7 outdoor adventures on the South Coast
Oysters, whales, Songlines, waterfalls, the South Coast’s beauty will invigorate your body and soul. Discover it for yourselves on a refreshing break during the cooler months.
Catch a winter wave
There’s a lot to be said for surfing in winter and spring in the Illawarra: the waves can be cleaner (less choppy) than in summer and, with the ocean still at a respectable 20°C in late July, it can actually be warmer in the water than out. Whether you’re young or old, beginner or expert, the Thirroul, Corrimal or Warilla and get you surfing in the sun. There’s nothing like it. Cool cafes and eateries line the streets of these beachside villages, so you’ll have plenty of options to refuel after a few hours in the waves.will take you to beaches in
Walk the coast
Why be satisfied with one great coastal view when you can experience one after another, all day long? Hit the 20km Kiama Coast Walk and you’ll be front and centre to the dramatic beauty of the South Coast, from the Minnamurra River to Werri Beach. Four-legged friends can join the walk, too – there are several off-leash areas for Fido to run free. From May to November, find a whale-watching platform (they’re dotted along the coast) to see graceful humpbacks playing in the South Coast’s waters, and at the Kiama Blowhole – said to be the biggest in the world – watch a marine geyser shoot water up a remarkable 30m into the air (make sure you call in at its just-as-impressive baby cousin, the Little Blowhole, too).
Follow a Songline
Amble along a traditional walking track of the Brinja-Yuin people and immerse yourself in an Indigenous perspective on the South Coast. In Eurobodalla National Park, the Bingi Dreaming Track follows a Songline – a traditional storytelling route passed down in song cycles, stories, dance and art. The 13.5km walk covers a stunning stretch of coast, from Congo in the north to Tuross Head in the south, and links campsites, ceremonial and trade sites, and water and food sources. Keep an eye out for shell middens, spectacular views of Gulaga (Mount Dromedary) and Baranguba (Montague Island), and humpback whales, just as the locals have done for tens of thousands of years.
Walk on snow-white sand
Between the aquamarine waters, the dazzling white shores and the wild green national park that surrounds it all, you’ll feel like a castaway on your own private island as you beach hop along the coastline of Jervis Bay. And you can take a close-up look at a few of these glorious stretches of natural beauty on the White Sands Walk. An easy 2.5km hike through Jervis Bay National Park, it takes in bush tracks, lookouts offering views of dolphins and whales, and the chance to swim – or just walk along the sand – at idyllic beaches including Greenfield and Chinamans.
Surf a famous break
Whether you’re a grommet or a pro, the thrill of catching a wave at one of Australia’s most famous breaks will be hard to forget. The Farm is a legendary point break that’s part of a National Surfing Reserve in the stunning Killalea Regional Park, covering 8km of pristine coastline between Shellharbour and Kiama. With consistent swell that’s protected from the winds, it’s perfect for beginners, so sign up for a surf lesson with Pines Surfing Academy. For those that prefer to see the waves from dry ground, download the Tread Shellharbour app and follow a guided walk through the spectacular coastal reserve instead.
Fall for the falls
When the Kangaroo River spills off a sandstone plateau in Carrington Falls, one of the most spectacular locations in the Southern Highlands (and perfect fodder for your Instagram feed). It also happens to be blessed with nearby walking tracks and viewpoints that allow you to view the phenomenon from all sorts of angles; like the Carrington Falls walking track a gentle 30 to 45-minute amble. Nearby Nellies Glen is also worth adding to your itinerary, with a pretty picnic area, waterfall views and good birdwatching opportunities., it has to freefall for 90m before it hits the pool below and continues on its journey. Welcome to
Kayak – and slurp
The pristine waterways of the Sapphire Coast produce some of the world’s best oysters and on a Kayak and Shuck tour with Navigate Expeditions, you can enjoy these salty delicacies and explore their idyllic natural surrounds at the same time. After paddling the turquoise waters of the Pambula River with your tour guide, you’ll call in at the Broadwater Oysters farmgate to learn how to shuck and then taste award-winning oysters plucked fresh from the water. The Bermagui Kayak Tour offers an alternative journey that gives you exciting glimpses of some of the region’s other wildlife gems; look out for herons, kingfishers and stingrays as you glide along. A scrumptious morning tea is included.