The South Coast of New South Wales (NSW) would have to be perfect road trip destination, a region stretching south from Sydney to the border of Victoria. Be sure to take note of the Grand Pacific Drive, considered one of the most scenic and spectacular driving routes. Or if you don't have a car, train travel is also an option with regular services from Sydney’s Central Station. You’ll be able to take the scenic rail route with stops in seaside towns like Kiama and Austinmer.
The South Coast consists of four main geographic areas, the Illawarra Coast, Shoalhaven Coast, Eurobodalla Coast and the Sapphire Coast. Keep an eye out along the coastline over the winter months to catch a glimpse of whales migrating.
Start by occupying your time discovering the 100 beaches residing on the South Coast, from Seven Mile Beach to Depot Beach and over 170km of coastline to explore. Then for a touch of rainforest, discover Ben Boyd National Park on the Sapphire Coast with many walking tracks at a comfortable level. The Kiama Coast Walk brings sweeping vistas, pristine beaches and historical sites within a 22km walk. The walk can be separated into sections however it is recommended to allow two to three days to make the most of the scenery. Enjoy a variety of water sports on the coastline with kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding and water sports. You’ll also be able to experience friendly kangaroos first-hand at Pebbly Beach living in their natural habitat. On a hot afternoon watch the kangaroos enjoying a dip in the water, or simply relaxing on the dunes, an experience not to be missed.
Now if you’re planning your road trip and are short on time, each coastal town brings its very own personality to the mix. Wollongong is NSW’s third largest city and is known for its industry and port. It brings a choice of bushwalking trails and beaches for you to discover. While Kiama is a charming town known for its Kiama Blowhole and Little Blowhole, this natural spectacle is where the sea cliff spouts seawater more than 20 metres into the air. Kiama is filled with cafes and bars and great for local produce and artisan products. Next is Mollymook, which is a beachside haven, this little coastline town is within reach of both Sydney and Canberra. Finally Batemans Bay brings an array of fresh seafood with its very own oysters directly out of Clyde River and selection of seafood restaurants. Bateman’s Bay is also known for its variety of water sports and patrolled beach nearby.
On land, you’ll struggle to choose between the incredible national parks, camping locations, outdoor activities and wildlife on offer. The South Coast of NSW is genuinely an unspoilt beauty waiting for you to marvel over its sparkling ocean, tranquil lagoons and lush rainforest. So set aside some time to enjoy the many natural wonders on offer or take a day trip from Sydney to experience a taste of the stunning coastline.
If you’ve come to Kiama, you must see the spectacular natural phenomenon created by the Kiama Blowhole. Located right on the waterline, underlying volcanic rock has formed a hole by which the sea spurts through thanks to the waves and air pressure, sometimes carrying water 20 metres high. Locals state it’s best to visit with a south-east wind, but conditions can vary depending on the day. The air pressure that creates this massive blowhole is forceful, and you’ll notice its sound as well as its visual effect that can be quite mesmerising.
The blowhole was initially discovered in the 1700s by a whaler named Gorge Bass. It has since remained a place of spectacle since, drawing locals and visitors to the area. Nearby, you’ll find a picnic area and a rock pool you can spend the afternoon swimming in pending calm conditions. There is also a smaller, less known blowhole in Kiama called “Little Blowhole” for more to view.
Home to the whitest sand beaches, Hyams Beach has become a sought after destination thanks to its beautiful sand, water, and landscape. Just a three-hour journey from Sydney will have you soon setting up your towel at the beach, swimming in turquoise waters, and soaking in some of the best that Australia has to offer.
The water at Hyams Beach is a popular destination for snorkeling, as there is an abundance of marine wildlife in the area. Otherwise, head for a swim, fish, or paddleboard and kayak during the day to get the full experience. The famous White Sands Walk includes Hyams Beach and is accessible for you to continue onwards to Vicentia and eventually the Booderee National Park.
Although the town of Hyams Beach is fairly small, you’ll still be able to find accommodation in a range of holiday houses or quaint hotels. You can even take your accommodation choice one step further and book a stay at Paperbark Camp, which has transformed fishermen’s cabins into small bedroom cottages that will take you right to the beach. There is the Hyams Beach Store and Cafe where you can stock up on items for a picnic, or order yourself a bountiful breakfast with fresh local produce. They also provide gourmet hampers for picnics, should you want to stay at the beach for a full day’s worth of activities.
If you’ve come to Nowra, a visit to Shoalhaven Zoo will provide you with an experience filled with awe and wonder thanks to the many native and exotic animals you’ll find here. Located along the Shoalhaven River, the zoo is a serene location set to the backdrop of native bushland. A family-owned zoo lends itself to a personalised experience with the animals, letting you interact with some while getting very close to others.
There are several encounters you can book in with the zoo, choosing which animals you want to spend time with. From lions to monkeys and meerkats, there are all kinds of activities to choose from. There are also many birds, kangaroos and reptiles you can learn about during your time at the zoo. Booking the lion encounter will have you feeding large cats with the zookeeper. Otherwise, you can book the “Ultimate Aussie Experience” which encompasses feeding and holding a variety of native Australian animals.