Getting to the Sapphire Coast from Sydney with a Family

Getting to the Sapphire Coast from Sydney with a Family

It’s time to plan your family trip to the Sapphire Coast. Take a road trip with the kids and know where to stop, what to eat and when to go.


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. It’s could also be a good idea to break the journey with an overnight stay.


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.


We’ve got kids on board. Where could we stop along the way to entertain them?

At one of the world’s largest blowholes, in Kiama, the spouts can spray 30m into the sky. Another guaranteed highlight is a dolphin-watching cruise at Jervis Bay.


Is it worth breaking the journey up and staying somewhere overnight?

The coastal town of Nowra, two-and-a-half hours south of Sydney, is a great place to stop overnight. Pay a visit to Shoalhaven Zoo or enjoy a kayak or cruise along the Shoalhaven River while you’re there.


What are some great places to stop for coffee and/or food?

Let the kids eat fruit fresh from the tree at Darkes Glenbernie Orchard near Stanwell Park – they may even get to pick their own! - or go retro at The Dairy Bar, an old-school milk bar in Berry. And of course, a stop for fish and chips is a must – you’ll find options in every town.


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

Take a hike through the tree fern-filled Minnamurra Rainforest or opt for a more adrenaline-charged experience at Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures. Got a kid who loves planes? The collection at the HARS Aviation Museum in Albion Park will put a smile on their faces.


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.