Top surf beaches
Two of Australia’s best surfing beaches are less than two hours’ drive south of Sydney at Killalea State Park, near Shellharbour. ‘The Farm’ and ‘Mystics’ are recognised National Surfing Reserves as surfing havens.
Begin your discovery of NSW South Coast beaches on the Grand Pacific Drive, a road trip south of Sydney that winds along the coast dotted with sandy beaches. Starting at the Royal National Park, it’s a beautiful scenic drive that runs along the coast, finishing at Nowra.
There are some gorgeous beaches to stop at on the way; Thirroul and Austinmer beaches are must-visits, relatively small, patrolled, family-friendly and edged with norfolk pine trees. Just north of Wollongong, Corrimal Beach is a long stretch of sand that is patrolled, dog-friendly, and it also has a small lagoon that’s ideal for kids to have a splash. In Wollongong itself, follow the locals to North Wollongong Beach, with rock pools, plenty of grass and shade, and good surf.
South of Kiama, Gerringong’s Werri Beach is a favourite with surfers, and the town also boasts two fantastic ocean baths. Just South of Gerroa you’ll find Seven Mile Beach, a spectacular stretch of sand running all the way to Shoalhaven Heads which is pristine and beautiful.
The 138 km Grand Pacific Drive is part of the Sydney Melbourne Coastal Drive, which weaves its way farther south to delightful destinations such as Jervis Bay and the powdery white sands at Hyams Beach. In Narooma, you can snorkel with fur seals at Montague Island, and head further south to the gorgeous beaches of the Sapphire Coast. The beaches of Tathra and Merimbula are known as the best in the area; the sandbank known as Merimbula Bar creates one of the South Coast's picture-perfect waves.