As the holiday season approaches, now is the best time to be planning your Christmas/New Years holidays – and since we are located along the Sydney to Brisbane trail, we’ve picked out some of our favourite places along the East Coast to help you know where is worth stopping at.

The coastal drive from Sydney to Brisbane is undisputed. It is full of unique cities and towns, picturesque beaches, sweeping national parks, lush green landscapes – it’s the definition of taking the “scenic route”. Spanning 1000km along the coastline, it’s an ideal budget-friendly, cheap holiday that will be memorable for you and your little ones!

The length of time it takes to journey from Sydney to Brisbane is truly up to you. You can have quick stop offs at each spot or spend 2-3 days at any of them to really take it all in.

Let’s start with SYDNEY.
Unsurprisingly, Sydney receives the most tourists in Australia and for good reason – it has great food, a buzzing entertainment scene and full of activities. We recommend visiting the iconic spots – Sydney Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour, Opera House and Bondi Beach. You won’t run out of things to do in this large, sprawling, hectic city!

LAKE MACQUARIE
A mere 90-minute drive north of Sydney, you will find peaceful Lake Macquarie! Did you know that Lake Macquarie is twice the size of Sydney Harbour and the largest permanent salt water lake in the Southern Hemisphere? Even in holiday season, you’ll be able to find a secluded spot to enjoy all to yourself. You’ll definitely experience a different vibe compared to Sydney. It’s relaxed and serene, with a beautiful tranquil body of water spanning 110km!

There are many charming towns and villages you can dwell in, funky cafes and modern restaurants with a remarkable view along the waterside.  Accommodation is plentiful, with many cabins, cottages, hotels to choose from.

Did we mention that Lake Macquarie is a haven for water activities? Bring or hire your own boat with JetBuzz and explore the lake. All boat hires only require a car licence except for two boats which require a boat licence. Our personal favourite is jet boating which allows you to get to know Lake Macquarie up close and personal aboard the Jetbuzz jet boat. You won’t want to miss this one – it’s the only jet boat between Sydney and Gold Coast and the kids will absolutely love it! It’s action-packed and will get your adrenaline pumping.

Want to stay dry for activities? Hire a bike and go cycling around Warners Bay Foreshore or go for a stroll at Ken & Audreys Owens Walk for beach views!

NEWCASTLE
Located 40 minutes away from Lake Macquarie is Newcastle. Once known as a bypass destination, it is now a place full of culture, artistic hot spots and known to have some of the best beaches in Australia. Absorb the beauty of beaches and sunrises here. We recommend visiting Nobbys Beach and Newcastle Beach to enjoy the sunshine and Newcastle Memorial walk to capture the best photos!

HUNTER VALLEY
Hunter Valley is the ultimate spot for wine lovers. It’s a place to sample local produce and cheese, escape the fast-pace of life and get lost in the Australian countryside. They have a handful of fantastic restaurants that are affordable and the views of the countryside are unremarkable. There’s nothing quite like it!

PORT STEPHENS
Stunning beaches, waterside restaurants and activities – what more could you desire? Beaches that you MUST visit are Anna Bay, Shoal Bay and Fingal Bay. For the activities, take your pick: sand dune quad bikes, sand boarding tours or a Toboggan Hill park? Prefer to relax? How about a dolphin and whale watching cruise or a short walk to Tomaree Head Summit?

That’s Part 1 of our guide on go-to favourite spots during a Sydney to Brisbane road trip. Whether you’re going with family or friends, this will be a fun, exciting, memorable experience that are easy on the wallet.

Part 2 is coming soon! In the mean time, what are your favourite stops? We’d love to hear your experience.