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Pacific Coast Express
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Your Example Itinerary
Fly from the UK to Sydney.
Explore the sights and sounds of postcard-perfect Sydney Harbour, hit the shops and test out the quirky cafes. Perhaps take a look around Darling Harbour, where a collection of top class waterside restaurants serving food from all over the world awaits. While you’re here, take a wander through the pretty Chinese Garden of Friendship and the excellent Sydney Aquarium, home to over 700 species including grey nurse sharks and two dugongs, Pig and Wuru.
Transfer back to Sydney airport and board your flight to laid-back Byron Bay, a popular surfing, scuba diving and beach lounging spot. Even if you’ve never surfed before, Byron’s the perfect place to learn, and you may even find the odd pod of dolphins swimming alongside you. Another highly recommended activity is the walk (or cycle) up to Byron Lighthouse, along wild coastal cliffs. There’s a café at the end of the walk, but the best bit is the far-reaching coastal views and the opportunity to spot humpback whales. Get in touch with your spiritual side as Byron has become something of a holistic centre, with shops selling crystals and alternative therapies.
Cool off with a refreshing dip at one of Coffs Harbour’s sheltered beaches and, if you’re here between June and November, look out for whales and dolphins offshore. Shearwaters also nest here, with eggs hatching around the end of the summer (UK winter) on Muttonbird Island. Be sure to stop off at the roadside Big Banana, a tacky but brilliant tourist attraction that does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s a giant banana. The original of Australia’s collection of Big Things, you can pose for photos here while eating banana cake, banana bread, and banana smoothies, and buy copious amounts of banana-themed souvenirs.
Walk the coastal pathways and check out the sea views in Port Stephens. Explore the nearby Stockton Bight Sand Dunes by quad bike, 4x4 or on foot, or perhaps try your hand at sand boarding. Some of the dunes are over 30 metres in height, and form the longest landscape of moving sand dunes in the southern hemisphere. Climb to the top of Tomaree Hill for views of the bay and offshore islands, or check out the World War 2 artillery guns. Look out for whales from May to November, while dolphins can be spotted year round.
Return to Sydney and see the harbour from a whole new perspective. Put on your jump suit, strap on your harness and don’t look down as you climb up to the 134 metre arch of the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. Head down to Bondi and walk the clifftop coastal walk to Coogee, six kilometres of beaches, parks, cliffs, bays and sea views. Or, if walking’s your thing, take the waterside route between the Opera House and the Botanic Gardens for great harbour vistas.
Depart Sydney and return to the UK.
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