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Cruise the coast from Coffs to the Tweed

Angourie Bay, AngourieCredit: Destination NSW

Scenic coastal aerial overlooking Angourie Bay, Angourie.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Cruise the coast from Coffs to the Tweed

Angourie Bay, Angourie Credit: Destination NSW

Scenic coastal aerial overlooking Angourie Bay, Angourie.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #feelnsw #newsouthwales

Sense your body lighten and your mood lift as you trace the coastline from Coffs Harbour to Tweed Heads on a memory-making road trip. The soul-stirring northern section of the Legendary Pacific Coast Drive spans just 285km, but with plenty of scenic stops to be uncovered on the way, you’ll want to slow down and savour every moment. Start your engine and begin with these highlights.

Find your favourite beach on the Coffs Coast

Shift into holiday mode on the Coffs Coast, a five-and-a-half-hour drive (or 530km) north of Sydney, where you’ll find sparkling beaches and lush coastal forests complemented by a bounty of family-friendly attractions.

Embrace the opportunity to experience the region’s glorious beaches as you begin your journey north from Coffs Harbour. Bliss out in the peaceful natural setting of Moonee Beach, just 15 minutes north of the iconic Big Banana, where the serene Moonee Creek kisses the sea. Take an enlivening dip or be awed by the cultural significance of the Coffs Coast on an Aboriginal-guided stand-up paddleboarding tour with Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours along a crystalline creek.

Sense your excitement building for a quintessentially Australian wildlife encounter at nearby Emerald Beach, where kangaroos can often be spotted grazing alongside the Look at Me Now Headland Walk. Then connect with the local community over a craft beer at Woolgoolga Brewing Co. before continuing to Yamba — perhaps taking a detour on the 100km journey to be spellbound by the bursts of purple flowers that make Grafton dazzle during its Jacaranda Festival (from late October to early November).

Explore and unwind in Yamba

Treat yourself to a coastal-luxe stay at The Surf, a modern boutique hotel perched above the Pacific Ocean in the relaxed fishing town of Yamba. Order a gourmet platter to enjoy on the rooftop terrace, and take a soothing dip in the heated pool. Then head into town for a satisfying meal at Beechwood Cafe[MS1] , beloved by locals for its Turkish-inspired dishes, or Karrikin, which combines the region’s local catch and seasonal produce to create dishes made for savouring by the sea. Slurp down oysters as you watch the surf roll in from the Pacific Hotel, or satisfy a craving for a crunchy Neapolitan-style pizza at Drift.

Pick up your paddle to explore waterways on a tour with Yamba Kayak. Experience the buzz of an eye-to-eye encounter with dolphins along the estuary, and be mesmerised by migrating whales from May through November. Or get a kick out of reeling in your own dinner on a fishing charter with Reel Time Fishing Charters or Yamba Fishing and Charters. 

Grafton Jacaranda Festival 2018, Northern Rivers Credit: Destination NSW

Vintage car passing through a jacaranda-lined street in Grafton.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Grafton Jacaranda Festival 2018, Northern Rivers Credit: Destination NSW

Vintage car passing through a jacaranda-lined street in Grafton.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

The Surf, Yamba Credit: Elise Hassey

The Surf is Yamba’s first boutique hotel. 

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

The Surf, Yamba Credit: Elise Hassey

The Surf is Yamba’s first boutique hotel. 

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Be surprised by Ballina

After welcoming the day with a revitalising surf at Spooky Beach in Yamba’s neighbour Angourie, or an exhilarating jump in the freshwater Blue Pool on its headland, prepare to be bowled over by the riverside town of Ballina, another 100km north on the Pacific Highway. Watch bottlenose dolphins frolic in the surf as you linger over a wholesome brunch at the oceanfront Shelly Beach Cafe, or admire the playful creatures at even closer range on an action-packed dolphin cruise with Out of the Blue Adventures.

Lace your walking shoes for a historical journey on Aboriginal Cultural Ways, a coastal pathway in East Ballina where 22 interpretative panels reveal the region’s Aboriginal stories. Then toast to an incredible day with a creative cocktail at Hey Lady, followed by a mouth-watering European-inspired meal at Lola Dining.

Uncover your favourite corner of the Byron Shire

Be mesmerised by the coastal scenery during the 30-minute drive to Byron Bay as the road winds past dramatic headlands, dreamy beaches, rolling farms and lush patches of coastal rainforest. Then choose your own adventure in the popular seaside town: get a buzz learning to surf with Lets Go Surfing, or experience Byron’s beaches in a thrilling new way on a trail ride with Zephyr Horses. Or relax into the Byron vibe over a memorable meal at the recently opened Jonson Lane complex, where restaurants including Pixie Food & Wine, Bar Heather and Light Years tempt the tastebuds with Italian, contemporary Australian and pan-Asian delights respectively.

Or head for the charming hinterland village of Bangalow, where recently hatted restaurants Ciao Mate and You Beauty invite you to sink your teeth into woodfired pizzas and hyper-local contemporary fare. Brunswick Heads to the north offers another chilled-out taste of the Byron Shire, where a Byron Bay Eco Cruises & Kayaks sunset rainforest river cruise can be topped off with a deliciously smoky mezcal margarita at Mexican restaurant La Casita. Or sample next-level rotisserie chicken at newly opened Birds of Paradise, from the team behind local fine-diner Fleet, due to reopen in 2023. Sleep easy at The Brunswick, a stylish renovated motel conveniently located across the road. 

Lets Go Surfing, Byron Bay Credit: Lets Go Surfing

Small group enjoying a surf lesson in Byron Bay with Lets Go Surfing surf school.Usage: Only for promotion of Lets Go Surfing.

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Lets Go Surfing, Byron Bay Credit: Lets Go Surfing

Small group enjoying a surf lesson in Byron Bay with Lets Go Surfing surf school.Usage: Only for promotion of Lets Go Surfing.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Zephyr Horses, Byron Bay Credit: Destination NSW

Group enjoying a horse-riding experience along Tyagarah Beach with Zephryr Horses in Byron Bay.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Zephyr Horses, Byron Bay Credit: Destination NSW

Group enjoying a horse-riding experience along Tyagarah Beach with Zephryr Horses in Byron Bay.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Taste the Tweed

Unleash your appetite in the Tweed, a verdant coastal farming region that hugs the coast for 35km from Wooyung to Tweed Heads. Follow the Tweed Coast Road to pair superb seaside dining at the likes of Pipit in Pottsville and No. 35 Kitchen & Bar in Cabarita with refreshing beach swims and glamping fun at Hideaway Cabarita.

Or head inland on the verdant, winding Tweed Valley Way to Murwillumbah to peek into the meticulously recreated home of celebrated still-life artist Margaret Olley at the excellent Tweed Regional Gallery. Recharge with a leisurely contemporary Australian lunch at Bistro Livi, where you can linger over European-influenced dishes served in one of the town’s many restored art deco buildings. Or give yourself a day off driving and leave your gourmet Tweed itinerary to Kiff & Culture, with tours including a tantalising taste of the Tweed hinterland.

Sliding back into your own driver’s seat, follow the Tweed Valley Way to the town of Tweed Heads. It’s only a 30-minute drive, but with diversions including gin and rum tastings at Husk Distillery in Tumbulgum, relaxed paddock-to-plate lunching at Farm & Co in Cudgen, and sweet and savoury temptations that will leave your tastebuds tingling at Cubby Bakehouse in Chinderah, what’s the rush?

Pipit Restaurant, Pottsville Credit: Sabine Bannard

Pipit in the tiny town of Pottsville.

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

Pipit Restaurant, Pottsville Credit: Sabine Bannard

Pipit in the tiny town of Pottsville.

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

Husk Distillers, North Tumbulgum Credit: Destination NSW

Couple touring the Husk Farm Distillers property in North Tumbulgum and meeting the resident cattle.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Husk Distillers, North Tumbulgum Credit: Destination NSW

Couple touring the Husk Farm Distillers property in North Tumbulgum and meeting the resident cattle.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

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