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New South Wales in Australia is an exciting State to visit with dazzling beaches, snowy mountains, stunning National Parks, and much more. It is the oldest state of Australia and is culturally very diverse.
In this NSW road trip itinerary in 2 weeks that is based on the trip that I made from Byron Bay to Melbourne, I will take you along some of the best beaches, stunning waterfalls, and incredible panoramic views across NSW.
You probably wonder why I started this trip in Byron Bay, well that’s because it is part of my big lap road trip around Australia and to make it easier for you, I divide these into different road trips in Australia. So If you plan to travel around Australia make sure you read them all.
The initial plan for this road trip itinerary was to drive from Byron Bay to Sydney, but due to heavy rains and floods at the end of the trip, I had to change some plans and decided to continue to Melbourne.
How to get to NSW?
International flights are available from every country to New South Wales in Australia as Sydney is the State’s main airport. Most of the people land in Sydney and then travel to other places by car, bus, or train.
However, this road trip itinerary is based on my trip from Byron Bay to Melbourne and the best option to get to Byron Bay is from Brisbane International Airport if you fly international or either fly into Byron Bay if you travel domestically.
It is also perfectly possible to make this road trip in the opposite way, from Melbourne to Byron Bay.
Below you can easily search flights for your trip with the handy search widget of Skyscanner, although if you fly international, I can recommend checking out Qatar Airways as they are the best airline for long-haul flights with excellent service and affordable prices.
Rent a car or campervan in NSW?
To make a beautiful road trip in NSW, I highly recommend renting a campervan as you will have more freedom to explore some hidden places or stunning beaches along the way.
This NSW road trip itinerary is based on my trip from Byron Bay to Melbourne and either of which place you decide to start your road trip, you can easily rent a car.
There are many rental companies with pick-up and drop-off locations across the country, which makes it very easy to find a vehicle that suits your trip. However, Jucy, Maui, Britz, and Travellers Autobarn are the most common names I’ve seen along the road.
Best time to visit NSW
Spring (October-December) is a great time to visit NSW because it is the ideal beach weather and temperatures are pleasant, so you can easily swim, surf or even snorkel. However, be aware that sharks are common along the coast in NSW.
Summer (Jan-March) is also a good time to visit most parts of NSW as temperatures are higher and around 30 ˚C, however, recently the state had many floods and bushfires during these times of the year due to thunderstorms and heavy rainfalls.
Winter (May-September) is also a good time to travel through the state as there will be a fewer tourists but prepare for colder weather and sometimes even snow.
I made this road trip in New South Wales end of March 2021 and the first days were pretty great but at the end of the trip, I had to change plans or skipped some beaches as it was raining.
When I eventually arrived in Melbourne in April, there were several floods across NSW.
Map of New South Wales – From Byron Bay to Melbourne
This road trip in NSW took about 5 weeks but you can easily do it in 2 or 3 weeks as I spend more time in one place to explore everything at a slow pace. With this map of New South Wales, you can visualize better where all the highlights of this trip are.
Read also the article about the best road trip in Victoria that will connect to this one. So, if you are interested to continue to Adelaide then check out my other article.
MY ITINERARY OVERVIEW
WHERE DID I START: Byron Bay
WHERE I ENDED: Eden
HOW LONG DID I TRAVELLED: 16 days
WHEN DID I GO: March
BEST TIME TO VISIT: October – April
NSW Road trip Itinerary in 2 weeks
Byron Bay – 2 days
Byron bay is a little paradise that will definitely make a place in your heart forever. It is an attractive place for backpackers, hippies, and hikers. Restaurants in this area are the best and the food is delicious.
I really recommend visiting the Byron Bay lighthouse with the sunset as the views are amazing or joining a surfing lesson as BYRON BAY is a hotspot for surfers.
Although, If you are not a surfer, you can stroll through the shopping streets with many boutique shops or visit the weekly Sunday Market.
There are not many good options for camping around Byron Bay, so I decided to stay in the Byron Bay YHA Hostel which was surprisingly good.
Coffs Harbour – 1 night
Travel distance from Byron Bay: 235 km – 2h 30min
Coffs Harbour is blessed with mesmerizing beaches and a subtropical climate with many great activities to do. Along the way from Byron Bay to Coffs Harbour, you can stop in Yamba to have a refreshing swim in the Yamba Rockpool or visit the amazing Red Rock Beach.
Many backpackers come to Coffs Harbour as there is a lot of work around this area, from fruit picking to hospitality jobs.
However, if you are visiting Coffs Harbour and you want a bit more of an adventure then I recommend visiting Dorrigo National Park or the Forest Sky Pier to have stunning views over Coffs Harbour.
Port Macquarie – 1 night
Travel distance: 160 km – 1h 50min.
Port Macquarie is a small town with rich historical background on the Pacific Coast in Australia. During my short stay in Port Macquarie, I visited the adorable rescued koalas at the Koala Hospital, enjoyed some amazing beers at the Black Duck Brewery, and walked along the amazing beaches of the Coastal Walking Trail.
On the day I left Port Macquarie, I drove inland to admire New South Wales’s tallest waterfall, the Ellenborough Falls. The hike down (and back up) are heavy with many steps along the way but once you reach “The Knoll” or bottom, you will be awed by the stunning view.
Although, if you have more time there are many more things to do in Port Macquarie.
Newcastle – 2 nights
Travel distance: 240 km – 2h45
Newcastle is the second oldest city in Australia and one of the largest towns in the region. The place provides a perfect urban life experience as it is lively and full of great cafes, restaurants and great beaches to relax on a sunny day.
Merewether Beach is a world-famous surfing destination and surfing here is a great adventure and a thrilling experience, or just relax by the rock pools in front of the beach.
In the afternoon, I took a walk on the Memorial Walk along the cliffs of Newcastle and ended the day with a refreshing beer in the Foghorn Brewery.
The Blue Mountains – 2 to 5 days
Travel distance: 240 km – 3h20 – TOLL ROAD
One of the most scenic places in New South Wales is definitely the Blue Mountains and for a reason, it is the preferred gateway for nature lovers. Widespread things to do here include hiking, rock climbing, photography, and during the winter skiing
The most attractive place in this area is the Katoomba as you have spectacular viewpoints and stunning waterfalls but it is mainly popular because of the Three Sisters.
If you have limited time to stay here and do not want to miss any important spot then book a guided tour.
I spent 2 days in Katoomba but I could spend easily a week in the Blue Mountains and visit places like Leura and Blackheath which are also beautiful!
3 days in Sydney
Travel distance: 110km – 1h40 – TOLL ROAD
Sydney is the capital of NSW and is the most fascinating city in Australia. For millions of tourists from all over the world, visiting Sydney is a dream and a bucket list as there are so many iconic buildings or places such as the Opera House and Bondi Beach
Due to heavy rains, I spent only 2 nights in this amazing but expensive city however I wish I could explore more of Sydney’s hidden gems and incredible places, so it’s recommended staying at least 3 nights here.
Wollongong – 1 night
Travel distance: 85 km – 1h30 (through Royal National Park)
When you leave Sydney and drive through the Royal National Park be aware to pay a fee of A$12 to enter/cross the National Park. Nevertheless, the drive to Wollongong is worth going there as you’ll pass so many amazing places, such as the Royal National Park, The Seacliff Bridge, and many great beaches.
So basically the whole day is spent visiting the Royal National Park and some relaxing time at the beach (if the weather is great of course). However, the town of Wollongong has a nice atmosphere with nice restaurants and bars in case it’s a rainy day.
For the night, I stayed at the Wollongong Surf Leisure as the campground is excellent with big spacious sites, an indoor pool, and even a free sauna. Nothing better than a relaxing sauna after a full day of exploring.
Kiama – 1 night (more if you are into surfing)
Travel distance: 145 km – 2h30min (Through Budderoo and Morton National Park)
Kiama is most famous for the blowhole as this natural phenomenon provides a breathtaking experience of waves smashing meters into the air from a rock hole.
Most travelers visit the region of Kiama for its amazing surf beaches, however, due to the rain and cloudy weather I decided to explore more of Budderoo National Park and Morton National Park first as the waterfalls are full of water and sometimes a deep mist which gives a very dramatic vibe on the photos.
If exploring waterfalls is not your thing, then there are many other amazing things to do around the town of Kiama or you can decide to continue to Jervis Bay.
Jervis Bay – 2 nights
Travel distance: 70 km – 1h
Camping: Bushy Tail Caravan Park A$30 per campsite
Hotel: Jervis Bay Motel A$130 per night
The next stop on this New South Wales Road trip is Jervis Bay which is about an hour away from Kaima but before I reached Jervis Bay I made a stop at the Two Figs Winery to taste some amazing wines.
After enjoying the tasting and the spectacular views, I headed towards Jim’s Wild Oysters which was recommended by the owner of Two Figs Winery.
Jervis bay is located in the Booderee National Park and you have to pay an entrance fee of A$13 to enter the park. People visit Jervis Bay all over the year due to the beautiful beaches and the national park, with Hyam Beach, Chinamans Beach, and Murrays Beach as the most popular ones.
For the night, I stayed at the Bream Beach Holiday Park which is also recommended as they have a lot of Kangaroos as “pets” roaming around the campground
Narooma – 1 night
Travel distance: 190km – 2h 30m
Hotel: The Harrington Motel A$110 per night
Due to the weather, there was not much on my schedule to visit along the way to Narooma so I explored a bit more of the Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay in the morning and drove to Narooma in the afternoon.
Another great spot to stop along the way is the Bodalla Dairy Farm, where you can taste and buy delicious products made from fresh milk such as cheese and ice-creams.
Narooma itself is quite a small town with not much going on but the reason I travelled to this place is to see the “Australia Rock”, A rock hole in the shape of Australia. Actually a very cool sight.
Eden – 1 night
Travel distance: 128 km – 1h 30m
Accommodation: Eight Acres Lakes Entrance A$180 per night (Tostaree, VIC)
Camping: Tostaree Cottages Campground A$20 per night (Tostaree, VIC)
Eden is the last stop on this NSW road trip itinerary before reaching the border of Victoria and it’s popular for the Ben Boyds National Park. In the National Park are many great hikes and stunning beaches to relax on a sunny day, however, I did not have much luck with the weather.
After Ben Boyd National Park, I visited a local farmers’ market to buy fresh vegetables to make some dinner and decided to drive to Victoria where I stayed at the Tostaree Cottages.
A family-owned farm where I camped with my 4×4 in the middle of the paddock between sheets and cows. A very unique experience for only A$20 per night.
This New South Wales road trip was an amazing experience with great adventures and relaxing days along the way. The weather was not optimal to spend much time at the amazing beaches but I visited wineries, waterfalls and other awesome places in New South Wales.
Tell me your recommendations, and useful tips, or leave me a message in the comments if this article was helpful for your NSW road trip.
READ ALSO: The best 5-day itinerary for Melbourne
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Plan your NSW Road Trip Itinerary with my favorite travel apps
To plan my adventures, I use these FREE websites and apps as they provide the best information, the best deals, and they are user-friendly.
- Skyscanner – Flight deals
- Booking.com – Hotels and accommodation
- TourRadar – Group trips
- TripAdvisor – Reviews and activities
- HostelWorld – Hostels
- GetYourGuide – Activities and excursions
- RentalCars – Car rental
- Omio – Transport
- iVisa – Travel documents
- Wise – Money transfer
- InsuredNomads – Travel Insurance
PICTURES AND EDITING
All the pictures on this page are made and owned by me. If you are interested in some pictures to use for your magazine, website, blog, or any other purpose, just send me an email and we’ll figure it out.
Do you like the edits? My Presets will be online soon so you can edit your pictures in just one click!
The camera gear I used for this trip
I never go out without my camera and many people ask me which gear I use. So to make it quite easy, I listed all the gear I used for this trip below.
Most of the time, I travel with the Sony A7III and the Sony 24-105mm/f4 as my primary lens but depending on the location, I change to another setup. However, I love the Tamron 17-28 to shoot in the big cities.