Score: 8.17

Legendary, indeed: many a New South Welshman will remember packing the family car as a kid for the road up to Coffs, or Byron, or the Gold Coast, and though there have been several (welcome) upgrades made since then, the joy of heading north along the coast hasn’t changed a bit. Take some wonderful detours through smaller beachside towns like Terrigal, Seal Rocks and Crescent Head; stop a while at Bellingen; pull in at Yamba or visit cutesy food town Bangalow. More info: Legendary Pacific Coast

Locals’ secret: Just outside Coffs Harbour is local secret Santa Fe, an eclectic South American-inspired B&B with outdoor spa, local produce-filled meals and six acres of award-winning gardens. Ignore the basic website; it’s great. From $195 a night.

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