Keen to get back in the car and on the open road? These are our favourite NSW road trips, and they’re packed to the brim with nature and adventure.


We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Countries on which these adventures takes place who have occupied and cared for these lands and waters for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Also Read:

NSW is Made For Road Trips

NSW is home to a drove of epic road trips. They wind along coastlines, through luscious valleys, dewy rainforests, and down dusty outback roads. These road trips link together some of the state’s most stunning national parks and all the hidden gems in between.

No matter which way you point your wheels, you’ll end up somewhere totally different, but truly spectacular. With adventures to be found in every direction.

These are our top NSW road trips – it’s time to hit the road.

Wondering what kind of road tripper you are? Take our quiz to find out!

Looking for road trips around other states? We’ve got you covered;

7 Best Road Trips in Victoria
Top 10 Road Trips in Queensland
Best 6 Tasmania Road Trips


Mountain Road Trips in NSW

1. The Greater Blue Mountains

Distance: 1200km
Start point: Sydney
End point: Sydney
Highlights: Katoomba, Capertee Valley, Wollemi National Park, Hunter Valley, Hawkesbury River, Southern Highlands


Luke mallinson, pajero, car, wolgan valley, 4wd, view, valley, blue mountains, how to prepare your car for a summer road trip


The Greater Blue Mountains Drive is truly epic. 1200km of carved mountains and valleys, ancient forests, historic townships and delicious local food and bevs! Make your way to the heart of the Blue Mountains, Katoomba and the Three Sisters, before winding your way through the grandeur that is the Blue Mountains National Park.

Once you reach Lithgow, toss a coin to figure out the rest! Heads mean north, tails means south. North will take you on a loop of Wollemi National Park, from Mudgee, to Musswellbrook, down to the Hawkesbury River, Hunter Valley and back to suburbia.

South will loop you around Kanangra-Boyd National Park to Oberon, down to Goulburn and the Southern Highlands, then back up to the city.

Love getting lost in nature? Sounds like you’re a Nature Frother


How To Get There

Driving North


Driving South

2. Kosciuszko Alpine Way

Distance: 507km
Start point: Canberra
End point: Kosciuszko National Park
Highlights: Cooma, Jindabyne, summiting Mt Kosciusko Australia’s highest mountain, Yarrangobilly Caves, snow-capped mountains and Snow Gums


Ain Raadik, Southern Alps, We Are Explorers, Destination NSW, Kosciuszko, mountain, snow, river, Charlotte's Pass, hiking track

Charlotte’s Pass | @ainraadik


The drive along Kosciuszko Alpine Way winds through one of the most unique landscapes in the state. Starting in the nation’s capital, drive through lush farmlands, turning into rolling hills, turning into mountain tops and alpine forests.

Cooma marks the entrance to the Snowy Mountains and Jindabyne is the adventure capital of the area. Between the ski fields, Lake Crackenback and Mt Kosciuszko this place was made for having a good time.

Deeper into Kosciuszko National Park you’ll find the quaint township of Khancoban, the Yarrangobilly Caves and Blue Pool. Take a dip if you dare, the water is icy.

Love packing your days from sunrise to sunset? You’re definitely a Day Seizer


How To Get There

Coastal Road Trips in NSW

3. Grand Pacific Drive

Distance: 215km
Start point: Sydney
End point: Jervis Bay
Highlights: Royal National Park, Sea Cliff Bridge, Kiama blowhole, Gerringong, Booderee National Park



The Grand Pacific Drive is a road trip you’ve got to take at least once in your life.

The whitest sand in the world is only a few hours drive from Sydney. Once you’re out of the bustle of southern Sydney take the turn off to the Royal National Park and feel that sea breeze caress your face.

Wind your way down the narrow Illawarra coastline before emerging in Wollongong. Opt for the coast road as you head towards the green rolling hills of Kiama and Gerringong where you’ll find the Kiama blowhole and coastal walk.

Jervis Bay is a pretty spectacular final destination, but it’s only the tip of the South Coast iceberg. To find more hidden treasures, extend your road trip down to Bermagui.

Love packing your days from sunrise to sunset? You’re definitely a Day Seizer


How To Get There

4. Pacific Coast

Distance: 985km
Start point: Sydney
End point: Tweed Heads
Highlights: Lake Macquarie, Stockton Dunes, the beaches of Port Stephens, Dorrigo National Park, Byron Bay

This drive up the legendary Pacific Coast is a summer classic. Starting from Sydney and shooting straight up the north coast along the Pacific Highway, you’ll encounter more beautiful beaches than you can keep track of. Lake Mac is great for a kayak, while Stockton Dunes will knock your socks off.

Coffs Harbour has much more going for it than just a Big Banana. Why not take a detour inland to check out the rainforests of Dorrigo National Park? Yamba’s a local secret and Byron Bay’s a must-see (even if everyone else thinks so too).

The final leg up to the Northern Rivers and Queensland border may be the most beautiful, with rainforest and rivers running rampant.


Stockton Sand Dunes | DNSW


How To Get There

Forest Road Trips in NSW

5. Waterfall Way

Distance: 196km
Start point: Coffs Harbour
End point: Armidale
Highlights: Bellingen, Dorrigo National Park, waterfalls galore particularly Crystal Shower Falls, Armidale


A Wet Monday Morning In Dorrigo National Park (NSW), Liam Hardy, behind a waterfall, cliff, overhang, damp, misty, green

Crystal Shower Falls | @liamhardyphoto


Waterfall Way is the perfect single day road trip with stunning national parks to guide you on your way.

Starting on the beautiful Coffs Harbour coast head south to the charming village of Bellingen. A little past Bellingen you’ll enter Dorrigo National Park, with its spectacular rainforests and abundance of waterfalls. This is the part where you park the car, get those legs pumping and witness these luscious waterfalls for yourself.

Drive on to the town of Dorrigo with more waterfalls along the way. The final stretch to the historic town of Armidale will take you past New England and Cathedral Rock National Parks, both worth a roadside stop and explore!

Love getting lost in nature? Sounds like you’re a Nature Frother


How To Get There

6. Rainforest Way

Distance: 230km
Start point: Byron Bay
End point: Tabulam
Highlights: Byron Bay, Mt Warning, Mebbin and Nightcap National Parks, Nimbin, Lismore


pat suraseng, the rainforest way, destination nsw, visit new south wales, nimbin, women, creek, rainforest

Rainforest of the Northern Rivers | @patsuraseang


Starting in the iconic Byron Bay, this roadie winds you through the flourishing rainforests of the Northern Rivers region and will well and truly give you that tree fix you’re after.

Read more: 3 Adventure Fuelled Road Trips Around NSW Northern Rivers

Head north towards Murwillumbah and the banks of the Tweed River before dipping back down through the villages of Uki and Australia’s hippy capital, Nimbin. Stroll through the luscious rainforests of Mebbin National Park and give into Protesters Falls.

Heading further south, Lismore is becoming a major art hub and Casino is a great base for exploring the rainforests nearby. The final stretch to Tabulam gives you ongoing green goodness with the Richmond Ranges and Tooloom National Park.

Love getting lost in nature? Sounds like you’re a Nature Frother


How To Get There

Country Road Trips in NSW

7. Kidman Way

Distance: 822km
Start point: Albury
End point: Bourke
Highlights: Murray River, Jerilderie, Griffith wine region, Cobar and its mining history, Bourke


Pat Suraseang, Outback Road Trip // Cruising Along The Darling River Run, outback, NSW, visit nsw, road trips, outback roads

Outback roads | @patsuraseang


Starting at Albury on the Victorian border and going straight up the guts of NSW, the Kidman Way follows the exploration route of Sir Sidney Kidman who was once the world’s largest landowner.

From the banks of the Murray, head north to the charming town of Jerilderie and learn the history of Ned Kelly in the area. Check out Coleambally, one of Aus’ youngest towns, indulge in a few bottles of red in Griffith and sit by the Lachlan River in Hillston.

From here on out it’s big sky country. Cobar has a massive open-cut mine to see (if you’re into that sort of thing) and the final leg to Bourke breaks into desert and is considered the last outpost before the Outback.

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!


How To Get There

8. Mighty Murray River Drive

Distance: 328km
Start point: Albury
End point: Deniliquin
Highlights: Albury, Rutherglen wine region, water sports at Tocumwal, paddle-steamers at Moama, Deni


Will You Murray Me? – It’s Time For A Murray Region Weekender by Conor Moore, photo by Alexandra Adoncello camping, lake

Ulupna Island | @lexcello


Marking the border between NSW and Victoria, the mighty Murray River also serves as the route of this splendid road trip. Packed with history, scrumptious wine, towering gums, and plenty of watersports, this drive will give you a taste of life on the river.

Starting in Albury, cruise your way west through Howlong and Corowa. Make sure to stop in at Rutherglen for a tipple of the good stuff. Tocumwal boasts beaut riverside beaches and watersports.

Ditch the car for a paddlesteamer in Moama before heading inland to the adventure hub Deni. If you’re there at the right time of year you might even catch the Deni Ute Muster in full swing.

Like the sound of this road trip? You’re probably a Culture Kid


How To Get There

9. Darling River Run

Distance: 1075km
Start point: Walgett
End point: Wentworth
Highlights: Bourke, Wilcannia, Kinchega National Park wetlands, Mungo National Park, Murray River


Australia's Oldest Human Remains Can Be Found Where The Outback Meets The Wetlands, photo by Ain Raadik, walls of china, Mungo National Park, Riverina, Murray, Destination NSW, sand dunes, women, run, desert, plains

Mungo National Park | @ainraadik


This classic road trip follows the flow of the Darling River from its source in NSW’s north, through the dusty outback, down to where it meets the Murray River on the Victorian border.

Read more: The Tiny Towns of Outback NSW

Starting in the tiny town of Walgett, head west to the classically country town of Bourke. Stop for a schooey at the Tipa Hotel and take in the grandeur of the heritage town of Wilcannia.

The luscious wetlands of Kinchega and show-stopping sand dunes of Mungo National Park will have you wondering if you’re in the NT. Finish up in Wentworth and maybe even treat yourself to a night on a riverboat.

Like the sound of this road trip? You’re probably a Culture Kid


How To Get There

10. Central to Outback NSW

Distance: 759km
Start point: Dubbo
End point: Broken Hill
Highlights: Dubbo, Cobar, Wilcannia, Broken Hill and Mundi Mundi Plains


Mutawintji National Park | DNSW


This drive from Central NSW to the Outback puts you well and truly in the heart of country NSW. You begin meandering through pastoral landscapes and slowly but surely find your way to the Outback.

Starting in Dubbo, famous for the Taronga Western Plains Zoo, travel west to Nyngan, home of the Big Bogan and further on to Cobar with its long history of mining. Scoot onto charming Wilcannia on the Darling River before making the final push to the famous Outback town of Broken Hill.

Broken Hill is the perfect base for exploring the surrounding wonders. From the tiny town of Silverton and the Mundi Mundi Plains, to Mutawintji National Park and even up to corner country, where three state borders meet, there’s more to see in the Outback than dust.

Like the sound of this epic outback adventure? You’re probably a Culture Kid


How To Get There


NSW Road Trip FAQs

1. What should you pack on a road trip

In addition to your usual holiday packing list you should ensure you have a spare tyre, your car manual and plenty of food and water, depending on how remote you plan to go.

2. How often should you stop on a road trip?

To avoid fatigue, you should take at least a 15 minute break every 2 hours

3. How long does it take to drive the Alpine Way?

The Alpine Way is 507km and should take between 5-6 hours to complete.


So what are you waiting for? Pack the car and get out there!


Feature photo by Michael Hill