As you wind your way to Byron, you'll see the world outside your car window transform from rugged southern coastline to lush subtropics. As well as the stunning scenery, though, there’s so much to see and do. We've pulled together our favourite pit stops along the journey.
658 Church Street, Richmond, VIC
It’s going to be a long drive, so grab an early-morning coffee before you jump onto the M1. This local favourite pulls shots with Five Senses beans and is open from 7am.
Mackenzie River Rainforest Walk
Bemm River Scenic Reserve, VIC
Just off the Princes Highway, this popular walk will take you just 30 minutes. That's enough time to stretch your legs without delaying your journey too much.
134 Imlay Street, Eden, NSW
A short walk from Twofold Bay, this cafe perfectly reflects Eden’s focus on health and wellbeing. It also serves a fantastic muesli parfait.
Woodbine Park Eco Cabins
Sapphire Coast Drive, Merimbula, NSW
Nestled in the leafy surrounds of Bournda National Park, the sound of kookaburras will be your alarm clock.
Bermagui Oyster Room
14 Lamont Street, Bermagui, NSW
Wapengo Rocks oysters are grown in the clear water of Mimosa Rocks National Park. Stop in for a dozen with local oyster farmer Shane Buckley.
East Lynne Store
Princes Highway, East Lynne, NSW
Don’t let the street frontage deceive you. It may appear to be an abandoned petrol station, but this cafe is serving some of Australia’s best apple pies.
Jervis Bay, NSW
Although we’re not too sure who measures these things, Hyams Beach is worth a stop to see “the whitest sand in the world”.
The Butcher’s Block
15 Redleaf Avenue, Wahroonga, NSW
Pick up breakfast inside the Sydney city limits. Wahroonga locals swear by the pesto eggs, plus it’s only two minutes from the highway.
Shop 17, 200–212 Hunter Street, Newcastle, NSW
A Newcastle institution, Doughheads serves some of the best doughnuts on the east coast. Get in early, though, they’re known to sell out before noon.
Auld and Grey
92 Maitland Road, Islington, NSW
Just outside Newcastle, this store is a favourite for Sydney stylists, who come up to scour for props. Despite its popularity, there’s still a bargain or two to be found.
Bellingen Artist Retreat
You’re sure to get a good night’s rest at this quiet farmhouse, set on 25 acres just outside of town. It sleeps four people and you also get private access to Never Never Creek.
5 Church Street Bellingen, NSW
Right near the Bellinger River, this sprawling cafe is definitely the best breakfast spot in town. You can’t go past the bagel with smoked ham, tomato and cream cheese.
The Big Banana
351 Pacific Highway, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Get that touristy photo you’ve always wanted in front of the iconic Big Banana. Plus, if you haven't booked anywhere to stay, there's a whole road of motels nearby.
Ulmarra Commercial Hotel
2 Coldstream Street, Ulmarra, between Ballina and Grafton, NSW
Just past Grafton you’ll find Ulmarra, home to one of the most scenic beer gardens in New South Wales overlooking the Clarence River.
Bay Street, Byron Bay, NSW
A great place to stay or head down to for sunset. The hotel’s Top Pub is an institution, and the only place in town you can get a beer overlooking the main beach.
2 Jonson Street, Byron Bay, NSW
One of the most popular restaurants in Byron, there will be a wait but the food is worth it. The crispy fish tacos and chipotle chicken nachos are a must.
It’s worth making the drive over early for Wategos because this side of the point gets sunrise first. This popular beach can get pretty busy during the day, but in the morning you’re likely to be sharing the waves with just a couple of surfers.
18 Old Pacific Highway, Newrybar Village, NSW
Twenty minutes outside of Byron on the Old Pacific Highway, the much-acclaimed Harvest is a destination unto itself. Come coffee time, forget about soy or almond, and get your flat white with the house-made coconut milk.
Spell and the Gypsy Collective
1/1 Marvell Street, Byron Bay, NSW
A Byron institution, worth a stop if you think the clothes you’ve packed might not be festival-ready. Definitely with a hippie aesthetic, the label is known for its flares, jumpsuits and kimonos.
Naked Treaties Raw Bar
2/3 Marvell Street, Byron Bay NSW
Serving raw cakes and superfood smoothies with names such as “I Radiate Health” and “I am Love”, a stop here will help get you into the right frame of mind.
6/142 Bangalow Road, Byron Bay
Keep an eye out for this place if you come into town via Bangelow Road, right near the Bluesfest ticket office. The Indian-influenced menu has a standout curry and good kombucha.