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Roadtrippin’ Sydney To Byron Bay: The 5 Best Places To Stop

Roadtrippin’ Sydney To Byron Bay: The 5 Best Places To Stop

From compact cars to full-size sedans and luxury cars to convertibles, Avis Rent A Car has the rental vehicles to make your next trip a memorable one.

We’ve teamed up with Avis to bring you stories from the road.

Done right, roadtrips are inherent goodness threefold. Tetris yourself into a car with people you can bare to spend extended time with and you will remember the trip in a filter of golden syrup light for the rest of your life. The 780 kilometres of Pacific Highway between Sydney and Byron Bay is both easiest on the eye and on friendships. It’s lush and lazy, with beaches, free-tea rest stops, and an abundance of patented Australian BIG THINGS; it’s the perfect beginner roadtrip. In five years no one will remember that stretch between Port Maquarie and Coffs Harbour where the whole car smelled like farts.

Whether you’re punching bitumen up to Splendour In The Grass or just making memories, we’ve collected the very best pit-stops to keep tempers bound and fun levels at maximum capacity.

#1 Australian Reptile Park, Somersby

(Photo: Gostalgia/Flickr)

The Australian Reptile Park and Wildlife Sanctuary has been kicking around since 1948 and was established by Australia’s first naturalist Eric Worrell, who was an absolute legend. The Sanctuary also has a Venom-Milking Program, which has saved over 300 lives each year since it began. Hang out with giant tortoises, Tassie devils and all manner of friendly fauna without even leaving the Pacific Highway.

#2 The Bogey Hole, Newcastle

Carved from rock by convicts sometime around 1820 and open to the public since 1863, this salty sea bath is one of Newcastle’s most famous images. Not as showy as the beautiful deco spectacle of the Ocean Baths but no less idyllic, The Bogey is the perfect place to cool off after a few hours in the car. Grab a burger with the works from Al’s Beach Hut and a pint at The Great Northern, then slip beerily into the sea.

#3 Murray’s Craft Brewing Co, Bob’s Farm

(Photo: Murray’s Craft Brewing Co/Facebook)

Sucks to be driver because Murray’s Brewery at Bob’s Farm, Taylor’s Arm, is one of the most fun craft beer tours in Australia. The brewery was established in the iconic ‘Pub With No Beer’ and runs daily tours of its brew house and wine vineyard daily. Grain, grape and amazing grub (including delicious beer-cheese and beer-scones) in wild abundance. It’s kind of like going to visit your grandad’s farm, if your grandad happens to be frigging awesome.

#4 Bellingen

Once the bastion of tie-dyed Montessori ‘schools’ and impressive drug busts, Bellingen has gone the way of all good Boomer culture and now sustains itself on pricey soy latte and artisanal sourdough. Birth place of David Helfgott and George Negus, heavily surrounded by rainforest and rolling green hills, once the sight of a bloody colonial war, where the local Koori community tried to halt excessive logging of the giant Cedar trees that grew there. Swim in the magical Never Never Creek, look out over The Promised Land plateau, learn a little about the local history and feel heartsick about all the blood shed on such ridiculously peaceful looking land.

#5 The Big Banana and Russell Crowe’s Museum Of Interesting Things, Coffs Harbour

(Photo: Susan Renee/Flickr)

“It’s not that big,” said an ex-boyfriend, “I could make a bigger one, next door. Out of paper-mache babe! I’d be famous!” Obviously, he was an idiot – but he sort of had a point. It isn’t that big. But it was the first big thing in Australia and everyone in and around CH is touchingly proud of it. They have an indoor ski slope and sell chocolate covered bananas that will make you believe in god.

But what we really need to be talking about is Russell Crowe’s Museum Of Interesting Things. It maybe should have been called A Few Rooms Of Crazy Old Junk Russell Crowe Finds Interesting – unless you’re super into stagecoaches and baggy green cricket caps of former test captains are you jam, because if so you at going to Lyle Lovett. Locals say he only bought the museum and the accompanying bar so his band would have somewhere to play, but it’s totally worth a sticky-beak. Kevin Spacey went there once.

See Also
Great Reef Census participant spots a sea turtle, Milln Reef (Image courtesy of Citizens of the GBR)

Also worth a squizz:

Port Macquarie Camel Safari, Port Macquarie
Sawtell Rock Pool, Sawtell
Sweet-arse op-shops and amazing Fish and Chips in Yamba
The Sikh temple in Woolgoolga (Australia’s largest regional Sikh population)
Fredo’s Famous Pies, outside of Kempsey
Bangalow Market, Bangalow

PRO TIP: Play Cold Chisel’s ‘Flame Trees’ while driving through Grafton. So little has changed in the town since it inspired the song that it’s basically a sonic tour. Sublime.

(Lead image: Chris Baird/Flickr)

Avis car hire is the perfect way to make more of your holiday. Roadtrips give you the opportunity to see different sides of your destination. With such freedom, the possibilities are truly limitless. Stay tuned for more stories from the road.

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