Region: Mid North Coast

Hemmed in by majestic mountains forged from ancient volcanoes on one side, and the Pacific Ocean on the other, the long but relatively narrow coastal strip between the port city of Newcastle north of Sydney and the Gold Coast in South East Queensland has rightly been called the Holiday Coast. For those who want to laze around and unwind under the summer sun. this is the perfect destination. The further north one travels, the more tropical everthing becomes.

The northern coastal region of New South Wales has a seemingly endless ribbon of beaches some busy with holidaymakers, other without another soul in sight offering surfing, whale-watching, frolicking dolphins and flocks of seabirds. In between the beaches are lakes and chains of ocean lagoons that are ideal for fishing and boating, and coastal hills and mountains with headlands offering panoramic views up and down the coast.

Up in the Great Dividing Range behind the coastal plains there are more than 50 national parks, from Mt. Warning in the north (where the sun first hits the Australian mainland each day) to wildlife-rich Barrington Tops in the south. Walking tracks lead through rainforests to mountain-top lookouts, and to waterfalls fed by crystal clear streams.

How To Get There

By road: north from Sydney via Pacific Highway. By rail: from Sydney via Central Coast line

Best Time To Go

The climate of the north coast region of New South Wales, particularly along the coast, is genwral mild to warm, making it a year round destination. Winters can be somewhat cool in places, however, particularly when the south west winds blow off the snow capped Great Dividing Range. A general rule of thumb is that the further north you go, the more sub-tropical the weather will be.

Temperatures in the mountainous areas of the hinterland are generally somewhat cooler and wetter than nearby coastal areas and river valleys. The climate varies from temperate on the lower altitudes to subalpine at highest elevations. remember that wherever there are rainforests these is plenty of rain. It sounds like common sense, but most people forget this. Remember too that more rain means more water in the streams and rivers to flow over the waterfalls, which isnt a bad thing.

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