It’s hard to believe how COVID-19 has impacted the travel industry. With millions of Australians usually choosing to travel each year internationally, now is an excellent time to consider exploring Australia, and a campervan rental is the ideal way to do that. Not only will you still be able to practice social distancing, but you can also decide where to visit and have no actual set itinerary.
The Gold Coast is a wonderful place to start your once-in-a-lifetime road trip. Booking a campervan or motorhome may seem challenging, and you may have many inquiries. That is why we have a reliable customer care team to assist you with your Gold Coast campervan queries to guarantee you book the best available camper.
The Gold Coast is a central tourist hub in Australia. With theme parks, beaches, and a natural hinterland to troll, you will have enough things to do. From the exhilarating Gold Coast, it is a short drive north of Brisbane, where you can experience several local attractions. Finding an excellent site to park your campervan on the Gold Coast is also easy. Whether you choose a beach ambiance or a forest backdrop, you will discover a holiday or tourist park that will suit your needs.
How Far is the Gold Coast from Sydney?
You can drive on two main routes from Sydney to the Gold Coast.
The fastest route is via the Pacific Highway, which avoids the coastline. If you love beaches, you will love this drive as it will offer you plenty of opportunities to hit the best sand and surf spots.
Generally, you can drive this route for about 9 hours of non-stop driving to complete the 845 km distance. You can leave Sydney after breakfast and reach the Gold Coast in time for dinner.
An alternative route will carry you through the stunning countryside of the New England Highway. This voyage takes about 11 hours and 15 minutes to finish the 1000 km distance.
This course should appeal to oenophiles in particular, as it will bring you through the heart of wine country. It also highlights plenty of historic towns rich in cultural significance and legacy.
The Best Route from Sydney to Gold Coast
A road trip from Sydney to Gold Coast is a terrific drive that delivers gorgeous views and notable points of interest. It’s also a relatively easy drive with unmistakable signposting, excellent roads, and plenty of small towns that offer opportunities to refill your gas, take a bathroom break, or grab some food.
The Pacific Highway Route
From Sydney, the Pacific Highway will bring you to the Gold Coast, a terrific drive that allows you to visit several fantastic beach destinations. One of their most notable is Palm Beach, which you may well remember as the setting for the TV show Home & Away.
Leave Sydney on the M1, which begins just north of the Harbour Bridge, then switch onto the M2 and A28 before joining back onto the M1 – the Pacific Highway. Although the route name swaps between M1 and A1 and points along the way, you’ll follow the same road to Gold Coast.
You can take Terrigal on the way, which flaunts a fabulous vast stretch of golden beach.
A bit further north, you’ll pass Coffs Harbour, where in addition to the spectacular coastline, you can visit the Big Banana – the biggest amusement park on this stretch of coast, complete with the world’s most massive banana.
Check out the lovely coastal town of Yamba and the chilled, laid-back vibes of Byron Bay as you continue driving the Pacific Highway.
These beachside destinations will offer you plenty of opportunities to swim, surf, paddleboard, kayak, or embark on a wide range of other water sports.
The New England Highway Route
The New England Highway will carry you through the heart of The Hunter Valley.
Start departing Sydney via the M1 and A1, as with the Pacific Highway Route, as far as Seahampton, where you’ll shift onto the M15.
The M15 guides you through the Hunter Valley, where the pleasant scenery offers you views across some of Australia’s most pleasing vineyards. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to stop off at the wineries on this route to take a tour at their cellar doors, where you can enjoy tastings and charcuterie boards.
Take a quick detour along Lovedale Road, Wine Country Drive, and Broke Road. You’ll arrive at Pokolbin or carry on until the M15 becomes the A15 to stop at Muswellbrook. Both towns possess a range of world-class wineries, including Ivanhoe Wines, the Waverley Estate, and the Wynwood Estate.
Keep driving along the A15 past Willow Tree and reach Tamworth, home to the second-biggest country music festival in the world. Turn right onto the B56/A15 to resume driving along the New England Highway.
Where the roads detached at Bendemeer, stay on the A15 through Uralla, then arrive at Armidale. This town in the Northern Tablelands has been named ‘Cathedral City’ because of its incredible architecture.
Continuing, you will pass Glencoe, which highlights the Red Lion Tavern. This time-honoured old English-style pub is worth stopping by for a pint.
At Glen Innes, turn onto the B76 Gwydir Highway, which brings you past a series of stunning national parks. Gibraltar Range National Park and Washpool National Park are both accessible from the B76 and deliver some excellent hiking opportunities.
A trip to Nymboida National Park involves planning, but you’ll be rewarded with spectacular scenes if you get there.
Further along the road, a trip to Nymboida National Park lets you explore off the beaten path. Remember that a 4-wheel-drive vehicle is advised to get into the heart of this national park. For a different sort of experience, book ahead for an exciting rafting trip along the Nymboida River. You can arrange for pick up in Grafton for more uncomplicated access to the park.
As you come nearer to South Grafton, take Charles Street, then turn left to follow the B91 towards Grafton centre before shifting right at the roundabout onto Big River Way. This takes you to the Pacific Highway at Tyndale, and then you can drive through the Pacific Highway Route to Gold Coast.
Things to See Along The Way
You’ll discover plenty of options when exploring all the things you can see and do on a road trip from Sydney to the Gold Coast.
To help you choose, we have gathered this shortlist of some main highlights you should visit.
Pacific Highway Route:
- Palm Beach – Walk along the renowned twin beaches used as Summer Bay’s location in the legendary soap opera Home and Away.
- Terrigal – Swim, surf, walk or jog on Terrigal’s stunning long stretch of golden sand. Enjoy fish and chips on its incredible esplanade whilst shadowed under stately Norfolk Pines.
- Lake Macquarie – Take a dip in, or go fishing and kayaking at, the Southern Hemisphere’s most extensive coastal saltwater lake.
- Crowdy Bay National Park – Be amazed at the kangaroos who swim and hop around the surf each morning at sunrise.
- Dorrigo National Park – Take a detour inland from Coffs Harbour along Waterfall Way to walk through the rainforest and soak in the spectacular views from the elevated walkway.
- Coffs Harbour – Have your photo taken at the memorable Big Banana. Also, get up close and personal, and meet the dolphins at the Dolphin Marine Conservation Park.
- Yamba – Catch breathtaking waves at incredible beaches, where you might only be one of a handful of people there.
- Byron Bay – Engage yourself in the chilled-out vibes of one of Australia’s most celebrated coastal towns. Surf at its stunning beaches, enjoy its rich arts scene and fantastic cafes and bars, and be one of the first people in Australia to witness the sunrise at the Byron Bay Lighthouse.
New England Highway Route:
- Barrington Tops National Park – Go bushwalking, mountain biking, kayaking, and abseiling at this magnificent Australia World Heritage Area.
- Hunter Valley – take a tour at the cellar doors of some of Australia’s most notable wineries.
- Armidale – Check out the stunning architecture of ‘Cathedral City‘.
- Glencoe – Have a pint at a traditional English old-style pub called ‘The Red Lion‘.
- Washpool National Park – With hiking trails of different lengths and difficulties, anticipate witnessing waterfalls, lush forests, and beautiful birds.
- Nymboida River Rafting – Pick up a pre-booked tour from Grafton or Coffs Harbour to witness stunning views of this rugged river valley from a different perspective.
The Best Time to Hit The Road
A road trip from Sydney to Gold Coast is one you can accomplish any time of the year. With temperatures on the coast in winter ranging from 10 to 20 degrees, you’ll probably be able to appreciate the many outdoor attractions of the Pacific Highway Route in the colder months from June to August.
However, to experience the beaches at their finest, we suggest taking the Pacific Highway Route between February and April or September to November. With average temperatures around 25 degrees, you’ll avoid the sticky heat of the summer period and also some of the masses.
If you tour in the spring, you might also get fortunate and spot whales on their migration along the coast of NSW and Queensland. Remember that many schools take breaks in early April and early October, which might cause a more crowded getaway and higher accommodation expenses.
The New England Highway Route is also one we’d suggest taking in spring or autumn. With domains of the route at higher altitudes, temperatures can fall close to freezing in the winter. You can enjoy driving the route back to life in spring, with wildflowers blooming along the Hunter Valley.
If you choose to travel in the summer, try to visit the wineries of the Hunter Valley during harvest – the completion of a year’s hard work for the wine grower.
Whatever time you choose to travel, make sure your vehicle is fully roadworthy before you go. Both of these routes carry you into the most remote regions of Australia. However, you might still encounter long stretches between stops that you must be prepared for.
Your Driving Guide to Gold Coast
Get off to a beautiful, safe start with these helpful driving tips. For numerous customers, driving a campervan rental is a brand-new experience. So whether you are an international or domestic traveller, read up and be prepared.
- In Australia, vehicles are driven on the left-hand side of the road. If you are new to this configuration, we suggest an hour to become conditioned before hitting the highways in earnest.
- Parking around the Gold Coast is mainly subject to restrictions and fees. Be aware of the road signs, read them carefully, and remember that a larger RV or motorhome may not fit in some spaces.
- 50 kilometres per hour is the speed limit in residential and commercial areas, and 100 kph is the speed limit in rural areas. Always look for speed limit signs to provide correct information.
- The traffic often slows down at peak hours around the Gold Coast and on the roads to and from Brisbane. We suggest avoiding travel during regular commute hours.
- The border between Queensland and New South Wales is directly south of the Gold Coast. Be aware that there may be some little distinctions in road rules between states: for example, tailgating is prohibited in NSW, and you must leave at least three seconds between you and the vehicle in front. In Queensland, it is not permitted to have open containers of alcohol inside the vehicle.
- If you’re driving inland into the Outback, stock up with a ton of food and water in case of a breakdown in an isolated location. And remember to keep your fuel topped up too.
Our top advice is simply this: listen carefully to the depot staff when they provide you with an orientation to the vehicle and ask any questions you can think of. They are your best resource for driving and operating your campervan rental.
How early should I book my campervan hire before travelling?
We suggest booking at least a month ahead to ensure you get your desired camper model, particularly during the Christmas season, as they tend to sell out fast.
What is the age restriction to rent a campervan?
You must be at least 21 to rent a campervan or motorhome in the Gold Coast, but a few rental providers allow 18-year-old drivers.
What type of licence do I need to bring to drive a campervan?
You can drive a campervan on the Gold Coast with any valid driver’s licence. But if your driver’s licence needs to be written in English, you may need to carry an International Driving Permit.
Can you park your campervan hire anywhere on the Gold Coast?
Unfortunately, you can’t park your campervan hire in any part of the city. You can park your campervan in specified areas, usually tourist parks and holiday resorts.