Narooma and Bermagui road trip; lighthouses of South coast NSW

The Beauty of The Legendary Pacific Coast Drive in 2024

Are you itching for an enchanting road excursion? Picture this: cruising along the coast, weaving through picturesque beaches and quaint coastal towns. If this sounds like your ideal getaway, look no further than the Legendary Pacific Coast drive on Australia’s east coast.

Brace yourself for various remarkable experiences and unforgettable moments as you explore the scenic stops along the way. Dive into this post for a comprehensive guide to this extraordinary journey and its captivating stopovers.

PIN for later reference – The Legendary Pacific Coast Drive

PIN for later reference - The Legendary Pacific Coast Drive
PIN for later reference – The Legendary Pacific Coast Drive

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About Legendary Pacific Coast

The Legendary Pacific Coast spans the eastern seaboard of Australia, linking the vibrant metropolises of Sydney and Brisbane. This iconic drive is a quintessential segment of the broader road trip experience along the East Coast. Embark on a journey brimming with coastal splendour, where azure waters meet golden shores, and charming towns dot the landscape.

Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve Coffs Harbour
A yard at Coffs Harbour

With each twist and turn, immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Australia’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. From bustling cityscapes to serene coastal retreats, the Legendary Pacific Coast promises an unforgettable adventure filled with exploration and discovery.

Important Information About The Legendary Pacific Coast Drive

Before embarking on this incredible journey, keep these key points in mind:

  • The distance between Sydney and Brisbane spans approximately 1160 kilometres.
  • Driving continuously along this route, sans stops, typically requires around 14 hours.
  • Be mindful of the time zone changes between states.
  • Consider breaking the journey into manageable segments rather than tackling it all simultaneously.
  • Allocate at least one week to savour the sights and experiences between Sydney and Brisbane.
  • The optimal travel time is during the spring (September to November) for pleasant weather.
  • Rest assured, there are ample fuel stations along the way.
  • Renting a self-driven car in Australia is convenient; ensure to select a vehicle with zero excess and comprehensive insurance. A valid international driver’s license (in English) and a credit card are all you need to secure a rental car Down Under.

Places to See on the Legendary Pacific Coast

The Legendary Pacific Coast spans across two Australian states, New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland (QLD), tracing the stunning coastline. Along this scenic route, numerous coastal towns beckon, offering ample opportunities to pause and take in the sights.

Below, I’ve highlighted some of the most renowned and beloved spots along the journey.

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New South Wales (NSW)

Starting point – Sydney.


Sydney, the vibrant capital city of New South Wales (NSW), boasts a breathtaking coastline that ranks among the most stunning in the world. Renowned for its cosmopolitan charm and diverse attractions, Sydney offers a welcoming ambience for travellers of all stripes, from budget-conscious backpackers to luxury seekers. Serving as the launchpad for the Legendary Pacific Coast journey, Sydney sets the stage for an unforgettable adventure.

In Sydney, a week barely scratches the surface of its myriad offerings. From world-class museums like the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and the Powerhouse Museum to picturesque coastal walks, the city presents an array of enriching experiences.

Among Sydney’s hotspots, Circular Quay and Darling Harbour. reign supreme. Circular Quay, home to iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, pulses with energy and excitement. Fun fact: Did you know you can scale the Sydney Harbour Bridge for a truly unforgettable experience?

Whether you have a leisurely 10 days to explore Sydney‘s wonders or just a fleeting 24 hours to spare, there’s no shortage of captivating activities to fill your itinerary. Dive into our tailored itineraries to make the most of your time in this dynamic city.

Sydney bird eye view
Sydney at bird’s eye view

Hunter Valley

Covering a distance of 250 kilometers from Sydney, the next destination on our road trip is Hunter Valley, a renowned region in New South Wales (NSW) celebrated for its delectable wines and picturesque wineries.

Sydney to Hunter Valley – 250 kilometres.

Hunter Valley is comprised of four primary cities:

  • Lake Macquarie,
  • Newcastle,
  • Maitland, and
  • Cessnock.

While Hunter Valley offers a plethora of activities and attractions to explore, its main allure lies in its exceptional wine culture.

Hunter Valley

Port Stephens

Continuing our journey, the next stop on the road trip is Port Stephens, a mere 120 kilometers from Hunter Valley, taking approximately 2 hours to traverse. Port Stephens holds a unique appeal, renowned for its expansive sand dunes and captivating landscapes.

Hunter Valley to Port Stephens – 120 kilometres.

Key attractions in Port Stephens include exhilarating sandboarding adventures and invigorating hikes to the summit of Tomaree Head. For wildlife enthusiasts, boat tours offer an opportunity to witness playful dolphins in their natural habitat.

For a comprehensive guide to exploring Port Stephens and nearby Nelsons Bay, delve into our curated itinerary for an unforgettable weekend getaway.

Port Stephens
Port Stephens

Coffs Harbour

Popular among family vacationers, Coffs Harbouremerges as a favored destination, boasting pristine coastal charms and inviting beaches. Renowned for its iconic landmark, the Big Banana, a prominent feature among the famed Big Things of New South Wales (NSW), Coffs Harbour promises memorable experiences for all ages.

Port Stephens to Coffs Harbour – 390 kilometres.

In addition to beachfront bliss, visitors can explore the Dolphin Marine Magic Park, offering educational insights into dolphins, seals, and reptiles. Spanning a distance of 390 kilometers from Port Stephens, the journey to Coffs Harbour takes approximately 4 hours by road.

Butterfly farm Coffs Harbour
Butterfly Park at Coffs Harbour

Byron Bay

Among the gems of the east coast, Byron Bay holds a special place in my heart. Infused with laid-back hippie vibes and renowned for its magnificent surf beaches, Byron Bay exudes an irresistible charm. This coastal town offers a plethora of activities, from rejuvenating yoga sessions to indulgent massages, ensuring a truly relaxing experience.

Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay – 235 kilometres.

For adventure seekers, Byron Bay is a mecca for scuba diving enthusiasts, boasting one of Australia’s premier dive sites, Julian Rocks. Situated just 235 kilometers from Coffs Harbour, a leisurely 2 hours and 30-minute drive unveils the magic of Byron Bay.

Short on time? Dive into our curated guide for a perfect day at Byron Bay, ensuring you make the most of every moment in this coastal paradise.

Main Beach at Byron Bay
Sunset at Byron Bay


Following Byron Bay, our journey carries us across the border into the state of Queensland (QLD).

Gold Coast

Dubbed the party capital of Australia, the Gold Coast beckons tourists and backpackers alike with its vibrant nightlife scene, boasting an abundance of pubs and clubs.

Byron Bay to Gold Coast – 90 kilometres.

Moreover, the Gold Coast reigns as the premier destination for theme and amusement parks in Australia, solidifying its status as the theme park capital of the country.

Spanning a mere 90 kilometers from Byron Bay, the journey to the Gold Coast takes just an hour by road, promising a swift transition from laid-back beach vibes to electrifying city lights.

Things to do in Gold Coast


Our final destination on this remarkable road trip is Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland. Emerging as a formidable contender against the likes of Sydney and Melbourne, Brisbane is steadily gaining popularity among locals and travelers alike.

Gold Coast to Brisbane – 80 kilometres.
Finishing point – Brisbane.

Boasting of plenty of things to do in Brisbane, the city caters to diverse interests, from cultural explorations to culinary delights. With an abundance of bars and restaurants, the city offers a vibrant culinary scene for food enthusiasts to savour.

Situated a mere 80 kilometers from the Gold Coast, the journey to Brisbane is a brief one, taking just an hour by road, marking the culmination of our unforgettable coastal adventure.


Closing Notes

Embarking on the drive from Sydney to Brisbane promises a wealth of unforgettable experiences, with countless sights and activities to discover along the Legendary Pacific Coast. I wholeheartedly endorse this scenic journey as a must-do while exploring Australia.

Feeling inspired to hit the road? Have any lingering questions or seeking further guidance? Feel free to reach out to me at I’m here to help you plan your adventure and answer any queries you may have. Happy travels!

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The Beauty of The Legendary Pacific Coast Drive in 2024
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    PIN for later reference – The Legendary Pacific Coast Drive

    PIN for later reference - Road trip on the Legendary Pacific Coast
    PIN for later reference – The Legendary Pacific Coast Drive