A road trip is definitely the best way to experience any country, because it is dynamic enough not to be boring, yet slow enough to let you experience the entire country at your own pace. For example, if you are flying by a plane, you won’t see anything because you’re going too fast and too high. You won’t see the cities, experience the culture, meet the people or try the cuisine. If you’re traveling by a ship you won’t see anything but the ocean and the ship itself. Traveling by bus or a train also takes away the “freedom” because you are limited by strict public transport schedules and predetermined bus/train stops. The only real way to experience the country and the hospitality of its people is to take a road trip by a car.
A road trip means that you can stop anywhere you want and anytime you want. You can eat at any restaurant you like and stop at any lookout, rest stop or national park which has caught your attention along the way. Unlimited freedom. As a country of unique culture, diverse nature and highly developed economy, Australia has a lot to offer to an average road tripper. One of the country’s most popular road tripping routes threads trough the east coast and spans some 2500 km from Sydney to Cairns. It’s a place where large cities and breathtaking beaches meet the mighty blue ocean. The fact that the A1 highway from Sydney to Cairns is the world’s longest coastal road speaks for itself.
Sunny days and blue skies make summer the best time of the year to visit the east coast. Considering that the coast is VERY long, don’t even think of coming for less than 10 days if you want to see everything. East Coast Australia is best done by hiring your own car and starting off at either end; Sydney or Cairns (you can even start in Melbourne, but then you have to count-in some extra 5 days). The A1 highway goes through two states: Queensland and New South Wales. These two states are home to some 105 of ‘Australia’s big things’ – giant folk art structures and sculptures which attract millions of tourists year around. Luckily, some of these structures are peppered along the East Coast, so you’ll be able to see them.
For example, once in Cairns, you can see the sculpture of the ‘Big Captain Cook’ and a 33 ft high marlin called ‘the Big Marlin’. Brisbane is also home to ‘The Big Paper-clip’ and ‘The Big Redback’.
Courtesy of: East Coast Car Rentals
Your road trip will certainly include some of the following stops:
• Port Macquarie
• Byron Bay
• Gold Coast
• Fraser Island
• Airlie Beach
If you’re starting off from Sydney side, don’t forget to stop in Newcastle, because this is your only chance to see ‘the Lockup’ – an old police station which has been converted to an art gallery. Once there, you can also visit the nearby ‘Bogey hole ocean pool’ which was made by convicts during the 19th century. While on your way from Newcastle to Port Macquire, you should definitely visit the ‘Hunter Valley’ – one of Australia’s wine regions best known for its excellent Semillon. Port Macquire and its beautiful beaches are perfect for surfing, so if you’re a surfer don’t miss it out. The next town along your route – the Byron Bay is best known for its large population of “hippies” and artists.
Byron Bay is also home to the Byron Bay Brewing company, where visitors can taste beer from surf board shaped plates. On your way from Byron Bay to Brisbane, you can also visit the city of ‘Gold Coast’, a city where breathtaking beaches meet the skyscrapers, casinos and amazing nightlife. Once you arrive in Brisbane, the fast-paced capital of Queensland, you can opt for a river cruise to have fun with koalas or board a ferry to the nearby Moreton Island where you can befriend a wild dolphin. After Brisbane, you can drop by to Fraser Island – a place of pristine beaches and lush rainforests. Road tripping along Australia’s East Coast is an experience to remember. The country’s warm-hearted people, excellent cuisine and beautiful nature place Australia among top 10 destinations in the world.