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City to Sand East Coast Explorer

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Discover the famous East Coast of Australia! Marvel at the turquoise waters & long stretching pristine white beaches. Starting in Sydney, visit the Opera House, take a dinner cruise via the Harbor Bridge & check out Bondi Beach, before driving past coastal towns such as Byron Bay. Make your way past the popular Gold Coast & towards Brisbane on this stunning scenic road trip.

BeachesClassic driving toursWildlife & nature

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Self Drive Tour

This suggested tour costs from AUD$1,661 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Sydney, finishes in Brisbane

6 days/5 nights

Apartments

 Rental car included

 Viewed 41 times in the last 7 days

Tour full itinerary
ITINERARY
City to Sand East Coast Explorer - Day 1
Private Transfer from Sydney Airport to your accommodation with UltiMate Executive Transfers

On arrival, a private transfer will collect you from Sydney Airport and transfer you to your accommodation.

Arrive into Sydney

Sydney is Australia's most famous city and with almost 20% of the country's population, is also Australia's largest city. Situated on the east coast of Australia it has beautiful white sand beaches, including the famous Bondi Beach and Manly Beach as well as the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and of course, the Sydney Opera House. Rich in history, art, and food Sydney has something for everyone.

Your accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney, Darling Harbour

Located on King Street Wharf with views of the Harbour, Adina Apartment Hotel Darling Harbour offers an idyllic Sydney experience. One of Sydney’s entertainment hot spots, Darling Harbour dazzles with its countless bars, eateries and family-friendly attractions.

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City to Sand East Coast Explorer - Day 2
Explore Sydney

Often mistaken as Australia's capital city, Sydney is a vibrant coastal city with plenty to see and do. Starting in Circular Quay you will catch your first views of the two big icons, Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. From here you can catch one of the quintessential harbour ferries over to Manly Beach or Taronga Zoo, catching a glimpse of Kirribilli House, the Prime Minister's official Sydney residence, on the way over. Kirribilli is also home to one of Sydney's oldest markets at the Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre twice a month. It is known for its stalls of vintage clothing, arts, delicious street food and its lively community atmosphere - so if you are in town on a market day, you can't miss it. For a relaxing end to your day of exploration, your dinner options are aplenty. From high-end restaurants around Circular Quay that offer amazing views, to the Chinatown food courts and a broad range of eateries at Barangaroo, you will be spoiled for choice.

Evening Dinner Cruise with Guarnteed Window Seating on Sydney Harbour

Sydney harbour is like a sunset painting in progress. The aquamarine colours of Summer give way to the warm orange hues of Autumn before deepening to a magical Winter twilight blue. Year-round, sun-up or sun-down and everything in between, the colours of Sydney Harbour will welcome you onboard the evening Dinner Cruise. This is the perfect start to an evening or stunning end to an amazing day in the greatest city in the world.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Sydney Opera House Tour

Step inside an iconic landmark. The Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s most recognisable landmarks and this is your chance to truly get up-close. Run your hands over the world-famous shell tiles, take a seat in the elegant custom-made white birch timber chairs and marvel at the vaulted ceilings. Visit areas off-limits to the public and capture photographs from rare vantage points. Watch unforgettable moments from past Concert Hall performances, learning about the history and future of this world-famous hall in an immersive digital experience. Experience the future within a  purpose-built venue that boasts heritage-inspired interiors, and state-of-the-art technology, including 270-degree visuals and surround sound.
From the jaw-dropping sweep of the sails to our soaring cathedral interiors, it is impossible to complete a tour of the Sydney Opera House without being compelled to look up.

Your accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney, Darling Harbour

Located on King Street Wharf with views of the Harbour, Adina Apartment Hotel Darling Harbour offers an idyllic Sydney experience. One of Sydney’s entertainment hot spots, Darling Harbour dazzles with its countless bars, eateries and family-friendly attractions.
Meals included: Speciality Dinner

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City to Sand East Coast Explorer - Day 3
Choose your style of rental vehicle

Our rental car range includes the latest vehicles from the top suppliers. From economy hatchbacks to SUVs, we can help you decide on a car suitable for this leg of your trip. Insurance can often be included with a small excess or deductible.

Collect your rental car from the Sydney City depot

Head to the Sydney CBD depot today to collect your chosen rental car, and continue your journey.

Sydney to Port Macquarie

Your journey along the "Legendary Pacific Coast" begins by heading north out of Sydney along the Pacific Motorway (M1). If you feel like meeting some native wildlife, you could pop into the Australian Reptile Park, or for something more scenic, take the exit at Gosford for a great little stopover at Norah Head Lighthouse, standing proudly on the coast since 1903.
Back on the motorway, you will pass the Hunter Valley (one of Australia's most famous wine regions) and Newcastle as you continue your journey towards your destination, Port Macquarie. Home to 17 beaches, beautiful scenic walks, and the Koala Hospital, there is plenty to do. If time allows, we recommend the 9km Coastal Walk from town to Lighthouse Beach.

Broken Bay Pearl Farm Shellar Door Experience

This experience includes an industry-first tasting and tour of the Shellar Door, a cruise out to the farm longlines on the scenic lower Hawkesbury River and an immersive pearl grading session inside the restricted-access Pearl Room. Follow the story of the Australian pearl from its ancient Indigenous beginnings through modern farming and grading techniques, all the way to the finished piece of unique pearl jewellery.

Your accommodation: Rydges Port Macquarie

The hotel is located in the heart of the Port Macquarie CBD with breathtaking views over the Hastings River. The hotel is situated on the coast, a short walk from local galleries, bars and restaurants. Relax in the hotel's swimming pool or enjoy the bar and Australian menu in the hotel's restaurant.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 366 kms / 227 miles : 3.7 hours

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City to Sand East Coast Explorer - Day 4
Port Macquarie Koala Hospital - suggested activity

The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital was established in 1973 and is a licensed wildlife rehabilitation facility. The Hospital is a popular tourist attraction which welcomes thousands of national and international visitors every year. The Hospital is also a scientific research, training and education centre.
The Koala Hospital consists of exhibit enclosures, a treatment clinic, intensive care units and rehabilitation yards, many of which have trees for koalas to learn to climb as part of the rehabilitation process. There is also a Koalaseum - a museum for Koalas which provides information on koala evolution and biology and interactive displays so visitors can touch koala fur or look down a microscope at koala poos (scat).
Admission is free, so we recommend bringing some cash to donate to their valuable conservation work.

Port Macquarie to Byron Bay

Today's drive will cover about 400km (250 miles) up the Pacific Coast, leaving you plenty of opportunities to stop off and take in the sights. From Port Macquarie, head north on Pacific Highway (A1) for about 150km (93 miles) to reach your first stop of the day, Coffs Harbour. Home to the iconic Big Banana, Australia's first "big thing" built back in 1964. Stop at the cafe for a coffee or banana split, or head into town to take a stroll on the Coffs Harbour Jetty.
From Coffs Harbour, snake along the coast for 120km until you reach signs for Yamba. This sleepy hamlet has beaches that rival those of Byron Bay but remains a little more low-profile. Take a stroll on one of the beautiful beaches, or head to the Pacific Hotel for some great views.
From Yamba, return to the Pacific Highway (A1) and continue to head north. If you want an opportunity to spot a second "big thing" today, take a short detour into Ballina to see the Big Prawn. Back on the highway, it's just 30km (18 miles) further to your final destination, Byron Bay.

Your accommodation: Eco Beach Resort Byron Bay

Eco Beach Resort Byron Bay is nestled on the edge of Byron Bay’s thriving town centre, in a stunning location famous for its beaches, sun sparkled ocean, and lush surrounding mountains. The resort’s central swimming pool will beckon you after you have visited the beach which is only a short walk away, or you can relax in the spa and have a barbeque if you prefer a quieter option to the nearby bustle of Byron.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 411 kms / 255 miles : 4.5 hours

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City to Sand East Coast Explorer - Day 5
Byron Bay to Brisbane

The drive from Byron Bay to Brisbane will see you crossing state lines from New South Wales to Queensland. This drive will take a little over two hours, so have a leisurely start to your morning before heading west out of Byron Bay and onto the M1.
Travel past Coolangatta, a surf and diving mecca revered for its unpretentious culture and bountiful array of aquatic life and continue through the Gold Coast, famed for its white-sand beaches, theme parks, and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Stop at the iconic Surfers Paradise, take a surf lesson, or, for a bird's eye view of the city and surrounding beaches, head up the 270m tall (886 foot) Q1 building.
From the Gold Coast, continue on the M1 to the state capital, Brisbane.

Gold Coast City Tour & River Cruise with Aquaduck Gold Coast

The “World’s First” amphibious Aquaduck Safari, operating since 1996, is an established Gold Coast icon.
Departing from the heart of Surfers Paradise, tours aboard the amphibious ‘Duck’ combine informative city tours with a unique and exciting river cruise, travelling past the glitzy waterfront mansions of the rich and famous and taking in the spectacular views of the Gold Coast waterways and its famous landmarks.

Your accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane

Immerse yourself in this grand historic building suitably in the center of Brisbane. The Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane is heritage-listed and artfully restored with a classic yet contemporary design. Located on George Street, the ground floor lobby space celebrates the building’s Art Deco origins. A stone’s throw from Queen Street Mall and Queen’s Wharf, or a brief stroll will find you in amongst buzzing Southbank’s cool bars, restaurants and parklands. The building has a wonderful and rich history. Initially built to accommodate the Queensland Government Savings Bank, it opened in 1922.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 157 kms / 98 miles : 1.7 hours

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City to Sand East Coast Explorer - Day 6
Return your vehicle to Brisbane Airport

Explore more of Brisbane before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

Farewell from Australia

Farewell Australia today. If there is more of Australia or New Zealand you would like to explore, talk to your sales consult about planning your next stop!

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