Pacific Highway (Australia)
The Pacific Highway is the coastal highway that goes between Sydney and Brisbane, and is 1,025 km (637 mi) long. It's a pretty drive, with exits to the coastal towns along the way. Slower than the inland route.
Between Sydney and Newcastle, and between Ballina and Brisbane, Queensland, this highway becomes the Pacific Motorway (see for more info]). Everywhere else in between Newcastle and Ballina is the Pacific Highway and it is possible to hitch directly on the highway in many places where there is room for cars to stop.
This is an easy route to hitchhike, the following is a rough description of the major servos along the route:
- Follow the directions on the Sydney page to get out of Sydney
- Ourimbah Coles Express is a small servo off the highway. Its possible to get rides here both north or south, but its not ideal. Better to try and avoid getting dropped here and aim for the big servo/reststop on the highway at Wyong
- 69km from Wahroonga onramp in Sydney: on the highway about 20kms after the Gosford turnoff is Caltex Wyong. This is a big servo and reststop with many cars and is great pplace for finding rides. There is a northbound servo and a southbound servo here across the highway.
- 59km further [128km total]: BP Beresfield servo Ask drivers filling up with fuel or infront of the restaurant, or if there servo is quiet it's possible to thumb it on John Renshaw Drive. Its an 80km/h zone so the traffic is not too fast and the is plenty of space for cars to pull over. North and South-bound possible.
- 55km further [183km total]: the place that used to be called The Rock is no longer the rock - it burnt down! But there is a temporary replacement servo here which is not a good spot to find a ride north, but ok for going south. About 2 kms north of the Rock is a small reststop (toilet only) called Station Creek Rest Area which is better for hitching north during the day.
- 100km furthur [282km total]: Caltex Taree is a big servo/reststop with a lot of cars going both north and south. When it is really busy here it might be easier to stand at the road exit with a sign rather than asking people.
- 71km furthur [352km total]: the BP servo just off the Highway near Port Macquarie is known by locals as 'The Doughnut' . If you are going north or south you can ask drivers at the servo and find good rides. Sometimes there seems to only be local Port Macquarie traffic here so it can sometimes be quicker to thumb it at the on-ramp to the Pacific Hwy.
- 39km furthur [390km total]: 'Kempsey Servo is a smaller, but still good, servo that's maybe better for going South than north
- 69km furthur [458km total]: 'BP Nambucca Heads is a smaller, but still good, servo that's maybe better for going North than south
- BP Boambee is for southbound traffic only, but its not advised to get dropped off here - the servo manager doesn't like hitchhikers. Better to get dropped off at the big servo at Coffs Harbour South 5kms up the road.
- 40km furthur [497km total]: 'Coffs Harbour South Servo is a big servo and restaurant reststop. you can get good rides from here, north or south-bound, but many locals visit here too. You can also hitch on the road near here where its an 80km/h zone and room for cars to stop
- From about 15kms before Grafton to just before Ballina the highway becomes a single road where its possible to thumb it directly on the road. There are many small towns along the way where you can hitch directly on the road in a 60 or 80 km/h zone i.e. Tyndale, Harwood, Woodburn, and Broadwater etc
- 190km furthur [687km total]: BP Broadwater is a small servo in along the way. It may not be very busy, but you can thumb it directly on the road out the front if its not.
- 93km furthur [780km total]: Caltex Murwillumbah is a big (northbound only) servo on the Highway 5kms south-west of Chinderah and the last big reststop heading north before Tweed Heads and the Gold Coast, and its about 110km from Brisbane. This is a great spot to get a ride to Tweed, Goldy or Brisy mate.
- BP Connect Chinderah (southbound only) is a big servo a couple of kms south of the Tweed River. This is a great servo for finding a ride South.