I recently did a road trip in New South Wales, Australia, with another friend covering Blue Mountains, Capertee, Mudgee, Quirindi and Charlestown (Redhead Beach) in the Central and North Coast of NSW, and then Kiama, Wollongong, Jervis Bay, Macquarie Pass, Southern Highlands, Saddleback Mountain and Jamberoo Valley on the South Coast of NSW. We had rented a compact SUV from Avis car rentals for the trip. Here are some highlights from our trip to the Central and North Coast of NSW.
1. Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains is a rugged region west of Sydney in Australia’s New South Wales. It is popular for its precipitous landscapes comprising of steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls and small villages. The region has many bushwalking trails. Blue Mountains was the first stop on our road trip in NSW where we spent the night in Katoomba, a chief town in the city of Blue Mountains. From Katoomba we were able to drive to all the major attractions including the “Three Sisters” and the Katoomba Cascades.
2. MUDGEE VIA CAPERTEE VALLEY
On the second day of our road trip, we drove to Mudgee via Capertee, a mountain village located 45 kms north of Lithglow. It is 800 metres above sea level and surrounded by national parks and grazing land. The Capertee Valley is the world’s second largest canyon. It is surrounded by the wonders of World Heritage Listed wilderness. After driving for 35 kms on the Mudgee road, past the villages of Cullen Bullen and Ben Bullen, we reached the small town of Capertee. We took the Tourist Drive 2 which was the road on our right to Glen Davis that descended into the valley. The road was so scenic that it was really well worth the diversion.
3. VISITING MUDGEE
Mudgee is a small town 260 kms north-west of Sydney and is known for its colonial buildings and wineries. In Mudgee, we connected with a local photographer Noel Dawson and his lovely wife Sharyn, who took us around to some of the well-known wineries and a couple of really nice scenic spots along the Cudgegong River. We also visited a Traveling Stock Reserve. We ended our trip in Mudgee with lunch at a cute side-walk cafe.
4. MUDGEE TO QUIRINDI
Mudgee to Quirindi is a distance of 220 kms and can be covered in about 2 hours and 45 minutes. After stopping over in Mudgee for the night, we drove to Quirindi the next morning hoping to visit the famous sunflower fields in the Liverpool Plains. However, by the time we arrived in Quirindi, the sunflowers had started to wilt. Even then, Quirindi was a nice stop to make as the drive there was absolutely breathtaking and I had my best coffee there!
5. RED HEAD BEACH, RED HEAD
Redhead is a coastal suburb of the city of Lake Macquarie in New South Wales. It is famous for the Redhead Beach that boasts stunning cliffs and sand dunes. From Quirindi we drove through Hunter Valley to arrive in Charlestown where we stayed at the Mercure Charlestown Hotel. Even though it was raining heavily when we were there, we managed to get out to the ocean pools and have lunch in town. It only cleared out on the last day of our stay and we stopped at the Redhead Beach before driving back to Sydney. We also stopped at the Lindt factory outlet and Ikea just before entering Sydney.