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Published June 24th 2020
Must stops attractions on the Grand Pacific Drive
The Grand Pacific Drive is undoubtedly one of the best, yet often overlooked in favour of the more famous Great Ocean Road. This 140-kilometre drive is pleasantly manageable, and passes jaw-dropping ocean views, rainforests, charming coastal towns, and much more, making this drive unforgettable.
There is so much to see and experience along the way, making this road trip one to add to the bucket list.
Attractions and must pit-stops along the Grand Pacific Drive and beyond include:
1. Royal National Park
The Grand Pacific Drives begins off just an hour south Sydney CBD in the remarkable Royal National Park. The Royal National Park gives the first glimpse of the sparkling coastline, as well as a gateway to explore the natural wonders that can be found at the world's second-oldest National Park.
Attractions include dolphin and whale watching (during migration season), numerous walking trails ranging from short walks to multi-day treks, an array of lookouts, camping opportunities, water-based activities, waterfalls, birdwatching and wildlife spotting opportunities, and much more.
Wollongong is home to uncompromisingly gorgeous ocean views and coastal beauty. This charming seaside city offers an endless chain of beaches, striking rainforest-capped Illawarra escarpment, as well as being home to the only two lighthouses that are located nearby of each other in the eastern coast of Australia.
Attractions also include Wollongong Botanic Gardens, nearby lookouts including Mount Keira and Mount Kembla, a wide range of cafes, bars and restaurants, and more.
This next major stop takes you across the Lake Illawarra estuary and into the city of Shellharbour. Explore littoral rainforest of Bass Point Reserve, take a dive and discover the WWII shipwreck, catch the best waves at some of the best surf beaches in the world, or kayak your way through mangroves, rainforest or sea kayak.
Discover museums and galleries and if you have time, camp at Killalea State Recreation Area.
When you thought the Grand Pacific Drive could not get any more spectacular, you reach Kiama. This village is packed with picturesque sites and coastal beauty.
Explore the famous Blowholes under the watchful eye of the Lighthouse, enjoy gentle coastal walks, discover cascading waterfalls and tranquil streams of Minnamurra Rainforest, or admire the breathtaking views from Saddleback Mountain Lookout.
The Shoalhaven region is home to numerous Grand Pacific Drive stops that offers plenty of choices of what to experience. You will find white-sand beaches, kangaroos sunbathing at Pebbly Beach, lush hinterland and rainforest, numerous walking trails, lookouts, pristine National Parks, birdwatching and wildlife spotting opportunities, and much more natural wonders.
Jervis Bay is also a spot to stop at on the Grand Pacific Drive. Being part of the Shoalhaven region, this coastal gem is jam-packed with some of the whitest sand beaches, snorkelling and diving opportunities, rainforest walks, lookouts, camping opportunities, and more.
Once you have hit Eurobodalla, technically you have reached the end of the Grand Pacific Drive; however, there is so much to see, do and explore here. From perfect beaches to breathtaking coastal views, rainforests galore, gardens, diving and snorkelling opportunities, and visit Montague Island where colonies of penguins, seals, sea lions and more call home.
When you thought the coastal drive couldn't get any better. The Sapphire Coast is a natural wonderland, and UNESCO classifies most of it as a World Biosphere Reserve. World Biosphere Reserve is where the most gloriously untamed nature can be found, from immaculate beaches (83 in total) to the unspoilt rainforest.
Discover the quaint coastal towns, learn more about the region's whaling history, and sample some of the freshest and best seafood.