The Gold Coast Australia's 7 best day trips to the hidden beachside gems of Northern NSW
Updated: Apr 16
The top day trip itineraries within 1 hour's drive of the Gold Coast Australia
We spend almost every Christmas and New Year back on the Gold Coast, Australia. As Gold Coast bread local, one of the greatest things about coming back to visit, is finding hidden beachside gems to show Andrew, particularly those quiet and untouched ones that make us feel like we are a world away from city life. Within just 40 minutes drive from our families home in Mermaid Beach, we can be surrounded by scenic beaches or quiet swimming holes along Northern New South Wales. In this post, we share with our all our favourite secret spots only the locals will know about.
From the Gold Coast to Northern New South Wales within an hour:
Here are our favourite little day trip outings into Northern New South Wales, featuring private beaches, amazing picnic spots, tasty treats, delicious eats and frolicking in Sunflower fields.
1. Visit Australia's very own Giants Causeway at Fingal, followed by a private swim at Dreamtime beach or Letitia Spit
If you thought you needed to go all the way to Northern Ireland to see the Giants Causeway, think again! Australia has its very own hexagonal shaped rock formations spiking out of the pristine blue waves of the Fingal coastline. Park at Fingal Head and take the short bush trail walk to enjoy the scenic coastal views around the lighthouse and causeway. Our favourite spots to swim after are Dreamtime beach, or for flat, calm and clear waters of Letita Split.
Fingal Head Lookout: The Lighthouse and Giants Causeway
Letita Split and lookout Fingal, NSW:
2. Enjoy the absolute paradise of the private Broken Head Beach, followed by exploring the little town of Newrybar
Take a drive through Broken Head National Park, zig-zag through the small tree side roads until finding a car park where you can take a little trail down the hill to your secluded beach. After a morning soaking up the sun and sand, enjoy a nice lunch in the quaint one-lane town of Newrybar. We loved the meat pies at the General Store and freshly baked bread from the Harvest.
Broken Head National Park, NSW:
3. Be on the lookout for Whales at Australia's most Eastern point, the Byron Bay lighthouse
While Byron Bay isn't exactly unknown or a hidden spot, we still think it's a must-see and deserves to be on this list! Start with a visit to the lighthouse, which will treat you to spectacular coastal views. It's often easy to spot dolphins and whales swimming below. For an afternoon dip, head down to Wategos beach.
Byron Bay, New South Wales
4. Frolic in Sunflowers at The Farm and Co at Kingscliff, Enjoy a Greek lunch at Taverna and a creekside swim at Cudgen Creek
Start the morning at Farm and Co, Kingscliff, where you can pick up some fresh local produce and walk outside through fields of bright yellow sunflowers towering well above your head. Enjoy a Greek lunch at the quaint Taverna along Kingscliff's esplanade overlooking the beach before having an afternoon swim in the calm waters of the Cudgen creek.
Farm and Co, Kingscliff NSW:
Taverna Restaurant Kingscliff NSW:
Cudgen Creek, Kingscliff NSW:
5. Picnic by the Tweed River, Gin taste on the lawn at Husk Distillery and learn all there is to know about Avocado's at Tropical Fruit World
Head on down to Chinderah, get their early to stop for a morning coffee and some delicious sweet treats from Cubby Bake House. Take your goodies and picnic along the Tweed river across the road from Cubby. Continue with an afternoon of Gin Tasting at Husk Distillery, sit out on the grassy green lawn, enjoy some lawn games and take in the fresh air over a cocktail. Finally, make your way through the countryside for a farm tour of Tropical Fruit world.
Chinderah and the Tweed River NSW:
Husk Distillery NSW:
Tropical Fruit World NSW:
6. Indulge in a five-star lunch at Halcyon houses Paper Daisy Restaurant, followed by a stroll along Cabarita Beach
Treat yourself to an award-winning fine dining meal and a few colourful cocktails at Cabarita's Paper Daisy Restaurant. Part of the beachside boutique hotel Halycon House. Enjoy a beachfront walk after your meal.
Paper Daisy Restaurant, Halycon House:
Cabarita Beach, NSW:
7. Enjoy a relaxing swim at Terranora Creek, Tweed Heads
Our last but certainly not least day trip idea is to Terranora Creek, in Tweed Heads. Find a quiet spot for a relaxing swim and picnic away from the busier Gold Coast Creeks.
We hope you enjoyed our travel guide to the top Gold Coast, Australia day trips. For more blog posts on weekend getaways and travel itineraries check out the destinations section of our blog.
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