Getting to the South Coast
When the journey matters as much as the destination, make it a priority to take the 140km Grand Pacific Drive route from Sydney toward the unspoilt NSW South Coast. This is one of the world’s greatest road trips, skirting secluded bays, weaving across windswept cliffs, cutting through Australia’s oldest national park and snaking over the Pacific Ocean – get ready to be dazzled by the engineering feat that is the 665m Sea Cliff Bridge.
Much of the coast is easily accessible for day trips and weekend getaways, with balmy weather making it a year-round destination. But if you’re looking to linger, the region extends all the way down to the Victorian border. Yes, driving is convenient, but the area is also accessible via train, bus and plane.
Driving from Sydney
Part of the legendary Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive, the Grand Pacific Drive begins in the Royal National Park, south of Sydney. After passing Stanwell Park then traversing that bridge, the route hugs the Illawarra Escarpment toward the city of Wollongong. From here, it’s one pretty beach and laid-back town after another, with geological wonders and wildlife in between.
Pass through (or linger in) Albion Park, Shellharbour, Kiama, Gerringong and Berry, before travelling on to Nowra, near the white-sand beaches and dolphins of Jervis Bay. From here, the South Coast continues all the way down to Eden, close to the Victorian border.
Driving from Melbourne or Canberra
Not far south of Jervis Bay, at the centre of the South Coast, Batemans Bay is a four-hour drive from Sydney – but just two hours from Canberra. The drive north from Melbourne over the border to Eden, one of Australia’s best whale watching spots, takes a little over six hours. From Canberra, it’s three hours to Eden via Merimbula and Pambula.
Train and bus
The region is also accessible via train, with regular services departing Sydney's Central Station. Alight at any of the charming seaside towns along the way, including Stanwell Park, Scarborough, Austinmer, Thirroul, Bulli, Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama, Gerringong and Berry. Bomaderry, near Nowra, is the last stop on the line. Buses also depart Sydney and Canberra for popular seaside destinations.
Fly to the South Coast
There are a number of airports dotted along the South Coast, so you can fly in and hire a car to explore the region. Shellharbour Airport is in Albion Park and close to Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama. Link Airways operates regular direct flights from Melbourne and Brisbane.
Another option is to fly to the far South Coast. With Regional Express, you can fly from Sydney to Moruya in the heart of the Eurobodalla region. It’s a 20min drive from Batemans Ba and a 40min drive from Narooma. To get to the sparkling Sapphire Coast, Qantas flies direct between Sydney and Merimbula. Regional Express flies from Sydney to Merimbula via Moruya and flies direct between Melbourne and Merimbula.