There is something so special about an East Coast road trip.
Before low-cost air travel was the norm, this trip was a classic rite-of-passage experience, and it’s still as magical as it ever was. So pack your bags, cue the playlist, jump in the car, and head north to Byron Bay from Melbourne. It’s a great opportunity to explore the Australian coastline and discover some amazing spots along the way. Start from Melbourne and follow the Princess Highway to Sydney, and then take the Pacific Highway from Sydney to Byron Bay. For the lucky ones who can take their time and meander up the East Coast, we’ve mapped out our favourite towns and beaches along the way for your Melbourne to Byron road trip adventure.
Begin your Byron road trip with a stop off at Wilsons Promontory, 200km from Melbourne. This may not be the usual route but, once you get there, you will understand why we love it so much. The stunning national park at the southernmost tip of mainland Australia offers granite mountains, rainforest, open forests and sweeping beaches. The 3-day trail walk tours are a stunning start to your journey.
Three and a half hours from Wilsons Promontory is Lakes Entrance. Drive down Seaview Parade for unparalleled views over the town centre, marinas, Cunninghame Arm and down Ninety Mile Beach.
The Blue Pool
The Blue Pool is the next on our list. It’s located 350km from Lakes Entrance in a small town on the south coast of NSW called Bermagui. This gorgeous, natural rock pool is perfect for swimming and snorkelling. The pool is set against a backdrop of dramatic cliffs. You may have seen the photos, but this is a spot you need to see in person. A natural rock pool washed with clear ocean water, The Blue Pool is situated at the bottom of a dramatic cliff face and you just know it will look amazing in your travel snaps.
Jervis Bay is your next stop. It’s 200km north of The Blue Pool and is famous for having some of the whitest sand in the world. This natural wonderland is a haven for bottlenose dolphins, penguins and other sea creatures. A definite stop on your East Coast road trip.
Three hours later you’ll arrive in Sydney. Stop for a meal or even the night. The iconic Bondi to Bronte walk is a favourite of ours. Stretch your legs and breathe in that fresh coastal air.
If you’re starting fresh the next morning, head north for five hours and stop in at the sleepy surf town, Crescent Head. Take the Big Hill Rainforest track and find yourself a spot to take in sweeping views of the ocean.
South West Rocks
A short drive north (just under an hour, but worth the extra stop!) you’ll arrive at South West Rocks. This seaside holiday town is situated at the mouth of the Macleay River and boasts uncrowded beaches in Arakoon National Park. The ocean here is literally crystal clear.
Yes, Coffs Harbour has the Big Banana, but it also has so much more than that. It’s an easy 100km drive north of South West Rocks and is a good spot to refuel and recaffeinate. Be sure to visit Sealy Lookout for spectacular views from the Forest Sky Pier at Sealy Lookout, a short drive from the city through hillside banana plantations. The wheelchair-accessible platform extends almost 22 metres over rainforest escarpment. Otherwise, simply wander the marina or sneak in a cheeky surf on your way up the coast.
It’s the last stop on your Byron Bay road trip! Keep heading north and two hours later you will land in the coastal town of Yamba. Take a refreshing dip in the ocean pool, and get your caffeine fix in town!