Wind your way from the cool climate wineries of the Canberra District and Yass Valley down to the sparkling waters of Eurobodalla and the Sapphire Coast. And with pet-friendly accommodation along the way, you can even bring your four-legged friend along for the ride.
Journey: Capital to the Coast
Duration: 6 days
Visit Canberra District wineries
Lunch at award-winning Grazing at Gundaroo
Meet friendly alpacas on a farm
Kayak tour of oyster leases in Batemans Bay
Fly over the South Coast in a seaplane
Cheese tasting at Bodalla Dairy Shed
Day 1: Around Lake George
From Sydney, drive 2.5hr to Lake George Winery – at 700m above sea level, it boasts the perfect cool climate for their impressive vegan-friendly wines.
Have a tasting at their cellar door or take a Vine to Wine tour through the vineyard and winery with owner Sarah McDougall. Make a sweet detour to Robyn Rowe for handcrafted Belgian chocolates. For an elegant lunch, Grazing Restaurant, just 25min from Canberra, offers local produce like yabbies and grain-fed lamb on the menu in the 1830s building, formerly a traveller’s inn.
Discover artisan hand-dyed yarns for sale in the farm shop and enjoy morning tea. Savour lunch on the deck of Smokehouse Restaurant, at family-run Poachers Pantry. Meats are cured and smoked in-house, organic produce is grown in the kitchen garden and wines are made in the Bruce family’s surrounding vineyards. Or head to Four Winds Vineyard, where you can build your own grazing platter from the deli fridge and match it with wine from the cellar door.
Next stop is renowned Clonakilla Wines where the shiraz is vibrant and the countryside tranquil. Then enjoy a relaxing wine tasting at Shaw Wines, a chic winery of rustic edges and modern design encircled by paddocks and vines. The cellar door is all timber, concrete and soaring windows, while the on-site restaurant Olleyville boasts a refined gastronomic experience with a menu that centres around a wood-fired oven. Rest your weary head and satisfied stomach at Abode Murrumbateman, a stylish, pet-friendly apartment hotel where you’ll find free bicycles to tour the vineyards.
In the morning, set out for the coast and start the two-hour drive to Batemans Bay
Stop halfway in the heritage-listed town of Braidwood for coffee and cake at the lush, plant-filled cafe Deadwoodor a freshly made bakery lunch at artisan bakehouse Dojo Bread. In Batemans Bay, see the best of what lies under and over the water with a kayaking tour of the town’s famed oyster farms that dot the Clyde River Estuary with Region X (load your kayak with as many oysters as you like for the journey!).
Drive south to the pristine beaches of Mossy Point and refuel with a coffee at the eclectic The Mossy Cafe, which uses beans blended specifically for the cafe by local roastery Guerilla Roasters. Set up for the night at one of the self-contained rooms at stylish Abode Malua Bay (another pet-friendly choice), before heading out for a seafood dinner at JJ’s at the Marina, situated right on the glittering waterfront.
Get an early start and pick up breakfast in the centre of Batemans Bay.
Deli on Perryis a popular spot for coffee, light brunches and overflowing platters of gourmet cheeses, charcuterie and desserts. Visit Australia’s largest collection of primates at the award-winning Mogo Wildlife Park, where you can also get up close and personal with tigers, lions and a white rhino. Or see nature from a further perspective and head to the clouds for a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding unspoiled seaside landscape on a one-hour tour with South Coast Seaplanes.
Back on land, head further south to the charming village of Bodalla, famed for its dairy and cheese production dating back to the 1860s. At the Bodalla Dairy Shed, taste their range of uniquely native-flavoured cheeses or order a scoop of ice cream or a milkshake made from their non-homogenised ‘living’ milk. Leave room for a late lunch at Quarterdeckin Narooma – the quirky tiki bar offers southern American-style grills, themed cocktails and pretty ocean panoramas, all to a soundtrack of atmospheric live music.
Check in for the night at The Whale Inn, boutique accommodation with eclectic art deco furnishings and pet-friendly room options. Stay for a dinner of locally sourced produce at their restaurant while taking in the breathtaking hilltop views.
See the sights of Narooma on two wheels with a leisurely e-bike tour with Southbound Escapes.
Choose from an indigenous storytelling and culture tour exploring the Dalmeny Coastal Trail or ride to a relaxing beach and yoga session, all using speedy electric bikes. Drive 15min south to the well-preserved heritage village of Central Tilba, at the base of the spectacular Gulaga mountain. Pick up some cheeses at Tilba Real Dairy and watch the cheese-making process from behind the factory’s large glass windows.
Stop for a lakeside lunch at family-run Tilba Valley Winery and Alehouse, making sure to taste their range of semillon, riesling, shiraz and more before you go. Or head further south for a locavore lunch at Mimosa Wines, a family-owned and -operated vineyard, restaurant and cellar door on a picturesque hilltop in Murrah.
In the Sapphire Coast town of Bermagui, spend the afternoon exploring the treasures of this shoreline: go snorkelling in the natural Blue Pool, or head to Camel Rock beach to spot the animal-shaped rock formed over millions of years and ride the waves in the famed surfing waters. Stay the night in Tilba at The Bryn, a tranquil countryside bed and breakfast with views of Gulaga, or make your way back to Narooma for the night before setting off home in the morning.