Driving from Gold Coast to Blue Mountain in Aus in Jan. Any suggestions on places to visit for a few days?


Country: Australia


If you have time a trip to Port Douglas and to the Daintree forest would be worth considering.
There are a few places you could stop off on the way down from the Gold Coast and Sydney and the Daintree and Port Douglas is not one of them as it is in totally the opposite direction to what you are travelling.

Most people would stay along the coast. You could stop off at Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay, Port Macquarie or Forster. I guess it depends what you are looking for. It is a long day of driving which you can technically make in one day but I would advise stopping over night somewhere along the way.
As I stated previously, this is summer vacation time in Australia, therefore I would recommend considering an inland route through the forests and historical towns of the New England area, do some prospecting for sapphires around Glen Innes, as well as the Free Range Zoo at Parkes and the Radio telescope and inland areas along the Newell Highway.

This is slightly longer in distances but less traffic, less stress and a great way to see parts of Australia you would normally miss.
another 'how long is a piece of string?' style question LOL! there are so many stopovers you could make, I couldn't even begin to give a complete answer in the time available. one place I can vouch for as a must-see aussie destination, for both locals and tourists, is byron bay, though it's almost certain to be overpopulated come january. nevertheless, if you're not averse to unbridled hedonism, with a vaguely hippy vibe (albeit an anachronistically well-to-do one), byron (as locals affectionately call it) could be just the ticket! cape byron is australia's most easterly point and, from the vicinity of the lighthouse, you can take in 360-degree views. the beaches are ideal for swimming and surfing (it's an ideal place to learn), there are cafes galore, a famous pub overlooking the ocean, a diverse selection of accommodation options and a too easily overlooked pristine hinterland, with a volcanic past.

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