19 reasons to drive from Sydney to Byron Bay
19 reasons to drive from Sydney to Byron Bay Buzzfeed

According to Buzzfeed, we don't exist

IT'S OFFICIAL, the Clarence Valley does not exist.

According to major online news publication Buzzfeed, the 264km between Bellingen and Byron Bay does not exist.

When reading the headline: 19 Reasons You Need to Drive From Sydney to Byron Bay Once in Your Life, you think, PERFECT, Yamba will get a mention at the very least!

Nope, not even Coffs Harbour.

 

NIGHT SWIM: Shelly and Tim Meehan from Kempsey were holidaying in Yamba when they snapped this fabulous shot of Yamba's ocean pools.
NIGHT SWIM: Shelly and Tim Meehan from Kempsey were holidaying in Yamba when they snapped this fabulous shot of Yamba's ocean pools. Contributed

Now, the Clarence Valley is often forgotten, but Coffs Harbour? That's one of the biggest tourist hot spots on the North Coast? What about the iconic photo in front of the Big Banana?

This is what Buzzfeed have listed as must-see stops along the way:

1. Pelican Feeding at The Entrance

2. Check out some chill kangaroos at the Nelson Bay Golf Club

3. Go on a dolphin watching cruise... also in Nelson Bay

4. Visit the Port Stephens lighthouse on Fingal Island. I'll give them this one, it's not in Nelson Bay.

5. A scenic walk to the summit of Tomaree Head, Port Stephens.

6. Take a stroll along One Mine Beach, Port Stephens. By the way, The Clarence Valley also have some fabulous beaches.

7. Take a Quad Bike Tour in Williamstown

8. Stay a night at the Boogie Woogie Beach House at Old Bar

9. A visit to the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie - OK, we will give them this one.

10. Spend some more time in Port Macquarie and eat some fish and chips. We have these too, they are incredible.

11. Rain Forest Walk in Sea Acres National Park.

12. Spend some more time in Port Macquarie and check out their many beaches. The Clarence Valley has a few of those too.

13. Now we're at Crescent Head, checking out the view.

14. Now the Smokey Cape Lighthouse.

15. Watching sunsets at Trial Bay in South West Rocks. Now, we hate to break it to you Buzzfeed, but we have some pretty spectacular sunsets here too.

16. We're edging closer now, with some graffiti at Nambucca Heads.

17. Cool off in the Dorrigo National Park

18. Canoe at sunset in Bellingen

19. Finally, you've made it to Byron Bay where you can hang out at the Arts Factory Lodge, having forgot 264km of coastline.

Here at The Daily Examiner, we think our home is pretty special. So we thought we should add a few extra things to the list, and maybe give our friends in Coffs Harbour a plug too.

 

A lovely humpack breach from the jetty dive boat!
A lovely humpack breach from the jetty dive boat! Bryce Forrest

Whale watch with Jetty Dive

You've seen dolphins swimming in Nelson Bay, why not catch a glimpse of whales swimming past Coffs Harbour. They've also just started a Whale Swim and watch tour, and swim with humpback whales. Jetty Dive also offer dives at the Solitary Islands Marine Park, where you will experience nature up close.

 

the big banana. 17 January 2018
the big banana. 17 January 2018 Trevor Veale

Get a photo with the Big Banana

This is almost a right of passage for anyone travelling from Sydney to Byron Bay or anywhere north of Coffs Harbour - you MUST get a photo in front of the Big Banana. Your holiday doesn't count if you don't!

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Muttonbird Island.
Muttonbird Island. Gail McDonald

Walk up Muttonbird Island

Get spectacular views of the Coffs Coast from on top Muttonbird Island.

It's a short walk with spectacular views that almost anyone could do. You can even find out more by doing a discovery tour conducted by local Gumbaynggir rangers.

 

CCA 1001 Readers images. Scout Falls.
CCA 1001 Readers images. Scout Falls. Sam Miller

Scout Falls Swimming holes in Glenreagh

This might be a little off the highway, but it's worth the trek to swim in one of the beautiful waterfalls in the Clarence Valley.

 

The historic house \
The historic house \"Ravensford\" located at 36 Villiers St in Grafton is currently on the market at McKimms Real Estate. McKimms Real Estate Grafton

Historic Grafton

As you drive the Pacific Highway to Byron Bay, you'll notice a sign as you enter South Grafton that reads: Historic Grafton, first city on the North Coast.

No, I think that automatically means old buildings and lots of history. Why not stop and check it out?

 

Spooky's Beach at Angourie.
Spooky's Beach at Angourie. WAYNE GRIFFIN

Visit Angourie

Yamba is already a tourist hot spot that shouldn't be missed, but we can't forget it's idyllic neighbour Angourie.

With the Blue and Green Pools in the old quarry, Spookys Beach, Back Beach and not to forget the headland walk.

 

Iluka Bluff
Iluka Bluff Sarah Willis

Iluka Rainforest

Be transported back to ancient times when you venture through Iluka's Rainforest, which is part of the World Heritage-listed Gondwana rainforests. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the Bluff and check out the tiny seaside down.

What do you think is the ultimate place to stop in the Coffs / Clarence Valley regions?



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