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Our journey starts with a cruise up the pacific coast from Sydney to Brisbane. If you want to stop once you've reached Brisbane (rather than carry on up the coast), then this legendary roadtrip is a seven-day journey – enjoy every leg.
Although a bustling metropolis, Sydney has no shortage of beauty spots and farmers markets – being at one with nature isn't hard to do here. Head to Bondi on a Saturday for fresh veggies, organic meats, artisan breads and spreads, and a bloom of beautiful flowers. Located at Bondi Beach Public School and therefore right next to the seashore, take a stroll along Australia's most famous beach before indulging at the markets, particularly if the weather is glorious! The well-known walk between Bondi and Coogee (or to Bronte for those looking for a shorter distance) is a great opportunity to walk off any over-indulgence at the markets!
Once you've headed to Lake Macquarie, try out the Lake Macquarie City Farmers' Market, which take place come rain or shine on the second and fourth Saturday of every month. Honey, candles, fresh produce – pick up some goodies before heading to the famous coastal saltwater lake.
On your way to Nelson Bay, stop in Newcastle and take in Australia's second oldest city. While you're there, check out the world-famous beaches Mereweather and Blacksmiths on the 5kms Bather's Way coastal walk. The chic harbour front markets are also a must-see, but if you make it on a Sunday then make it a priority to head to Newcastle City Farmers Market, based at the Newcastle Showground and Entertainment Centre.
Nelson Bay, which is next on your route, is the perfect stop for fishing, scuba diving and exploring the extensive sand dunes of Stockton Beach. From here head to Port Macquarie, where you could visit Port Macquarie Museum for a taste of convict life, take a camel ride along the beach or drop into the Koala Hospital in Macquarie Nature Reserve. Wauchope Farmers Market, held at Wauchope Showground, is held every fourth Saturday of the month.
Make the two hour journey up to Coffs Harbour, a beautiful beachside city with a relaxed atmosphere, 90kms of sandy beaches and many, many attractions including the Coffs Coast Growers' Market which is held on Thursdays in the City Square.
Make your way up through sub-tropical rainforest before arriving at Evans Head, a seaside resort that's great for surfing, fishing and unwinding in this quiet little coastal town. Every fourth Saturday of the month, the Evans Head Riverside Markets are held at Recreation Reserve, brimming with fresh produce and treats. Next on your journey is the magical Byron Bay, where you can truly reconnect with nature and centre yourself. Try out yoga on the beach at 6am, watch a spectacular sunrise from Cape Byron lighthouse and do the Lighthouse Trail, which allows you to see tons of wildlife- whales, dolphins, turtles- the list feels endless. Check out Byron Farmers Market, which is held every Saturday morning at Butler Street Reserve. Treat yourself to melt-in-the-mouth cheeses, flaky pastries and locally-sourced honey, or make slightly healthier choices with a range of oils, freshly-caught seafood and an array of herbs.
On the final stretch towards Brisbane, enjoy the gorgeous Gold Coast beaches such as Mermaid Beach, Main Beach and Narrowneck. Stop off in chilled out surf towns such as Coolangatta, where every second Sunday of the month you can pick up local arts and crafts alongside a variety of fresh produce- pack yourself an all-natural, all-organic picnic and head down to one of the beaches!
Once you're in Brisbane, there's no shortage of ways to embrace nature. If the weather holds up, head to the Mount Coot-tha Lookout and be wowed by the views of the city from so high above. An afternoon wander around the Botanic Gardens offers a little tranquility amidst the lively city, too. Much like Sydney, Brisbane is brimming with farmers markets. On the Northside, Carseldine Farmers and Artisan Markets is a great place to pick up a gourmet brunch on a Saturday, whilst the Davies Park Markets in the West End are a must-go for any tourist in Brisbane. The Village Markets in Kelvin Grove block traffic to the entire street every weekend, which is a great way to combine a city break with getting back to basics and reconnecting with all things natural.
For those who are looking for more of a tropical adventure, Brisbane is just the beginning: the Great Barrier Reef route will take you up to Cairns, with stops along the way at some of the most blissful beaches and freshest farmers markets Queensland has to offer. Setting a precedent early, wend your way up the Sunshine Coast and stop off at Noosa, known for its crystal clear waters, café culture and eclectic, laid-back vibe. Enjoy a peaceful day at Main Beach and check out Noosa Farmer's Market on the Sunday – the perfect way to soak up the relaxed Noosa atmosphere.
Make the three hour trip to Bundaberg, the gateway to the Coral Coast. Take a day trip here to Lady Elliot or Lady Musgrave Islands by flight or launch and enjoy the Bundaberg Farmers Markets, which opened earlier this year. The moderate climate that the region is known for makes it an excellent spot for growing food.
The next leg of the trip is all about making your way up to the Whitsundays. Break up this patch of journey with a pit-stop in Sarina, a little coastal town that makes a nice place to stop and have a refreshing swim – as well as being home to Sarina Beach Farmers Markets every second Saturday of the month.
The main town of the Whitsundays, Airlie Beach, hosts two farmers' markets- Airlie Beach markets are every Saturday whilst Bowen Community Markets are on Sundays. The Whitsundays- a massive stretch of coral teeming with marine life- are a beautiful opportunity to reconnect with yourself and those around you. As you drive onto Townsville, take a drive through Pioneer Valley within Eungella National Park- it offers you the chance to stretch your legs, breath in some fresh air and take in some magnificent views.
Once in Townsville, you're within easy access to Magnetic Island, Dunk Island and more. Townsville is known for being an outdoors-y city, hosting a number of national sporting competitions a year. Every Saturday in Townsville, you'll find local producers setting up their stalls at the North Queensland Farmers Markets. It's not just food on sale here: you can get organic skin products, freshly-squeezed juices and trinkets to remind you of your time in Townsville.
Finally, reach the last destination on your route- Cairns. Once you've arrived, the Great Barrier Reef is a reminder of how amazing nature is. Aside from the Great Barrier Reef itself, Cairns' Northern Beaches such as Port Douglas, Trinity Beach or Palm Cove offer a little peace and quiet if you're looking for a some downtime. Further up the coast, there's more to be seen: marvel at the tropical rainforest and Heritage Listed National Parks. If you're around over a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, be sure to make your way to Rusty's Markets, a Cairns icon loved by tourists and locals alike. The mix of exotic foods sold here- from Papua New Guinean, Italian, Chinese and Australian- means there's something for everyone!
Recalibrate in the spring and summer months by reconnecting with nature. From breath-taking sunsets, refreshing walks, relaxing on blissful beaches and eating the finest fresh foods from local Farmers' Markets, escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and head up Australia's wonderful East coast in your Maui motorhome.