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Fastest driving route from Canberra to Surfers paradise?

By c_daniel 13 December 2012 37

Wanting to hear from anyone who has driven from Canberra to Goldcoast, or vice versa, within the last few months. I haven’t driven the coastal route for a couple of years and am wondering if it is faster than going inland nowadays?

All advice welcome!

What’s Your opinion?


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37 Responses to
Fastest driving route from Canberra to Surfers paradise?
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Masquara 3:44 pm 27 Dec 12

enrique said :

Coastal route for sure.

Do yourself (and your friends/family) a favour also… give yourself enough spare time to take good long breaks along the way including staying somewhere overnight. Don’t rush it… you may shave off a few hours by pushing yourself but if you have an accident you’re a long time dead.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-27/lengthy-delays-on-pacific-hwy-in-nsw/4445170

bigred 9:25 am 23 Dec 12

I would suggest avoiding the coastal route if possible. I didn’t and experienced the lengthy first gear runs through Kempsey and Grafton. Added eons to the journey.

DavidL 4:38 pm 22 Dec 12

Be warned about the coastal route over Christmas – Saturday 22 December – “Motorists face huge delays on Pacific Highway” 2 extra hours – ABC http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-22/25km-traffic-jam-on-pacific-highway/4441330

vulpior 5:46 pm 15 Dec 12

We’ve always staged our journeys when traveling to SE Queensland, or other places at some distance, for that matter. Okay, we have no kids, so we don’t have to worry about traveling with kids or traveling in school holidays, but I’d imagine that a solid long day in the car can’t be fun for any family. When you break the trip, going for the fastest (or least slow) route doesn’t become so crucial.

Grrrr 6:55 pm 14 Dec 12

Grail said :

TomTom says the coast route is also the most economical.

This. Spend $100 on a Via 160 and follow it to your destination.

Of course, leave your brain switched on – make allowances for holiday traffic, brand new detours, etc. Otherwise the TomTom traffic database has very good knowledge of daily/weekly traffic flows. Even better is their more expensive units LiveHD traffic which gets it’s info every couple of minutes from a few sources – including other LiveHD units on the roads!

bigred 6:30 pm 14 Dec 12

Hey brownstreak, yeah the venerable vw group 1.9tdi.

shirty_bear 11:55 am 14 Dec 12

JC said :

Interestingly if one were to take the inland route via Dubbo, what is the best way to get there from Cowra? Via Parkes (which is the way I was taken many years ago) or via Canowindra?

Cowra – Canowindra – Cudal – Molong

Now paved all the way; even when this included 10 or 15km of dirt (~20 years ago), friends of mine from Dubbo always went this way.

Worst part of going this way is Yass – Boorowa.

Going via Sydney then getting on to the New England from Newcastle seems like insanity to me.

neanderthalsis said :

Take the New England Highway to Tenterfield, turn coastwards and head through the mountains to Casino & Ballina or north up through Kyogle.

This makes sense; suspect I would jump across to the New England via Coonabarabran – Gunnedah – Tamworth, then Tenterfield across to Ballina. This avoids the indirect mess from Warwick across to the GCoast (this way is best for Brissie/further north)

cubicle01 9:37 am 14 Dec 12

MrPC said :

The only inland route I’m yet to try is The Northern Road and Putty Road.

RE: Putty Road
If you are heading for the Hunter valley and not in a rush its a scenic way to go but not good if your destination if further north. Though last time I did it southbound in the back of an ambulance and it was thoroughly unpleasant.

thebrownstreak69 9:32 am 14 Dec 12

bigred said :

I was sceptical about the fuel consumption differences between the New England and Pacific Highways until I checked the records from my last trip. Sydney to Toowoomba, 958 kms, using 51.42litres equates to 5.37 litres/100km. Toowoomba to Sunshine Coast and onto Nambucca Hds, 1040kms, using 45.28 litres equates to 4.35 litres/100km. Nambucca to Sydney, 682 kms, using 31.78 litres equates to 4.66 litres/100km.

What sort of vehicle? Small diesel?

MrPC 8:13 am 14 Dec 12

The only inland route I’m yet to try is The Northern Road and Putty Road.

I would not recommend Goulburn/Oberon/Bylong Valley as it’s surprisingly slow going, plus that hill at Abercrombie River is notorious for destroying engines.

I would not recommend Crookwell/Blayney as it’s got too much dirt, is slow, and while it looks direct, it’s a waste of time.

I would not recommend Yass/Cowra as it has too many Roos (one of which dented my bonnet a few months ago). Cowra is bad driving time for Roos any time of the day or night, not just Dawn and Dusk.

Take the coast road.

bigred 8:37 pm 13 Dec 12

I was sceptical about the fuel consumption differences between the New England and Pacific Highways until I checked the records from my last trip. Sydney to Toowoomba, 958 kms, using 51.42litres equates to 5.37 litres/100km. Toowoomba to Sunshine Coast and onto Nambucca Hds, 1040kms, using 45.28 litres equates to 4.35 litres/100km. Nambucca to Sydney, 682 kms, using 31.78 litres equates to 4.66 litres/100km.

RedDogInCan 8:30 pm 13 Dec 12

I’ve done the trip about 10 times in the past year. The coastal route is much quicker – you can do the 1200km in about 13 hours. Using the toll roads to skirt around Sydney saves you a good hour. The bypasses at Ballina and Tweed Heads are now fully open. The New England route takes closer to 16 hours and is a crappy road – mostly single lane, travels through every little town, and has many hilly sections.

Evil_Kitten 6:30 pm 13 Dec 12

Go inland one way and coastal the other. Much more interesting trip!

bigred 5:26 pm 13 Dec 12

Great topic, very timely indeed. I am driving Canb-Gosford-Brisbane next week and wondering about best way to go.

Pork Hunt 5:22 pm 13 Dec 12

Another tip is to buy fuel at less busy times and not at knock off time on a Friday like I did in Maitland last year. Complete mayhem at the servo.

JC 5:18 pm 13 Dec 12

When your asking about the inland route, which inland route are you asking for. Reading the replies I’ve found at least one that says it’s good because it avoids Sydney so am assuming that person is talking about the inland route through places like Dubbo, Coonabarabran, Goondiwindi and Warwick and others talking about the inland route seem to be referring to the New England from Newcastle via Tamworth, Armidale etc.

So really there are 3 main routes from Canberra, two inland, one being through the mid west, the other the New England and the coastal up the Pacific Highway.

Interestingly if one were to take the inland route via Dubbo, what is the best way to get there from Cowra? Via Parkes (which is the way I was taken many years ago) or via Canowindra?

aevans 5:17 pm 13 Dec 12

The coastal route is such a pain at this time of the year. I suppose that it might be quicker, but is it really worth the aggravation?

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