Hinterland Highlights

Day 1 - Sydney to Newcastle

Hawkesbury Map
Newcastle and Hunter Map

From Wisemans Ferry, on Sydney’s northern fringe, take a cruise along the Hawkesbury River and marvel at the rugged sandstone cliffs and vast national parks which edge the water. Treat yourself to lunch at the historic village of St Albans, take a walk along the convict–built Old Great North Road and breathe in the fresh gum-scented air. Head to Newcastle for the night.

 
Day 2 - Newcastle to Gloucester

Newcastle and Hunter Map
Great Lakes Map

Leave Newcastle early and spend your day in the World Heritage Wilderness of Barrington Tops. Guided walks, 4WD tours, canoeing, horse riding, trout fishing and mountain biking will leave you exhilarated. Spectacular views and an abundance of native flora and fauna makes visiting this area an unforgettable experience.

Choose your accommodation from luxury country retreats, cosy bed and breakfasts and wilderness camping areas or stay in the town of Gloucester.

 
Day 3 - Gloucester to Wauchope

Great Lakes Map
Macleay Valley Coast & Greater Port Macquarie Map

From Gloucester, drive to the historic town of Wingham and explore the sub-tropical rainforest at Wingham Brush. View towering Moreton Bay figs and one of Australia’s largest populations of grey-headed flying foxes.

The Bulga Forest Drive will take you to Ellenborough Falls and further on, the lush dairy pastures of Comboyne provide a rural contrast. Wauchope is tonight’s stopover.

 
Day 4 - Wauchope to Urunga

Macleay Valley Coast & Greater Port Macquarie Map
Coffs Coast to Armidale Map

From Wauchope, start the morning with a scenic drive to Telegraph Point. East of Kempsey, cycle the meandering laneways which follow the fertile Macleay River plains and stop for a hearty lunch at the twin river towns of Gladstone and Smithtown before taking the leisurely drive to Urunga. Choose your accommodation, then have a drink by the river and reflect on the day’s adventures.

 
Day 5 - Urunga to Evans Head

Coffs Coast to Armidale Map

Drive the Waterfall Way to Dorrigo National Park, where the Skywalk provides spectacular views of the hinterland and coast. Visit the Rainforest Centre for an educational tour of the park’s rainforests and waterfalls. Cross the mighty Clarence River at Grafton and travel the scenic Summerland Way to Casino before heading back to the coast via Coraki and Woodburn. Evans Head provides a relaxing stopover.

 
Day 6 - Evans Head to the Tweed Valley

From Evans Head, take the inland route to Murwillumbah via Lismore. For spectacular views, the return 4-hour walk to Mount Warning is rewarding, but there are shorter trails throughout the national park for the not so energetic.

The Tweed Valley has many country retreats, guesthouses and ecotourism hideaways, so stay awhile and relax.

 
Day 7 - Tweed Valley to Brisbane

Treat yourself to another day in the relaxing Tweed Valley or move on to Natural Arch, Lamington or Tamborine National Parks. Visit spectacular waterfalls, dense rainforests and cool mountain streams. Take leisurely strolls, strenuous bushwalks, guided tours or just relax with a picnic lunch. The choice is yours. Brisbane provides your accommodation tonight.

 
Day 8 - Brisbane to Sunshine Coast hinterland

Tour one of Brisbane’s wildlife parks before driving to the Glass House Mountains. Bushwalk, birdwatch, abseil, rock climb or drive to a number of lookouts for spectacular views of the hinterland and coast. On the way to Maleny, Montville and Mapleton, call in to the reptile and fauna park for a close encounter. Stay overnight at a hinterland retreat.

 
Day 9 - Sunshine Coast hinterland to Maryborough

Rise early and drive the Mary Valley Scenic Way, through lush dairy country, for spectacular views from the Amamoor Lookout. The state forests provide excellent camping and picnic spots. Leave the car at Gympie and take a scenic return ride on the restored steam train, the “Mary Valley Rattler”. Rest your head at historic Maryborough.

 
Coastal Explorer Sydney - Brisbane Guide
Edition 11, 2017
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