4 wild adventures on the Sapphire Coast

Outdoor adventures abound in the spectacular settings of the Sapphire Coast. Get set for adrenaline-fuelled exploration (with places to refuel along the way) and grounding rejuvenation in equal measure.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Aug 11 -
min read

Prepare to paddle

Being active in nature makes you feel good. Your endorphins soar, your stress levels drop, you forget your cares and focus on the now. Even better if your backdrop is the wildlife-blessed Bermagui River, a calm estuary perfectly suited to being explored by kayak. Paddling in the early morning, the only sounds you’ll hear are the swoosh of your oar in the water and the flutter of cormorant and heron wings – all manner of birds descend to forage in mangroves and sun themselves in trees. Navigate Expeditions offers guided morning adventures along this dreamy pocket of the South Coast – pack your swimsuit, as a mid-kayak dip is a must. 

Bermagui Kayak Tour, Sapphire Coast

Bermagui Kayak Tour with Navigate Expeditions, Sapphire Coast

Refuel: Bermagui’s Boneless Vegetarian Café now roasts its own coffee beans. Order generous plant-based burgers, pear and ricotta toast, jackfruit bao buns or Asian-inspired congee to go with your caffeine hit. 

Congee at the Boneless Vegetarian Cafe, Bermagui

Congee at the Boneless Vegetarian Cafe, Bermagui - Credit: Honey Atkinson, Gourmet Coast Trail

Dive right in

Bermagui’s Blue Pool, set at the base of a dramatic cliff, looks a bit like an enormous liquid opal. It’s regularly refreshed with seawater, as waves crash over its barriers. And when you dive in for an exhilarating dip, you’ll be sharing it with a menagerie of marine animals, from anemones and sea stars to crabs and fish. There’s nothing quite like the first moment you put your head underwater here – it’s a salve for the soul.

Refuel: Warm up in the sunshine in the petite courtyard of Bermagui’s Honorbread and enjoy a well-deserved cinnamon morning bun. Or maybe you want a cumquat polenta shortbread. Or a classic pain au chocolat? You’re on holiday – get all three.

Honorbread, Bermagui

Honorbread, Bermagui

Walk this way

If you want to feel insignificant – in the best possible way – lace up your walking shoes to wander the elevated 1.5km Camel Rock to Murunna Point Walking Track. The ancient formation of Camel Rock is made up of 470-million-year-old turbidite beds. Even more amazing is the fact that they were created by underwater avalanches. You’ll also pass 500-million-year-old Horse Head Rock, one of the oldest rock formations in NSW. Then there’s your backdrop: Gulaga Mountain, a forested ancient volcano that has been a spiritual site for the Yuin people for millennia. It’s another excellent spot to see humpback whales breaching and blowing offshore during migration season. 

Refuel: There’re more divine ocean outlooks at The Sundeck, upstairs at Bermagui Fishermen’s Wharf. Order the catch of the day (it doesn’t get any fresher) and pinch yourself.

Get set for a splash

You’ll never forget the first time you spot a whale in the wild. And there are plenty of opportunities to see these gentle giants on the NSW South Coast, as they cruise up and down the “humpback highway” during their annual migration from Antarctica between August and November. Get set for whale theatrics aplenty (they love to put on a show) when you visit the tip of the peninsula at Wajurda Point in Mimosa Rocks National Park. Work up a sweat en route along the track from Moon Bay, then cool off in Nelson Lagoon’s gin-clear water.

Refuel: Step back in time when you enter the Tathra Hotel, dating back to 1888 and now heritage listed. The kitchen makes a conscious effort to reduce food miles by only using local suppliers to provide produce for ancient-grain salads, Angus beef burgers and (of course) plenty of oysters.

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