Parading along the Pacific – Dogs Welcome Travelling Itinerary (1210km)

If you and your pooch are looking to travel along the pristine Pacific Coast then follow this BIG4 Holiday Parks travel itinerary which will take you from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland all the way to Lake Macquarie in New South Wales.

Diamond Head, Crowdy Bay National Park. Photo courtesy of Grahame McConnell.
Diamond Head, Crowdy Bay National Park. Image: Grahame McConnell.

Heading south from the Sunshine Coast along the Pacific Ocean coastline to the Central Coast, this scenic drive takes you through some of the most striking landscapes in Queensland and NSW. An almost continuous line of surf beaches, national parks and a hinterland of rolling green hills and friendly villages make this a great drive. There are plenty of attractions, adventures and fun for the whole family. The North Coast has some of the best, and most well-known, beaches in Australia such as Alexandra Headland, Burleigh Heads, Byron Bay, Lennox Head, the Mid North Coast with Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie and Port Stephens.

Whale watching is popular at many locations along the North Coast. During their northern migration, most whales come within 3km of the NSW coast so you can see them from headlands and lookouts in national parks. Some popular spots on the North Coast are Cape Byron State Conservation Area, Bundjalung National Park (Iluka Bluff), Yuraygir National Park (Angourie Point), Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve (Coffs Harbour), Hat Head National Park (Smoky Head), Tomaree National Park (Tomaree Head at Port Stephens) and Wyrrabalong National Park (Crackneck Lookout).

The Sunshine Coast of Australia is a truly stunning coastline which stretches over 120km from Bribie Island in the south to Rainbow Beach in the North. Along the Sunshine Coast, you will experience a laid-back lifestyle centered around pristine beaches, freshwater rivers and lakes, subtropical forests and warm sunshine. You can stay at BIG4 Forest Glen Holiday Resort or Rivershore Resort which are located close to Maroochydore. The parks are within a short radius to discover golden beaches or explore the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, then you can visit Australia Zoo and the Eumundi Markets.

The attractions of the Gold Coast bring smiles to people of all ages and stages.  From the iconic Surfers Paradise beach to the sophisticated dining precincts of Main Beach and Broadbeach and out to the lush, green Hinterland, there’s a new experience waiting for you at every turn on the Gold Coast. Stay at BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park and visit the theme parks, world-renowned beaches and year-round sunshine which are just a few of the reasons to visit the Gold Coast, a destination which is as scenic and peaceful as it is fast paced and active.

Your beloved hound is welcome at BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park
Your beloved hound is welcome at BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park

Byron Bay natural credentials are impeccable. With its gorgeous beaches and lush green hinterland, this NSW North Coast paradise casts a spell over everyone who goes there. It’s here that coastal surf culture flows into the hippie tide washing down from the hinterland, creating one great barefooted, alternative-lifestyle mash-up. While in Byron Bay, stay at Byron Holiday Park.

Casino is a thriving rural centre in the heart of rich agricultural country. It’s set in lush pastures on the banks of the Richmond River. It is a pleasant, easy-going town which has a number of historic buildings that make fascinating viewing. Casino developed as a service centre for the surrounding grazing country, and the town has become known as “The Beef Capital”. Be sure not to miss the Platypus Pool, below Irving Bridge, and the Casino Miniature Railway or Casino Folk Museum. While in Casino with your canine, stay at BIG4 Casino Resort.

The BIG4 Casino 'Off Leash Dog Area'
The BIG4 Casino ‘Off Leash Dog Area’

CASINO to YAMBA – 107km
Yamba is a bustling holiday resort with a large fishing fleet. It’s built around a headland at the mouth of the Clarence River. Yamba has all the attributes you would expect of a coastal holiday resort town, stay at BIG4 Saltwater @ Yamba Holiday Park and discover the great beaches, a marina, and lots of cafes, a broad river and a lighthouse. Better still, according to scientists, Yamba also has one of the best climates you could ever hope to find, with temperate winters and long, warm, summer days. Yamba is especially known for its prawns and oysters.

YAMBA to WOOLI – 84km
Wooli is a beautiful seaside village with a storybook setting. On land it is encircled by Yuraygir National Park and the village is located on a narrow peninsula with the Wooli Wooli River on its western side and the Pacific Ocean to the east. This section of coastline forms the northern sector of the Solitary Islands Marine Park which protects the estuaries, beaches and islands from the Sandon River to Coffs Harbour in the south. Stay at BIG4 Solitary Islands Resort and discover the wonders of this amazing area.

BIG4 Solitary Islands Resort Welcomes Dogs!
BIG4 Solitary Islands Resort Welcomes Dogs!

Nambucca Heads is one of Australia’s most beautiful camping destinations. Named after an Aboriginal word that means ‘entrance to the waters’, Nambucca Heads is known for its gorgeous weather and relaxed atmosphere that can be felt from the moment you first glimpse the coastline. If you are looking for a sunny beach holiday, Nambucca Heads provides plenty of warm weather. The beach itself is great for learning how to surf, as the waves are mostly small. During your stay at BIG4 Nambucca Beach Holiday Park, there are plenty of activities on offer at Nambucca Heads to keep you entertained. The area is perfect for anyone who loves fishing, and hikers will appreciate the meandering waterfront walks. There is also an assortment of restaurants and taverns around the Nambucca Heads area serving delicious meals. And for art lovers, Nambucca Heads is a creative haven, with museums and markets selling locally-made arts and crafts.

South West Rocks  offers a great variety of magnificent beaches with breathtaking coastal scenery in the Macleay Valley Coast and is situated at the entrance to the Macleay River. It is a perfect tourist destination with a great variety of beaches, beautiful foreshores, and shopping. South West Rocks is surrounded by National Parks where you will find fantastic bush walks, some of which hug the South West Rocks coastline. While visiting this beautiful area, you can stay at BIG4 Sunshine South West Rocks Holiday Park, where there is a dog friendly beach within 12 minutes walk from the park that’ll take you and your pooch all the way into town.

Manning Point is the jewel in the crown of the renowned Manning Valley. It is a small village located at the mouth of the Manning River and hear you can kick back and relax at East’s Ocean Shores Holiday Park. Lying on Mitchells Island, Manning Point is opposite the town of Harrington.

Forster-Tuncurry is the ideal base from which to explore the many delights of the great lakes region.  At the Northern tip of the Great Lakes, these twin towns are where Wallis Lake meets the ocean. The twin townships are surrounded by National Parks and feature majestic headlands and long secluded beaches. Boating, fishing, diving, paddling, cruises, whale watching and coastal walks combine with galleries, unique shopping and award-winning restaurants to create an experience rich coastal destination. While relaxing in this beautiful area, you can stay at BIG4 Great Lakes at Forster-Tuncurry.

Little tail-waggers at BIG4 Forster-Tuncurry Great Lakes Holiday Park
Little tail-waggers at BIG4 Forster-Tuncurry Great Lakes Holiday Park

Port Stephens  is known for its wonderful beaches. There are 26 golden sandy beaches, some sheltered bay beaches that are perfect for families as well as swimming, snorkelling and kayaking. The ocean beaches are sublime, great for surfing and beach walks. Don’t miss One Mile Beach, Box Beach and Fingal Spit if you’re an experienced surfer. It is also known for its nature & abundance of aquatic marine life & land activities on its uncrowded sandy beaches, sheltered bays and unspoilt national parks. This beautiful region, with the heart of Port Stephens being Nelson Bay offers gourmet restaurants, boutique shopping and is well known as one of the best places in the world to see dolphins ‘in the wild’. To experience Port Stephens, anchor yourself at BIG4 Koala Shores Port Stephens Holiday Park.

This hound is loving life at BIG4 Koala Shores Port Stephens Holiday Park
This hound is loving his stay at BIG4 Koala Shores Port Stephens Holiday Park

The largest coastal saltwater lake in Australia, Lake Macquarie is an aquatic playground, perfect for a relaxing holiday.  Lake Macquarie and its excellent ocean beaches as well as nearby Watagan Mountains National Park provide plenty of opportunities for an action and adventure holiday. Take a break and holiday at Active Holidays BIG4 Lake Macquarie.

***When booking a holiday with your dog, please phone the individual Parks to discuss the accommodation types available and any restrictions that may be in place. This information is correct at time of publishing***

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