Categories > Guides and Tips

Your Brisbane to Coffs Harbour Road Trip Guide

Your Brisbane to Coffs Harbour Road Trip Guide

Explore the road trip from Brisbane to Coffs Harbour, showcasing beautiful landscapes. Travel from Queensland’s tropical charm to New South Wales’ coastal beauty. 

Get ready to drive along the Pacific Highway and discover beaches, parks, and attractions. Read more and discover an unforgettable adventure straight from our Brisbane to Coffs Harbour road trip guide.

Brisbane to Coffs Harbour Road Trip: An Overview

Brisbane to Coffs Harbour Road Trip An Overview

Get ready for an incredible adventure from Brisbane to Coffs Harbour, spanning approximately 384 kilometres and taking around 4 hours and 25 minutes.

This road trip guide is tailor-made for anyone who enjoys the great outdoors, sandy beaches, and discovering new destinations.

Starting in Queensland, you’ll be treated to lush forests and rolling hills before transitioning into the stunning coastal landscapes of New South Wales.

Along the iconic Pacific Highway, be sure to stop and explore charming seaside towns, breathtaking lookouts, and pristine beaches.

Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or starting on a solo expedition, this journey offers unforgettable memories and endless discoveries!

Brisbane to Coffs Harbour Road Trip
Number of Stops: 6Distance: 384 kilometresTravel Time: 4 hours, 25 minutes

1. Gold Coast

Media credit: @goldcoast

As you kick off your Brisbane to Coffs Harbour road trip, your first stop lies approximately 78 kilometres away, about 1 hour and 22 minutes from the starting point.

Now, you’ve reached the lively Gold Coast, home to one of Australia’s most iconic beaches, Surfers Paradise Beach.

With its sprawling stretch from Northcliffe to Narrowneck, it’s a haven for surfers, cyclists, and skateboarders seeking the perfect wave or a thrilling ride.

But Surfers Paradise offers more than just waves. On weekdays, a lively beachfront market awaits, along with several restaurants and bars offering live music, perfect for refueling before continuing your journey.

For a breathtaking panoramic view of the Gold Coast, head to the Skypoint Observation Deck. Located in Surfers Paradise, it offers a 360-degree vista that’s simply unforgettable. 

As you leave Surfers Paradise behind, a calm oasis awaits at Tallebudgera Creek. 

Encircled by the beauty of Burleigh Heads National Park and Springbrook National Park, this spot offers for a leisurely picnic, a refreshing swim, or simply a moment of peace before hitting the road again.

Plus, practical amenities like accessible toilets, baby changing facilities, and dog exercise areas make it a convenient pit stop for all travelers.

Accessible from both the Pacific Highway and Gold Coast Highway, Tallebudgera Creek offers a seamless break, ensuring you’re ready to resume your journey refreshed and rejuvenated. 

Stop 1: Gold Coast
Distance: 78 kilometresTravel Time: 1 hour, 22 minutes

Address: 2837 Gold Coast Hwy, Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217, Australia

Book Now

Located just a short 5-minute stroll from Gold Coast Beach overlooking the Coral Sea, Maxmee Resort offers a laid-back stay perfect for adults.

You’ll find it conveniently located only 14 minutes away from the SkyPoint Observation Deck.

Accommodation options range from basic mixed-gender and female-only dormitories equipped with Wi-Fi and ceiling fans, and shared bathrooms, to private apartments featuring mini fridges, cosy living areas, en suite facilities, and tea-and coffee-makers.

For those seeking a bit more luxury, upgraded apartments boast balconies for added relaxation.

Shared facilities include a cosy living space and a game room, ideal for unwinding after a day of exploring.

Here, you can also enjoy the resort’s bar, tennis courts, and outdoor pool for a bit of leisurely fun. It’s important to note that parking is limited, so late night check-ins may have to be planned accordingly.

Address: 1/2527 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach, QLD 4218, Australia

Operating Hours: Thursday: 5:00 PM – 9:30 PM; Friday – Saturday: 12:00 PM – 2:30 PM; 5:00 PM – 9:30 PM

Located in the heart of Gold Coast, The North Room offers a cosy and intimate dining experience. With only 20 seats available, reservations are required to indulge in their delicious offerings.

Known for their great cocktails and vegetarian dishes, this restaurant has been known for its ever-changing menu and extensive wine list.

The North Room is accommodating to various dietary preferences, including gluten-free, pescatarian, and vegetarian options.

However, advanced notice is appreciated to ensure the kitchen can cater to your needs. For a unique culinary experience, you can opt for the tasting menu.

2. Byron Bay

From the Gold Coast, you’re now heading towards Byron Bay, approximately 92 kilometres away, with a travel time of about 1 hour and 13 minutes.

Found within Byron Bay is The Farm Byron Bay, a unique destination blending a working farm with a variety of micro-businesses. Here, you can explore the lush landscape, interact with the animals, and dive into the world of sustainable produce.

Don’t miss the chance to dine at the renowned Three Blue Ducks Restaurant, offering delectable farm-to-table dishes. Families will love the plant nursery and rustic playground, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

For those with a bit more time to spare, the Cape Byron Walking Track invites adventurers to immerse themselves in nature.

This 2.29-mile loop takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete and treats hikers to breathtaking coastal views and a journey through the rainforest, culminating at a scenic clifftop lighthouse.

Nature enthusiasts will delight in the opportunity for whale watching along the Cape Byron Walking Track, with binoculars enhancing the experience. 

Stop 2: Byron Bay
Distance: 92 kilometresTravel Time: 1 hour, 13 minutes

Address: 25 Childe St, Byron Bay, NSW 2481, Australia

Book Now

Just a quick 2-minute stroll from Belongil Beach, Wake Up! Byron Bay is conveniently located 5 kilometres from central Byron Bay and 3.7 miles from the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse.

Accommodation options cater to various needs, with simple and airy mixed-gender and female-only dorms that can sleep up to 12 guests. These dorms feature bunk beds, Wi-Fi, lockers, and shared bathrooms.

For those seeking a bit more privacy, private rooms are available, equipped with minifridges, en suite facilities, and tea- and coffee-makers.

Here, you can take advantage of amenities such as parking, bike rentals, and a coin-operated laundry. Daily shuttle buses into town make exploring Byron Bay a breeze.

The hostel also offers an outdoor pool and hosts various activities including yoga sessions and lighthouse tours. Plus, there are daily happy hours and social nights, ensuring there’s always something exciting happening at Wake Up! Byron Bay.

Address:  4/85-87 Jonson St, Byron Bay, NSW 2481, Australia

Located in the heart of Byron Bay, The Mez Club is a dining destination inspired by Moroccan architecture, renowned for its beautiful styling and feel-good vibes.

With a flexible menu designed for both grazing and dining, it offers locals and tourists a delightful meeting place. Here, you can enjoy main courses such as lamb, beef, and seafood!

The upstairs space, known as The Souk, is specially designed to accommodate parties and group events, ensuring a memorable dining experience for all.

3. Ballina

Media credit: @discoverballina

As you journey along the Brisbane to Coffs Harbour road trip, your third stop awaits in Ballina, just 34 kilometres away, approximately a 27-minute drive from Byron Bay.

Standing at 507 River Street, Ballina’s iconic Big Prawn invites you with its massive presence. This 35-ton sculpture, erected in 1989, pays homage to the local prawning industry.

While you can no longer venture inside the prawn for a unique viewing experience, the surrounding area offers charming gift shops and seafood restaurants, allowing you to savour the essence of this quirky landmark.

Another notable attraction in Ballina is the historic Richmond River Lighthouse, a testament to the region’s rich maritime heritage.

Designed by James Barnet and built in 1866, this lighthouse offers stunning views of Lighthouse Beach and the surrounding coastline.

While visitors cannot enter the lighthouse itself, its architectural beauty and the image-worthy vistas it offers make it a must-visit spot for capturing breathtaking sunsets and immersing yourself in history.

Stop 3: Ballina
Distance: 34 kilometresTravel Time: 27 minutes

Media credit: @piscoaccra

Address: 339 River St, Ballina, NSW 2478, Australia

Book Now

Almare Tourist Motel offers budget-friendly accommodation with convenient amenities. Enjoy free parking during your stay, making it hassle-free to explore the surrounding area.

This pet-friendly motel welcomes furry companions, ensuring the whole family can join in on the adventure. With kid-friendly facilities and a welcoming atmosphere, Almare Tourist Motel is a great choice for a comfortable and affordable stay when in Ballina.


Address: 37/41 Cherry Street, Ballina, NSW 2478, Australia

Che Bon Restaurant in Ballina offers an authentic French dining experience that won’t break the bank. With a focus on affordability and quality, this restaurant serves up delicious French cuisine in a welcoming atmosphere.

Whether you’re craving classic French dishes or looking to explore something new, Che Bon has something for everyone. Enjoy a taste of France without emptying your wallet at this charming dining spot in Ballina.

4. Yamba

Media credit: @henrique_trs

Your fourth stop on the Brisbane to Coffs Harbour road trip is Yamba, a charming town just 101 kilometres away, about an hour and 9-minute drive from Ballina.

History enthusiasts will delight in visiting the Yamba Museum, managed by the Museums and Galleries of New South Wales.

This award-winning museum offers an inviting journey into the area’s past, with a strong focus on Yamba’s maritime history and early settlement days.

Explore intriguing artifacts like Francis Freeburn’s telescope and a surfboard bitten by a shark, while learning about the Port of Yamba’s rich history and viewing models of steam riverboats and sail ships. 

With free entry for children and affordable adult admission at just $5, it’s an excellent value for an enriching experience.

For a glimpse into more recent history, you can dive into the Clarence River Lighthouse, built in 1955 to replace the original 1880 tower. Standing at 7 metres tall, this lighthouse stands as a symbol of the region’s maritime heritage.

Open year-round, it offers you a chance to learn about Australia’s history along the Brisbane to Coffs Harbour route. 

Stop 4: Yamba
Distance: 101 kilometresTravel Time: 1 hour, 9 minutes

Address: 81 Yamba Rd, Yamba, NSW 2464, Australia

Book Now

Yamba Motor Inn offers comfortable accommodation just 4 kilometres from Yamba Beach and 2 kilometres from the Yamba River Markets.

The cosy rooms provide modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and kitchenettes, ensuring a convenient stay. Meanwhile, air conditioning ensures comfort during warm days.

For added space and comfort, upgraded rooms feature separate sitting areas. Additionally, a townhouse option is available, featuring a fully equipped kitchen, dining area, and living room.

Here, you can unwind and enjoy the outdoor pool and barbecue facilities. The inn also provides parking and guest laundry facilities for added convenience. 


Address: 27 Coldstream St, Yamba, NSW 2464, Australia

Operating Hours: Thursday – Sunday: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM

At Karrikin in Yamba, you have the option to dine al fresco with their inviting outdoor seating area. Bask in the sunshine or enjoy a cool breeze while indulging in your meal, adding an extra touch of relaxation to your dining experience.

Moreover, families are warmly welcomed at Karrikin, and the restaurant ensures that even the youngest guests are catered to.

With high chairs available, parents can dine comfortably while their little ones are safely seated, making it a stress-free dining experience for everyone.

5.  Woolgoolga

As you journey along the Brisbane to Coffs Harbour road trip, your fifth stop awaits in Woolgoolga, approximately 107 kilometres away from Yamba, with a travel time of about 1 hour and 12 minutes.

Discover one of New South Wales’ hidden gems at the Woolgoolga Art Gallery, where local artists showcase their talents through a variety of arts and crafts.

From paintings to pottery, the gallery offers a glimpse into Australia’s creative scene at realistic prices, making it a must-visit for art enthusiasts and families alike.

While slightly off the beaten track, the gallery is accessible and provides a convenient car park for you. However, it’s advisable to call ahead, especially during the summer months, as opening hours may vary.

For those seeking a nature-filled retreat, Wedding Bells State Forest offers a peaceful escape from busy country towns. Take loop walks through the forest, uncovering historical landmarks like old gold mines and abandoned tramways along the way.

Families traveling with children will appreciate the playground located within the forest, providing an opportunity for little ones to expend their energy.

Stop 5: Woolgoolga
Distance: 107 kilometresTravel Time: 1 hour, 12 minutes

Media credit: @eavishd

Book Now

Royal Palms Motor Inn in Woolgoolga provides cosy accommodation in a neat space, ensuring a comfortable stay for guests. Despite its compact size, the inn offers modern amenities and friendly service.

Conveniently located near Woolgoolga’s attractions, guests can explore nearby beaches, cafes, and shops with ease.

Plus, it’s just a short drive away from Coffs Harbour’s popular destinations like the Big Banana, pristine beaches, and scenic coastal walks. 

Address: 4 Market St, Woolgoolga, NSW 2456, Australia

Operating Hours: Wednesday – Thursday: 5:00 PM – 9:30 PM; Friday – Saturday: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM; Sunday: 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

At Sunset by Rivs, you can tantalize your taste buds with an enticing menu featuring fresh seafood and other delectable options. From succulent prawns to mouthwatering fish dishes, seafood lovers will find plenty to enjoy.

Pair your meal with one of their signature cocktails for the ultimate dining experience. 

Families with little ones can rest assured knowing that high chairs are available, making it a great spot for everyone to enjoy delicious food and drinks together against the backdrop of a stunning sunset.

6. Coffs Harbour

Media credit: @cityofcoffsharbour

Finally, after an exhilarating journey, you’ve reached the lively Coffs Harbour, just 25 kilometres away, with a short drive of approximately 21 minutes.

Situated along the stunning New South Wales coast, Coffs Harbour offers a blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and cultural experiences.

From its iconic The Big Banana Fun Park to its pristine beaches and lush hinterland, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this coastal paradise. 

Whether you’re seeking thrilling water sports, scenic hikes, or simply relaxing by the sea, Coffs Harbour provides endless opportunities for unforgettable memories and relaxation.

Stop 6: Coffs Harbour
Distance: 25 kilometresTravel Time: 21 minutes

Address: 88 Grafton St, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450, Australia

Book Now

Conveniently located just a 2-minute walk from the nearest bus stop, Plantation Hotel in Coffs Harbour offers accommodation in a colourful building.

Situated almost a mile from the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden and 4 kilometres from Solitary Islands Marine Park, it’s an ideal base for exploring the area’s natural attractions.

The hostel provides functional dorm rooms with bunk beds and complimentary Wi-Fi, ensuring a comfortable stay for you. Private rooms are also available, some featuring balconies for added relaxation.

Here, you can enjoy a range of amenities, including a TV lounge, a shared kitchen, and a casual restaurant serving delicious meals.

For those seeking entertainment, there’s a lively sports bar and a nightclub with regular live performances, open for those 18 and above!


Address: 384B Harbour Dr, Coffs Harbour, NSW 2450, Australia

Operating Hours: Monday – Saturday: 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Mana Chita offers a delightful dining experience with outdoor seating, perfect for enjoying the fresh air while indulging in flavourful vegan dishes.

Whether you’re a committed vegan or simply enjoy plant-based cuisine, you’ll probably enjoy this restaurant’s selections. 

Families are welcome, with high chairs available for little ones, ensuring a comfortable dining experience for all. 

Related topics