7 must-do NSW road trips now restrictions have lifted

Image credit: @silasbaisch

Restrictions in NSW have lifted and so we thought it time to take a road trip and see the wonderful sights on offer outside of Sydney. From coastal roads, to winding mountain ranges and endless highways, there are several that are worth the (sometimes long) drive.

Some may require a few nights in a hotel but after being in insolation for so long, we’re definitely not going to mind. We’ll start with the closest ones to Sydney and then work our way out from there.

So, put your driving gloves and sunglasses on, jump in your car, and take a road trip.

Moss Vale Road

This is one you can do in a day, or take your time and include an overnight in the beautiful Southern Highlands. As you drive through the Morton National Park, you’ll see rainforests and valleys, and drive down mountain passes with hairpin turns.

Take your pick of where to stay from Kangaroo Valley, Bowral, Nowra, and some places in between. It’s a 2 hour, 100km one-way drive of (sometimes nail-biting) beauty.

TIP: If you head down through the Royal National Park, you could also fit in the iconic Seacliff Bridge on the coast as well – just head to Stanwell Tops and then back in and up to Moss Vale.

Distance from Sydney – 2 hours 10 mins

Mollymook Drive

Image credit: @photoholgic

Now, depending on how long you have, you can take the quick route or the scenic route – but the latter is definitely worth it if you can.

Start your drive through the Royal National Park and drive the coastal route all the way down to Nowra. Here you’ll drive over the Seacliff Bridge, past the white lighthouse of Kiama, and – if you have time – you can even pop into Berry for a fresh, warm doughnut.

If you’re a little more pressed for time, you can take the highway down to Mollymook to get straight to the beauty of the Mollymook-Ulladulla region. Here you’ll see white picket fences, rolling hills, and lots and lots of farm animals. There are also some great places to stay and eat like Rick Stein at Bannisters, Cupitt’s Winery, Milk Haus, Tallwood, and Flour Water Salt to name a few.

Distance from Sydney: 3 hours 10 mins

Thunderbolts Way

Sometimes you just want to see green fields and a few cows and sheep. Well, that’s what you’ll get when you head to the Mid-North Coast – rolling farmland, endless streams, and the heritage town of Walcha.

Start at Gloucester and following the winding road to climb to Walcha. There are a few places to stop off along the way, and if you want to get active, there’s places to kayak, hike, horse ride, camp, and more along the way.

Distance from Sydney: 4 hours 30 mins

Old Glen Innes Road

Image credit: @visitnsw

A trip down this road is like a trip through time. It’s the land of flowing waters, steep escarpments, dry ridges and lush, dark valleys. You’ll drive through a short tunnel carved out of the rock just west of Dalmorton, as you travel down a road constructed using Civilian labour during the 1800s.

Distance from Sydney: 6 hours 20 mins

The Kosciuszko Alpine Way

Image credit:  @christopher__burns

If you want to head to the mountains then the Alpine Way is quite simply, stunning. It’s quite a drive to get there, so you’ll need to plan some overnights. Start in Canberra and follow the road through beautiful alpine forests in the heart of the high country, through Jindabyne, and up to Khancoban.

Distance from Sydney: 6 hours 30 mins

The Rainforest Way

Image credit:  @timbosc

This will take you north to the Byron Bay hinterland. Here you’ll discover a World Heritage rainforest and several spectacular national parks of the Lismore region. Enjoy verdant valleys, farms full of delicious produce, volcanic plugs and craters, breathtaking lookouts, and more.

Start the drive from Murwillumbah, Lismore, Casino or Kyogle.

Distance from Sydney: 8 hours 40 mins