This is our camp near Seal Rocks on our last trip up the coast, it is such a beautiful spot.
I’ve been getting a heap of questions about which places to visit between Sydney and The Sunshine Coast. Not just quick pit stops where the kids can let off some steam, but beautiful places to stay for a while.
I’ll work in order from Sydney heading north in the list below and I’ll also put them all into a map so you can get an idea of where they sit in relation to each other. You can find the map at the end of the post.
I won’t get right into where to stay in each place as it really depends on what sort of accommodation you are into, what your budget is and what sort of gear you have if you are camping (camper/caravan/tent etc).
The aim here is just to head you in the direction of lovely places along the way.
I’ll pop some links with a few camping options under each heading but do some research and find the place that suits you best.
Jump on WikiCamps to get a detailed list of all of the options available in regards to places to camp or park the van in each town. Just be sure to check out the comments section for each site as it gives a great indication of what the place is really like.
Check out handy apps for road tripping and camping for some more apps that will make finding the right spot a bit easier too.
Seal Rocks –
A small village on the most amazing beach.
There is a caravan park right on the beach and also some great campgrounds nearby down dirt roads and away from the masses.
This is a pretty big town with plenty of accomodation options.
Beautiful beaches and an amazing rivermouth that is the bluest of blue, I’m always amazed how stunning it is every time I drive over the bridge between the two towns.
Check out the Forster Ocean Baths, it’s kid swim heaven.
Diamond Head –
Camping for tents, campervans or caravans in the beautiful Crowdy Bay National Park.
A really beautiful bit of coast with amazing beaches.
Crescent Head –
A small coastal town with beautiful beaches and a reputation for having great surf.
Home to Waves campground, which is an awesome spot. There is also a caravan park right on the beach in town.
Hat Head –
Beautiful coastal national park with lovely campgrounds and also a caravan park.
South West Rocks –
Another one with a caravan park right on the beach.
There is also some great camping available on the headland overlooking the ocean at Trial Bay Gaol.
Easy walking to distance from either of these spots restaurants or supplies in town.
Nambucca Heads –
I’ve managed to miss Nambucca for years and just drove right on by until recently and I’m so glad I finally stopped by!
It a cute little town on a stunning beach/river mouth just south of Coffs Harbour.
There is a 3km long break wall that you can walk along and all of the rocks in the wall have been painted by families who have visited over the years.
Inland, amazingly green and beautiful and on a lovely river.
Great markets and crafty stuff.
Think a little bit alternate, awesome delicious organic food, good coffee and the most magical waterholes and rivers to swim in.
A beautiful town right on a great surf beach.
It has a really lovely main street with large established trees all through the centre of town.
Great cafes with quality food and coffee and really nice friendly people.
A coastal town also known for it’s good surf.
There are a number of stunning beaches and some really nice restaurants.
There is also a great pub right up on the headland overlooking the ocean.
Yuraygir National Park –
There are a few wonderful campsites here.
Awesome when you want to be right on the beach in nature. Not close to anything really so take what you need in with you.
Lennox Head –
A small town just south of Byron. Really lovely and not yet crazy busy like Byron.
There is a caravan park sandwiched between a lake and the ocean so you get the best of both worlds.
Byron Bay –
Every man and his dog knows about Byron now.
Beautiful, busy these days but definitely worth a visit.
Mullum is awesome, I’m biased as I went to school there.
There’s a great campground out in the hills called Maca’s which is beautiful and is dog friendly (well behaved ones). Campfires are ok when a total fire ban isn’t in place.
There’s also Mullum showgrounds with camping available. The bonus is you are going to be right there for the farmers market every Friday which is awesome.
Brunswick Heads –
A beautiful little town just north of Byron. Right on the river and super close to the beach. The river is gorgeous at high tide and perfect for a swim. Great for little kids at low tide. Awesome pub with live music and yummy food.
Hastings Point –
This is a beautiful spot just before you get into the craziness of the Gold Coast. There is a lovely river mouth which is perfect for kids and of course plenty of beach.
Peregian Beach –
Another favourite of mine.
Great surf beaches, awesome cafes and a cool live music event that happens once a month on the grassy area right on the beach called Peregian Originals.
The closest camping would be at Coolum which is about 5km south. There is always a heap of Airbnb places in Peregian though.
This little town is gorgeous. It’s in from the coast, has a huge market that happens every Wednesday and Saturday and a cool pub with good live music gigs.
Lovely and green and not too far from Noosa.
You can’t go past Noosa, it’s busy these days but so worth the visit.
The walk through through the national park along the beach is one of the most beautiful walking tracks I’ve done.
Plenty of restaurants and bars and a lots or retail down in Hasting Street.
Noosa main beach is stunning too. There is nothing in the way of camping in Noosa itself but there are a few caravan parks nearby.
Well, there you go, some of my favourites. As per usual, I’ll be adding to this list as I go, I’m always falling in love with somewhere new. I hope you find a favourite spot of your own along the way. Have fun!
If you are just wanting to get from Sydney to Qld as quickly and efficiently as you possibly can then check out driving between Sydney & Byron Bay with kids, it’s the version that I do when I need to get to Byron without mucking around. From Byron you are about 40 mins from the QLD border.
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