My sister and I went on a little road trip last year. We both had our kids during our 20s, so now in our 40s, we have adult children and these types of trips are becoming possible. We had THE BEST time! Our itinerary was pretty flexible, but we ended up finding the best little spots. I thought I would share our itinerary incase anyone was interested in some of the spots we found.
We both live in Brisbane, so this was our starting point.
Mooball Post Office
We stopped at a little place on the coast called Mooball. It’s a cute little town, with some of the utility poles with cow patterns. We stopped at the Mooball Post Office which also acts as a cafe, and enjoyed a delicious freshly squeezed juice. Perfect way to start a road trip.
Part of the fun of a road trip is just exploring as you go, and we headed to the ocean and had a walk at Mooball Beach, before driving a little further down the coast.
North Head Beach & New Brighton Beach
Down a little further, we stopped at North Head Beach and Christmas Beach. Christmas Beach was a bit of a non-event, but anywhere near the ocean is so beautiful. Some of this region is dirt roads but drivable with a regular car. My sister and I enjoyed looking at all the different coastal flowers. Beautiful!
It’s not the best kind of beach for swimming but it’s just so rustic and kind of hidden away. Feels like an adventure!
Brunswick Heads has such a cool vibe. There are a heap of cool and quirky shops and cafe. Well worth the stop to explore. We happened to be driving through when they had their annual Old & Gold Festival. Essentially, in June each year, there’s a weekend where all the streets are turned into a second hand shop and people come from all around to trade and buy.
We stayed at Koara Bay as our base point, which is just outside of Coffs Harbour. It’s absolutely beautiful! We stayed at a AirBNB apartment which was right on the ocean, so we went out for a little walk each evening. The below photographs were about 20 metres from the apartment.
Just up the road from where we were staying was a little coffee caravan called Coffee Truck (41 Diggers Beach Rd, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450) and it’s open from 7am to 11am. We also stopped in at Carobana which is tucked away near suburbia. They sell delicious carob chocolate goods that are made on site. We just wished we bought more to bring home with us!
In the morning we travelled out for a day to explore Bellingen. I think if I had to reflect on the best day of 2022, this would be it. Wow, what a beautiful part of the world to explore. I’ll list below the places we stopped at, but there’s a lot more that can be explored in this region.
Old Butter Factory
The Old Butter Factory wasn’t open when we arrived, but we were able to have a squizz around. There’s a cafe/restaurant, some museum aspects, and some little shops to explore. Very quaint.
The Emporium Department Store at Belligen is an impressive building. You feel like you’re entering a department store in the 1920s or something! And wow, it is EXPENSIVE! They have a lot of high quality, high end clothes. But it’s so fun to look around.
Oh my! Hearthfire Bakery is one of the best bakeries I have ever been to! My sister and I had quiche and salad and couldn’t resist a fresh jam and cream doughnut to finish it off. It would be worth the trip just to experience this glorious food!
There is a street of shops at Belligen, and there are many lovely little places to check out. There are some good second hand shops too. I found a pair of vintage Levi jeans which fit me perfectly. One of our favourite purchases was at Awl Leather. They have these handmade leather cuffs and my sister and I both purchased one, and we wear them often.
We heard about the Promised Land from a friend. Descriptions on how to get there are a bit elusive. We even rang the local council and they kind of didn’t know how to explain where to go. We were told it’s this amazing natural oasis with an aqua blue creek. So yes, getting to the Promised Land on Promised Land Road, near Never Never Creek (Glennifer is the suburb) was a bit hard in that it is difficult to find where the entrance is (you can find more detailed instructions here). We stopped at a few places but couldn’t seem to find it, and then we found it a little further up the road! Everywhere along that road is stunning so it’s all part of the fun. There were other cars parked around the edge of a small bridge. When I say it is insanely beautiful, I’m not exaggerating. The place certainly lived up to its name. My sister and I had a walk around the mesmerising blue creek amongst the trees, and experienced such a unique sense of wellbeing. This was my favourite experience of the trip.
From the heights of Belligen, we headed back down to the coast at Urunga. There’s a long board walk that actually goes across the water which is cool. It’s great for pram and wheelchair access (although some parts are a bit narrow and bumpy).
Headlands at Woolgoolga
On the way back to Brisbane we stopped at a few different spots along the way. There’s isn’t that much by way of interesting shops etc. at Woolgoolga, but there’s a beautiful view over the headland, and this cool concrete silo.
Grafton is one of those quaint places that has such a cool vibe. I loved visiting here. There’s beautiful trees, historical homes, and edgy urban parts. It’s a good idea to start with the Grafton Information Centre as they have helpful information about where to visit.
Grafton Information Centre
The streets are beautiful!
Fig Tree Avenue
It’s worthwhile finding Fig Tree Avenue (5 Breimba St, Grafton NSW 2460) which is a suburban street lined with huge Fig Trees.
Grafton Bridge Precint
We also stoped to explore the various artwork on Grafton Bridge Precinct. Very cool.
Grafton Cathedral (9 Duke Street) is stunning. I went in for a peek.
Ulmarra was another quirky town that is worth stopping at. If you love bookstores, have a look at this one! It’s called Ulmarra Books (4 Coldstream St, Ulmarra NSW 2462) and it is brimming with books. It’s a coastal town, so there’s beautiful views and historic buildings.
Kyle & Kahn’s Korner
There’s also this beautiful street memorial called Kyle & Kahn’s Korner, dedicated to Kyle (who traficly died) & his son who is now fatherless, Kahn.
We stopped overnight at Byron Bay. Ther’s all the usual things to see here, like the seeing the Byron lighthouse. We went to the No Bones Vegan Restaurant while we were in town, and wow, so good!
No Bones Vegan Restaurant
Tweed Valley Farmhouse Cheeses
This was a random find and it ended up being another highlight spot. The Tweed Valley Farmhouse Cheeses has various cheese to purchase, a cafe, and ice cream too. Highly recommend ordering the tasting plate (pictured below). We also got a yummy toasted sandwich and finished it off with some ice-cream.
They also have some gorgeous pottery for sale from Chez Pottery, and I wished I purchased some more pieces. I especially love these little bowls and trays.
Burringbar is just a little town, but it has a few food shops and a fabulous old wares shop.
Health’s Old Wares
Health’s Old Wares (19/21 Broadway, Burringbar NSW 2483) is a huge warehouse filled with old stuff. Loved it!
There isn’t that much to see at Dum Dum, but we enjoyed just driving around the area.
The last stop before heading back to Brisbane was Mullumbimby. I wished we had more time here. It was just a coffee stop. Mullumbimby is situated right next to the Tweed River and is a lovely little town. We plan to come back and explore it a little more next time.
My sister and I just kept saying how much we enjoyed every aspect of this trip. We just didn’t want it to end quite so quickly. Until next time.