Australians are lucky with such wonderful destinations full of road trip ideas in every direction. New South Wales, in particular, is just the right size for driving – it’s not terribly big and yet still covers enough area to afford you beaches, cities, rainforests, and more.
But where to go? Let’s explore some of the best NSW road trips.
The Waterfall Way
The Waterfall Way is a quite well-known NSW driving route, and for good reason – it offers travellers a perspective on a variety of typical sights in New South Wales. On the 200km route, one will pass gorgeous coast views at Seaside Harbour, cafe culture alive and well in Belligen, the towering mountaintops of Dorrigo, finishing up in Armidale. If you think Sydney is the only sight to see in NSW, the rainforests and high plateau gorge country on this route will definitely change your mind. And of course, there are the waterfalls, which will keep all passengers entertained en route.
The Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains are an easy daytrip from Sydney, but did you know that the area contains 160km of driving routes to be explored and enjoyed? Cliff Drive is one of the most spectacular stretches of road in the area, but there are others too: the old village of Hartley, the steep pass at Victoria, the many lookouts onto Three Sisters. And if you are feeling the need to get out of the car for awhile, hop onto the Zig Zag railway for a bit of a history lesson.
The Grand Pacific Drive
You may know of the Great Ocean Road, but NSW has its own coastal drive, known as the Grand Pacific Drive, stretching around a curving coastline for 71km. The route starts north of Wollongong and features both man-made and natural attractions for your eyes and your camera: there’s the incredible bridges and spans, the waves of surf crashing on ragged rocky coastlines, national parks, and even a Buddhist temple – Nan Tien, the biggest Buddhist shrine in the southern hemisphere. Stop early and stop often on this road, and when feeling peckish, head for the nearest fish and chip shop.
Last but certainly not least is the Oxley Highway, a local’s favourite and a great NSW drive. The highway runs inland from the seaside town of Port Macquarie, ending in the stunning Apsley Falls, a waterfall that pours down into a circular gorge. Although the way you’ll cross the Great Driving Range, essentially a lush rainforest that will give you reason to pause and reflect. Coffee shops and scenic outlooks dot the roadside as the highway floats back down into flat plains, rewarding travellers who have the journey with several waterfall stops, with the occasional winery in the mix.