The famous Pacific Coast’s lush landscapes take you through the food bowl of New South Wales, with the freshest produce from sea, mountains and land. This road trip through the Central Coast, Hunter Valley and North Coast is an easy route with your Sydney Airport car rental from Hertz.
Drive north from Sydney towards the Central Coast. Along the way, you might stop at a wildlife park to see reptiles, snakes, koalas, dingoes and more. There are countless picturesque towns and villages dotted along the Central Coast’s beaches, bays and inlets. The Entrance is a popular holiday spot, surrounded by beaches, lagoons and lakes, great for horse riding, or even pelican feeding mid afternoon at Memorial Park. This pretty town has great restaurants, as does Terrigal. At Norah Head, there’s a historic lighthouse worth checking out.
Then it’s on northwards to the Hunter Valley. There’s more than 100 cellar door outlets here, from niche producers to big internationally recognised names. The quaint village deserves a stroll, as does the the 25-hectare Hunter Valley Gardens with 12 different feature gardens.
From Hunter Valley to Port Stephens, the drive only takes a couple of hours in your Sydney Car Rental. Port Stephens is known as the dolphin capital of Australia. It’s home to nearly 200 bottle nose dolphins, which can be observed on a boat cruise. From May to November whales also frequent the area. At Stockton Beach, stretching for 30 km, you’ll find the biggest sand dunes in the southern hemisphere.
Carry on north from Port Stephens to Port Macquarie. Along the way you can stop at farms to rub noses with the domestic animals, or the Koala Conservation Centre, a volunteer run effort dedicated to sick and injured koalas. At Port Macquarie make the most of the beaches, and the boardwalks that run from rainforest to oceanfront. Shop and dine to your heart’s content. Pick your own strawberries on nearby farms or just relax at local cafes.
Once you’re in the heart of the North Coast, you’ll be spoiled for seafood choice. Scotts Head has some of the best surfing around. Inland villages like Bowraville and Bellingen have great art deco and colonial heritage.
Continue until you reach Byron Bay, Australia’s easternmost point. Whales and dolphins are commonly seen here, and kayaking or surfing are popular. Byron Bay is also known for its creative population, so food and craft markets abound, as do new age attractions – head inland to the hinterland to visit Crystal Castle Shambhala Gardens.