Sydney to Brisbane: 7-Day Campervan Itinerary

Cruise along the Coastal Route

With this 7-day Sydney to Brisbane campervan itinerary, you’ll connect two of Australia’s most loved cities via the popular coastal road. From Sydney, an exciting cosmopolitan city home to 6 million people and the world-famous Opera House, you’ll travel 1000 km north to Brisbane, Queensland, where the state slogan is “beautiful one day, perfect the next”.

Your campervan holiday will include stunning coastlines, delightful beach communities, and all the major amusement parks for the kids - or those young at heart! In addition, you can swim with dolphins, hire a sandboard to slide down dunes, surf at legendary beaches, and plenty more. No wonder this is such a popular road trip route!

Waterfront architectural landmarks of Sydney Harbour

Compare campervan rentals in Sydney with Camper Champ's user-friendly platform. You can also pick up a rental motorhome in Brisbane for a one-way rental in the opposite direction.

Day 1: Sydney to Port Stephens (3 hours)

Shoal Bay and Mount Tomaree, Port Stephens, Australia

Because Sydney is such a big city, your travel time today will depend on where in Sydney you’re starting from and whether you want to take a detour to the Hunter Valley Zoo.

Hunter Valley Wildlife Park (Hunter Valley Zoo) 138 Lomas Lane, Nulkaba, 45 minutes inland south of Newcastle

Here you'll encounter oodles of animals: lemur, meerkats, giraffes, marmosets, monkeys, binturong, & more. Plus, lions on the weekend. You can hand feed kangaroos, wallabies, lorikeets & more. Great for the kids! Free BBQ’s here, perfect for lunch!

40 minutes north of Newcastle

Port Stephens is a popular holiday destination with its sheltered beaches, Nelson Bay Marina and an abundance of dolphin and whale sightings. It’s also where you can go kayaking with dolphins. There are many fine beaches here, including Stockton beach dunes, where you can have a crack at sandboarding.

Tea Gardens is located at the mouth of the Myall River. It’s a picturesque village known for its tea plantations and quaint cafes. Be sure to stop for a cuppa and a fresh scone!

Nelson Head Lighthouse 5 Lighthouse Road, Nelson Bay

Enjoy beautiful views of the bay and the remarkable coastal scenery.

Day 2: Port Stephens to Port Macquarie (2.75 hours)

Port Macquarie Beach, NSW, Australia

There is a wonderful coastal walk from Town Beach to Tacking Point Lighthouse, about 8 km south of Port Macquarie.

Koala Hospital Lord St, Port Macquarie

The hospital contains the world’s largest urban population of koalas. Run by a not-for-profit, the hospital has 200+ volunteers helping to rescue koalas and restore their natural habitats. See live koalas in their enclosures, and touch koala fur in the koala museum.

Day 3: Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour (1.75 hours)

Coffs Harbour sunrise, NSW, Australia

You’ve reached the halfway point. A popular tourist destination, thanks to its beautiful beaches and lush rainforest hinterland. There are many things to see and do in Coffs Harbour, including visiting the nearby towns of Bellingen and Dorrigo, exploring the rainforest, swimming, surfing, and fishing.

Bellinger Heads State Park Boardwalk Hungry Head Road, Urunga

At the meeting of the Bellinger and Kalang rivers, this kilometre-long elevated boardwalk takes you to the beach, through mangroves & river valleys, with views of the Great Dividing Range in the distance.

Big Banana Fun Park 351 Pacific Hwy, Coffs Harbour

It’s the biggest theme park between Sydney & the Gold Coast, offering tobogganing, laser tag, giant slides, demolition derby, ice skating, and mini golf. So how will you get the kids back in the car, eh?

Dolphin Marine Conservation Park 65 Orlando St, Coffs Harbour

Yes, this is where you & your kids can swim with dolphins. Not cheap, but you’ll never forget being up close and personal in the pool with these intelligent creatures.

Day 4: Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay (2.5 hours)

The Pass and Wategoes beach in Byron Bay in New South Wales, Australia

The drive from Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay, Australia’s easternmost point, takes you past some beautiful Australian beaches, including Emerald Beach and Mullaway Beach, before the highway takes you away from the coast.

After you arrive in Byron Bay, you might want to stretch your legs.

Cape Byron Lighthouse & Maritime Museum

Every year, an estimated 25,000 humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to the Great Barrier Reef. Many pass through Byron Bay’s waters between June and November. They like to spend time in the warmer waters. See these majestic giants from on-shore, paddling in a hired kayak, or opt to get on board a whale-watching cruise. You might also see dolphins, turtles and seabirds. The lighthouse is just a few minutes out of town.

For an alternative eco-friendly activity, put on your walking shoes and get down to the Cumbebin Wetland Sanctuary boardwalk (friendly advice: take mozzie repellent because the mosquitoes are friendly, too!).

Day 5: Byron Bay to Gold Coast (1.25 hours)

Annual Mardi Grass in Nimbin, NSW, Australia


From Byron Bay, you can either continue north on the coast road or maybe you’d like something completely different by visiting Nimbin, the unofficial hippie capital of Australia. It’s also the alternative lifestyle capital. And the marijuana capital. Yep, quite the place! Driving time is just over an hour (Byron to Bangalow to Clunes to Nimbin), and the road is very winding, so it’s slow – like life in Nimbin! From Nimbin, you can continue north to the Gold Coast.

So what’s to see at Nimbin? Psychedelic street art, Rastafarian colours, reggae music, and pot shops. Unfortunately, since the carefree 1970s, the tiny town has descended into hard drugs, so be careful and only visit in the daytime, not the night. And don't buy street drugs. The police may stop your campervan to check for marijuana and other illegal drugs, so “look, don't buy” is a safe motto.

Nimbin Hemp Embassy 51 Cullen St, Nimbin

A non-profit that’s working to make cannabis legal. You’ll find various products made of hemp, a remarkably versatile, environmentally sustainable raw material.


When you reach the Gold Coast area, there are many wildly popular attractions you could visit today or tomorrow. But you can't fit them all in on this trip, so you’ll have to choose (and come back one day for the rest). Top picks include:

  • Sea World
  • Surfers Paradise Beach
  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Day 6: Gold Coast to Brisbane (1.75 hours)

Surfers paradise, Gold Coast, Australia

En route to Brisbane, you’ll soon pass three more mega attractions, all on the Pacific Motorway, Oxenford, in this order:

  • Wet ‘N’ Wild: Australia’s largest water park with adrenaline-pumping water slides for thrill seekers and tons of less insane family-friendly rides.
  • Movie World: Thrill rides (Hypercoaster, Green Lantern), junior roller coasters, mini-cars, Spaceshot, film sets, & much more.
  • Dreamworld: Great for families with kids and adventure thrill-seekers of all ages. Water slides, thrill rides (and less scary ones), and wildlife are all in one popular venue.

Day 7: Brisbane

Brisbane city skyline and Brisbane river at twilight in Australia

Brisbane will host the 2032 Olympics. So this beautiful riverside city is on the world stage now, with 280+ days of sunshine each year and a relaxed vibe that you don't expect in a city of 2.4 million.

Wheel of Brisbane South Bank Parklands

Visit anytime and get a wraparound view of the city skyline, the Brisbane River and the surrounding area from an air-conditioned gondola 60 meters above the ground.

Other popular attractions include:

  • Queen Street Mall: Shopping and restaurants where you can get a good feel for the city’s vibe.
  • City Botanic Gardens: Entry is free. Enjoy Riverwalk, a shared pedestrian/cyclist path along the riverfront.
  • Old Windmill: Built in 1824, Australia’s oldest working windmill.

Sydney to Brisbane: 7-Day Campervan Itinerary

Campervan Itineraries