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Cruising the Pacific Coast Way

Cruising the Pacific Coast Way

The Pacific Coast Way begins in the Gold Coast, skirts the Pacific Ocean along the Pacific Highway, and extends onto the Bruce Highway and up to Cairns in Far North Queensland. All up, it’s an 1800-kilometre journey. Tourism Australia says it takes nine days, but why rush?

Gold Coast to Brisbane

Start your Pacific Coast road trip in the Gold Coast, which is probably the least seasonally dependent holiday spot in Australia. Any time of year is a good time to visit – whether you’re fleeing southern winters or the drenching summers of the north. But it really hums in summer months: the roaring beaches, the rolling hinterland, the night markets and, of course, the theme parks.

Despite the name, Surfers Paradise isn’t the best spot on the Gold Coast to catch waves. Just south of Surfers, the swell arcs around the Burleigh Heads National Park’s headland at one of the best point breaks in Australia. Each February, it attracts the world’s best to compete in the World Surf League’s Gold Coast Open, and is one of the more spectator-friendly surfing comps. You can grab a patch of lawn at John Laws Park and enjoy an unobstructed view of the break, or hike through the subtropical rainforest of Burleigh Heads National Park, gently rising to Tumgun Lookout – complete with panoramic views over the coastline, Tallebudgera Creek, and the surrounding hinterland. The hinterland alone is worth the visit, with lush rainforest walks, great driving routes, mountain lookouts, sleepy villages, and outdoor adventure activities.

Brisbane to Sunshine Coast

Brisbane is blessed with a near-perfect subtropical climate (rarely below 10 degrees and hovering around 30 in summer), and a network of grassy parks and drooping palm trees lining the Brisbane River, which snakes through the city’s heart. Despite the growing population, the slightly wound-back, country attitude remains, where locals are more likely to wink at you than brush past you on the street in a mad dash from here to there.

There’s a great live music scene; a flourishing and diverse cafe and foodie culture; and world-class art galleries, museums, and live theatre – a lot of it concentrated in the Queensland Cultural Centre, adjacent to South Bank. Two venues worth a visit in the Cultural Centre are the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre, and the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art – the largest modern art museum in Australia.

This is just a sneak peek! To discover more about the journey, read the Summer Edition of Caravanning Australia.

Pictured: Kent Island, Queensland. Image (C) Tourism and Events Queensland

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