18 days in New South Wales Itinerary

18 days in New South Wales Itinerary

Created using Inspirock New South Wales itinerary planner

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Route & dates

18 days in New South Wales Itinerary

Start: Cape Town
Fly:  17​h 45​min
1
Sydney
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Katoomba
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
3
Dubbo
— 1 night
Fly + bus:  5​h 30​min
4
Byron Bay
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
5
Coffs Harbour
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
6
Port Macquarie
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
7
Newcastle
— 3 nights
train + Fly:  24​h
End: Cape Town

3
nights
Sydney

Sydney ©
Lent iconic status as a result of its famous bridge and opera house, Sydney has a down-to-earth charm that enhances its spectacular setting and functional efficiency.
Sydney is known for nightlife, trails, beaches, parks, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire the natural beauty at The Royal Botanic Garden, take a stroll through The Rocks, see the interesting displays at Australian National Maritime Museum, and enjoy the sand and surf at Bondi Beach.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Sydney tour itinerary planner .

Cape Town, South Africa to Sydney is an approximately 18-hour flight. You'll lose 8 hours traveling from Cape Town to Sydney due to the time zone difference. In December, daytime highs in Sydney are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Katoomba.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
The Rocks ©
The Rocks
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney ©
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach

2
nights
Katoomba

Located off of the Great Western Highway, Katoomba is the main hub of the City of Blue Mountains.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Fri): make a trip to Leura Cascades, then take in the dramatic scenery at Wentworth Falls, and then scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour. On your second day here, take some stellar pictures from The Three Sisters, then hike along The Giant Stairway, then make a trip to Gallery Blackheath, and finally get great views at Govetts Leap.

To find reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Katoomba trip itinerary tool .

Traveling by car from Sydney to Katoomba takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. December in Katoomba sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 19°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Dubbo.

Things to do in Katoomba

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Blackheath, Leura Cascades
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Govetts Leap ©
Govetts Leap
Wentworth Falls ©
Wentworth Falls

1
night
Dubbo

Dubbo ©
Visit the city of Dubbo, the most populous urban area in the Orana Region, for an exciting and thriving multicultural city from which to explore the surrounding Great Western Plains.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Sun): contemplate the long history of Old Dubbo Gaol, get lost in a book at Macquarie Regional Library, then admire the natural beauty at Shoyoen Japanese Garden, and finally don't miss a visit to Alladins Cave Bottle House.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Dubbo fast, fun, and easy.

Getting from Katoomba to Dubbo by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a train; or do a combination of train and flight. When traveling from Katoomba in December, plan for a bit warmer days in Dubbo, with highs around 38°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun) early enough to travel to Byron Bay.

Things to do in Dubbo

Parks Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Old Dubbo Gaol ©
Old Dubbo Gaol
Macquarie Regional Library ©
Macquarie Regional Library
Alladins Cave Bottle House ©
Alladins Cave Bottle House

1
night
Byron Bay

Named after Lord Byron's grandfather, Byron Bay is not only famous as the easternmost point of Australia, but even more so as one of the liveliest vacation spots in the country.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Mon): experience rural life at The Farm Byron Bay, then glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, and then get interesting insight from Tours. Here are some ideas for day two: identify plant and animal life at Broken Head Nature Reserve, then enjoy the sand and surf at Lennox Head Beach, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Belongil Beach, and finally soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

For reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Byron Bay route planner .

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Dubbo to Byron Bay in 5.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of train and bus. While traveling from Dubbo, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Byron Bay, ranging from highs of 34°C to lows of 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) early enough to drive to Coffs Harbour.

Things to do in Byron Bay

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Lennox Head Beach, Broken Head Nature Reserve
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Belongil Beach ©
Belongil Beach
Kayaking & Canoeing

2
nights
Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour ©
Nestled between the mountains and the ocean, Coffs Harbour is one of the larger cities in New South Wales.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Wed): get great views at Forest Sky Pier, meet the residents at Pet Porpoise Pool - Dolphin Marine Magic, then kick back and relax at Coffs Harbour Beach, and finally don't miss a visit to Cunningham’s Big Bunch. On the next day, identify plant and animal life at Coffs Harbour Butterfly House, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Dorrigo National Park, and then explore the activities along Urunga Wetlands Boardwalk.

For more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Coffs Harbour trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Byron Bay to Coffs Harbour takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Byron Bay in December, expect nights in Coffs Harbour to be about the same, around 21°C, while days are slightly colder, around 30°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Thu) so you can drive to Port Macquarie.

Things to do in Coffs Harbour

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Urunga Wetlands Boardwalk, Parque Nacional de Dorrigo
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Coffs Harbour Butterfly House ©
Coffs Harbour Butterfly House
Forest Sky Pier ©
Forest Sky Pier
Dolphin Marine Conservation Park ©
Dolphin Marine Conservation Park

2
nights
Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie ©
Known for its numerous beaches and resident koala population, Port Macquarie offers visitors a welcoming environment in which to unwind.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Fri): admire nature's wide array of creatures at Billabong Zoo: Koala & Wildlife Park, then relax in the rural setting at Ricardoes Tomatoes and U-Pick Strawberry Farm, and then trek along Coastal walk. On the next day, enjoy the sea views from Tacking Point Lighthouse, then explore the striking landscape of Sea Acres Rainforest Centre Port Macquarie, and then identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas.

To see maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Port Macquarie travel itinerary planner.

You can drive from Coffs Harbour to Port Macquarie in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from Coffs Harbour in December, expect nights in Port Macquarie to be about the same, around 22°C, while days are little chillier, around 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Newcastle.

Things to do in Port Macquarie

Parks Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Coastal walk ©
Coastal walk
Tacking Point Lighthouse ©
Tacking Point Lighthouse
Billabong Zoo: Koala & Wildlife Park ©

3
nights
Newcastle

Newcastle ©
While Newcastle is known for its coal exports, it's also made a name for itself with a cultural boom.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Tomaree Head and Blackbutt Reserve. Change things up with these side-trips from Newcastle: Zenith Beach (in Shoal Bay), Barry Park (in Fingal Bay) and Nelson Bay (Dolphin & Whale Watching & Gan Gan Lookout). Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Nobbys Beach, examine the collection at Newcastle Museum, explore and take pictures at Fort Scratchley, and go for a stroll along the water at Watt Street Wharf.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Newcastle vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from Port Macquarie to Newcastle in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Port Macquarie in December, you will find days in Newcastle are somewhat warmer (33°C), and nights are about the same (19°C). Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Newcastle

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Shoal Bay, Nelson Bay, Barry Park
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Tomaree Head ©
Tomaree Head
Gan Gan Lookout ©
Gan Gan Lookout
Nobbys Beach ©
Nobbys Beach

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