Embarking on a road trip across Australia is one of life’s greatest pleasures, no matter which stretch of our gorgeous country you choose to traverse. Endless reams of fantastic, ever-changing scenery, from shimmering deserts to lush, sprawling forests melt into your eyes, and one of the beauties of our nation’s roads is that you never know what you might see next.

Of the countless routes that you can take on a road trip across Australia, the road between Sydney and Cairns is one of our favourites. That’s because the winding journey is replete with a raft of things to see and do along the way, not to mention the two world-class cities at either end. Jump into your hire vehicle from East Coast Car Rentals, turn the keys and get underway!

Super Sydney

There is probably no better place in the land Down Under to start your epic journey than its biggest city, the swashbuckling Sydney. There is almost everything in this vibrant, bouncing destination that you could ever want, from swanky bars, a wildly diverse set of cultures, unlimited shopping possibilities and just about anything else that you can think of.

Sydney is also home to the famous Bondi Beach, a great strip of golden sand that runs along the city’s eastern fringes. The never-slumbering Glebe Markets are always teeming with life, so by all means shop, but be sure not drop, as you still have the remarkable Coogee coastal walk to take in.

Hit the road

Your first stop upon leaving Sydney is the small town of Katoomba in the resplendent Blue Mountains. Here you’ll find the otherworldy Three Sisters, and a chance to experience the breathtaking, if a little nerve-racking, Scenic Railway. If you’re still looking for thrills and spills, head on up to Coffs Harbour, where you’ll find a range of white-knuckle activities to test even the bravest soul.

Wave rave

We hope you’ve brought your board along, because it’s time to get wet! Byron Bay is home to some of the best surfing waves in the country. Try and catch a cool ‘tube’ or ‘breaker’, but be sure not to wipe out! Gnarly!

Not enough waves for you? Surfers Paradise should tempt you by name alone!

Brilliant Brisbane

This city of endless galleries and theatres will appeal to the culture vulture within you, so immerse yourself in its arty heart before heading on out to Noosa. Be sure to take a swim in Lake McKenzie, but don’t take the time to towel yourself off as you still have Airlie Beach, gateway to the Whitsundays, to explore. You’ll find the shape-shifting, psychedelic Whitehaven Beach here, so get a little ‘trippy’ before concluding your ‘trip’ as you arrive in Cairns.

sydney to cairns road trip info graphic