Exploring Home – Our New South Wales Road Trip | NOMADasaurus

It is not often that we get the chance to be a tourist in our home country. Having spent the better part of the last decade outside of Australia, we’ve unfortunately forgotten just how beautiful the place really is.

While Alesha is from the West Coast where we have spent most of our time when we are “home”, I am from the East; two very different worlds with unique beauty.

My home state of New South Wales boasts a rugged coastline punctuated by jutting headlands, sandy bays, historic settlements, dense rainforest, sprawling farms and vibrant surf towns.

I had long wanted to explore it. So when we found ourselves back in Australia for a few months, we embarked on our very own New South Wales road trip through the state – a trip we dubbed the #RoadTripasaurus

READ MORE: See our brand new travel to Australia guide!

We picked up a rental car from Penrith through the agency Economy reservations, and we had just over three weeks to drive as far and as deep as we wanted. We first went south, followed the coast to Wollongong and on to the country’s capital, Canberra.

Hiking Mount Kosciuszko National Park was our great object so far south, and when we had accomplished that we went north

Hugging the coast as much as possible, we stopped at some of the country’s most iconic beach towns: Bondi, Manly, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Yamba and of course Byron Bay.

Our dates coincided with two massive surf competitions, the Australian Open of Surf in Manly and the Quiksilver Pro in Snapper Rocks, which we were delighted to attend.

We sailed inland to visit Dorrigo National Parkcheck out the nation’s hippie and counterculture capital, Nimbin, and see what the lush farmland had to offer.

Our furthest destination in the north was Gold coast in Queensland where we parked the car and rested for the first time in months. However, we could not remain silent for too long as the call of nature beckoned us back on the road.

On our way back to Sydney we took the inland route, stopping at Armidale, Tamworth, Bathurst and finally over Blue Mountains.

Our entire New South Wales road trip totaled around 4000km and apart from the Gold Coast we camped every single night – sometimes for free in national parks or by a river, sometimes in paid caravans, always in our fantastic backpack tent.

This on a whim #RoadTripasaurus had the strange result of making us fall in love with our own country all over again. Although there is a huge range of East Coast Australia packages for different tours, we really enjoyed the freedom to drive on our own time. We have traveled a lot and been to some amazing places in our time.

But to this day we still maintain that Australia has some of the absolute best beaches and beautiful forests in the world. More than once Alesha and I talked about “moving home”.

The call to travel eventually took hold and before we knew it, we took it Indian Pacific from Sydney to Perth and so on to Thailand again. But we will always look back on this New South Wales road trip as starting to appreciate Australia again…

Coast to Farmland – New South Wales Road Trip

One of Australia’s most iconic sights – the Harbor Bridge and the Opera House, side by side on Sydney Harbour.
Bondi Icebergs New South Wales Road Trip
The famous Bondi icebergs at the end of Bondi Beach. You must be a member to use the pool and facilities or pay for admission, but millions of people flock to the nearby beach every year for free.
Heading south from Sydney we took the famous Sea Cliff Bridge just outside Wollongong, between Coalcliff and Clifton. This bridge cost $52 million to build and was opened in 2005.
Big Merino Goulburn New South Wales Road Trip
Australia has an affinity for “big things” and you can find these huge monuments all over the country. This is the big merino in Goulburn.
Gundaroo Sunset New South Wales Road Trip
Our first night on our #RoadTripasaurus took us to the small country town of Gundaroo, an hour from Canberra. We pitched our tent next to the football oval for a small donation and managed to capture this epic sunset over the wheat fields.
Gundaroo Milky Way New South Wales Road Trip
5 star hotel or 5 billion star hotel – which would you choose?
Gundaroo Royal Hotel New South Wales Road Trip
Gundaroo is a fascinating town that was settled in 1825. We spent a night there and were completely overwhelmed by the welcoming nature of the locals. We were invited to attend a football match, had people stop to tell us all the good places to check out in the area, and a quick beer in the local pub (one of the oldest in Australia) ended up in us spending two hours chatting with the owners and patrons. People in Australia are among the friendliest in the world.
Mount Kosciuszko Green River
A river scene in Mount Kosciuszko National Park.
Campsite Kosciuszko New South Wales Road Trip
Our second night was free at Island Bends Campground in Mount Kosciuszko National Park. Comes complete with toilet facilities and picnic tables.
Cool Camping Sunrise New South Wales Road Trip
A captivating sunrise after a massive storm rolled through the night.
Snowy River New South Wales Road Trip
One of the beautiful scenes from climbing to the top of Mount Kosciuszko – crossing the Snowy River.
Inside Msr Tent New South Wales Road Trip
This was our home for three weeks. We absolutely loved ours MSR Mutha Hubba tent and Therm-A-Rest sleeping mats and bags, and they have kept us dry and warm in some miserable conditions. They have also given us the opportunity to live in some of the most beautiful places imaginable!
Old Trees New South Wales Road Trip
Blue skies and barren trees across the New South Wales plains.
Narrabeen Beach New South Wales Road Trip
View from the top of Narrabeen Headland on the Northern Beaches of Sydney – One of the places where Jarryd grew up.
Dock Sunset New South Wales Road Trip
Quiet scenes over the Manning River in Croki.
Breaking Waves Port Macquarie New South Wales Road Trip
Port Macquarie has some great coastal walks.
Port Macquarie Beach New South Wales Road Trip
We hiked along for a few hours Port Macquarie Coastal Walk and couldn’t believe how beautiful this area is. There were goannas roaming freely in the parks and only a handful of families and travelers enjoying the stunning beaches.
Ocean Sunset New South Wales Road Trip
The sun sets over the Pacific Ocean at Nambucca Heads.
Winding Road New South Wales Road Trip
It was the kind of scenery you encounter when you take the “Waterfall Way” from Coffs Harbor to Armidale.
Jungle Hike Dorrigo National Park New South Wales Road Trip
We went on a bush walk in Dorrigo National Park and were blown away by the lush forests.
Dorrigo National Park New South Wales Road Trip
View of the 60 million year old Gondwana Rainforest in Dorrigo National Park.
Dorrigo Falls New South Wales Road Trip
Behind Crystal Shower Falls in Dorrigo National Park.
Big Waterfall New South Wales Road Trip
That’s why it’s called “Waterfall Way” – Ebor Falls, Dorrigo.
Car Tent Msr Economy Bookinger New South Wales Road Trip
Benefit of having your own vehicle and tent – being able to sleep in beautiful rural scenes like this. Economy reservations made getting a car for this road trip incredibly easy and stress-free.
Big Banana Coffs Harbor New South Wales Road Trip
Perhaps Australia’s most iconic “big thing” – The Big Banana in Coffs Harbour.
Nimbin Happy High Herbs New South Wales Road Trip
The counterculture capital of Australia, Nimbin is home to a huge collection of hippies, alternative folk and the country’s largest pro-marijuana movement. Let’s be honest – we thought we’d love this city. It basically screams everything we stand for. However, we found Nimbin to be quite commercial and too many people who had just had too much acid in their lives thought they were saving the world and themselves by eating goji berries and preaching anti-establishment mantras while snapchatting on their iPhones. Still, a worthy stopover.
Byron Bay Lighthouse New South Wales Road Trip
Byron Bay’s stunning lighthouse. This headland marks the easternmost point of the Australian mainland and is one of the most popular destinations for travelers in the country.
Snapper Rocks Quiksilver Pro New South Wales Road Trip
After the excitement of the Australian Open of Surfing, we picked up media passes Quiksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks. The world’s best surfers cut up the stable but somewhat small conditions. Congratulations to Aussie Matt Wilkinson who took out the comp!
Wombat Gold Coast New South Wales Road Trip
A Marvel Comics themed koala in Broadbeach, Gold Coast. City walks are filled with these commissioned works of art.
Natural Bridge Springbrook National Park New South Wales Road Trip
Natural Bridge in Springbrook National Park is only an hour from the Gold Coast, and definitely worth checking out.
Nsw Qld Border New South Wales Road Trip
Parked up on the border between New South Wales and Queensland. Absolute beauty in every direction.
Open Road Uki New South Wales Road Trip
The open road outside Uki, NSW.
Long Road New South Wales Road Trip
Another beautiful view driving the inland route through New South Wales.
Cool Courthouse New South Wales Road Trip
Although Australia is a young nation (in terms of European settlement, we’re not talking about the 40,000 years of Aboriginal history that is a very important part of our country’s identity), there are still plenty of great buildings around New South Wales and Victoria.
Tree Cool Clouds Road Trip in New South Wales
Clouds for days – broke as we drove through the New South Wales countryside.
Old Shack New South Wales Road Trip
A typical country scene on the inland route.
Works with tent New South Wales Road Trip
Finally finding time to settle down and get some work done at this beautiful campsite right next to a small stream.
Old Tractor New South Wales Road Trip
An old tractor left as a museum relic in one of the small towns we stopped at for a coffee break.
Valley Views New South Wales Road Trip
Looking back towards Bathurst from the Blue Mountains.
Blue Mountains Lesh New South Wales Road Trip
The Blue Mountains are famous for these types of views…
Blue Mountains Views New South Wales Road Trip
Just two hours from Sydney, the Blue Mountains can be taken as a day trip from the state capital, or if you have more time, hang out and go canyoning, hiking and rock climbing. Besides sheer, wondrous beauty, it’s a playground for adventurers!
Narrabeen Sunrise New South Wales Road Trip
Arriving back in Sydney, this was the last sunrise in Narrabeen before our #RoadTripasaurus officially ended. 25 days, 4000 km, 18 nights in our MSR tent and an epic condition. New South Wales, we’ll be back.

Our rental car was provided by the good people at Economy Bookings. Our MSR Mutha Hubba tent and Therm-A-Rest camping gear were sent to us by Cascade Designs. All opinions, thoughts, kilometers driven and hot nights spent sleeping in fields are of course our own.

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