Discover beautiful seaside towns, historic villages, pristine beaches and breathtaking national parks as you follow the NSW South Coast towards Melbourne, enjoying spectacular ocean views along the way.
From Wollongong to the Sapphire Coast you will find stunning beaches, spectacular wilderness, exhilarating bushwalks, delicious oysters, tasty cheeses, and charming towns and villages.
Drive south of Kiama alongside golden beaches and through rolling hills to Shoalhaven Heads. Spend the afternoon in Jervis Bay swimming, surfing, beach fishing or simply lazing on the area’s pristine sands, or travel to the nearby town of Berry for a spot of boutique shopping.
Discover why The Sapphire Coast is known as part of Australia’s ‘Oyster Coast’ by sampling fresh oysters grown in the Clyde River. After indulging in the region’s fine produce, rest up for the rest of the drive in one of the area’s many accommodation options.
Travel south from Sydney on the Princes Highway through the Royal National Park, taking in the beauty of the ancient bushland along the way. Continue on the Grand Pacific Drive along the Sea Cliff Bridge as it hugs the coastline between Coalcliff and Clifton, extending out over the water at times. Once you’ve reached Wollongong, settle in for coffee at one of the city’s beachside cafes.
From Wollongong make your way inland to Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures, near Knights Hill. Savour panoramic views of lush rainforest, coastal towns and the Pacific Ocean from high above the forest floor on the park’s steel walkway, central tower and zip lines. From there head to Budderoo National Park's Minnamurra Rainforest where you may be lucky enough to spot a lyrebird.
Next stop is beautiful Jamberoo, then on to Shellharbour for a coffee, followed by a stroll along one of the many coastal walking tracks or a tour of the town's heritage buildings. If aquatic action is more your style, book a canoeing tour in the Minnamurra River, visit Jamberoo Action Park where you'll find waterslides galore or head to Killalea State park for world famous surfing spots The Farm and Mystics Beach.
Heading South, visit the iconic Kiama Blowhole and see plumes of water erupt from the natural formation or take a walk to the nearby lighthouse. There are also many gorgeous inland drives that take you on a detour through historic villages and towns nestled in the hinterland, such as Berry and Kangaroo Valley.
Jervis Bay is 198km south of Sydney, and home to abundant natural attractions. Spend time bushwalking through the Jervis Bay National Park, fishing in clear blue waters or spotting dolphins on a chartered cruise. Relax on white sandy beaches rimmed around the pristine waters.
There are charming seaside towns and villages. Callala Bay is on the northern shore, Huskisson and Vincentia on the western shore. Jervis Bay Village is also the southern gateway to Booderee National Park, where you can surf at Cave Beach or swim amongst the fish in the tranquil waters of Green Patch Beach. The historic Cape St George Lighthouse is the perfect location for whale and bird watching.
After exploring Jervis Bay’s natural beauty, get back on the road and take the leisurely drive towards Ulladulla. Travel past national parks and state forests and through small townships before reaching the coastal town. Stop by the Fishermen’s Co-op at Ulladulla Harbour for a serve of fresh fish and chips before finding a spot to watch the waves roll in.
155 km south of Ulladulla, Batemans Bayis at the sparkling entrance of the Clyde River, an estuary on Australia’s Oyster Coast famous for its oysters. You’ll find plenty of delightful things to do and see in this region.
Near Batemans Bay is Mogo Zoo, home to more than 240 animals, including Rothschild’s giraffe, Sumatran tigers, snow leopards, white lions and Western lowland gorillas. You can also get up close to rhinoceros, meerkats, red pandas, monkeys and lions on private animal encounters.
Gold fever struck Mogo in 1857, sparking a rush of fossickers to the area. You can experience what it was like during the colonial gold rush at the award-winning Original Gold Rush Colony, which recreates the 19th century goldmining village of Mogo.
Just 15 minutes drive southwest from Mogo is riverside Moruya, where you’ll find outdoor adventures such as skydiving and kayaking as well as fresh local produce at the weekly SAGE Farmers Market every Tuesday. Moruya’s Saturday market is another great place to find fresh food, along with live music, art and craft. There are many boutique shops and galleries to explore in Moruya.
Explore local Aboriginal cultural heritage on the ancient Bingi Dreaming Track, at nearby Bingi Bingi Point, where you follow ancient ‘song lines’ along spectacular coastal pathways that traditionally linked campsites and ceremonial sites.
Further south is Tuross Head. A popular recreational activity is kayaking on Tuross Lake, which connects to the Tuross River. You can hire kayaks near the Tuross Boatshed and Cafe on Trafalgar Road, where there are waterfront cafes where you can enjoy delicious fish and chips.
Nearby Bodalla is another delightful village with colonial heritage - and delicious cheese. Dairy farming and cheese making in Bodalla date back to the 1860s. Today, you can visit the famous Bodalla Dairy Cheese Factory, which exports cheeses to the world. Explore more fascinating heritage by visiting the historic All Saints Church, set atop a picturesque hill.
Next stop is Narooma, a seaside haven on the edge of the sparkling Wagonga Inlet. There are many delightful activities and unforgettable experiences to enjoy here — swimming, snorkelling or diving with a colony of fur seals on Montague Island. This is a world class experience.
A range of tours will take you to Montague Island Nature Reserve, a haven for the hundreds of fur seals, thousands of penguins and many bird species. You can spot humpback and southern right whales between May and November. The island is culturally significant to Yuin Aboriginal people, who call it Barunguba.
The 108 km drive south to Merimbula offers many opportunities to stop and enjoy great food and natural wonders.
In the picture-postcard Tilba region, admire colonial timber cottages as you browse delightful shops and galleries, savour local produce and amble in splendid gardens. The heritage villages are in the foothills of Mount Gulaga, an extinct volcano in Gulaga National Park. The mountain holds spiritual significance for local Yuin Aboriginal people.
For spectacular coastal views from the summit, follow a track that begins near the general store in Tilba Tilba. In this delightful village, amble in the Foxglove Spires Garden, an elegant garden built around a farm cottage.
The delicious Tilba Growers Market is held every Saturday in Central Tilba, which is also home to the famous ABC Cheese Factory. You can visit the factory for cheese tastings and savour its popular Tilba Club cheddar.
From gorgeous beaches and shimmering lakes to fresh and delicious seafood, the charming seaside town of Merimbula is perfect for water sports and there is also an aquarium and wildlife sanctuary to explore.
There are marvellous options for dinner, too. Enjoy spectacular ocean views and local seafood from the Merimbula Wharf Restaurant. Relax with a cocktail and share a plate of local delicacies at Drift Eden, while you enjoy superb views of Snug Cove Wharf. Tasting menus at the Long Time No Sea also showcase the best of local produce.
It is a seven hour drive from Merimbula to Melbourne, and this drive is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy abundant natural attractions along the way as you stop and refresh. Start by enjoying coffee and breakfast at Bar Beach Kiosk or Waterfront Café in Merimbula.
From orcas to humpbacks, nearby Eden is one of the best spots in Australia to watch majestic whales on their annual migration. Spot whales in the sparkling waters of Twofold Bay, a deep natural harbour, and from spectacular lookouts in beautiful Ben Boyd National Park.
Driving tired is the second biggest killer on NSW roads after speeding, so it's important to stop, revive, survive. See tips and advice for planning and taking your trip, so that you arrive safely at your holiday destination.
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