Food & Drink

Things grow well on the NSW South Coast, whether rainforest in the coastal hinterland, oysters in the sea or fresh produce on the rolling plains in between. This bounty equates to a hard-to-beat, diverse culinary scene – gather just-laid eggs, wade into the ocean to shuck oysters, pick up uber-fresh produce from farmers markets, and savour local wines or craft beers. Sit down to fine-dining meals prepared by some of the world’s top chefs (like Rick Stein at Bannisters in Mollymook or Bangalay Dining in Shoalhaven). In between lie other eat-out options, from fish-and-chips shacks to casual cafes and wine bars.     

Chef Brett Strong showcasing the local and native ingredients featured on the Bangalay Dining menu to patrons, South Coast

Oysters & seafood

The South Coast is Australia’s Oyster Coast and it’s fair to say molluscs are a pretty big deal down here. In the heart of the action is Eurobodalla, where you can slurp oysters freshly shucked from Jim Wild’s Oysters at Greenwell Point and tours are also available. Get active and try them just-plucked on a Clyde River Oyster Kayaking Tour; relax and enjoy them at Wheelers in Pambula (which hosts a daily alfresco oyster bar); or savour them from farm gate to your plate at Pearly Oyster Bar and Farm in Batemans Bay.

Pick up yet more oysters, plus a smorgasbord of other seafood, from Eden Smokehouse (the Atlantic salmon is a hit). Or go on a seafood-crawl between fishermen’s co-ops, sampling literally straight-from-the-ocean prawns, tuna, kingfish and more. 

Mussels dish available from Merimbula Aquarium and Wharf Restaurant in Merimbula, Sapphire Coast

Farms & fresh produce

If you like to pick your own in-season peaches, plums, chestnuts and vegetables, or collect just-laid eggs from free-range chickens, the South Coast is ideal. Farmgate experiences offer a from-the-source taste of the region, as do the various farmers’ markets. Try SAGE Farmers Market at MoruyaTilba Market, Berry Farmers’ Market or Kiama Farmers’ Market, all of which deliver an incredible selection of locally grown produce.

Kiama Farmer's Markets in Kiama

Healthy, contented cows graze over the South Coast’s fertile fields, in turn producing some of the state’s tastiest dairy products. Drop in to award-winning fromagerie Bodalla Dairy Shed for freshly churned ice-cream, plus cheeses infused with native wattleseed and saltbush; stop past ABC Cheese Factory in Central Tilba for vintage smoked cheddar or mountain ash camembert; and don’t forget the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre, where you can take away signature Strong and Bitey, or linger over a cheese-fuelled lunch in the cafe.

Friends enjoying a wine tasting experience with head winemaker Wally Cupitt of Cupitt's Winery, Ulladulla, South Coast

Wineries

The Shoalhaven Coast is known for producing a diverse range of varietals – from chardonnay to shiraz – and features more than a dozen cellar doors. Between Ulladulla and Milton you’ll find Cupitt's Winery & Brewery, which not only bottles standout wines but also hosts an on-site craft brewery and cheesemaking operation.

Occupying historic buildings once comprising a dairy farm, Silos Estate in Berry is as in-demand for its wines as for its wide-eyed alpacas and guest cottages. Nearby is Two Figs Winery, with views over the beaches of Shoalhaven Heads, and just east lies Coolangatta Estate, which also features a restaurant and cottages for overnight stays.