A freelance writer living and loving in the northern beaches of Sydney...travelling, writing, outdoor activities, gardens, and Pilates are a few of my favourite things. Visit me www.potpourritravels.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/potpourritravels/
Published August 19th 2016
Coast down south for some magical memories
Traversing the city of Sydney can be one holiday nightmare best missed, so for those living south of the Harbour Bridge here are my southern favourite pieces of paradise:-
By Dimitri Koussa - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
Garie Beach I first visited here 30 years ago and there wasn't another soul on the beach. Tucked away down the southern end of the Royal National Park, Garie is sublime; just an hour from Sydney, plus the beach is patrolled on the weekends. It now can get quite busy during summer holidays, but is still worth the scenic drive through the park.
Take a picnic, your cossies, your fishing rod, and your binoculars for a bit of birdwatching, whale-watching and the view from Governor Game Lookout is glorious. Remember, National Parks do charge an entrance fee.
If surf is not high on your list, then the small waterway of Sussex Inlet is the perfect tranquil spot to launch your tinnie or kayak. 45km south of Nowra and just a few kilometres away from Jervis Bay, you're in the ideal location of having access to watersports and amenities of the larger towns, but without the crowds.
Tidal canals offer prawning, Berrara Creek is great for fishing, and just to the south is Booderee National Park, offering walking trails and magnificent pristine wilderness. Sussex Inlet Flea Markets are held on the second Saturday of each month in the grounds of the Uniting Church, and the Annual Country Fair is on 3 October, 2016.
By Festivefrog at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain
Buckleys Beach & Lake Conjola Buckleys is unpatrolled and quite unsafe for swimming but if you like beach walking, fishing, and wide open spaces then this is the spot to come. It is only accessed on foot via a walking track from Lake Conjola, which is the best place to stay.
You have a beautiful backdrop of huge sand dunes and Narrawallee Nature Reserve, and Lake Conjola has a large camping area. There are secluded walking tracks through the Nature Reserve and wetlands. Surfing's best breaks are off Green Island.
Mollymook Whenever I head south Mollymook is a must-stop kinda place. Okay, it's a bit more built-up and busier, sharing tourists with its close neighbour Ulladulla, but its central position makes it so convenient to add a whole bunch of things to do to your holiday list. If you can stay near the south end of Mollymook, Rick Stein's Bannisters Restaurant is close by. Markets are held on the 5th Sunday of the month (the next one is on 30 October, 2016) in the reserve overlooking the beach. Visit the enigmatic township of Milton, just ten minutes drive up the hill.
Craft shops and organic eating places line the main street. To work off the calories, drive a little further west and climb Pigeon House Mountain. It's a challenge, about 5km return, allow 3 - 3 1/2 hrs as it's quite steep. You'll need some level of fitness and take plenty of water and a snack. It is a declared wilderness area so the expansive and panoramic views from the top feel a little like conquering Everest.
By Klaus-Dieter Liss - Own work (Own photo), CC BY 2.5
Spring is a great time to visit this very special campground in Murramarang National Park. The walk up Durras Mountain is invigorating and rewards you with endless vistas once you catch your breath. The waters are crystal clear, and the summer temperatures are a little milder than some other exposed coastal spots.
Kangaroos and wallabies are regular visitors to Depot Beach campground. Facilities include a camp kitchen, wood is supplied for barbeques, or bring a fire pit/brazier if you like. The magic of the place is its remoteness, but that also means there are no shops, so bring all your own food. Water is accessible but must be boiled before drinking.
By Craig Edgar www.craigedgar.com) / Craigedgar at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain
Like Mollymook, Narooma is a fantastic positioning place to stay. Its own long list of natural attractions include boating up the inlet, making use of the new 6km coastal cycleway that links Narooma to the township of Dalmeny, or do a spot of whale-watching. Then explore further afield - just a short drive south takes you to Tilba Tilba, set in the undulating verdant hinterland and famous for the T.V. show River Cottage Australia.
The village is in the top 20 heritage sites in Australia, and the ABC Cheese Factory should be on everyone's tasting list. The coastal town of Tathra's historic wharf dates back to 1861 and houses Tathra Maritime Museum, an educational and fun place to visit. Scuba dive or snorkel around Montague Island and you may just spot fur seals and Fairy penguins.