Things to see and do driving from Sydney to Brisbane: The Pacific Highway

Relive the best summer holidays of your childhood by heading out of Sydney on the F3 freeway, but take the Gosford exit and meander through the string of seaside villages and resorts. If you’ve got kids creating havoc in the back, give them a break at The Entrance and let them burn off some energy at Vera’s Playground

Continue north through Newcastle, where new foreshore developments like Honeysuckle are giving the former industrial city a makeover, and on to Port Macquarie. Stop here overnight and chill out on one of the town’s 13 beaches, check out the Koala Hospital (feeding time’s 3pm), or try some of the local wine at Cassegrain winery on the edge of town.

Back on the road, stop for a snack at Freddo’s Famous Pies at Frederickton – home to the best pies in the country – and then on to beautiful Bellingen, with its galleries, restaurants and cafes.

You can’t drive through Coffs Harbour without a visit to the infamous Big Banana. Check out the fun rides, including the toboggan, ice-skating, a real snow slope and the best chocolate-covered frozen bananas you’ve ever tasted. Another big thing is just three hours up the road – Ballina’s big prawn.

Stretch the legs at Uki, a cute town overshadowed by the dominating peak of Mt Warning (LEFT), then cross the border into Queensland. Have some quality quiet time with the glowworms of Springbrook National Park, before succumbing to the non-stop action of the Gold Coast theme parks.

On the way into Brisbane, stop and check out the views across the Brisbane River at Kangaroo Point.

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