Road trip: Brisbane to Port Macquarie via Yamba

Queensland-New South Wales border

This is us leaving Queensland and crossing the border into New South Wales on our road trip! After mere weeks of planning, we decided a realistic route for ten days would be the below:

New South Wales route map

What we really wanted was 10 days to go away and relax somewhere, have an adventure, but without spending too much money or going too crazy. Originally, we looked into places like Thailand or Fiji, but at this time of year the heat is a scorcher, and well… I don’t love the heat. So we agreed on a drive down to the Hunter Valley wine region and the Blue Mountains and after that we’d make up the route coming back home as we went.

Day one we were only going as far as Port Macquarie with a stop in Yamba for lunch, but like any good road trip, the key is the road trip games. In our case, this was punch buggy. For those who are not familiar, punch buggy is a rather juvenile game from school years where if you see a Volkswagen Beetle (or bug) you punch the nearest person and say, ‘Punch buggy [insert colour of the car]’. My man had never heard of this game until we picked up a friend one night who’d had one too many rum and cokes and punch buggy’d him in the arm. Ever since then we’ve been obsessively, and sometimes competitively, playing the punch buggy game around town. There are a surprisingly amount of Volkswagen Beetles in Brisbane. So naturally, to make our driving more fun, we devised this:

Punch buggy game

A card for each of us and pencils to colour the buggies once we got them. Sadly… it took us 800kms and an entire day of driving to see even three. It seems as though New South Wales is not as into the Beetle as us Queenslanders.

But highlights before reaching Yamba was Macadamia Castle and their giant knight and stopping in New Italy.

Macadamia Castle knight

New Italy

Stopping and road works meant we didn’t reach Yamba until about 1pm, but given it was a Sunday and Yamba is a tiny sleepy town, we managed to find a great restaurant, Sol Cantina, with some yummy Mexican food. And I might even go so far to say the best nachos I’ve had at a restaurant — unlike other restaurants they spread the nachos out flat so that all the chips get equal salsa and cheese, instead of piling them high so you’re left with a gooey pile of once were corn chips at the end. So big nacho points in my book.

Sol Cantina, Yamba

Sol Cantina, YambaThe rest of the afternoon was a bit of a blur and driving and sugar cane fields until we roared into Port Macquarie, tired and hungry and a little disappointed with our 3-star room. But it had hot water and after we’d eaten, put our own pillows and doona on the bed, snuggled down and watched MasterChef bed it didn’t matter where we were sleeping.

Big sky

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