Booti Booti National Park from Port Macquarie. The secluded Booti Booti National Park is seldom visited by many but it has some of the best beaches along the whole coastline! 

Booti Booti National Park has striking headlands, rainforest and a beautiful thin 8km peninsula that separates Wallis Lake from the Pacific Ocean.

Take the Booti Hill Walking Track from Seven Mile Beach to Elizabeth Beach. And make sure to check out nearby Blueys Beach and Boomerang Beach. 

seven mile beach booti booti national park roadtrip

It is definitely worth stopping off and seeing these beaches, these two beaches are particularly great for surfing. Plus you’ll find several places to go for food or coffee on Boomerang Drive.

Also make sure to stop off at nearby Cellitos Beach a few kilometres away – voted one of the best beaches in NSW!

Cellito Beach sandbar beach best in NSW Barrington coast

Seal Rocks

Also in the area just a 30 minute drive from Cellito Beach is Seal Rocks – a small, sleepy village known for it’s great surf, stunning views, and incredibly picturesque beaches. It’s the ideal place to kick back and relax for a few hours before you carry on your Cairns to Sydney road trip.

Be sure to visit Number One Beach, Boat Beach, Sugarloaf Lighthouse and Lighthouse Beach before heading up to the lighthouse.

Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse was completed in 1875 and sits in a striking location on the top of the headland 79 metres above sea level, overlooking Lighthouse Beach. 

There is a lookout by the lighthouse that looks down onto a few rocky outcrops in the water – these are the ‘Seal Rocks’ and this is where the name of the village came from as historically this was the home to a colony of Australian Fur Seals.

seal rocks NSW

Port Stephens

An almost 2 hour drive from Seal Rocks brings you to Port Stephens. Port Stephens is definitely worth a stop on your Cairns to Sydney road trip as it is home to the southern hemisphere’s largest moving sand dunes! These sand dunes are known as the Stockton Sand Dunes, and look out across to the sea.

The beach in front of the sand dunes is called Birubi Beach. You can ride a camel on Birubi Beach if you didn’t get to do it in Port Macquarie, or you can go sand boarding and 4wd on the sand dunes

port Stephens camel ride cairns to Sydney roadtrip

There are so many other great things to do in Port Stephens such as swimming with dolphins or walk the 30 minute walk up the Tomaree Summit for a spectacular view over the surrounding area.

 tomaree head summit mountain walk

CAIRNS TO SYDNEY ITINERARY – EAST COAST AUSTRALIA ROAD TRIP

Newcastle

Newcastle is located 1 hour south of Port Stephens and when you are here you must head to The Bogey Hole ocean pool!

The Bogey Hole is very iconic to the local people yet it remains fairly unknown to many tourists. It recognised as the first known ocean pool on Australia’s East Coast and possibly in the whole of Australia.

These historic ocean baths are a much-loved swimming spot and make for some fantastic photographs. The Bogey Hole is a really fun place, but you do need to be careful there. Make sure to visit at low tide – sometimes the waves can be VERY strong and crash into the pool with a lot of force. Several people have died here.

Also make sure you aren’t the only person there. The baths are not patrolled, there is no lifeguard here and the rocks are incredibly slippy.

the bogey hole Newcastle cairns to Sydney road trip

Caves Beach

45 minutes south of Newcastle takes you to the stunning Caves Beach. 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.

If you stand at the back of the entrance of the cave you can get some really nice pictures of the sea behind the opening of the cave. You can also explore around this cave as there are a few side entrances (you’ll have to crouch down to go through some of them as they are quite low and narrow!).

caves beach Lake Macquarie Cains to Sydney road trip

Central Coast

Continuing the drive down south from Caves Beach will take you to the Central Coast. There are many stunning places in The Central Coast such as Bouddi National Park and Pearl Beach – both which offer stunning coastal walks and large expansive beaches.

If you’re short on time you may have to skip The Central Coast.

pearl beach to Patonga walk warrah lookout

Blue Mountains

And now for the penultimate stop on the Cairns to Sydney road trip drive! 1.5 hours drive from The Central Coast will take you to The Blue Mountains – a rugged mountain range west of Sydney. The scenery here in The Blue Mountains is really dramatic and there are lots of hiking and nature trails you can do.

The Blue Mountains are named so because of the blue haze that surrounds the mountains!

There are lots of photo-worthy spots in The Blue Mountains such as the Three Sisters sandstone rock formations and Wentworth Falls, however these places are always fairly crowded as they are fairly easy to access and so this is where the tour groups always go. If you are looking for somewhere in The Blue Mountains that is a bit more remote and a lot less crowded and you have the time (and enjoy hiking as it’s a 12k round hike!!), then definitely head to Hanging Rock!

Hanging Rock is such an impressive place, and because of the long time it takes to get here, it means you’ll often have the viewpoint all to yourself! The view out onto Hanging Rock and the Blue Mountains is really stunning.

hanging rock blue mountains Sydney

Sydney

And finally, your Cairns to Sydney road trip finishes here. There are however, so many things to do in Sydney so you should definitely spend a few days here after you drop your campervan off – use this 3 day Sydney itinerary as a guide to help you:

Day 1 in Sydney:

  • Sydney Harbour Bridge (walk across and either do Pilon Lookout of Bridge Climb)
  • Sydney Opera House and Opera House Bar
  • Circular Quay/The Rocks
  • Royal Botanic Gardens
  • Mrs Macquarie’s Point (one of the most Instagrammable places in Sydney and also a really popular spot to watch the New Years Eve fireworks in Sydney!
  • Luna Park

cairns to Sydney roadtrip opera house instagrammable places

Day 2 in Sydney:

Day 2 is all about exploring Sydney’s north shore and beautiful Northern Beaches.

mosman to cremorne point walk cairns to sydney

Day 3 in Sydney:

Day 3 is spent relaxing in Sydney’s famous eastern beaches!

Bronte baths bogey hole ocean pool Sydney aerial photography

Hopefully this guide was useful in helping to plan your Cairns to Sydney road trip. The East Coast is such a stunning part of Australia – I really hope you enjoy your trip! Let me know in the comments below any other spots you manage to check out between Cairns and Sydney!

Looking for more Australia road trip itineraries? Check out:

Perth to Exmouth Road Trip

Adelaide to Melbourne Drive Itinerary

10 Day NSW Road Trip Itinerary

Great Ocean Road Drive Itinerary

Broome To Perth Road Trip

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