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Road Trip: Sydney to the Sapphire Coast

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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 October 11th 2020
Discover pockets of paradise and hidden gems
With endless stretch of coastline, a road trip from Sydney to the Sapphire Coast of New South Wales makes for a bucket list experience that will leave you with breathless. With its halcyon coastline teemed with lush bush-scapes and local eats that will awaken the senses; it is the ultimate coastal getaway!

Explore un-crowded coves both on land and sea, indulge your taste buds with the freshest seafood fare, discover ancient rainforest that meets stunning beaches, learn about the regions rich history and heritage, or enjoy action-packed adventure activities.

With so many things to do, see, explore and discover, a road trip from Sydney to the Sapphire Coastal will undoubtedly have something for everyone.

Enjoy a beachside picnic at Mystery Bay

This Road Trip starts from Sydney CBD and winds its way down the east coast finishing at Eden, the whale-watching mecca of New South Wales.

The drive passes many iconic as well as lesser-known nature treasures and places of interest, including Wollongong, Sea Cliff Bridge and The Grand Pacific Drive, Kiama, Jervis Bay, Ulladulla, Batemans Bay, Narooma, Merimbula, and finally Eden.

There are plenty of picturesque stops to stretch the legs along the drive

There are endless stops along the way with each stop offering something for everyone including hiking, bushwalking, paddling experiences (canoeing, kayaking, SUP), mountain biking, road cycling, surfing, snorkelling and diving, forest drives, remote camping, museums and galleries, National Parks experiences, and more.

The Sapphire Coast's towns are known for being nestled between the Pacific Ocean coastline and a series of National Parks, State Parks and breathtaking wilderness areas.

Enjoying an afternoon of scenic driving in Narooma

The Drive:

From Sydney CBD to Eden the drive is just over 6-hours by car and covers around 476km via Princess Highway/A1.

There are two ways to get to the Sapphire Coast the first is continuing on the Princess Highway/A1 to you reach Eden (this route passes many attractions and is mostly highway driving)

The second route passes Heathcote National Park continuing on the Princess Highway, passing the Shoalhaven region, from here a slight detour passing (or stopping at) Symbio Wildlife Zoo continuing towards Stanwell Tops to Sea Cliff Bridge along the scenic Grand Pacific Drive (adds approximately 15 minutes to the drive), is undoubtedly a must-do.

It takes you on the B65 then on the M1. This route passes several places of interest, making it the perfect way to stretch the legs before hitting the road again or lovely overnight stays to immerse in the coastal culture of the east coast.

Stretching the legs at Bald Hill Lookout

Stops/highlights along the second route include:

Endless beaches starting from Bulli down to Eden.

Numerous Lookouts, walking trails, and whale watching vantage points can be found at Bulli, Stanwell Park, Wollongong, Kiama, Jervis Bay, Ulladulla, Batemans Bay, Narooma, Merimbula, and Eden.

The gorgeous Saddleback Mountain Lookout

Lighthouses at Wollongong, Kiama, Jervis Bay, Ulladulla and Eden.

Kiama Lighthouse can be seen from the Blowhole

Lake Illawarra

Kiama's attractions include beaches, lighthouse, the famous Blowholes, Coastal Walk, and more.

Enjoying a picnic stop at Illawarra Lake

Berry attractions including the famous Donut Van, The Treat Factory, Berry Museum, galleries, boutique stores, and the nearby Seven Mile Beach National Park.

Nowra attractions include the Shoalhaven Zoo and Adventure World, nearby wineries, Terara Riverside Gardens, Fleet Air Museum, and Shoalhaven Regional Gallery.

Seven Mile Beach

Jervis Bay and surrounds. Attractions include breathtaking white-sand beaches, lookouts, coastal and bushwalks, water-based activities, Booderee National Park, camping, whale watching and dolphin cruises, tours, and more.

Enjoying coastal bushwalks at Jervis Bay

Ulladulla and surrounds. Attractions include Lake Conjola, Mollymook, Bannisters Point Walking Track, Narrawallee Creek, Warden Head Reserve & Lighthouse, Bogey Hole Mollymook, beachside golf courses, Gondwana Coast Fossil Walk, Burrill Lake, Dolphin Point, and more.

Whale watching at Warden Head Reserve, Ulladulla

Batemans Bay and surrounds. Attractions include many water-based activities, houseboat hire, Clyde River, Clyde River National Park, Cullendalla Mangrove Reserve, bushwalks, marina walks, lookouts, Birdland Animal Park, Mogo Wildlife Zoo, and more.

Feeding Giraffes at Mogo Zoo

Eurobodalla National Park- you will find an array of stunning lookouts, bushwalks, birdwatching opportunities, wildlife spotting, beaches, rainforest, campgrounds, picnic areas, and more.

Narooma and surrounds. Attractions include Australia Rock, lookouts, beaches, tourist drives, Box Cutting Rainforest Walk, Wagonga Inlet, Montague Island, Mill Bay Boardwalk, Glasshouse Rocks, and more.

Enjoying a leisurely walk at Narooma

Bermagui and surrounds. Attractions include Horse Head Rock, Bermagui Blue Pool, Wallaga Lake, beaches, water-based activities, lookouts, Tilba Tilba, nearby National Parks, and more.

Bega and surrounds. Attractions include Bega Cheese Heritage Centre, Kiss Lagoon, Mimosa Rocks National Park, Doctor George Mountain Road scenic drive, Bega River, Bega Pioneers Museum, Bega Valley Regional Gallery, Horse Shoe Lagoon, Wallagot Lake, Bournda National Park, and more.

Our picnic guests at Bournda National Park

Merimbula and surrounds. Attractions include Merimbula Mangrove Boardwalk, Merimbula Lake, Magic Mountain, beaches, water-based activities, rivers, lakes and inlets, whale watching and dolphin watching cruises, nearby National Parks, Potoroo Park Animal Sanctuary, On the Perch Bird Park, art trails, and more.

Enjoying the Merimbula Mangrove Boardwalk

Eden and surrounds. Attractions include Ben Boyd National Park, Eden Killer Whale Museum, numerous lookouts and whale watching vantage points, Eden Wharf, beaches, Twofold Bay, lagoons and creeks, Bell Bird Creek Nature Reserve, and more.

Eden's Harbour

The Sapphire Coast is indubitably one of the most beautiful regions in New South Wales, and a road trip to the Sapphire Coast will not disappoint!

Where to Stay:

There are several accommodation options along the route including boutique stays, farm stays, holiday parks, camping including remote and beach camping, hotels, motels & apartments, hostels and budget stays, retreats and resorts, holiday house stays and more.

Click here for Illawarra map, accommodation, attractions, eateries, and more.

Click here for Shoalhaven map, accommodation, attractions, eateries, and more.

Click here for Eurobodalla map, accommodation, attractions, eateries, and more.

Click here for Sapphire Coast map, accommodation, attractions, eateries, and more.
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Why? Explore one of the best coasts of New South Wales
When: All year round
Where: Sydney to Sapphire Coast, NSW
Cost: Free & Ticketed Attractions
Your Comment
You must go to Stella's Vintage Tea Rooms at Pambula! A unique experience not to be missed! We discovered it last week!!!
by mtrau (score: 0|8) 15 days ago
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