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The epic South Coast of New South Wales measures a distance of 400 kilometres, and stretches from Wollongong in the north to Eden in the south. It certainly does not disappoint. You will be in awe of the natural beauty of this stretch of coastline. Here are some of the highlights of the New South Wales South Coast.
South Coast of New South Wales is divided into regions: Illawarra, Kiama, Shoalhaven, Jervis Bay Territory, Eurobodalla, Bega Valley, and the Sapphire Coast.
A map below shows where the New South Wales South Coast begins and ends, and where I stayed on my journey.
Only a 1.5 hour drive south of Sydney, the South Coast town of Kiama boasts an exciting natural phenomenon that has given the town its name. Kiama actually means “where the sea makes a noise”.
The infamous Kiama Blowhole is the largest in the world. The 2.5 metres opening in the rock face has had its plumes of water recorded at heights of over 30 metres!
There is not one, but two ocean pools in Kiama. Kiama Rock Pool is situated near the Blowhole, whereas Continental Ocean Pool is located at the north end of Black Beach Reserve.
The 22 kilometre scenic coastal walk is a must do, between Minnamurra River to the north and Werri Beach to the south. This walk takes you via the Blowhole, Lighthouse, rocky headlands, secret caves, coves and glorious ocean vistas.
Cathedral Rock stunning rock formations are 3 kilometres north of Kiama, and be can be viewed on the coastal walk.
Only a short driving distance south of Kiama is a little gem of a coastal town called Gerringong. It’s surrounded by green lush countryside, a headland at each end of Werri Beach, and a small town that has everything you need to have a wonderful holiday.
The countryside surrounding Kiama is brimming with lush, tumbling hills dotted with dairy cows on green pastures. Meander through picturesque Jamberoo, Saddleback Mountain and Rose Valley to see historic dry stone walls, country pubs, wineries and old red-roofed farmhouses.
Jervis Bay, 38 kilometres east of Nowra, is a protected marine park that is famous for its white-sand beaches and clear turquoise waters. The Jervis Bay Territory, that is administered by the Australian Capital Territory, include the villages of Huskisson, Vincentia, Callala Beach, Callala Bay and Hyams Beach.
Most of Jervis Bay is made up of the exquisitely beautiful and ecologically important Booderee National Park. It harbours the clear waters of Jervis Bay Marine Park and its shores are sprinkled with hidden white sand beaches.
Take to the water on a dolphin and whale watch cruise, or explore the bay at your leisure by kayak, boat or paddleboard. Hiking through the Boodereee National Park is also extremely popular.
Some of the spectacular beaches in Jervis Bay includes: Murrays Beach, Blenheim Beach, Greenfields Beach, Hyams Beach, Collingwood Beach, and Honeymoon Bay.
The historic town of Huskisson, once known for its ship building, is located alongside Currambene Creek and on the shores of Jervis Bay.
Huskisson houses a maritime museum and is also the site of the historic Lady Denman Ferry. The historical Huskisson Pictures and Huskisson Trading Post in town is also worth checking out.
Vincentia boasts no less than 6.5 kilometres of white sandy beaches and is a great place to stay during your Jervis Bay holiday. Its high land elevation in some areas gives spectacular views across Jervis Bay.
Hyams Beach in Jervis Bay is fringed by the Boodeeree National Park and possesses exquisite white sand and aqua blue clear water.
230 kilometres south of Sydney, the town of Ulladulla is half way between Batemans Bay to the south and Nowra to the north. Ulladulla is the commercial and entertainment centre of the southern Shoalhaven region.
The name Ulladulla means “safe harbour” in aboriginal language, so this pretty much sums up the place with its picturesque harbour in the middle of the town.
Take a drive up to Warden Head Lighthouse and walk through the bushland to Rennies Beach, where there is a viewing platform. Ulladulla is also a great central location to explore the surrounding lakes of Lake Conjola to the north and Burrill Lake to the south.
With spectacular views of rolling green hills, vineyards and to Burrill Lake, Cupitts Winery is the perfect place to wile away an afternoon indulging in fine food and wine. Cupitts Winery and Restaurant also features a winery, brewery, and fromagerie, and is a short drive inland from Ulladulla.
Lying just north of the town of Ulladulla is Mollymook. It is believed that the name Mollymook is a derivation of Mollymawk, the name given by sailors to a small Albatross that lives in the Southern Ocean.
Mollymook boasts a fabulous 2 kilometres stretch of golden sanded beach between Bannister Point and the southern headland where Mollymook Golf Club is located.
A short distance away from Mollymook is the National Trust listed town of Milton set on a ridge between green valleys and the Great Dividing Range. Milton is a great little town to stroll around with its art galleries and antique vendors, alfresco cafes and fine-dining restaurants, fashion boutiques and home-ware stores.
A vibrant holiday resort town, Batemans Bay lies at the mouth of the Clyde River in the Eurobodalla region at the centre of the New South Wales South Coast. It is a holiday mecca for tourists, particularly during the Summer months, as it has some of the most pristine uncrowded beaches on the coast.
Don’t miss the succulent local Clyde River oysters, that are available in town at one of the many restaurants. Take a stroll along the river boardwalk taking in the views of the bridge over the river. Enjoy a coffee at one of the many riverside cafes and a stroll around the chic shops in this area.
Visit the nearby historical town of Mogo, with an interesting main street and the amazing Mogo Zoo. This once thriving gold mining town, has become home to a small group of artists and crafts people, displaying and selling their artwork.
Moruya, meaning ‘home of the Black Swan’, is a country town 26 kilometres south of Batemans Bay situated on the magnificent Moruya River. With its beautifully preserved and restored historic buildings and churches it is a great place to visit.
Moruya North Head Campground is the perfect base for exploring the area. Although fairly primitive, the location of this campground sitting on the dunes of Benjello Beach and adjacent to the Moruya River, is fabulous.
Midway between Batemans Bay and Moruya Heads is the small laid-back village of Broulee. The beach here is very well protected and ideal for families and to the south the beach forms an isthmus to the Broulee Island nature reserve that features the Pink Rocks.
Narooma comes from the Aboriginal for ‘clear blue water’ with vibrant aqua colours of the Wagonga Inlet, and set against the spectacular backdrop of Gulalga Mountain.
Hike or drive up to Bar Rock Lookout with magnificent views of the estuary inlet and out to Montague Island. Here you can photograph the perfect Australia-shaped hole, naturally carved out of rocks over millions of years, at Australia Rock.
The fantastic 6 kilometre Dalmeny-Kianga-Narooma ocean-front shared cycle/pathway, was built by a Dad’s Army of volunteers for the benefit of the community. It is a must-do when visiting Narooma for the incredible views along the pathway.
The delightful small town of Dalmeny, dominated by beautiful beaches and lakes, is located only 7 kilometres north of Narooma. Dalmeny headland offers panoramic views of Dalmeny Beach and creek, and the adjoining Eurobodalla National Park.
Dalmeny Camping & Caravan Park situated on a grassy headland with spectacular coastal views with full amenities for only $30 a night (off-peak).
Only nine kilometres offshore from Narooma, is the outstanding Montague Island Nature Reserve, that is home to the largest seal and little penguin colonies in the state. There is a granite lighthouse at the highest point of the island that you can climb to get incredible views back towards Narooma.
One of the best wildlife encounters is swimming with the Australian Fur Seals at Montague Island. There are daily boat tours to the island departing from Narooma with an experienced wildlife ranger.
Around 29 kilometres north of Dalmeny is Tuross Head, set on a spectacular headland. It is bracketed by ocean beaches on one side and, on the other, by a network of tidal lakes that offer exceptional fishing and boating.
On the trip back from Tuross Head stop by the small town of Bodalla. Here you can partake in some cheese tasting at the Bodalla Cheese Factory and maybe some scones with jam and cream at the café adjoining the factory. Check out the Gothic-style architecture of the historic Anglican All Saints Church.
One of the jewells of the Sapphire Coast is the vibrant seaside and harbour town of Bermagui, only 34 kilometres south of Narooma. The town is famous for its deep sea and game fishing and estuary fishing in the surrounding rivers and lakes.
Overshadowed by Gulaga Mountain (Mt Dromedary), Bermagui offers magnificent scenery, coastal bush walks, quiet beaches and lakes and nearby national parks and state forests.
Must do sights include: Blue Pool, Horse Head Rock, Camel Rock or a guided tour of the historic Montreal Goldfield, Australia’s only seaside goldfield.
Another charming seaside town on the Sapphire Coast, is Tathra with a vibe of a holiday town from a bygone era. It boasts pristine beaches and estuaries, and National Parks. The iconic, grand old dame of the sea, Tathra Wharf takes pride of place in the bay.
The largest coastal town on the Sapphire Coast, Merimbula is a playground for water sports lovers of all types. Just some of these water sports include fishing, swimming, surfing, boating, lake cruises, scuba-diving, sailboarding and canoeing.
Its name means ‘two lakes’, as the town of Merimbula is surrounded on both sides by large expanses of water. There is a boardwalk that traces the shores of the lake over mangroves, under tall eucalypts and past Merimbula’s famous Oyster farms.
Choose from three beautiful beaches in Merimbula: Main Beach, Short Point or Bar Beach. Check out the rocky Tura Headland with the most vibrant claret-red coloured rock formations.
A short driving distance from Merimbula is the historic village of Pambula. It offers a pristine beach popular for surfing and swimming, and is where the stunning Pambula river enters the ocean.
The main street features some good examples of colonial buildings and the town is a stone’s throw away from the remarkable Panboola Wetlands.
On the last stop before you hit the New South Wales and Victorian border, is the old whaling town of Eden. It’s nestled comfortably within three National Parks, on the majestic Twofold Bay. Eden has one of our nations deepest harbours, Twofold Bay, for access for recreational fishermen. It also has the best whale watching experience between September and November each year.
During your visit check out Snug Bay to see the fishermen unload their catches; Eden Killer Whale Museum that offers insights and tales of bravery of the area’s whaling past; and take in the views from Lookout Point and visit the Seamen’s Memorial.
Day trips from Eden include: Historic Boydtown, just 8 kilometres south of Eden; visit the Seahorse Inn built by Benjamin Boyd in 1843 using convict labour; Boyd’s Tower, where entrepreneur Benjamin Boyd built this elaborate sandstone tower in 1847; Davidson Whaling Station on Twofold Bay, to see relics and read about life of the 19th century whalers; and Green Cape Lighthouse perched atop Green Cape, 45 minutes drive south of Eden.
There are so many scenic places and captivating beauty to absorb along the South Coast of New South Wales. It is a very manageable road trip that you should all undertake at least once in your lifetime.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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JohannaNovember 10, 2014
Wow Kathy, you’ve really made me want to explore this beautiful stretch of Australia. I love the look of the lush rolling hills around Kiama – reminds me of England.
KathyNovember 10, 2014
Kiama was pretty remarkable for that time of year (February).There was greenery everywhere. We had always heard the South Coast of NSW was beautiful but didn’t realise just how beautiful until we visited there.
jennyandstephenmilanNovember 10, 2014
Yes I agree Kathy, the south coast is a beautiful part of Australia. The beaches are usually empty and the hinterland, lush and green. Reading this has made me quite homesick!
KathyNovember 10, 2014
I was surprised at how lush and green the hills were and I must agree that some of the beaches were the most unpopulated and unspoilt ones that I have seen in Australia. A lovely part of Australia!
Pinky PoinkerNovember 10, 2014
I’ve always thought this is the most beautiful part of Australia (that I’ve seen). It’s so green, fresh and pretty. I definitely need to move where it rains more!
KathyNovember 11, 2014
It was surprisingly green for February. It is amazing how many beautiful places there are once you get on the road and start seeing this great country. Don’t you get enough rain up there during the wet season?