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Grand Pacific Drive

Home > Sydney > Adventure | Day Trips | Escape the City | Free | Outdoor
by Gypsy Rose (subscribe)
I love travelling, discovering hidden gems & food. Experience the journey on Instragram! @gypsy_compass. Owner of do check it out for grazing platters and more :)
Published June 10th 2020
One drive / One ocean / One scenic day out / One adventure
The Grand Pacific Drive is one of Australia's most spectacular driving routes. It encompasses some of the most scenic coastlines in New South Wales, as it takes you through rainforest and seaside villages as you follow the exquisite coastline.

The Grand Pacific Drive starts just 45-minutes south of Sydney CBD at the entrance of the second oldest national park in the world, the heritage-listed Royal National Park. It crosses the astounding and iconic 665-metre Sea Cliff Bridge, making its way through coastal cities and townships of Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama, and the Shoalhaven on a total length of 140 kilometres.

It also passes endless beautiful coastal scenery, lush rainforests and an array of pit spots.

The iconic Sea Cliff Bridge

You can choose to make you way back to Sydney via the quaint countryside of the Southern Highlands or continue to the Victorian border through endless picturesque regions of Eurobodalla and the Sapphire Coast.

Driving back to Sydney via the stunning Southern Highlands

Along the route, there are countless experiences to be enjoyed from adrenaline-pumping adventure activities to delicious food and wine, family-friendly discoveries, natural wonders and hidden gems, to an array of beaches.

A detour to Illawarra Lake

Step-by-step Driving Route:

1. Sydney to Wollongong:

Distance: 99km south of Sydney- 2-hour drive.

Details: The first stop on the Drive is 'The Gong' (Wollongong) as the locals affectionately call it. Wollongong is home to endless activities including scuba diving, sky diving, surfing, fishing, botanic gardens, lighthouses, historic harbour, and 17 stunning beaches.

Must-See Attractions:

Sea Cliff Bridge

Bald Hill & Otford Lookouts

Breathtaking views from Bald Hill Lookout

Nan Tien Temple

Exploring the exhibits at Wollongong Botanic Gardens

2. Wollongong to Shellharbour

Distance: 20km- 25-minute drive

Details: This charming seaside town is perfect for outdoor nature experiences, including nature walks & cycling, relaxing at more beaches and admiring the pristine coastline. Shellharbour is also famous for its fish and chips, so grab a picnic rug and enjoy it on the beach.

Must-See Attractions:

Shellharbour War Memorial

Cathedral Rocks

Bombo, Jones & other Beaches

Jamberoo Action Park

Bushrangers Bay

Shellharbour City Museum

Snorkelling at Bushrangers Bay

3. Shellharbour to Kiama

Distance: 15km- 15-minute drive

Details: Kiama is home to the ferocious natural wonder, the Blowhole. Just like all the other drives, this one is no different; picturesque scenery and beaches galore. There are many things to enjoy, including exploring the boutique stores, grabbing a bite to eat at one of the cafes & restaurants, coastal walks, including the magical Kiama Coastal Walks and lookouts.

Enjoying the secluded Seven Mile Beach

Must-See Attractions:

Kiama Coastal Walk


The Little Blowhole in Kiama

Farmers' Market

Kiama's Marina

The stunning views at Saddleback Mountain Lookout

4. Kiama to Shoalhaven

Distance: 72km- 1-hour drive

Details: What a place to finish the epic Grand Pacific road trip! The Shoalhaven region is home unmistakable natural beauty as well as an array of activities and attractions to suit all interests and ages.

Stroll the white sandy beaches, take a wildlife tour, indulge and awaken your tastes buds with culinary delights, coastal and bushwalk, explore surrounding national parks, and more.

Must-See Attractions:

Jim Wilds Oyster Service

National Parks including Booderee, Morton, & Murramarang National Parks

Exploring the natural wonders at Murramarang National Park

Pigeon House

Shoalhaven Zoo

Huskisson & Jervis Bay Beaches

The Grand Pacific Drive can be enjoyed as a day trip, or it can be stretched out across several days, giving you opportunities to explore and experience the above townships and coastal towns for longer.


There is a $12 per vehicle/per day fee at the Royal National Park if stopping to enjoy the abundance of picturesque attractions

Park at the designated Sea Cliff Bridge carparks and walk along the Bridge to experience a different perspective as well as enjoy the dramatic views for longer.

Free beach parking is available along the Grand Pacific Drive.

Wollongong offers free on-street weekend & Public Holiday parking. On-street parking is free after 12:30pm on Saturdays and all day Sundays.

* Visit the Visitor Information Centres along the drive for maps and tips from locals.
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Why? Get inspired & excited on this coastal drive
When: All year round
Where: Sydney & beyond
Cost: Free
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by Gypsy Rose on 25/06/2020
by Todd Newton on 03/06/2014
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