Top 5 Places to visit Between Sydney and the Sunshine Coast

Top 5 Places to visit Between Sydney and the Sunshine Coast

It‘s always hard to choose which Top 5 Places will make the cut when putting together a guide such as this.  This whole incredible coastline is well worth exploring but when you only have time to visit one or two places, we feel that the following are standouts. I hope this gives you a little bit of inspiration when you plan your next road trip between Sydney and the Sunny Coast.

1. South West Rocks, NSW

  • Explore Southwest Rocks, a quiet, laid back coastal town that is often skipped by holidaymakers. There are plenty of options for accommodation, beautiful foreshores and beaches and those infamous Norfolk pines.
  • Trial Bay Gaol, Arakoon. A great place for a day trip or to pull up and camp.
    • Tour the historic ruins of the gaol.
    • Hang out at the beach fishing, snorkelling, surfing, watching whales and dolphins.
    • There are plenty of great walking tracks in the area ranging from 1.2 km to 20km.
    • Way Way Creek Road Drive/Ride. A 17km loop that offers a leisurely scenic drive or a fun day of bike riding.
  • Smoky Cape Lighthouse, Hat Head National Park.
    • Climb the path to the heritage listed lighthouse and check out the stunning coastal views of Hat Head National Park.
    • Picnic or BBQ on the lush, grassy areas at the base of the lighthouse.
    • Whale watching, and bird watching is also popular here.
    • You can even book the Smoky Cape Lighthouse Keepers Cottage – self-contained cottages that once housed the light keepers and their families! These restored and re-purposed cottages sit right on the path to the lighthouse.

Check out the nearby ‘Heads’.

  • Hat Head
    • This area is great for beach fishing, rock fishing and deep-sea fishing.
    • Isolated beaches to the south are there for the more experienced surfers and the southern end of Hat Head is more suited for beginners.
    • Hat Head National Park is well worth exploring with its stunning walking tracks, incredible sand dunes and beautiful, clear lakes.
    • Snorkel in Hat Head Creek.
    • There is a great campground in between the ocean, river and national park.
  • Crescent Head
    • This is one of the most famous surf spots in all of Australia and is home to the annual Crescent Head Malibu Classic.
    • Killick Creek is great for young kids and families.
    • Beautiful beaches are everywhere around here! Try Point Plomer for surfing, Goolawah Beach for some ‘alone’ time and if the weather is right, Delicate Beach for snorkelling.
  • Scott’s Head
    • Great for young kids. With its calm waves and a large, sandy, patrolled (during Summer holidays) beach, it’s a favourite holiday destination for young families.
    • There are a number of surf spots with a variety of surf breaks.
    • Camping or Day Trips. There is a lovely camping and recreation reserve right by the beach with great amenities, fresh water, picnic tables and free gas BBQ’s.
    • Bushwalking
    • Fishing.

2. Coffs Harbour

 

  • The Promised Land, near Bellingen, NSW. This lush, peaceful and almost magical destination is a hidden gem in the Never Never region. Crystal clear creeks and waterholes, impressive mountains, rolling green hills and majestic homesteads make this perfect for swimming, relaxing, cycling or walking on the many trails.
  • If you have a couple of days to spare, you can do the Waterfall Way Drive. Check out our pre-planned trip on Campedia.

 

  • Moonee, another hidden gem not far from Coffs Harbour is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
    • Catch the tide as it flows out to the ocean by floating down Moonee Creek on a lilo. It takes a very relaxing three hours.
    • Explore Look At Me Headland. It’s an easy 1.6km hike with stunning views the whole way.
    • Surfing.
    • Fishing.
  • Orara East State Forest
    • Take in the sweeping panoramic views over Coffs Harbour and the surrounding mountains from the Forest Sky Pier, a 15-metre-high, 21-metre-long lookout jutting out over the forest below.
    • Coffs Treetops awaits those who want to ‘monkey around’ in the trees. Great for the kids!
    • Do one of the many rainforest walks ranging from 10 minutes to 3 hours. Tracks are well maintained and sign posted.

3.Black Rocks, Bundjalung National Park, NSW

Sand dunes, huge black rocks, perfect grassy campsites, and a spectacular coastline – this is Black Rocks, NSW – an incredible natural paradise about 60km north of Grafton.

  • Kayak along the beautiful tree-lined Jerusalem Creek, go for a walk and have a bite to eat in the Booroora Picnic Area. 4.6km one way.
  • Daytrip to Woody Head and/or Iluka, both spectacular places. If you have some extra time to spend in the area, Woody Head Campground is a favourite of ours. The beach is just beautiful!
  • Beach fishing on Ten Mile Beach.

4. Springbrook National Park

An ancient wonderland of rainforests, waterfalls, escarpments, rock formations and valleys just 45 minutes from the Gold Coast. You could easily spend a few days exploring here. Click here to see more.

 

  • Waterfalls
    • Purlingbrook Falls (4km)
    • Twin Falls Circuit (2 hours, 4km return)
  • Natural Bridge, a stunning rock formation with a small waterfall, is well known for its glow worms, fireflies and other wildlife. It’s a lovely walk but swimming is no longer permitted.
  • The Best of All Lookout surely does live up to its name. It’s more a question of ‘What can’t you see?’ than ‘What can you see?’ The dazzling Gold Coast Hinterland stretches right out to the Pacific Ocean and as far as Byron Bay; an extraordinary sweeping panorama of Queensland and New South Wales.
  • Springbrook State School, a heritage listed schoolhouse erected in 1911.

5.Cooloola Coast

The famous rainbow sands, endless sweeping beaches, freshwater lakes, towering sand dunes and crystal-clear waters keep beach lovers and campers returning enthusiastically to Rainbow Beach, Teewah Beach and Double Island Point. Located about two and a half hours drive north of Brisbane, this is the place to go for camping, surfing, fishing, digging up pippies, catching mud crabs, whale watching, boating and heaps of other water activities. Beach Driving and Camping Permits are required.

  • Double Island Point, which can be reached 2-3 hours either side of low tide is where the stunning scenery and many options for water activities make a really popular place to spend the day.
  • Take the 2.2km walk up to the Double Island Point Historic Lighthouse on the headland to take in the stunning 360 views. There is no accommodation and camping is not permitted at DI, so it’s day trips only. Don’t forget to check the tides!
  • Rainbow Beach with its famous, coloured sands, impressive Carlo Sand Blow and around 30km of beach is also a favourite holiday destination. There is plenty of accommodation to choose from including camping, resorts and beach houses.

 

As I mentioned at the beginning, the entire east coast is stunning and you could spend months, if not years enjoying all that it has to offer. I hope this has given you a glimpse into the endless possibilities  available to you! Please, let us know in the comments if you have been to any of these places and what are your favourite east coast holiday destinations. Happy exploring and safe travels!

Quick & Easy Lamb Ragu

Quick & Easy Lamb Ragu

This is a delicious and easy way to use up your leftover lamb. In fact, it’s so tasty, it’s worth buying some if you don’t have any in the fridge!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch bok choy, rinsed and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp crushed/minced garlic (or to taste)
  • 500-800g g cooked lamb leftovers cut into small pieces
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes or 350 ml passata
  • 300 ml chicken broth or stock
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • Herbamere, or salt and pepper
  • 250 g pasta ( we use konjac pasta)
  • Parmesan to serve

Method:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté onion over a gentle heat with a lid on for 5 minutes until translucent, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the lamb and garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes over a low heat.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes (or passata), stock, bay leaves, and seasoning. Turn up the heat until it boils.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer (lid off) for 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  5. Meanwhile, cook your pasta and drain.
  6. When the ragu is ready, remove bay leaves and mix the pasta with the sauce.
  7. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

 

Tips:

  • Replace bay leaves with a couple of sprigs of rosemary or thyme
  • Add other veggies (use whatever is in the fridge!)
  • Add a splash of red wine
Cheesy Veggie Cups

Cheesy Veggie Cups

Easy, delicious and made with almost no mess, these cheesy veggie cups will surely become your new favourite dish! Simply mix all the ingredients together and pop them in the air fryer. This is also low carb.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • Spray oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup diced veggies
  • 3/4 cup grated cheese + extra for topping.
  • 2 Tbsp cream
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • Herbs and spices (I use Herbamere)

Method:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk eggs, cream, milk and herbs/spices.
  2. Add cheese and vegetables and stir to combine.
  3. Spray whatever dish you will be cooking them in with oil.
  4. Divide mixture beween dishes.
  5. Bake in air fryer for 12 minutes at 180C.
  6. Add remaining cheese and cook for a further 4-5 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.

Tips:

  • Can be cooked in a regular oven, simply allow oven to pre-heat before cooking and adjust cooking times to suit.
  • This is a delicious breakfast dish.
  • Play with your flavourings. Garlic, paprika, onion powder, different herbs etc.
  • Add some crumbled bacon and spring onion.
  • I use ramekins but you can cook this in one bigger dish if you prefer. Adjust cooking times to suit.
  • I keep little frozen packets of veggies in the freezer as it takes up less room. I use one of these for my veggies.
  • Serve on its own or with 1/2 an avocado or side salad.
Creamy Chicken Soup

Creamy Chicken Soup

This gluten-free chicken soup is so deliciously creamy and smooth, you would hardly know there’s chicken in it!

Ingredients:

  • 50 g parmesan cheese, cubed
  • 500 g chicken thighs, roughly chopped
  • 600 g milk of choice
  • 300 g chicken broth (see notes)
  • 1 large potato, cubed (option to peel)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50 g butter
  • 100 g cream
  • Salt & pepper to taste (I use Herbamere)

 

Method:

  1. Place Parmesan into the Thermomix bowl and mill 10 sec/speed 10. Remove from bowl and set aside.
  2. Place chicken in bowl and chop 10 sec/speed 7.
  3. Add milk, water, broth and potato and cook 15 min/Varoma/speed 1.
  4. Add Parmesan and, butter and egg yolks and blend 2 min gradually increasing to speed 10.
  5. Add cream and blend 20 sec/speed 10.
  6. Serve as is or with crumbled bacon pieces and herbs of choice.

Note:

  • If too thick, add more milk or water and blend 20 sec/speed 10.
  • Substitute 300 g water and 1 chicken stock cube for chicken broth.
  • I have forgotten to add the cream, and it’s been fine!
  • Be creative and let me know what you come up with in the comments 🙂

 

11 Fathers Day Gifts He Will Love

11 Fathers Day Gifts He Will Love

Give dad a gift you know he will love this Father’s Day! From camp chairs to jump starters, from MaxTrax to fire pits. It’s all here.

MAXTRAX

 Every outdoor enthusiast needs a set of MaxTrax, but only the cool kids run the limited edition Turquoise Mk II. Get onto it before they’re all gone!

SHOP HERE

Read more here

campgrill

So good that I even got my dad one! We love our Campgrill and use it whenever we can. It’s Chris’s favourite way to cook, looks great, keeps us warm, is light weight and packs down really small. Head over to the Camp Grill website and use our code ADUCREW for a discount off your purchase.

 

SHOP HERE

knobby underwear subscription

Chris gave me a subscription for mother’s day about 4 years ago. BEST GIFT EVER! Seriously. We’ve  both worn and loved Knobby’s for over 4 years so you can imagine how many sets we have between us now! Not only do you get a funky new design delivered to your door every month, you get the comfiest underwear around. Designed on the sunny coast and worn world-wide. Join the Knobby Nation now! I mean, buy a subscription for your dad. Haha. Use our exclusive code ADUCREW to get a discount off your first subscription.  Click here to read more.

SHOP HERE

hema hx-2 navigator

We would have been lost many, many times without our Hema! It is our 100% must-have for touring and means that when we lose internet and phone service, we can still see exactly were we are, where we are going and all the fun stuff nearby.  Featuring Australia’s best topographic mapping, turn-by-turn navigation and over 40,000 campsites, caravan parks and other touring points of interest in a 7-inch multi-touch screen, it is a MUST HAVE!

Head over to the Caravan RV Camping website and use our codes for a discount off your purchase. Codes are valid for any item on the CRVC website!

  • Use code ADUCREW40 in the shopping cart to get $40 off any product over $1,000

  • Use code ADUCREW50 in the shopping cart to get $50 off any product over $1,700

  • Use code ADUCREW75 in the shopping cart to get $75 off any product over $5,000

SHOP HERE

best camp chairs ever

We kid you not. We have tried many over ther years and none come close to our Firenze chairs from Dometic. We have both styles, the Lounge Firenze and the Serene Firenze Relaxer (aka the anti-social chair). Use our code ADUCREW for a discount off your purchase on these and heaps of other Dometic products! Read more here.

SHOP HERE

bbq arm

 

Designed for camping and 4WD enthusiasts, this is the must-have caravan, camping and 4WD accessory. We used this all the time before our slide-out kitchens came along.

We had a mount near the tow bar of our 4WD and one on the side of the van – it’s a really handy little gadget! No need to lug the bulky BBQ trolley around anymore.

Head over to the BBQARM website and use our code ADUCREW for a discount off your purchase.

 

SHOP HERE

portable fridge

Choose the fridge you think the dad in your life will love, enter the discount code and then sit back and relax, knowing you’ve just given him the best gift out of everyone!

Head over to the Caravan RV Camping website and use our codes for a discount off your purchase. Codes are valid for any item on the CRVC website!

  • Use code ADUCREW40 in the shopping cart to get $40 off any product over $1,000

  • Use code ADUCREW50 in the shopping cart to get $50 off any product over $1,700

  • Use code ADUCREW75 in the shopping cart to get $75 off any product over $5,000

SHOP FRIDGES HERE

tidy turf mats

These Aussie hand-made mats are THE BEST for getting rid of excess debris that’s stuck to your feet or your shoes … think sand, wet grass, mud and whatever else you, your mates , your dog or your kids might of stepped in! Use our exclusive code ADU10 to get a discount! Click here to read more.

SHOP HERE

portable jump starter

We haven’t needed to use it yet, but we have rescued someone at the Devils Marbles who did! Avoid being stuck with a dead vehicle battery thanks to the Dometic PJS118 portable jump starter. Powered by lithium polymer technology it’s perfect for starting a flat 4WD battery. Cables, laptop connectors, alligator clips and a compact carry case are included for ultimate convenience and portability. Use our exclusive code ADUCREW to get a discount on this and heaps of other Dometic Products! Click here to read more.

SHOP HERE

lskd gear

 

You can’t go wrong with LSKD as a gift for anyone! We have been wearing this brand since the very beginning and love it! Use our code CREWADU to get a discount off all non-sale items! Click here to read more.

SHOP HERE

insulated drinkware

  

We use them everyday and we love them! They keep our coffee hot and our kombucha cold all day! All styles come in three colours: the stone-inspired Ore, earthy Moss and the energetic Mango! Use our exclusive code ADUCREW to get a discount on this and heaps of other Dometic Products! Click here to read more.

 

SHOP HERE