An Amazing Road Trip from Sydney to Cairns

From the coastal gems to the inland wilderness, Australia is every wanderer’s dream-come-true. It is home to many mesmerizing spots, hidden nooks, and grandiose wonders, so even the shortest trip can lead to discoveries that would take a lifetime to experience.

This particular stretch of road is teeming with captivating landscape and memorable stops, so your itinerary should be chock-full of perfect photo-moments. Fill up your tank, pack your bags and hit the road for an Australian journey of a lifetime on your Cairns to Sydney road trip!

Sydney to Cairns Road Trip Australia
Photo of Forrester’s Beach on Australia’s central coast by Rodney Campbell on Flickr.

Sydney to Cairns Road Trip Stops

Central Coast

As if Sydney doesn’t offer enough beaches, take a dive in the sun-kissed Central Coast ocean waves, just an hour outside of your starting point. Don’t miss out on the ancient Aboriginal artwork hidden in the rocky realms of the hikers’ trails. Still, you can also savor a juicy meal in the northern part of the city before you head out to the Tuggerah Lake for a water-skiing session before you turn in.

Hunter Valley

Road trip though Hunter Valley
Hunter Valley Winery in New South Wales by Kevin Rheese on Flickr.

Being one of the most well-known wine corners of Australia, Hunter Valley is perhaps the most hedonistic stop of your entire road trip! It’s best to do your research before you get there, as the region offers no less than a hundred wineries, each and everyone with a few distinctive flavors to offer. Sip the handcrafted boutique wines of Calais Estate or the renowned Audrey Wilkinson Lake Shiraz. The soothing scenery goes perfectly with the friendly locals to give you the Zen experience of your life.

Byron Bay

Road trip to Byron Bay, Australia.
Eastern Point, Byron Bay by Hector Garcia on Flickr.

Despite its touristy reputation, there are many sightseeing opportunities for a versed Aussie traveller as well as the newbie from the other hemisphere. Visit the main beach to watch the friendly dolphins or enjoy a midday surf, and then move on to a relaxing lunch at a hip local restaurant. Don’t let the size of this town fool you – there is something for everyone, from adventurous skydiving to the Out There Sculpture Garden for every culture vulture. If you’re there in whale migrating season from May to November, head to the Byron Bay lighthouse and bask in the beauty of the ocean horizon.

Gold Coast

Gold Coast road trip Australia
Golden Cold Coast by Michael Dawes on Flickr.

An inspiration for surfing enthusiasts, Gold Coast offers beaches that will ensure a ride of your life. The lively shore of the Main Beach and the barrels of Kirra will dazzle even the most experienced surfers. But leave some time to explore the World Heritage-listed inland, where you can admire the volcano-formed forest land of Springbrook and its breathtaking waterfalls. 


Road trip to Brisbane.
Photo of Brisbane by Benicio Murray on Flickr.

A friendly place of strangely over-sized things, Brisbane in Queensland is home to the 16m-tall pineapple at the Woombye plantation, the Noosa River’s enormous Pelican, and the Big Cow in Yandina, to name a few. Still, the city’s spirit seems to trump the size of all its quirky monuments. Stroll through some of its lush gardens, or kayak through picturesque Moreton Bay of the Redlands for a unique experience of the hidden creeks and wildlife.

Fraser Island

Explore Fraser Island.
Fraser Island by EVC2008 on Flickr.

Yet another World Heritage destination and the world’s largest sand island, Fraser is the lone example of a sand-immersed oasis of opulent lakes and rain forests amidst the dry landscape. You can take a dip in the perched rainwater lakes, thrill-ride across the island in a 4WD jeep and search for the Australian dingos that roam free across the dunes of the island. Whale-watching, camping and a long beach walk are just some of many appealing offers of this tropical paradise.


Exploring Rockhampton, Australia during our road trip from Cairns to Sydney
Picture of Rockhampton Post Office by Phillip N Young on Flickr.

The charming locale, pristine beaches with sublime snorkeling nooks, cultural hot spots and wonderful architecture make this little town much more than just the beef capital of Australia. Of course, if you are a foodie and a meat-buff, don’t miss out on the delicious steak meals the city has to offer, but you should also spend some time strolling down the Fitzroy Riverbank, visit the Heritage Village and the Botanic Gardens to get a better taste of the local life.

After passing through the slow-paced Mackay and chilling with its friendly possums and kangaroos, you can visit Townsville with its sugary fields, and you will be only a few detours to the nearby national parks away from your final destination. And yet, even after your diverse adventure, you will have only scratched the surface of what this stretch of road has to offer.

About our guest author

Australian Road trip from Cairns to Sydney.
Nicole Noel

Nicole is a lifestyle blogger passionate about travel and healthy living. She always seeks new adventures and enjoys sharing her experiences with others. In her free time, she likes to prepare healthy and delicious food for her friends. You can find her on Twitter and FB.

Where is your favorite place to road trip? Please let us know in the comments.

Inspiration for a road trip through Australia from Sydney to Cairns #AustralianRoadTrip #Australia #Sydney #Cairns
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2 thoughts on “An Amazing Road Trip from Sydney to Cairns”

  1. hey
    road trips are always fun, me and my friends went to road trip on royal enfield and it was very adventurous.
    well your trip also sounds fun,
    thank you

  2. Travel is a very great gift from god and that is what we have learned from your blog. Thanks for such a good write up. Truly an amazing piece of writing.


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