South Coast, NSW

Take a Southern Sojourn to the South Coast of NSW

Blowholes, bridges and beautiful beaches…… a visit to the south coast of NSW is hopefully on your bucket list. If it’s not- quickly go and add it now. This stretch of coastline south of Sydney is thriving with tourists all throughout the year and it’s no secret as to why. As you make your way south from Sydney along the Princes Highway, a suggested detour is to follow the signs for the Grand Pacific Drive. These signs will guide you along a more interesting and scenic route along the coast making sure you don’t miss out on some of the very special and iconic sections of the area. The Grand Pacific Drive will take you along to the very popular and very well-known engineering marvel, The Sea Cliff Bridge linking the small towns of Coalcliff and Clifton. This bridge is a very popular spot for tourists to stop at and many choose to walk across it for a chance to take some “happy snaps” from this section of road that bends itself around the base of a mountain and cliff edge and over the shoreline.

Page 1 Wollongong headlandThe first major stop for us as we travelled south was the city of Wollongong, a thriving city which still seems to have a real country town atmosphere. Even though our stay in Wollongong was only short, we got a chance to briefly explore some of the more natural attractions of the area like the headlands and a few of the many stunning beaches. Both Flagstaff Hill Fort and Smiths Hill Fort are interesting places to visit, especially if you are a bit of a military or history buff. Take some time to check out the old canons strategically placed to defend the harbour from possible attacks in the late 1800’s. Nearby are the Wollongong Head Lighthouse which is still in use today and the iconic Breakwater Lighthouse located closer to the harbour which are both worth a photo or two. As well as ample of shopping opportunities in Wollongong, the streets are packed with outside cafes and alfresco dining areas to take advantage of. Wollongong is a great place to spend a week or two to relax or get busy spending some time to work on your tan at the beach.

Page 2 Kiama Blowhole v2As we headed further south we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit Kiama. The home of the famous blowhole! We headed 12kms further south and based ourselves at the Werri Beach Holiday Park in Gerringong. Gerringong has some fabulous surfing beaches and has one of the largest surf wear shops we have ever seen! From Gerringong, we took the opportunity to explore the Kiama Township and more importantly see the famous blowholes in all their squirting glory. You can see why so many people come to Kiama for a short break or family holiday. It’s a peaceful seaside village with an easy going atmosphere about the town and complimented by great beaches perfect for a bit of relaxation. We loved the natural beauty of this area, seeing the rich green farming land and rolling hills meet the ocean at dramatic cliff edges. Our camera got a real work out.

Only 26kms south west of Kiama is the town of Berry. We were told that a visit to the Treat Factory alone was worth the drive. Talk about “worth it”. This place had the nicest fudge we have ever tasted; our favourite was the “triple choc” fudge, pure decadence! Also on the shelves are a huge selection of gourmet jams, pickles, sauces and hand-made chocolates. Berry was a nice little town popular for the passing tourists to stop at and have a meal or browse through the many eclectic arts and craft and bric-a-brac shops along the main street. Do yourself a favour and find the old fashioned doughnut van in the main street and try one of their freshly made cinnamon doughnuts (still warm of course).

The last stop for us on this part of our visit to South Coast of NSW was a visit to Batemans Bay. You don’t have to look too far here to find something for all members of the family. We were kept busy visiting the beaches and took the opportunity to wet a line and go fishing in the Clyde River. A boat would have been great to bring along as the locals were catching plenty of bream from the river mouth. A week was hardly enough time for us to see and do most of the exciting activities Batemans Bay offers. An afternoon or two are easily spent walking along the river’s edge and admiring the marina precinct. Along the river near the town centre there are some gorgeous al-fresco cafes and restaurants perfect for an excuse to let someone else do the cooking for a change. Batemans Bay (and the south coast in general) is well known for its fresh seafood and in particular the local oysters which you will find featured on many of the menus in the restaurants.

The South Coast provides a very natural playground to keep visitors busy. Apart from the beaches and off-shore marine parks of the area for the aquatic lovers, there are plenty of national parks to choose from too for a bit of bush walking or bird watching. The region prides itself on being able to offer visitors a chance to “get back to nature” and encourages visitors to experience the area at much more relaxed pace. After all, what’s the rush?

To find out more about the South Coast or to help plan your next visit check out these following websites.

www.grandpacificdrive.com.au

www.visitwollongong.com.au

www.welovethegong.com.au

www.kiama.com.au

www.eurobodalla.com.au

Our favourite towns along the South Coast

  • Kiama

  • Berry

  • Nowra

  • Jervis Bay

  • Ulladulla

Our Top 10 “must do’s” on the South Coast

  • Drive the Sea Cliff Bridge

  • Visit the Illawarra Fly Tree-top walk

  • Go cosmic at the Science Centre and Planetarium

  • The Australian Motorlife Museum at Kembla Grange

  • Visit the Blowholes at Kiama

  • Take a stroll at the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre in the Budderoo National Park

  • See rare and exotic animals at Mogo Zoo- a must for families

  • Go whale watching off the coast

  • Take your fishing gear and wet a line or take a fishing charter

  • Do an oyster farm tour

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