Camperman: Campervan Hire Australia

Byron Bay to Dorrigo National Park

© Jeppe2011

Byron Bay to Dorrigo National Park

329 km | 4 hr 20 min drive time

We recommend that you take three days to do this drive, allowing yourself time to stop at some of the charming coastal villages and their magnificent beaches. All the highlights mentioned in this article as well as the best camping to be had along the way are mapped at the bottom of the page.


Ballina sits at the mouth of the Richmond river with white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Cruise the quiet backstreets to see some of the grand old houses from the 19th century. It’s a quieter more family-friendly alternative to Byron Bay and there are plenty of campervan parks in which to spend the night.

While you’re there;


We only list camping and caravan parks that are highly reviewed - four starts or more - on Trip Advisor and Google. For their locations and links to the caravan park websites, consult the map at the bottom of the page. All camping and caravan parks are marked with orange dots.

  • Big 4 Ballina Headlands
  • Discovery Parks, Ballina
  • North Coast holiday Parks Ballina


Yamba and Angourie

Yamba and Angourie are chilled out little towns favoured by surfers and fishing enthusiasts. Yamba is on the mouth of the Clarence River with neighbouring Angourie to the south. Experienced surfers head for Angourie Point. Main Beach at Yamba has an ocean pool and a grassy slope for sunbathers who prefer not to get sandy.

A walking and cycling track meanders along here to Lovers Point and Convent Beach and the Yuraygir Coastal Walk begins in Angourie. If you’re lucky you’ll spot dolphins playing off Pippi Beach.

For such small towns they have great dining options. Try the Boardroom and Bar in Yamba, or the Bar Baresco in Angourie. 


  • Yamba Waters Holiday Park

angourie blue pool australiantraveller
Blue Pool at Angourie. Photo: Australian Traveller.


Grafton is a quietly beautiful historic country town, especially in late October, when it’s flowering Jacaranda trees blanket the town in purple. But its regional gallery, grand old houses and historic pubs can be enjoyed any time of the year.


  • the Gateway Village

grafton owen wilson
Jacaranda trees in Grafton. Photo: Owen Wilson

Yuraygir National Park

Nearby is the unspoiled coastal beauty of the Yuraygir National Park. It is NSW’s longest stretch of undeveloped coastline and there are some beautiful walks and plenty of campervan-friendly campsites within the national park. We have a full article on Yuraygir National Park listing its best walks and campervan-friendly camgrounds.


  • Lake Arragan and Red Cliff Campground
  • Brooms Head Caravan Park
  • Sandon River Campground
  • Illaroo Campground
  • Minnie Water Holiday Park
  • North Coast Holiday Park Red Rock
  • North Coast Holiday Parks Corindi Beach
  • Gateway Lifestyle Lorikeet
  • NRMA Darlington Beach Resort

pebbly beach yuraygir national park
Pebbly Beach campground, Yuraygir National Park. Photo: Robe Cleary

Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour is banana farming country. Pose in front of the iconic Big Banana, tour the banana farm, and indulge in some banana ice-cream or a banana smoothie. Encounter butterflies in the Butterfly House or dolphins, seals, penguins and turtles at the Dolphin Marine Magic. All the dolphins here have either been born at Dolphin Marine Magic or are animals that have been rescued with debilitating injuries and would have been unable to survive in the wild. Coffs Harbour has many campervan parks to choose from should you wish to spend the night.

We have written a full article on Coffs Harbour listing 20 things to do, the best walks in the regions, and the best places to stay in your campervan.


  • Woolgoolga Lakeside Holiday Park
  • Woolgoolga Beach Caravan Park
  • Discovery Park Emerald Beach
  • North Coast Holiday Parks Moonee
  • Sapphire Beach Holiday Park
  • Park Beach Holiday Park

Bongil Bongil National Park

Meander through Sawtell Beach, Bongil Bongil National Park, and Mylestom. It’s a beautiful stretch of coast. Sawtell is a nice place to base yourself while exploring Bellingen and Dorrigo. There are no campgrounds in the National Park itself.


  • Sawtell Beach Holiday Park, Sawtell
  • North Coast Holiday Parks, Mylestom
  • Bellinger River Tourist Park, Repton

bongil bongil National Park
Some residents at Bongil Bongil National Park. Photo: lepita.pi via IG

bongil bongil National Park
Bongil Bongil National Park


Bellingen (12 km west of the Pacific Highway) is a gorgeous little town of misty mornings crystal clear rivers and poetic place names like The Promised Land and Never Never River. It has attracted artists and academics seeking a sustainable healthy lifestyle. At sunset the sky blackens with flying foxes. For a small town it is packed with great eateries many offering vegetarian and organic fare. 

Things to do in Bellingen

  • The Yellow Shed is a Craftworks and Garden Centre selling locally made products and art. It’s the sort of place you’ll unexpectedly find just the right gift for that hard-to-buy for friend.
  • Canoe Adventures Bellingen will rent you a kayak or canoe to explore Bellinger River. A specialty is the Full Moon tour.
  • Valery Trails and Horse Riding Centre - take a guided horse ride through the beautiful countryside and rainforest.
  • Bellingen Markets happen monthly (check dates) and has local organic fruit and vegetables, live music, local art, and fun things to do for the kids. 
  • Bellingen Brewery is in a converted factory. Besides beer they have fine wines and cocktails with an emphasis on organic and local. They share the space with Big Fig Artists and their furniture is made from local reclaimed timber. Their business model is sustainable and eco-conscious.
  • The Old Butter Factory is a cluster of artisan stores, an art gallery and a café surrounded by forest. Half the menu is vegetarian and there are plenty of gluten-free options.
  • Kombu Wholefoods is an organic grocery and healthy living store.
  • Northbank Community Garden is a community initiative and a little organic utopia. It also has chickens, a wood fired oven, and a sand pit.
  • Red Dirt Distillery is a small batch distillery making vodka, gin and liqueurs from locally grown fruits and potatoes. They also have a café and wine bar and a store selling local produce called Lick the Spoon.

Scenic Drives in Bellingen

  • The Promised Land Road loops through Glennifer and rainforest following the Never Never River. Stop for a swim in the river to really soak in the beauty of the place.
  • Darkwood Drive crosses many wooden bridges as it follows the snaking Bellinger River from Thora to Darkwood. 
  • Yo-yo Road will take you to a place called Die Happy. I'm not kidding.
  • Griffiths Lookout overlooks the Bellinger River National Park, Bellingen and the verdant green valleys right to the coast.

Bellingen. Photo: FormatC 

Bellingen. Photo: EachToOwn via IG

Bellingen. Photo: Promised Land Retreat.

Dorrigo National Park

Dorrigo is a quiet rural town and gateway to Dorrigo National Park, the loveliest and most accessible of the east coast rainforests. Here, the streams that traverse the New England Plateau tumble over the cliffs into the valleys below. Needless to say, there are some spectacular lookout points and waterfalls. There are several easy strolls within the national park as well as a number of long and more challenging bushwalks. Dorrigo is a great location for trout fishing, bushwalking and self-drive scenic tours.

Dorrigo National PArk. Photo: Discover.urself via IG

Dorrigo forest walk. Photo: baluchild via IG

Gold Coast to Sydney: an overview
Part 1: Brisbane - Gold Coast 
Part 2: Gold Coast - Byron Bay | 200 km 
Part 3: Byron Bay - Dorrigo National Park | 373 km 
Part 4: Dorrigo National Park - Myall Lakes | 362 km 
Part 5: Myall Lakes - Hunter Valley | 208 km
Part 6: Hunter Valley - Sydney | 165 km or 388 km 

The Gold Coast to Sydney drive is just one of Australia's iconic road trips. For a complete list of road trips, see our Australia Road Trip guide.

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  Hire a campervan in Gold Coast

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