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Sydney to Cairns Road Trip - Part One - The Poor Explorer
Sydney to Brisbane: Part One of Sydney to Cairns Road Trip There are some epic road trips in Australia. It’s basically a country begging to be explored! One of my favourite road trips has to be the drive from Sydney to Cairns. Passing through the Gold Coast and right up to of course, the legendary Cairns! Anyone who is thinking about traveling to Australia check out my suggested Itinerary for the Sydney to Cairns Road trip with cheap travel tips and stories. To see Part Two of this Itinerary click here. Time of Year Obviously because it’s Australia you can do this at any time of year. But because Cairns is so far north; summer = jellyfish and crocodile season. This makes a lot of the beaches as far south as Airlie Beach un-swimmable. Some places make up for it by having public lagoons in their popular areas. The best time to do this trip is in Winter dipping either side into Autumn and Spring (so around April until about September). In Winter you will still get perfect, hot weather, but without all the animals whose sole purpose in life is to kill you. Total Travel Time: 34hr 15min View View the road trip in a larger map Sydney The journey starts in Sydney; where I lived for three years. There is always something going on here and you will never have to look hard to find a friend. Sure, it’s dirty and mostly uninteresting but you can find hidden pockets of awesome all over the place. There’s the Moonlight Cinema in summer, the Coogee to Bondi Beach walk and endless festivals and markets. Oh, and no journey to Australia is incomplete without visiting some of the top caravan parks in Sydney. I love Sydney, and you will too! Budget Hostel: You can find hostels for as cheap as $29 a night. My fave hostel in Sydney is Base which is about $35 a night. It is also right next to an awesome backpacker nightclub, Scary Canary, with some of the cheapest drinks in Sydney. For budget accom in the in a great location is Chiliblue. Food: Totally recommend almost any Thai place in Sydney. It’s all tasty, creamy and cheap, cheap, cheap. Averages about $10-$15 a meal, or if you go in for lunch you will find an array of $7 specials. Head to Chinatown on Friday nights when they have the Street Food Night Markets. You can nab some delicious dishes for around $5. Drinking: As I said above, the Scary Canary is a great night out with cheap drinks, no cover charge and loads of cool people. The music is horrible but you will still have fun practicing your corny dance moves! Other: Sydney is actually pretty expensive if you hang in the popular areas like Darling Harbour or Bondi Beach. But there are always free events and things going on so you can easily budget here if you’re smart about it. Check the many whats on websites for Sydney. Favourite things to do: Sydney has some great (but packed) beaches. One of my fave things to do is go to the beach with an esky and have some drinks on the grass or sand with friends. There is always something happening that you can get yourself involved with at the beach; volleyball, picnics, football, BBQ’s. It’s always a great vibe. In Sydney there is something happening somewhere almost every weekend. I love going crazy and meeting new people at these events. As long as you immerse yourself in the culture, you will love this City! Best beaches for drinking on are Coogee Beach and Bronte Beach. Sydney to Newcastle (2 hours) Newcastle Just two and a half hours north, Newcastle is a great place to head when doing this road trip or even just to spend a weekend away from Sydney. A lot of backpackers skip Newcastle because it’s too close to Sydney, but if you take my advice – Don’t. It’s got beautiful empty beaches, the nightlife of a large city and loads of things to do. And here’s the best bit: it’s so much cheaper than Sydney! Here can you get a FREE surf lesson and FREE entry into a Nature Park (where you can also cuddle a koala!). Budget Hostel: There are only three backpacker hostels in Newcastle and they are all good. But the cheapest and my favourite one is Backpackers Newcastle, at around $30 a night. They have a Free BBQ on Mondays, they are the only hostel with a pool, a free shuttle bus into town and have really friendly and social staff (you will often find the staff going out with hostel goers after a shift). It’s like you’re all family when you stay here. If a hostel right on the beachfront is what you’re after check in at Newcastle Beach YHA. Food: The food here is much cheaper than Sydney. There are pub meals every weeknight and the takeaway places are cheap. My fave is the Burger with the lot at Al Gators (right near main beach) for $4.50! Drink: A night out is a bit cheaper in Newcastle too as long as you stick to bars and not the nightclubs. Some of the bars are really nice and on the harbour, such as the Brewery, which has a nightclub upstairs. A short walk from Backpackers Newcastle there is a dingy, moody local bar called the Lass O’Gowrie which I love. It has a great underground vibe with live music on almost every night of the week. The gigs are free and the drinks are cheap – it’s a great place to hang out on a weeknight. Other: Backpackers Newcastle do a Free Surfing Lesson which you won’t find at any of the others with Newcastle Surf School (Note: it’ll cost $20 to hire a board if you don’t have one). Getting around Newcastle is cheap and pretty easy (most things are within walking distance). A company called Newcastle Now have loads …