Our Legendary Journey: The road to Sydney
After finishing up our dolphin cruise in Forster, we began the final leg of our journey down to Sydney. We stopped in at the historic town of Newcastle for a coffee break and to visit the Newcastle Beach YHA - one that we'd heard many great things about, and we soon realised why!
With origins dating back to an era when the YHA Newcastle building served as a Gentlemans club for the local business community, much of the historic character has been retained, making this backpacker something quite unique to the region.
There aren't many budget accommodation options super close to the beaches of the Newcastle coast, so the YHA is clearly a winner for adventure travellers of all ages visiting the region - particularly if you're a keen surfer.
The property is humongous - with massive spacious lounge and recreation areas, like something you'd find in a hotel fit for royals.
It has all the usual YHA elements we've come to experience on our Legendary Pacific coast road trip - Free Wi-Fi, great laundry, well equipped kitchen, BBQ area plus surfboards and body boards to grab.
Possibly the best thing about YHA Newcastle is its easily accessible by train, only 3 hours from Sydney Central Station - meaning you don't even need a vehicle to make it to this part of NSW.
Whether you're on a road trip down the coast or just in Sydney for a short break, YHA Newcastle is a perfect spot to stay a night or 2.
From the moment we arrived at the hostel, we were pleasantly surprised by the unique welcome in the foyer. There is an open-air museum of archaeological remnants of buildings from the convict-era are carefully preserved beneath the hostel, with some really interesting information boards explaining the story of families who once lived there.
The newly built hostel is the only backpackers located in Sydney’s historic harbourside precinct – The Rocks. It’s a very convenient, central location which made it the perfect base for our last night in Australia. Parking was available right out the front of the hostel, and just a 20 minute drive to the airport.
Up a floor you’ll find the reception and common area – a very tidy space, offering a well equipped kitchen with state-of-the-art facilities, a café and rooftop dining & BBQ area.
You'll be able to keep in touch with friends and family too, with free Wi-Fi located in the public areas, or choose to upgrade to premium to access the Wi-Fi in your room.
The rooftop terrace offers panoramic views out over Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. The city looks even more magical at night, as all of the buildings begin to illuminate. We watched fireworks exploding in the sky in one direction, and overlooked the Opera House in the other – the perfect way to finish off our night before retreating to our modern room.
It is a very clean and well-kept hostel, with our private room feeling more like a hotel – fitted out with a TV, plenty of room for our luggage, a desk and chair, reading lights, cupboard space and a modern ensuite. They even included the finer touches of tea/coffee, soaps and towels.
Whether you choose to stay in the multi-share or double/twin accommodation – there is no doubt you’ll be impressed with the somewhat luxury stay and magnificent views.
With a sophistication much like a brasserie you'd find amongst the trendy New York restaurant and bar scene, Morrison's doesn't take itself too seriously, still maintaining a laid back and comfortable Aussie approach to a hip and trendy dining experience.
Having been on the road most of the day, we were very ready to end our road trip on a high - with a good meal and a refreshing drink - and Morrison's more than delivered, it really was a special dining experience.
We couldn't go to an 'Oyster Bar' and not sample some oysters - and with one of the widest selections anywhere we've ever seen in all of our travels, we kicked things off with none other than the locals favourite, fresh Sydney Rock Oysters.
Without any exaggeration, if you even vaguely like oysters, you'll be absolutely blown away on your oyster meter, because these were off the chart.
After the oysters we followed the advice of our waiter and eagerly awaited the Sashimi Scampi - which was clearly another Morrison's signature dish. Served split in halves with a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and slivers of chilli, we were blown away - IT WAS A WINNER!
For mains, we went with a super delicious Chilli Crab Linguini and the Beetroot & Strawberry Salad which perfectly complimented our starters.
To finish off our evening at Morrison's we had heard we shouldn't leave without trying out one of the superb cocktails the bar has become well known for.
This marks the end of our trip along The Legendary Pacific Coast, although we are already planning on returning. We spent 9 days travelling from Brisbane to Sydney, staying in Coolangatta, Byron Bay, Yamba, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Sydney. Each place we stayed at had its own unique style, and all of the YHA's maintained a high standard of cleanliness and service.
We met so many wonderful people along the way, and experienced a heap of awesome activities. Something we had forgotten, was the high quality of the restaurant/cafe meals in Australia - it was also particularly nice to enjoy freshly caught seafood while looking out over the ocean.
We have met plenty of wildlife, swam in the pristine ocean, jumped out of planes, zoomed down waterslides, rode horses through the Australian bush, had our auras read, walked through rainforests, and so much more!!
We were sad to leave this incredible country, but pleased to be leaving with such precious memories shared together.