How to do a Sydney to Byron Bay Road Trip with Kids

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No doubt a road trip in itself can be a stressful matter; add to the equation kids, and let the headaches begin. But it doesn’t always have to be mirage of temper tantrums and “are we there yets”. Take away the stress of where and when by sorting through our handpicked choices of kid-friendly places to visit. Then just sit back and enjoy your Sydney (NSW) to Byron Bay Road Trip.

A road-trip along the iconic and scenic New South Wales coastal shores, is bound to have you and your kids excited. With a myriad of beautiful sites and fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. Ensuring you and the kids make memories that will last a lifetime.

Preparation and planning are a parent’s best friend when creating an incredible fun filled journey for the kids. So stay on top of your plans with everything you need to know here for the adventure ahead.

Sydney to Byron Bay drive time

With 758 km separating Sydney and Byron Bay this makes for a little over a continuous 8-hour drive, which is not recommended. Not only can it be quite dangerous but you’re also missing out on what makes a road trip so enjoyable: the journey.

When you realise it’s the journey that is important and not the destination, that’s when the real fun begins. So, take your time to discover the beauty of Australia’s coastal region, whilst taking frequent breaks and staying the night at some amazing places. Remembering that not only will this be a blast for you and your kids but it’ll no doubt bring you all closer together as a family.

Sydney to Byron Bay road trip map

Plan your journey in advance! Reduce your stress and use Google Maps to make sure you don’t miss out on any tourist hotspots and exciting activities along the way. When the inevitable “are we there yet” gets thrown your way you’ll know exactly what to tell them.

Here’s a general outline of the coastal drive from Sydney to Byron Bay so you can familiarise yourself with your route.

Sydney to Byron Bay itinerary

If you’ve ever been on a road trip or in fact any trip before, you know that having an itinerary is essential; especially when making a trip with your kids! With hours of entertainment available along the way all you have to do is pick and choose which suit you best. Therefore, everyone can get out and stretch their legs. Keep the kids happy and active as they try new things and the parents a break and keep them sane.

If you’ve already started planning your trip up NSW’s coastline, I’m sure you’ll start to become overwhelmed by the amount of options available. Well, we’re here to ease your burdens and have compiled a list of must-see places to stop-off at along the way.

These include:

  • Newcastle
  • Port Macquarie
  • Coffs Harbour
  • Balina
  • Byron Bay


Make Newcastle your first stop. After a 2-hour drive from Sydney, looking out at the beautiful beaches the kids are more than likely itching to get out, stretch their legs and test the waters.

New Castle ocean baths

The New Castle Ocean Baths is slightly further out from the hustle and bustle of the main beaches whilst still providing loads of fun for the whole family. A Canoe Pool is situated close by with shallow waters for the children to play in. Meanwhile the actual bath is a wave-free area to swim away the days worries and relax in.

The baths are cleaned regularly so ensure you double check the schedule, so no one’s disappointed!

Paymasters Kiosk

After a day of swimming and soaking in the warm rays it’s only right to grab some local grub and finish off the day off with some desert. Just a 3-minute walk from the Ocean Baths is the Kiosk well known by the locals for their great shakes and even better fish and chips. Enjoy all this while looking out at the ocean.

Newcastle Memorial Walk

But if you’re only looking to stretch your legs for an hour or so, take a stroll along the Memorial Walk. Stop along the pathway and take photos with the steel silhouettes of soldiers. This is the perfect place to teach your young ones about Australia’s history regarding the ANZAC’s in Gallipoli and in World War I. The stunning views offer a great place to reflect and pay your respects.

FIND OUT MORE: Check out the Australian Reptile Park on your way up from Sydney!

STAY: Stay at the Blue Wren Lodge, or Serenity by the Sea.

EXPLORE: Check out Hogs Breath Newcastle for some hog-tastic food.

Port Macquarie

New Castle to Port Macquarie is by far the longest travel interval standing at 2-hours and 40-minutes. Mind you if you, feel free to have shorter breaks in between, if you feel the need to.

NRMA Port Macquarie Breakwall Holiday Park

Camp out in your choice of accommodation. Containing budget friendly campsites or splurge a little and enjoy the luxury of a bay or ocean view cabin. This park has all your bases covered. With barbeque areas and onsite activities for the kids to do as well as a skate park not far away, the kids are bound to be happy. Not to mention the best of both worlds with a pool within the park and the ocean at your fingertips.

STAY: Stay at the Port Aloha, or Flynn’s Beach Villas here.

EXPLORE: Check out the Hogs Breath Café at Port Macquarie.

Coffs Harbour

The Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour trip is 1-hour and 40-minutes but is sure to have your kids bouncing in anticipation.

The Big Banana Fun Park

The Big Banana, a personal favourite of mine. With a bathroom, a café and gift shop available it’s the perfect place for a quick pit stop before you’re on your way again. However, the Big Banana boasts to be the biggest water park between Sydney and the Gold Coast, so it’s a no brainer.

Your trip isn’t complete if you don’t properly see what the Big Banana is all about. The kids are sure to have a ball here with rides, activities and a guided plantation tour for everyone. The iconic yellow fruit is a must-see destination, with a water park for the kids and a coffee refuel station for the adults. It’s a combination of fun and learning for all. Also don’t forget to snap a photo with the big bright fruit and drop by the souvenir shop and grab a token to remember the Big Banana.

STAY: Check out the Aqualuna Beach Resort, or the Beachside Beauty Hotel.


Coffs Harbour to Ballina is a little over a 2-hour drive.

Lighthouse Beach

What is a road trip without stopping at multiple beaches? Lighthouse beach will provide hours of fun in the sun for the little ones, tiring them out so you can enjoy some much needed peace and quite. Sit back and bask in the white sands and warm suns. Take in the stunning views and wait for the beautiful sunset to transform the night sky, as the waves lull your worries away. The Lighthouse beach café is within walking distance and is a tourist hotspot.

Byron Bay

And after a final 30-minute drive, we have finally arrived! Although the driving has come to an end, a new adventure is no doubt about to begin. Get settled into your accommodation and take a short nap and begin your explorations of the great Byron Bay.

Now that we’ve helped you get to your destination; we’ll leave it up to you to decide what to explore next. Remember: A little bit of spontaneity never hurt anybody! Enjoy the rest of your trip, and we hope that we have been able to alleviate some of the stress of planning in any way possible.

FIND OUT MORE: Here are the best things to do in Byron Bay with kids!

STAY: Check out Ocean Suites Byron Bay here, Discovery Parks Byron Bay here, or the Glen Villa Resort Byron Bay here.

EXPLORE: Visit the Byron Bay dolphins on this kayaking tour, and your pass to go horse riding on Byron Bay Beach here. Grab a delicious meal from the Crystal Castle Cafe here.

Here are our other wonderful road trip articles you can check out!

Check out our other NSW content here

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