At Easter, no less. And we survived, with minimal marital disharmony. How? With a little planning, the essential breaking of the trip at Coffs Harbour and a finely tweaked itunes playlist.
Day 1: Sydney to Coffs Harbour
The really boring bits are pretty well everything thing up to the manning Valley- in my humble opinion. Although, we did have a bright spot sailing through Buladelah with One Directions One Thing blaring out the windows. We really shook that town up. So sad.
Fredo’s Pies at Fredrickton
The quintessential lunch stop is at Fredo’s Pies at Fredrickton about 10 minutes north of Kempsey. We watched a black beemer sportsmobile wth very gorgeous occupants pull in, look and pull back out again. And no wonder, this is simple travel food, the type of travel food that all the how to travel books tell you not to eat. Whatever. With 50 varieties of pies, including a huge seafood & vegetarian range and an apparently world famous crocodile pie (WTF?) there is a variety to suit and harden the arteries of even the fussiest traveller…but not if you want to stay looking gorgeous, I would suggest….
Overnight at the Novotel at Coffs Harbour- just past the Big Banana, which my daughter was heard to say doesn’t seem to be as big as it used to be. My husband and I said nothing.
View from the Novotel, Pacific Bay Resort
Day 2: Coffs Harbour to Mooloolaba
OMG what a long freaking drive!
The first 96 kms to Grafton is seriously boring, but after that is quite simply gorgeous North Coast scenery.
Fields of sugarcane line the road and wonderfully wide rivers and tall bridges tell tales of when the river was a major highway. Come through at the right time and the sugar refinery at Woodburn sends sweet smelling molasses into the air, so wind your window down.
Plenty of winding down of windows at Tweed Heads as we joined a 10km Easter Monday traffic jam before losing most of it progressively through Brisbane exits.
Before all that, though, the Macadamia Castle just 10mins north of Ballina is always worth a stop. Good coffee, Byron Bay cookies and so many different types of macadamias to try and buy- enough to keep you going for the last few hours of the run, in fact.