Gold Coast to Sydney Road Trip – 11 Stops to the Drive Time!

Gold Coast to Sydney Road Trip
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You can get from the gold coast to Sydney through Pacific HWY/A1 and M1. You can drive by car, bus, or flight, but the car can be an excellent idea. The total distance from Gold Coast to Sydney is 837 Kilometers, which may take 8 hours and 51 minutes to cover by car.

Sydney attracts tourists because of its sparkling waterfront setting and vibrant city life. There are tons of art museums and monuments to see. During your road trip to Gold Coast to Sydney, take a few stops to rest and have fun.

Some of the best places to stop and spend time on the route from Gold Coast to Sydney are Coffs Harbour, Thrumster, and Ourimbah. Things can be more attractive if you follow my road trip guide. Stay here and discover the best road trip to Sydney from Gold Coast.

Train or Bus from Gold Coast to Sydney?

You can go by train or bus from Gold Coast to Sydney, but the bus is the better option. It takes 16 hours to reach Sydney, and you may cost 130 to 260 dollars. 

You can save some dollars by train, but it takes 18 to 19 hours. The bus route is Ocean shores and includes attractive stops, which can make your journey unforgettable. 

Another issue is that there is no direct train service from Gold Coast to Sydney.

Gold Coast to Sydney Road Trip: Itinerary, Places, Distance & Attractions

Sydney is almost 837 km from the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The time may vary from Gold Coast to Sydney, depending on your mode of transportation.

Transportation ModeApproximate time 
Car8 hour 51 minutes 
Bus15 hours 12 minutes 

You can divide your long road trip into four stops to make it easier and more enjoyable. I recommend you go through the below stoppages. It will keep you easy and full of fun. 

You can also read: Gold Coast to Noosa Road Trip

1. Gold Coast to Ewingsdale

Travel Distance: 86.3 km

Travel Time: Approximately 1 hour by car/ 4 hours by bus

Start your journey from the Gold coast, get on M1 in Burleigh Heads from State Route 3 and keep following M1 to Myocum Rd in Ewingsdale. 

You should go by car if you use the bus it will take 3 more hours because of traffic and bus stops.

Ewingsdale is a small, beautiful town that can be a perfect place to rest and rejoice. The town has many historical and natural tourist attractions that are worth seeing.

Top Attractions in Ewingsdale:

  • Cumbebin Swamp Nature Reserve– It has many listed places to visit. You can enjoy a walk with your loved one at the Cumbein swamp. You can walk through the Melaleuca forest among the beautiful natural scenery.
  • Cape Byron Lighthouse– You must visit this lighthouse to enjoy the sweeping bay views. There you can see the maritime museum and enjoy tours
  • Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens is the best natural attraction for nature lovers and kids. Massive subtropical gardens surround the attraction. There is also the facility of a shop and Cafe for fun and dining.

Residential Hotels in Ewingsdale

If you want to enjoy more time in this beautiful town, you can stay for the night in the following hotels:

  • Beach Hotel Resort, Byron Bay
  • Bangalow Guesthouse
  • Arts Factory Lodge
  • Satara Byron Bay
  • Byron Bay YHA

Restaurants in Ewingsdale

For tasty local and international recipes, you can visit the following restaurants:

  • Main Street Burger Bar
  • Il Buco Cafe & Pizzeria
  • Ozigo Tucker Byron Bay
  • OzyMex
  • Trattoria Basiloco Byron Bay

2. Ewingsdale to Broadwater

Travel Distance: 52.2 km

Travel Time: Approximately 32 minutes by car

It would help if you stopped at Broadwater, only a 32 minutes car drive from Ewingsdale. It is a small town of a few hundred people, but it has many tourist attractions for visitors.

From Ewingsdale, follow M1 to Broadwater- Evans Head Rd in Broadwater. Just Exit from M1 to enter the town. You can spend a few hours for fun and relaxation.

Top Attractions in Broadwater:

  • Broadwater National Park– The National Park is a famous tourist attraction perfect for birdwatching, picnicking, playing, hiking, and enjoying parties.
  • Summerland Farm-You has many things to see, local shops, souvenirs, and more for the visitors.
  • Shark Bay-Do can visit the Shark Bay Broadwater. It is an attractive tourist attraction where you can enjoy the sea view and beautiful nature.

Residential Hotels in Broadwater

If you are in Broadwater in the evening, you can book a night stay to rest in the following hotels:

  • The Bowlo Holiday Cabins
  • The Australian Hotel Ballina
  • Casino Motor Inn
  • River Park Motor Inn
  • Slipway Hotel – Motel

Restaurants in Broadwater

After visiting the tourist attractions, you can enjoy delicious meals in the following Restaurants:

  • Evans Kitchen
  • Evans Head Fish Centre
  • New Italy Cafe
  • The Terrace Restaurant and Bar
  • La Cucina di Vino

3. Broadwater to Maclean

Travel Distance: 64.7 km

Travel Time: Approximately 44 minutes by car

Start your ride from Broadwater via Pacific Hwy/A1 in Woodburn from Langs Wy and Tuckombil Rd; after a 44 minutes drive, you will reach Maclean. You must stop here to have fun and view beautiful natural scenery.

It is closer to the beach and known as the lowest Clarence area. You can enjoy the rich Scottish heritage and fresh climate. It is a small town but has all the living facilities.

Top Attractions in Maclean

  • Lawrence Museum is near the Lawrence riverside and is a perfect place for history lovers. You can see many historical items in this Museum.
  • Yaegl Nature Reserve–  If you love nature, you must visit Yaegal Nature Reserve while going to Sydney from the Gold coast. It is full of lush green trees and a beautiful natural place.
  • Yamba River Markets– Never miss visiting the Yamba river markets. Many arts and crafts stalls provide tourists with free live entertainment.

Residential Hotels in Maclean

You have many high-quality and affordable residences in Maclean. Some of the most famous hotels are:

  • Angourie Resort
  • The Carmel, Yamba
  • Yamba Motor Inn
  • The Cove Yamba Apartments
  • Maclean Stays

Restaurants in Maclean

For healthy and tasty foods, you can visit the below restaurants:

  • Oliver’s – Ferry Park
  • Tse’s Chinese Restaurant
  • Skye Coffee Lounge & Restaurant
  • THE Cottage Takeaway
  • Peking Chinese Restaurant

4. Maclean to Woolgoolga

Travel Distance: 90 km

Travel Time: Approximately 56 minutes by car

After the Maclean stop, keep driving to Pacific Hwy/A1, and after 90 Km, you will reach Woolgoolga. I recommend you stop for some rest and enjoy a better time. 

It is the closest town to Coffs Harbour, which has two beaches on the pacific ocean. The town has many beautiful natural tourist attractions that make your stay worth living.

Top Attraction in Woolgoolga

  • Woolgoolga Beach and Headland– You can drive up to the headland and take in the view from the car. There is a viewing platform, and that’s about it. Good views of the beaches in both directions. An excellent place to take fish n chips and enjoy the view.
  • Woolgoolga Lookout– Beautiful scenic location with a great lookout point to the Solitary Islands and walkways down towards the water. Well worth visiting and spending some time taking in the views.

Residential Hotels in Woolgoolga

For spending a night in Woolgoolga, you have many hotels; some famous hotels are:

  • Woolgoolga Motor Inn
  • Sapphire Chambre B & B
  • Coramba Hotel
  • Aqualuna Beach Resort
  • Pacific Bay Resort

Restaurants in Woolgoolga

You have many restaurants to spend time and dine at. Some famous restaurants in Woolgoolga are

  • Caz’s Takeaway
  • Nana Glen Takeaway
  • Golden Chinese Restaurant
  • Emerald Beach General Store
  • Idle In Cafe

5. Woolgoolga to Coffs Harbour

Travel Distance: 25.3 km

Travel Time: Approximately 20 minutes by car/ 1 hour by bus

Coffs Harbour can be the best place to stop during your road trip from Gold Coast to Sydney. It is almost a 20-minute car drive from Woolgoolga. But if you take the bus, it will take a minimum of an hour.

Drive through Pacific Hwy/A1 to W High St in Coffs Harbour. Coffs Harbor has many attractive tourist places, parks, and museums.

Top attractions in Coffs Harbour

On your stop at Coffs Harbour, you must visit the following places to make you fresh and happy.

  • Coffs Harbour Butterfly House It is an excellent place to visit for insect lovers. It is an indoor tropical setting where you can see hundreds of beautiful Australian butterflies, a maze, and a dinosaur show.
  • Solitary Islands Aquarium– Visit this aquarium family venue to observe the regional aquarium species in tanks. 
  • The Big Banana Fun Park– If you are with your kids or friends must visit Big Banana fun park for fun and relaxation. Here you can enjoy the waterslides, mini golf, ice skating, and much more.

Residential hotels in Coffs Harbour 

If you are tired after covering the long distance, you can stay a night in Coffs Harbour for fun and rest. You will get good quality and affordable hotels to stay in. Here is the list of some best hotels to stay in Coffs Harbour.

  • Pacific Bay Resort
  • Opal Cove Resort – Coffs Coast
  • The Pier Hotel
  • Pacific Bay Resort
  • The Belfry Guesthouse

Restaurants in Coffs Harbour

Are you feeling hungry? No worries, you have many tasty restaurants to enjoy delicious meals.

  • Pig and Khai
  • Taste Restaurant
  • Bar Que Sera
  • Amalfi Pizzeria
  • Creasian Restaurant

6. Coffs Harbour to Macksville

Travel Distance: 55.8 km

Travel Time: Approximately 40 minutes by car/ 1 hour and 40 minutes by bus

From Coffs Harbour, keep driving via pacific Hwy/A1; after 55.8 km, you will reach Macksville. Macksville is a beautiful small town that can be a good stop for you to spend some time.

It is famous for its passion for the rugby league and is a home for Group 2 Rugby League. Macksville has both the vibe of a village and modern life. It is rich in natural and beautiful scenery and close to beaches.

Top Attractions in Macksville:

  • Rotary Lookout is a fantastic look out onto the Pacific Ocean and the Nambucca Heads foreshore area. Rotary Lookout is located on some high elevated land dedicated to public entry with safety rails and car parking.
  • Bowraville Folk Museum- This museum has to be one of the best regional museums. Give yourself some time to spend at this place, as there’s plenty to see. You will see an incredible collection of historical items.
  • Trial Bay Gaol- Trial Bay Gaol is an excellent place to see a little of Australia’s history. There is so much to explore, and you can easily spend two hours here.

Residential Hotels in Macksville:

Macksville has many affordable family hotels to stay at night. You can book a night in the following hotels:

  • The Cubana Nambucca Heads
  • Ingenia Holidays White Albatross
  • Tasman Holiday Parks – Nambucca Heads
  • Riverside Rest Nambucca Heads
  • Marcel Towers Holiday Apartments

Restaurants in Macksville

To enjoy tasty food, you can visit the following restaurants:

  • Macksville Chinese Restaurant
  • Keppy’s Cafe and Restaurant
  • Elk on 38
  • Rusty’s Pizza
  • Hot Myrtle Kitchen

7. Macksville to Thrumster

Travel Distance: 97.1 km

Travel Time: Approximately 1 hour by car/ 2 hours by bus

Start your journey from Macksville to Sydney. The next stop that I recommend to you on this route is Thrumster. You have many attractions and places to visit. Thrumster is a small village that has Zoo, hotels, parks, and horse riding centers to see.

Thrumster is almost 97 km from Macksville and may take one and an hour to reach. You can also go by bus, which takes double the time. 

Stay on the Pacific Hwy/A1 and keep driving through to reach the Thrumster. It is the fastest route from Macksville to Thrumster.

Top attractions in Thrumster

Thrumster has many parks and tourist attractions that can make your stop memorable.

  • Billabong Zoo Koala & Wildlife Park- You must visit the Billabong Zoo Koala for your family and kids. Here you can enjoy feeding and handling the beautiful exotic animals. There are many picnic spots and playgrounds to play in and have fun.
  • Port Macquarie Museum- It is a historical place for tourists to visit and see the history of early European settlers.
  • Timbertown- You can make your kids’ tour special by visiting Timbertown. Here you can enjoy recreated timber settlements with stables and sawmills. Many seasonal events are also arranged here for the visitors.

Residential hotels in Thrumster

If you want to stay in Thrumster to watch more attractions, you can stay in the following hotels.

  • Port O’Call Motel
  • The Wauchope Motel
  • Narimba Lodge Motel
  • Macquarie Barracks Motor Inn
  • Port Macquarie Hotel

Restaurants in Thrumster

To enjoy delicious meals in Thrumster, you can visit the following restaurants.

  • Zambrero Port Macquarie
  • Flare Restaurant
  • Sushi and Sashimi
  • The Boathouse Bar & Restaurant
  • Zena Gourmet

8. Thrumster to Nabiac

Travel Distance: 92.8 km

Travel Time: Approximately 1 hour by car

Start your drive from Thrumster to Sydney; after the thrumster, Nabiac can be an excellent place to stop and relax. You will keep your car on Pacific Hwy/A1 for 92 km, exit, and enter Nabiac town.

Nabiac is a small town in New South Wales but rich with natural scenery and many sea views. You can visit museums, play, and walk through green parks and beaches.

Top Attractions in Nabiac

  • Great Lakes Museum-It is a very informative and interesting museum, complete with the school. Each room has a collection of items belonging to a particular time. It looks magnificent, and the views are stunning.
  • The Big Buzz Fun Park– An all-in-one park with a beautiful view, it’s a highlight for a Forster trip. You won’t regret visiting; kids love it, and parents could have a rest. Every single ride without queuing. The staff is all nice and friendly and highly recommended.
  • Bennetts Head Lookout– This is one of the best lookouts you have ever seen. It’s so special that you can see down to the coastline, with dolphins playing around the rocks and above the sand. Be sure to walk to the dunes on the other side.

Residential Hotels in Nabiac

Following are the best residential hotels to stay in Nabiac with family.

  • Twin Dolphins Holiday Park
  • Lakes & Ocean Hotel
  • The Dorsal Boutique Hotel
  • Golden Sands Motor Inn
  • Lakes & Ocean Hotel

Restaurants in Nabiac

Nabiac city also has many high-quality restaurants which you can consider for tasty meals. Following are some best restaurants in Nabiac:

  • Thirty Three Degrees
  • Pezzella’s Pizzeria and Bar
  • Manyana Mexican Taqueria
  • Good Grub Shack
  • Rusty’s Hotdogs & Burgers

9. Nabiac to Raymond Terrace

Travel Distance: 116 km

Travel Time: Approximately 1 hour and ten minutes by car

I recommend Raymond Terrace for the next stop on your way from Gold coast to Sydney after Nabiac town; It is almost 116 km from Nabiac; you can go by car; no bus route is available. 

Just keep driving on Pacific Hwy/A1 and then exit to enter Raymond Terrace. It is a small town with beautiful historic buildings, homes, and cottages that attract everyone. You can relax here by visiting exciting places and lovely gardens.

Top Attractions in Raymond Terrace

  • Fighter World is an excellent place to visit to see Australian fighter jet heritage displays, including the F-111, F/A-18, Vampire Mirage, and Meteor. Detailed information about aircraft, weapons, and systems, including radars and engines.
  • Hunter Region Botanic Gardens- It can be a perfect spot to visit with kids where they can participate in different kids’ events. You can relax and enjoy a picnic party here with great fun.
  • Riverside Park is a lovely place to stop and spend some time seeing a great view of the wharf. The park looks like fun for young kids. Lots of wind and you can enjoy a cool breeze, especially in the evening.

Residential Hotels in Raymond Terrace

I recommend the following hotels for you to spend a night in Raymond Terrace:

  • Station Hotel
  • Sleepy Hill Motor Inn
  • Quest Maitland
  • The Family Hotel Maitland
  • Colonial Terrace Motor Inn

Restaurants in Raymond Terrace

For healthy and spicy foods, you can visit the following restaurants:

  • Duke’s Restaurant & Bar
  • Endeavour Restaurant
  • Pines Restaurant
  • Tre Viet Kitchen
  • The Valley Restaurant By Chef Jordy

10. Raymond Terrace to Ourimbah

Travel Distance: 87.2 km

Travel Time: Approximately 1 hour by car

The next stop I recommend is Ourimbah, which is almost 87 km from Raymond terrace. Keep following the M1 and exit to enter the Ourimbah.

Ourimbah is a small village, and its village lifestyle, natural beauty with a mix of different world cultures make it an excellent spot to spend some time. You can closely view Indian, Thai, and Australian cultural vibes here.

Top Attractions in Ourimbah

  • Australian Reptile Park– This park is a good place to learn about Australian native animals. The Kangaroos here can provide a lot of entertainment to kids and have fun feeding them.
  • Pelican Feeding– This is a good place for Pelican feeding. Very good for kids. Good park, rides, a fountain, and much more. You can have some fun and get close to natural birds.
  • Memorial Park– Never miss visiting memorial park if you have your kids with you. It’s a beautiful park with ample space to have a family picnic, host or attend an event and enjoy the views.

Residential Hotels in Ourimbah

If you love the village and want to spend some more time in Ourimbah, you can stay in the following hotels:

  • Mercure Kooindah Waters Central Coast
  • Waterview Gosford Motor Inn
  • ibis Styles The Entrance
  • The Entrance Backpackers
  • Lake Haven Motor Inn

Restaurants in Ourimbah

You consider the following restaurants to enjoy spicy foods:

  • RASHAYS – Tuggerah
  • Arizona Lunch Bar
  • Spinners Restaurant
  • Brugge – Westfield Tuggerah
  • Indigo – Eats, Treats & Bar

11. Ourimbah to Sydney

Travel Distance: 84.4 km

Travel Time: Approximately 1 hour by car/ 2 hrs by bus

Finally, the last stop of your journey is Sydney. You will need to drive through M1. Sydney is almost 85 km from Ourimbah. It may take more than an hour to reach Sydney.

Sydney is a famous City in Australia where visitors come from around the world. Its modern lifestyle, beautiful buildings, beach views, picnic spots, museums, and natural parks can make your visit unforgettable.

Top Attractions in Sydney

  • BridgeClimb Sydney– You can enjoy a well-oiled machine of operation, informative and fun guides, and killer views. Nice to have an activity that’s well executed with heaps of time on the bridge to soak in the views.
  • Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is a beautiful natural tourist attraction, especially when the weather is sunny and cool. Enjoy the view of the great Opera house and harbor bridge. You can enjoy a walk east of the garden.
  • Blaxland Riverside Park is an attractive tourist spot to spend a day with your family. It has a  huge play area for kids and a pool. It also offers a fantastic view of the river. It has a heritage train track and cycling track with cafes nearby.

Residential Hotels in Sydney

Sydney has many hotels to stay but here is a list of some best hotels which are affordable and provide quality services:

  • Strathfield Hotel
  • The Great Southern Hotel
  • ibis budget Campbelltown
  • The Great Southern Hotel
  • The Grand Hotel

Restaurants in Sydney

During your stay in Sydney, you must visit these restaurants to enjoy tasty meals.

  • Mejico Restaurant
  • Restaurant 317
  • Firedoor Restaurant
  • Ester Restaurant
  • Castello Restaurant


Where should you dine and drink in Sydney?

Its Bondi beach is very famous, and tourists from Australia and the world visit each year. Sydney’s climate is friendly; you can visit Sydney’s coastal areas for eight months a year.

You have hundreds of places to dine and drink in Sydney. Quay, Aalia, Cafe Paci, Prince of York and ESQ bar+ Dining, Grandma’s bar, and Papa Gede’s bar are the most famous and attractive places to dine and drink in Sydney.

Can you take a sleeper train from the Gold coast to Sydney?

Yes, you can take sleeper trains from Gold Coast to Sydney. But remember you will pass through Brisbane, which is a long route because there is no direct train service from Gold Coast to Sydney.

How much does it cost to fly from the Gold Coast to Sydney?

Flights from the Gold Coast to Sydney are not very costly. You can easily book a flight under 200$ from the Gold coast to Sydney.

What is the most economical way to get from the Gold Coast to Sydney?

Your car is the cheapest way to get from the Gold Coast to Sydney. It may cost you between 100 and 150 dollars for the fuel. You can also save time if you go by car.

What do airlines fly from the Gold Coast to Sydney?

Every week 169 direct flights depart for Sydney from Gold Coast. The famous airline services include Jetstar Airways, Regional Express, Emirates, Virgin Australian, and Qantas. 

Why is Sydney Popular?

Sydney is famous for its vibrant lifestyle and attractive tourist attractions. Some of Sydney’s famous attractions are superb beaches, a yacht-studded harbor, and an iconic Opera house. 


Sydney is a lovely and modern city that can be a perfect vacation spending spot for you. But not only Sydney but your road trip from Gold Coast to Sydney also has fun and entertainment opportunities. 

It will be a memorable road trip if you plan to spend 4 to 5 days. You have many attractive tourist attractions to take a rest, spend hours and have fun to make the Gold Coast to Sydney road trip unforgettable.

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Hi, I'm Md Abid Hasan. The owner & content editor of is a travel blog that covers road trips, day trips, and destinations guide.

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