Sydney to Brisbane: 14-Day Campervan Itinerary

From the Myall to Moreton—A Safari through Waterways and Mountains

Launching north from the tourism capital of Australia to the heart of “The Sunshine State”, the journey from Sydney to Brisbane is picturesque. Host to some of the best beaches in the world, this route features various types of buzzing ecosystems.

Wetlands, mangrove forests and sand dunes litter the road between Sydney and Brisbane. Each area holds significant ties to Aboriginal heritage and ancestral lands, offering opportunities to learn traditional practices and try bush foods.

This 14-day itinerary will take you and your campervan to the most elegant nooks and crannies hidden throughout the region. From sand-swept islands to lively estuaries, the coastal road trip of a lifetime awaits you.

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Day 1: Sydney to Myall Lakes National Park

A beautiful destination in its own right, Sydney is the perfect launching point for your journey to Brisbane. So without further ado, shoot straight out of the east-coast metropolis to Myall Lakes National Park, just north of Newcastle.

Newcastle and the Hunter Wetlands

Australia’s second-oldest city rarely disappoints, offering serene beaches, colonial history, and a stellar local restaurant scene. Perched just above Newcastle, Hunter Wetlands National Park is a family-friendly lunch stop. With playgrounds, bushwalks, and a free art gallery in the Hunter Wetlands Centre, there’s a little something to pique anyone’s interest.

Worimi National Park

If you like a slight detour for unique scenery, drop by Worimi National Park. The vast dunes along Birubi Beach are a sight to behold. Quad biking, sand boarding, and guided camel tours are popular activities along this stretch of coastline. If you have time, a hike up Tomaree Mountain also provides superb whale-watching views.

Day 2: Myall Lakes National Park

Dawn on the Myall is tranquil yet lively — attention birdwatchers, you’ve woken up in heaven. Explore the labyrinthine waterways that form Myall Lakes National Park with a “Morning on the Myall” tour. Head out at sunrise with a knowledgeable guide and tour Myall's various rivers, creeks, and lakes.

Dark Point walking track

Of all the walking tracks available, the hike to Dark Point is a must. This 2km loop leads to Dark Point Aboriginal Place, an important cultural landmark for the local Worimi people. These traditional owners have frequented the rocky headland for over 4000 years due to its abundant natural resources and seafood.

Broughton Island

Accessible from Port Stephens, Broughton Island is a short boat ride from the shore. Packed with wild beaches and bushwalks, families love the island for its natural beauty and child-friendly hikes. Broughton Island is also a renowned dolphin-spotting area, so bring a pair of binoculars.

Day 3: Myall Lakes National Park to Port Macquarie

At the end of the Hastings River lies Port Macquarie, a quaint township boasting river and beach views. Considered one of NSW’s most walkable towns, take on the popular “Walk N’ Fork”: a pub crawl that replaces bars with local cafes, beaches, and a lighthouse. You can also learn about the cultural history of the local Birpai people at the Sea Acres Rainforest Centre.

Lake Cathie

Before reaching Port Macquarie, be sure to visit Lake Cathie (pronounce “cat-eye”). Located 12km south of town, Lake Cathie has a skate park for the kids and nearby Long Point Vineyard & Art Gallery for the grown-ups (port drinkers shouldn’t miss the famed “Jolly Nose Tawny”).

Telegraph Point

Wedged between the Cairncross and Ballengarra State Forests, “Tele Point” is the rural getaway you’ve been dreaming of. This country township dates back to 1869 and is a short drive from Port Macquarie along the Wilson River. Great for a night in a country pub or a peaceful snooze in the bush.

Day 4: Port Macquarie to Bundjalung National Park

Next on your journey is the magnificent Bundjalung National Park. Driving there directly from Port Macquarie would be difficult as the journey is jam-packed with gorgeous stops. Urunga and Nambucca Heads are spectacular coastal towns with art and cultural heritage. If you have time, a walk along the red sandy shores of Yuraygir National Park is stunning.

Coffs Harbour

Few stops compare to Coffs Harbour, the perfect base for cultural adventure tours, Waterfall Way and Coffs Coast. Home of the famous “Big Banana”, don’t miss out on the Forest Sky Pier for incredible views of the Orara East State Forest. For a family-friendly canopy walk, drop into Treetops Adventure Coffs Harbour.


Before reaching Bundjalung, turn onto Yamba Road and visit this quiet coastal retreat. World-class surf beaches blend into clear ocean pools, teeming with marine life like sea turtles, dolphins and whales. With ample fishing spots, the local seafood is so fresh it was likely caught that morning.

Day 5: Bundjalung National Park

A free day in Bundjalung National Park is the perfect rest day. Spend the morning hours with a stroll down Ten Mile Beach to Esk. Woody Head and the Iluka Nature Reserve are standout destinations to the south.

Canoe the Esk River

Let your stresses drift off as you float along the Esk River, cutting through the centre of Bundjalung. Immerse yourself in the vast waterway, a playground for birds relaxing among the mangroves.

Forest bathing in Iluka Nature Reserve

Iluka Nature and Soul takes you into the Iluka Nature Reserve for a “forest bathing” experience. Boasting an array of health benefits, this natural therapy is like a spa for the mind. You’ll start by getting lost in the forest on a “wellness walk” and finish the session with a group tea ceremony.

Day 6: Bundjalung National Park to Byron Bay

No trip along the north coast of NSW is complete without a stay in Byron Bay. Popularised as a surfer town in the 1960s, Byron Bay has exploded into a tourism hub. The remnants of a vibrant bohemian culture can still be seen in street art and fashion around town. Now, Byron Bay is frequented by hippies, eco-adventurers and tourists alike.

E-bike the Northern Rivers Rail Trail

Take on the self-guided Northern Rivers Rail Trail with Beyond Byron E Bikes. The 25km purpose-built track is suitable for all ages and features several cafes along the way. Then at the finishing point, you can stop by Husk Farm Distillery for some Australian-made rum. Beyond Byron also offers e-bike hire and guided tours through other areas.

Explore Byron Bay with an Aboriginal elder

Local Arakwal elder Delta Kay loves sharing her passion for local Aboriginal culture through various walking tours. Learn about traditional fishing practices on a Cape Byron tour or discover bush tucker at Bangalow. Optionally, “Aunty Delta” combines forces with local Widjabul Wia-bul Chef Mindy Woods for a few hours of bush tucker and native flavour sensations.

Day 7: Byron Bay to Gold Coast

Today, your path will take you over the border to QLD, "The Sunshine State”. From one iconic tourism hub to another, set a course from Byron Bay to the Gold Coast — home of the best surf beaches and theme parks in Australia.

Brunswick Heads

Just before crossing the border into Coolangatta, take a breath of fresh air in Brunswick Heads. This small seaside village still retains a relaxed atmosphere, framed by rainforests, hinterland and the Brunswick River. Spend the afternoon viewing some art-deco architecture, or hop on board a local fishing boat to try your luck.


Nestled on the southern border of QLD, Coolangatta might be your preferred stopover if you’d like to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city. Golden beaches decorate the town’s coastline, offering family swimming spots and top-notch surfing options. You can also walk across the QLD border by foot into Tweed Heads in NSW, the sister town of Coolangatta.

Day 8: Gold Coast to Toowoomba

From Currumbin to Surfers Paradise, the Gold Coast is chock-a-block with activities and chill-out spots. A brilliant way to spend the morning hours touring the Gold Coast is by boat. Take a morning cruise along the weaving Nerang River with Surfers Paradise River Cruises. After lunch, your next stop Toowoomba is keenly awaiting your arrival.

Gold Coast theme parks

Your kids (or maybe even the kid inside) will never forgive you if you don’t stop at one of the big five theme parks: Sea World, Wet’N’Wild, Warner Bros. Movie World, Whitewater World and Dreamworld. Each provides a fun-filled experience packed with water slides, roller coasters and all the carnival food you can handle.

Wave Break Island

The Gold Coast houses an extraordinary island, drawing kayakers, snorkellers and swimmers every day. Created in 1985, the island’s intended purpose is, like the name suggests, to break large waves before they reach the western foreshore. Today, Wave Break Island is known for its killer beaches, scuba diving and water sports.

Day 9: Toowoomba

Toowoomba, “The City of Gardens”, is a lush township that prides itself on — you guessed it, gardens! Toowoomba has a way of sucking you in, even if it’s just a calm place for a day of reading in the park. Be it the immaculate botanical gardens or rich history; you’ll never be bored in “The City of Gardens”.

Street art walk through Toowoomba City

Many yearly visitors to Toowoomba come for the spirited art scene. A walk down Russell Street will cut right through the majority of murals and street art in town. Optionally, pay a visit to one of many local art galleries like the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery and the Toowoomba Art Society. Architecture fans will adore a visit to the heritage-listed Empire Theatre.

Embark on a garden crawl

The highlight of any visit to Toowoomba is an all-encompassing tour of the town’s treasured gardens. Queens Park and the “Ju Raku En” Japanese Garden are absolute standouts. Be sure also to check out Gumbi Gumbi, Laurel Bank, Peacehaven and Lake Annand, just to name a few. The magic of Mother Nature really comes alive with the Carnival of Flowers Festival, usually held around September each year. See the city transformed into an array of colours.

Day 10: Toowoomba to Bunya Mountains National Park

Temperatures up north can get scorching, so your next stop may be the cool refuge you need. In the Bunya Mountains, you’ll find fresh air amid the aromatic eucalypt forests. Sitting 1000 metres above sea level, expect a drop of at least 5℃ while you explore one of eight walking tracks, ranging from beginner to advanced.

Lake Perseverance

Along the way to the Bunya Mountains, you’ll pass an antiquated high-country town named Crows Nest. Nearby, Lake Perseverance, to the east of town, offers outdoor barbecuing facilities right by the water. Watersports like canoeing and water skiing are also available to Perseverance Aquatic Club members.

Bunya Mountains Markets

Line up your trip with the last Sunday of the month to visit the Bunya Mountains Markets. Over 30 local stalls sell handmade preserves, baked goods and other items. While in town, try some local dishes made from Bunya nut, a regional bush tucker rapidly growing in popularity (the Bunya nut carrot cake is to die for).

Day 11: Bunya Mountains National Park to Great Sandy National Park

Bordering Toolara State Forest and the mighty Fraser Island (K’gari), Great Sandy National Park is a protected area of mangroves, dunes and multi-coloured sands. Cooloola, with its long-stretched beach and undisturbed bushland, is a hidden camper’s paradise.

Gympie Gold Mining Museum

Driving towards Great Sandy, you’ll pass through the historic town of Gympie. This town played a major role in the gold-rush era of QLD, even being cited as “the town that saved Queensland from bankruptcy”. Visit the Gympie Gold Mining Museum and discover how in 1867, James Nash found around 2kg of gold in Gympie in just six days.

Boating the Upper Noosa

Head on a canoeing odyssey or take a relaxed boat tour along the untouched Upper Noosa River. Prepare for up to 5 hours on the river in a canoe or kayak, exploring 2.5km of winding waterways called “The Narrows”. Finish at Harry's camping area or go upstream for more remote wildlife spottings.

Day 12: Great Sandy National Park

Covering over 2000km², Great Sandy is home to various ecosystems, including beaches, swamps, freshwater lakes and mangrove forests. For those keen on a challenge, the “Cooloola Great Walk” is a 5-day hike covering over 100km of the coastal bushland.

Rainbow Beach Helicopter Tour

You won’t get a more extraordinary view over this dense national park than with a Rainbow Beach Helicopter Tour. Choose from multiple flight paths over the Great Sandy Strait, K’Gari, the Inskip Peninsula and Tin Can Bay.


Simply meaning “paradise” in the Kabi Kabi language, K’Gari (Fraser Island) is the largest sand island in the world. World Heritage listed, K’Gari is prized for its evolving dune ecosystems and sights like the shipwrecked S.S. Maheno, Champagne Pools and Seventy-Five Mile Beach.

Day 13: Great Sandy National Park to Caloundra

Skipping right past Noosa Heads and Coolum, you’ll find Caloundra, the “southern belle” of the Sunshine Coast. Go for a dip in the ocean pool at King’s Beach, stroll the local street art trail and dive into a big cup of coffee in one of Caloundra’s charming cafes.

Pumicestone Passage

Caloundra is the launching point for Pumicestone Passage, stretching from the tip of Bribie Island to Deception Bay in the south. The 35km passage is a shallow estuary, packed with marine animals including dolphins, sea turtles and dugongs. Rent a boat from Bill’s Boat & Bike Hire or grab a canoe, paddleboard or catamaran from Golden Beach Hire.

Maroochydore and Mooloolaba

These neighbouring suburbs form the key attractions for visitors to the Sunshine Coast. Maroochydore features a world-class restaurant scene, many with crazy views over the Maroochy River. Beach fans can’t skip past Mooloolaba, boasting one of QLD’s best beaches and an immersive canal tour highlighting local Kabi Kabi culture.

Day 14: Caloundra to Brisbane

It’s always a shame to bring such fantastic adventures to an end, but few finishing points match Brisbane. The capital of "The Sunshine State” is at the core of QLD’s food, music and sports culture. You can drop off your wheels and take in the city by foot or camp out one last night on nearby Mount Cotton.

Mulgumpin (Moreton Island)

Brisbane’s close-by island is a breathtaking collection of sweeping beaches, sand dunes and blue lagoons. You’ll never snorkel to a site quite like Tangalooma Wrecks, an artificial shipwreck beach comprising 15 sunken vessels. Take to the beach at night with a lit-up transparent kayaking tour for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Grab a pint in Fortitude Valley

The nightlife precinct of Brisbane is home to the city’s trendiest brunch spots, breweries, plenty of rooftop bars and world-class restaurants. Grab a bite to eat along the ever-popular James Street or get lost in the area’s alleyways. Whether fine-dining or demolishing a burger, you’ll find a first-rate culinary experience to round off your expedition.

Campervan Itineraries