yTravel’s NSW Road Trip Hot Spots With Great Coffee

12 May 2016

Caz & Craig Makepeace are the founders of ytravelblog.com, one of the world’s biggest travel blogs and have been featured by notable brands such as Virgin Australia, Expedia, and Lonely Planet. When not traveling and writing about it, you can find them swinging in a beach hammock at sunset to the tunes of Jack Johnson, or screaming in the stands of their favourite sporting match. Connect with them on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. 


Confession time, we are travel addicts, and we also have a slight addiction to coffee. Both good addictions in our book and go hand-in-hand with our travel lifestyle! There are many things we love about travel; getting out in nature, hitting the open road, creating priceless family memories, and meeting new people.

We also love to seek out new cafes wherever we go to feed our coffee addiction and we love to get tips from the locals wherever we go, or by using our online community for suggestions on where to eat and drink. So we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite towns in NSW and recommendations on where to get a good cup of coffee whilst there.

Armidale

Armidale

Armidale. Credit: yTravel

There’s something about University towns that we love, and the University town of Armidale in picturesque New England is our kind of town.The history, the heritage buildings, the tree-lined streets, and the nearby waterfalls and gorges. We also discovered that Armidale has a well-deserved reputation for good food and wine. Put these cafes on your list: Prue & Olive Cafe, Goldfish Bowl, Bistro on Cinders, Fresh@110. Rene on the Mews. 

Bathurst

Bathurst

Bathurst. Credit: yTravel

When you first think of Bathurst I’m guessing Mount Panorama and car racing comes to mind. But Bathurst is so much more, and possibly the perfect country getaway from the hustle and bustle of Sydney. We love towns with history, and in 2015 Bathurst celebrated its Bicentenary as Australia’s oldest inland settlement. And because it’s a big University town there’s no shortage of bars and pubs, and a healthy cafe scene. For a good cup of coffee we recommend; The HUB Espresso Bar, Sweet Caramel, Piccolo’s on William, The Brew Drive Thru, and Crema.

Byron Bay

Byron Bay

Byron Bay. Credit: yTravel

Our favourite coastal town in NSW would be Byron Bay. But Byron is not just for the surfers, all types come here and many never leave. Like us, they are attracted by the arts and culture, the festivals, the food, the shopping, the health retreats, the hinterland, the markets, the vibe, the spectacular sunsets and sunrises, and of course the beaches. Byron has a lot going for it, including it’s own coffee company. When in Byron, consider these spots to get your coffee fix; Bay Leaf Cafe, Espresso Head, Succulent Cafe, Byron Beach Cafe, Harvest Cafe (Newrybar).

Kingscliff

Kingscliff

Kingscliff. Credit: yTravel

Just north of Byron Bay is the sleepy beachside town of Kingscliff. What we love about Kingscliff is it’s a lot quieter than Byron yet it still has a certain vibe to it and a main street that is alive with busy cafes, restaurants and bars. Everything is within walking distance, including the beach, and our favourite spot, Cudgen Creek, is also the local’s favourite water playground and perfect for stand-up paddle boarding and swimming for the kids. For a memorable coffee, try one of these cafes’ in town; Kettles on Cafe, La Mar Cafe & Bar, The Daily Grind Coffee Bar, House of Zebra.

Sawtell

Sawtell

Sawtell. Credit: yTravel

We spent an Easter long weekend camping in Sawtell and fell in love with it. You’re within an easy drive of everything Coffs Harbour has to offer, and two of our other favourite spots in NSW, Bellingen and Dorrigo National Park, are on your doorstep too. We love the charm of the main street which boasts an abundance of cafes, boutique shops, and restaurants, and the locals in Sawtell know how to do good coffee. Grab a cup from either; Cafe TREEO, Split Espresso, Zest Restaurant, or Wholly Cow Cafe. There’s also a surf club right on the beach which makes for a great coffee location. 

Newcastle

Frankie's, Newcastle. Credit: DNSW

Frankie’s, Newcastle. Credit: DNSW

We grew up just an hour away from Newcastle and have seen it undergo a transformation in recent years, especially the CBD. Newy, as the locals call it, has always been a great beach town with lively pubs, a big sporting fan base and a big University, but there’s a growing culture of the arts in the city, plus a lively cafe and restaurant scene – It’s not just about pubs and industry anymore. Hit up Darby St in the city, Hamilton and Cooks Hill. In particular check out these cafes; Frankie’s, Zinc Cafe, Glee, The Roladoor Cafe, Ground Floor, Coffee Grind, One Penny Black, and Sprocket Roasters.

Huskisson

Jervis Bay

Jervis Bay. Credit: yTravel

On our road trip around Australia we saw plenty of amazing beaches, and we have no hesitation in saying that the beaches in the Jervis Bay region are up there with the best in the country – pure white sand and turquoise water anyone?  Jervis Bay is also a popular spot for whale watching, kayaking, canoeing and walks, and the town of Huskisson makes for a great base, and offers some nice cafe options for us coffee lovers such as; Huskisson Bakery & Cafe, MainDeck Cafe, Supply Jervis Bay, and Hyams Beach Cafe.  

Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie. Credit: yTravel

Craig grew up going on his annual family holidays to Port Macquarie with his parents and has fond memories of fishing from the breakwall, playing on the beautiful beaches and watching the sunset over the Hastings river. Port Macquarie has grown since then into a vibrant town perfect for a coastal getaway and on our last visit we were impressed with how the cafe scene has evolved. For a good cuppa head to The Corner Restaurant, Social Grounds, Blackfish Coffee, Cafe Buzz, and in nearby Wauchope the Watermans Cafe.

Leura

Leura, Blue Mountains. Credit: DNSW

Leura, Blue Mountains. Credit: DNSW

For good reason The Blue Mountains is a popular day trip from Sydney for those that love bushwalks in nature, mountain scenery, rock climbing, and fresh air – it’s one of Australia’s most spectacular and visited World Heritage-listed National Parks. Just before you get to the main town of Katoomba you’ll pass Leura, and we just loved our brief visit to this town. There’s a Garden Festival and Leura Village Fair in October each year, and the quaint little town has many fine coffee shops, restaurants and galleries. For a good cuppa, or hot chocolate for the kiddies, visit Red Door Cafe, Lily’s Pad Cafe, or Leura Gourmet Cafe & Deli.

Mudgee

Mudgee

Mudgee. Credit: yTravel

We used to live only four hours from Mudgee and if you love your wine like us, you’ll love Mudgee. We also fell in love with its heritage buildings, wide streets, parks and country charm. Mudgee is a hidden gem, only 3.5 hours drive from Sydney, and offers some nice choices for cafes and a cup of coffee. Check out Alby & Esthers, Outside the Square, Cafe 89, Artisan on Lewis.