Grand Pacific Drive
The 140-kilometre Grand Pacific Drive is undoubtedly one of the most stunning coastal drives in Australia. Starting 45 minutes south of Sydney, the journey begins at the stunning Royal National Park and finishes at Batemans Bay.
Royal National Park
Established in 1879, Royal National Park is the world’s second oldest national park. Easily accessible from Sydney or Wollongong, this natural gem offers spectacular scenery, an extensive network of bushwalking tracks and a vast array of wildlife. Visit renowned Garie Beach, popular with the surfers, and admire the panoramic views from Garie North Head.
Situated along the Tasman Sea, this regional town is home to beautiful beaches and is a popular fishing destination for serious anglers. Shellharbour boasts several museums: the Illawarra Light Railway Museum and the HARS Aviation Museum. Bushrangers Bay is the place to go for snorkelling and scuba diving while Lake Illawarra is a great spot for a relaxing holiday.
Famous for the Blowhole, this vibrant seaside town has a lot more on offer. Seven Mile Beach is not only great for swimming but also for learning how to surf. If you’re looking for a thrill of a different kind, spend the day at Jamberoo Action Park, the largest water theme park in New South Wales. Take a drive to Saddleback Mountain Lookout to experience panoramic views.
Hidden away in Budderoo National Park, the Minnamurra Rainforest is a magical destination. The best way to experience this remnant of subtropical and temperate rainforest is by venturing into this unique landscape along the elevated boardwalks. The 1.6km loop walk meanders through the rainforest and takes about one hour to complete. If you’re feeling energetic, the 2.6km return track to the Minnamurra Falls follows on from the loop walk, along a paved surface. Two lookouts reward your efforts with awe-inspiring views of the falls.
Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk
The award-winning Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk, completed in 2008, is one of only four steel canopy walks in the world. The entire walk is 500m long with an average height of 25m. The highlight is Knights Tower, a 45m structure with superb views towards the coast and the Pacific Ocean. 106 spiral steps take you to the top. If this doesn’t provide enough excitement, experience the two cantilevered sections, which sway in the breeze. Rest assured – the boardwalk was constructed with a 280km/h wind speed design.
Enjoy a drive to the region’s three spectacular waterfalls: Fitzroy, Carrington and Belmore Falls. The 81m Fitzroy Falls must be seen to be believed. An impressive 78m drop makes Belmore Falls a must-see, with Hindmarsh Lookout the best vantage point. Carrington Falls has a 500m loop trail, which takes you to three lookouts, each one rewarding with breathtaking views of the falls. The crystal-clear water plunges 50m down the sandstone cliffs into the magnificent Kangaroo Valley.
This picturesque coastal town is a popular holiday destination, for obvious reasons. Turquoise-blue waters roll onto white, sandy beaches while dolphins frolic in the bay. From June to November you’re likely to spot humpbacks and southern right whales on their annual migration.
Situated at the mouth of the Clyde River, this bustling town boasts a spectacular coastline. The nearby Clyde River National Park is a great place for bushwalking, fishing, kayaking and snorkelling. The Clyde River also happens to be the heart of the Oyster Coast.