In response to a post by Tom who is travelling soon along the NSW Coast, I was inspired to share some travel advice which I thought I would also share here.
Hey Tom, as I am originally from the North Coast – Porpoise Spit as I sometimes call it – I can offer a bit of advice about that area.
Hereś a few suggested stops… as you drive from Sydney north to Brisbane (and goodness knows I have done the area a few times)
Myall Lakes/Seal Rocks – absolutely beautiful area. Itś well worth going off the Pacific Highway for a while. You see the bush and the coast meet. A good friendś parents have a holiday house there which I stayed at a couple of years ago. Just beautiful.
Crescent Head – near Kempsey – is a great little coastal town. The coast curves around and thereś lots to see. The pub is the centre of community activity on almost any night and itś a nice spot too.
Yamba – A really nice seaside town which is undergoing some development, but is still nice. Catch the punt over to Iluka if you want a more general coastal town.
New Italy – a little heritage park about the large number of Italians who settled on the North Coast. Quite a fascinating story. And they serve half-decent coffee.
Keep going straight through Ballina and head to Lennox…
Lennox Head – one of the great secrets is Lake Ainsworth. The lake is surrounded by ti-tree, giving the water a dark colour. We used to call it the coke lake as a child, as the colour of the water resembles coca cola. Itś great to go for a swim in the ocean and then to chill out at Lake Ainsoworth. Total secret – dont tell anyone!
Lismore – call in and say hi to my family. OK, not that interesting I guess.
Nimbin – itś worth a look, if only to be approached by someone in the street offering you drugs. As a local, I find it all pretty boring, except a good mate from school and his boyfriend now live there. But itś worth a look for novelty value. When people approach you offering drugs, just keep walking.
MInyon Falls – always a favourite as a child, theyŕe a fantastic place to chill out.
Byron Bay – Visit the lighthouse, go to the nudie beach at Kings Beach if you want, and take a brief look. Honestly, itś busier than Bondi though, and not half as interesting IMHO. The nearby town of Brunswick Heads is much nicer.
Pottsville – rather than take the highway, I would suggest a coastal diversion via Wooyung, that takes you to places like Pottsville and KIngscliff.