Getting to the Sapphire Coast from Sydney

Getting to the Sapphire Coast from Sydney

It’s time to plan your trip to the Sapphire Coast. Tucked at the southernmost corner of NSW, this sparkling region is more accessible than you think.


Fast facts:

Airports – Merimbula

Coastal route – Sydney to Bermagui via Wollongong and Batemans Bay, 380km/5hrs 20mins

Inland route – Sydney to Bermagui via Bowral and Goulburn, 450km/5hrs 20mins


We want to explore the Sapphire Coast – what’s the best time of the year to go there?

The Sapphire Coast’s temperate climate makes it a year-round destination. Summers are the time for swimming, surfing beaches and splashing around. The water stays warm right through autumn, and the cooler months are great for hiking or biking the area’s many national parks. Come between September and November to enjoy superb whale watching – there’s a reason this region is one of the most famous stops on the Humpback Highway.


Can I fly there?

Both Qantas and Rex Airlines offer flights from Sydney to Merimbula Airport. Direct flights take one hour and connecting flights (via Moruya) take 1hr 50min.


We want to take a road trip. How long will it take us to get there?

You can reach Bermagui, the northernmost town on the Sapphire Coast, in just over five hours non-stop, but we highly recommend taking your time and discovering some of the scenic stops along the way.


What is the best route to follow for a scenic drive to the Sapphire Coast from Sydney?

Start your trip south along the spectacular Grand Pacific Drive, passing over the spectacular Sea Cliff Bridge and through coastal hubs including Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and the Shoalhaven region. Alternatively, take the inland route, which travels through the scenic Southern Highlands before joining the coast road at Nowra. From there, you’ll continue on through Eurobodalla, past Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma, before arriving in Bermagui.


Anywhere special to stay along the way?

Nestled between the bush and the beach about two hours south of Sydney, Bangalay Luxury Villas is an indulgent place to hole up for a break. Seven Mile Beach is just a short walk away, and the on-site restaurant is the best in the area.


Best places for coffee and a bite to eat?

Located on Kiama’s main drag, Otis Deli has an outstanding Middle Eastern-inspired menu courtesy of owner Emily Herbert, who worked alongside acclaimed chef Yotam Ottolenghi in London. In Ulladulla, the menu at the harbourside Native Cafe includes chilli eggs and veggie bowls, along with Will & Co Coffee.


Any unmissable sights on the journey we might not know about?

The bush-scapes you’ll pass through are as spectacular as the beaches, so make time for a hike (try the Minnamurra Rainforest near Kiama, or the Beecroft Peninsula near Jervis Bay). The Shoalhaven Coast is also one of NSW’s most exciting wine regions: pay a visit to Silos Estate near Berry or Crooked River Wines in Gerringong.


What should we pack?

Don’t leave home without your swimsuit, your walking shoes, and a layer or two in case of temperature changes. Even in summer, nights can be cool in this part of NSW.