About New South Wales: the Central-Eastern (Gold) Coast
This region has just about everything you could wish for in the way of seaside pleasures. The Gold Coast is a cross between Torremolinos and Miami Beach – with high-rise blocks lining the front and dozens of discos, where the sun shines for 300 days a year, and the surfing never stops. The resorts to the south are quieter, but still have fine beaches and great surf. Those who prefer a less hectic time should visit the remote beaches of South Stradbroke Island, or the hippie colonies of the hinterland of north-east New South Wales. And for that ultimate away-from-it-all experience there’s Lord Howe Island, 600 km out in the Pacific.
From Port Macquarie to the northern end of the Gold Coast and Brisbane is at least a couple of days’ drive along the Pacific Highway (900 km). But if you want to stop off and take in the best places to visit and some of the action, allow a week.
All the main towns on this route are connected by regular buses. There are several daily flights from Brisbane to Coolangatta and Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast. There are also several flights a day to Coff’s Harbour and Port Macquarie from Sydney and Brisbane. If you want to get off the beaten track, you’ll need a car (preferably 4WD). Trains go from Wauchope (see Myall Lakes and the Hunter Valley) to Grafton and Brisbane. Wauchope is a short bus ride from Port Macquarie.