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Road Trip Adventure Brisbane to Sydney

Road Trip Adventure: Brisbane to Sydney 

Did you know that the road from Brisbane to Sydney is over 900 kilometers long? It’s like a giant adventure course, with each mile offering something new and exciting!

As the wheels roll between these two iconic Australian cities, the Brisbane to Sydney road trip has become a rite of passage for travelers seeking thrills and hidden gems along the way. It’s like a real-life treasure hunt, where the prize is the journey itself!

Want to explore the magic of this epic road trip? Buckle up and join us as we unravel the mysteries and wonders from Brisbane to Sydney!

Brisbane to Sydney Road Trip: An Overview

Brisbane to Sydney Road Trip An Overview

The Brisbane to Sydney road trip is a classic Aussie adventure that offers excitement, discovery, and plenty of unforgettable moments!

As you make your way south, you’ll encounter a colourful scenery – from pristine beaches to rolling hills and lush countryside.

And let’s not forget about the charming towns and quirky pit stops along the way, each offering its own unique charm and character.

Whether you’re into surfing, hiking, or simply taking in the sights, there’s something for everyone on the Brisbane to Sydney road trip. 

How long does the Brisbane to Sydney road trip take?

How long does the Brisbane to Sydney road trip take

The distance between Sydney and Brisbane will depend on the route you choose to take. Let’s uncover the distance for each route, including the average driving time: 

RouteDistanceDriving Time
The Pacific Highway Route569 miles (915 kilometres)9 hours, 30 minutes
The New England Highway Route581 miles (935 kilometres)11 hours
The Thunderbolts Way606 miles (975 kilometres)11 hours, 20 minutes

Brisbane to Sydney Drive Routes

As mentioned, there are 3 different scenic routes to take if you’re going on a road trip from Brisbane to Sydney. Let’s uncover each route so you can choose the perfect road trip itinerary for you! 

Route 1: The Pacific Highway Route

The quickest way to get from Brisbane to Sydney is the Pacific Highway Route! This road trip takes you along the beautiful eastern coast of Australia.

For this route, you’ll drive down the M1 and A1 highways, with stunning ocean views and charming towns inviting you to stop and explore.

Sure, you could power through and do it in two days. But you could also consider stretching your road trip to days to appreciate the sights and experiences along the way!

ROUTE 1: BrisbaneBallinaCoffs HarbourPort MacquarieNewcastleSydney
Distance: 569 milesTravel Time: 8 hours, 30 minutesNumber of Stops: 6

Let’s check out each notable stop:

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Your journey starts in Brisbane, where you can soak up its vibrant cityscape and explore attractions like South Bank Parklands. 

Brisbane to Ballina takes more than just a quick two-and-a-half-hour drive along the East Coast. Along the way, you’ll be tempted to stop and explore the treasures scattered between the two destinations. 

You’ll get past the glittering beaches and theme parks of the Gold Coast. So, go ahead, and make your first pit stop here!

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Remember to hold onto your hats because the real adventure begins as you wind through the Tweed area. Here, you’ll find charming boutiques, galleries, and some of the freshest seafood you’ve ever tasted.

And if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can take a detour onto Tweed Valley Way through Murwillumbah and head over to Wollumbin National Park.

The Mount Warning Summit Track may be a challenge, but the breathtaking panoramic views from the top make every step worth it.

As you continue your journey to Ballina, you’ll discover the laid-back charm of Byron Bay. Known for its surf, art, and music scene, Byron Bay’s beaches are just the beginning.

Here, you can jump into the lush hinterlands to find hidden waterfalls and rainforests straight out of a fairy tale.

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Now, it’s time to hit the road to Coffs Harbour. Here, you should prepare to be mesmerised by the stunning ocean views and golden beaches along the 2-hour and 10-minute drive.

Don’t miss out on surfing at Evans Head or exploring the walking trails of Yuraygir National Park and Victoria Park Nature Reserve.

Next stop is Port Macquarie! As you wind your way along the coast for 1 hour and 45 minutes, you’ll discover the beauty of Boambee Beach and Bongil Beach near Coffs Harbour.

In Port Macquarie, you can soak up the sun at Goolawah and North Shore beaches, or explore attractions like the Sea Acres Rainforest Centre and the Koala Hospital.

Onwards to Newcastle! This leg of the journey brings even more natural wonders, from Tuncarry Rockpool to Tomaree Head.

In Newcastle, dive into local history at the Fort Scratchley Museum and take a stroll along the Newcastle Memorial Walk. If time allows, don’t miss the chance to detour to Barrington Tops National Park for a taste of lush rainforest and serene picnic spots.

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Finally, you’ve reached Sydney! The last stretch of your road trip takes you through the central coast region.

Along the way, you can get your adrenaline pumping at the Treetops Adventure Central Coast, take a leisurely walk at Girrakool Loop Track, and cool off with a swim at Terrigal Beach.

And of course, no road trip to Sydney is complete without crossing the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.


Address: The Star Gold Coast, Lobby Level, 1 Casino Drive, 1 Casino Dr, Broadbeach QLD 4218, Australia

Contact Details: +61 2 5592 8100

Operating Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Cucina Vivo, a charming Italian restaurant, offers a delightful dining experience with its authentic cuisine and inviting atmosphere.

With outdoor seating available, you can soak up the sunshine while indulging in delicious Italian fare. 

Plus, vegetarians will appreciate the selection of vegetarian dishes on the menu. 


Address: 2 Jonson St, Byron Bay, NSW 2481, Australia

Contact Details: +61 2 6685 6828 

Operating Hours: Monday – Thursday: 12:00 PM – 9:30 PM; Friday – Sunday: 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM

When you’re in the Byron Bay area, then make sure to drop by at Miss Margarita.

From loaded nachos to sizzling burritos, there’s something to satisfy every craving in this lively Mexican cantina. Plus, you can sip on refreshing cocktails during happy hour while soaking in the lively atmosphere.

Vegans will also appreciate the selection of plant-based dishes available. With a welcoming ambiance and a kids’ menu, Miss Margarita is a great pit stop for travelers of all ages along the coastal route!


Address: 321 Harbour Dr, Coffs Harbour, NSW 2450, Australia

Contact Details: +61 2 6651 6053

Operating Hours: Tuesday – Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM; Thursday – Saturday: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Shearwater Restaurant can be your food stop at Coffs Harbour. This charming eatery offers breakfast classics and modern Australian dishes in a bright and upscale setting. 

With outdoor tables overlooking the river, you can enjoy your meal while taking in scenic views of the surroundings.

And if the timing is perfect, don’t skip their happy hour food and great cocktails, perfect for unwinding after a day of travel!

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Address: Bentinck St & Owen St, Ballina, NSW 2478, Australia

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With spacious and well-appointed rooms, Ballina Palms Boutique Motel provides the perfect retreat after a long day on the road. Here, you can sink into plush beds and catch up on some much-needed rest before hitting the highway again.

And if you’re traveling with your furry friend, you’ll be pleased to know that Ballina Palms is pet-friendly, so your four-legged companion can join in on the adventure.

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Address: 11 Clarence St, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444, Australia

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Each apartment in Macquarie Waters Boutique Apartment Hotelis equipped with modern amenities, including a fully equipped kitchen, and laundry facilities, making them a great choice for longer stay.

One of the highlights of Macquarie Waters is its rooftop heated pool and spa, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area. It’s the perfect spot to relax and rejuvenate after a long day of driving.

Plus, with secure underground parking available, you can rest easy knowing your vehicle is safe and sound.

Route 2: New England Highway Route

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If you’re up for an inland adventure from Brisbane to Sydney, the New England Highway Route might just be your cup of tea.

Clocking in at about 11 hours of driving time, this journey takes you through some of the most picture-worthy landscapes Australia has to offer.

Sure, it might take a bit longer than the coastal route, the scenery makes it all worthwhile. From the lush greenery of Darling Downs to the charming town of Goondiwindi and the wine country of Hunter Valley, there’s plenty to see along the way.

You can comfortably complete this road trip in 4 days, but if you prefer slowing it down, it can also be done in 3, 5, or 7 days – it’s all up to you and how much you want to explore.

ROUTE 2: BrisbaneToowoombaGoondiwindiTamworthNewcastleSydney
Distance: 581 milesTravel Time: 11 hoursNumber of Stops: 6

Let’s go through each stop:

Just like the first route, you have the option to see other amazing suburban areas within Brisbane.

Here are some of them which you can visit:

  • Paddington – Known for its charming heritage buildings, boutique shops, and trendy cafes, this suburb offers a vibrant atmosphere if you’re into strolls and shopping sprees.
  • West End – This eclectic neighbourhood is a melting pot of cultures, with a thriving arts scene, multicultural eateries, and quirky markets. It’s the place to go for a taste of the city’s alternative vibe.
  • Bulimba – With its riverside location, Bulimba brings out charm and sophistication. You can explore Oxford street, lined with boutique stores and chic cafes.

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From Brisbane, your first stop is the Garden City of Toowoomba. Stretch your legs at Kholo Gardens and Picnic Point Lookout, or dive into history at The Workshops Rail Museum and Cobb+Co Museum.

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Next up, it’s Goondiwindi, where you can enjoy a picnic at the Natural Heritage and Water Park and snap some photos with the quirky sculptures at The Once Upon A Time Lanescape Festival.

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From Goondiwindi, now we’re off to Tamworth. Here, you can marvel at the granite rock formations of Cranky Rock Nature Reserve or even unwind and plan a picnic at Bicentennial Park.

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As you journey through the Hunter Valley region towards Newcastle, be sure to stop by the world-renowned wineries in Rothbury and Pokolbin for a taste of the local vino.

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And finally, you’re now off to Sydney! if you want to stick to the coastal route for this part of the journey, just follow The Pacific Highway Route (route 1) as outlined above.


Address: 164 Margaret St, Toowoomba City, QLD 4350, Australia

Contact Details: +61 7 4638 0044

Operating Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 11:30 PM – 9:00 PM; Friday – Saturday: 11:30 AM – 9:30 PM

From aromatic kebabs to savoury mezze platters, Sofra offers a diverse menu that celebrates the rich culinary heritage of Turkey. This restaurant is a gem for both meat lovers and dedicated vegans!


Address: 47 Marshall St, Goondiwindi, QLD 4390, Australia

Contact Details: +61 7 4671 4939

Operating Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 4:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Lucky Thai Restaurant in Goondiwindi serves up authentic Thai cuisine in a cosy setting. Their menu features a variety of traditional dishes, including curries and stir-fries, with options for different spice preferences.

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Address: 237 Hunter St, Newcastle, NSW 2300, Australia

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You can’t beat the convenience of The Lucky Hotel’s location, found in the heart of Newcastle’s busy city centre. Plus, with its comfortable and cosy rooms, you’ll be sure to get a good recharge before hitting the road again.

Just need to freshen up? You’ll find clean and modern bathrooms equipped with all the essentials so you don’t need to bring yours!

And if you ever feel hungry or thirsty after a long drive, The Lucky Hotel features an on-site restaurant and bar serving up decent meals and refreshing beverages. 

Address: 359 Goonoo Goonoo Rd, Tamworth, NSW 2340, Australia

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Motel 359 is the perfect pitstop for road trippers seeking a convenient and comfortable place to recharge before hitting the road again.

Though the rooms are relatively small, they’re clean, cosy, and still equipped with all the essentials for a comfortable night’s rest.

Plus, with amenities like free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and flat-screen TVs, you’ll have everything you need to unwind and recharge that won’t have to cost a fortune!

And for those who are just looking for a place to stretch their legs, there’s ample parking available, making it easy to come and go as you please.

Route 3: Thunderbolts Way

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Lastly, there’s the longest route from Brisbane to Sydney through The Thunderbolts Way.

If you’re up for a scenic adventure packed with rugged rock formations and winding mountain paths, then this detour is for you!

ROUTE 3: BrisbaneStanthorpeArmidaleNewcastleSydney
Distance: 606 milesTravel Time: 11 hours, 20 minutesNumber of Stops: 5

As mentioned in Route 2, there are plenty of suburbs to visit when you’re still in Brisbane. Let’s continue checking the other suburbs you can explore before heading out:

  • New Farm – Located along the Brisbane River, New Farm is a image-worthy suburb known for its beautiful parks, historic sites, and trendy dining spots. When you’re here, don’t miss the iconic New Farm Park and the Powerhouse precinct.
  • Woolloongabba – Home to the famous Gabba Stadium, this suburb is known for its mix of old-world charm and modern amenities. Here, you’ll discover antique shops, and a lively dining scene.
  • Fortitude Valley – Brisbane’s entertainment hub, Fortitude Valley is a busy precinct filled with bars, clubs, live music venues, and cultural events. 

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From Brisbane, your journey kicks off with a stop in Stanthorpe.

Take in the views from Mount Coot-Tha Summit Lookout, cuddle some koalas at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, or dive into local culture at places like Warwick Art Gallery and Stanthorpe Heritage Museum.

And of course, since you’re in the area, don’t forget to sample some of the region’s finest wines in Stanthorpe.

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Next, you’re off to Armidale, where quirky spots like the Ballandean Pyramid and the Tenterfield Cork Tree await.

Here, you can explore the unique natural rock formations at The Pyramid in Girraween National Park and learn about the area’s history at the Tenterfield Railway Museum and Emmaville Mining Museum.

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As you continue along Thunderbolts Way towards Newcastle, get ready for a scenic drive filled with steep climbs, winding roads, and stunning vistas.

Don’t miss the chance to explore Barrington Tops National Park, where you’ll find fantastic hiking trails, breathtaking waterfalls, and serene picnic spots.

Again, you may refer to the Pacific Highway Route above.


Address: 2 McGregor Terrace, Stanthorpe, QLD 4380, Australia

Operating Hours: Thursday – Saturday: 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Specialising in modern Australian cuisine with European influences, Essen brings a touch of sophistication to the dining scene in this charming town.

Their menu features locally sourced ingredients, ensuring freshness and quality with every bite. From succulent steaks to delicate seafood, there’s something to tantalise every palate at Essen.

Essen is also known to showcase the flavours of the region. You’ll find dishes that highlight the best of Stanthorpe’s produce, from seasonal vegetables to premium cuts of meat.


Address: 86 Barney St, Armidale, NSW 2350, Australia

Contact Details: +61 408 322 004

Operating Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Situated conveniently along your route, The Cottage Restaurant and Bar in Armidale offers the perfect opportunity to refuel and relax before hitting the road again.

From classic pub fare to gourmet burgers and salads, The Cottage serves up delicious dishes made from locally sourced ingredients.

Plus, their extensive beverage selection, including refreshing cocktails and craft beers, is sure to quench your thirst during the roadtrip.

And with ample parking available, you can rest easy knowing that your vehicle is safe while you recharge. 

Address: 63 Maryland St, Stanthorpe, QLD 4380, Australia

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If you’re looking for a no-fuss accommodation option with a friendly atmosphere, the Apple and Grape Motel is worth considering for roadtrip pitstop.

This motel offers room options to suit different needs and budgets, from standard rooms to family suites. Each room is equipped with basic amenities such as comfortable beds, private bathrooms, and televisions.

While the Apple and Grape Motel may not offer luxurious features, it provides all the essentials for a restful stay. Plus, its central location in Stanthorpe makes it a convenient base for exploring the area’s attractions and vineyards.

Address: 66 Glen Innes Rd, Armidale, NSW 2350, Australia

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The Armidale Inn offers simple and comfortable lodging for travelers. Rooms are clean and basic, providing all the essentials for a good night’s sleep.

While not luxurious, the inn provides convenient amenities such as free Wi-Fi and parking. 

Located in a convenient area of Armidale, the inn is close to shops and restaurants, making it easy to access necessities during your stay.

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Address: 3/5 Thomas St, Wallsend, NSW 2287, Australia

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For budget-conscious travelers, the Ibis Budget Newcastle is a sensible choice. With essential amenities like Wi-Fi and parking, guests can enjoy convenience at an affordable price point. 

If you plan to explore the Newcastle area, the hotel offers easy access to nearby attractions and transportation options, allowing you to leave your car behind and take a quick break from your road trip.

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