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South Coast Day Trip

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Published July 7th 2009
We all know that Sydney is the most beautiful city in the world, but you might be amazed to discover the splendour to be found just to the south.

For a relaxing yet stimulating weekend that you will never forget, hop into the car first thing on Saturday morning. Join the Princes Highway, and a few minutes after passing Waterfall, turn left on to Lawrence Hargrave Drive. Take it all the way to the junction with Otford Road, where instead of following the Drive around to the right, you turn left, stopping almost immediately at Bald Hill. It is here that your idyllic getaway really begins.

Follow Lawrence Hargrave Drive on this map

This lookout is both gorgeous and historic, as it was on the beach below in 1894 that aviation pioneer Lawrence Hargrave made his historic flight. Having savoured the view, go back the way you came, rejoining the Drive as it heads south along the coast. You will soon arrive at the spectacular Sea Cliff Bridge, which was completed in 2005. It is possible to park on the other side of the bridge, so continue to the end, leave the car and take a walk along this marvellous piece of architecture. The scenery is stunning.

Resuming your journey, you will arrive at the Scarborough Hotel within a couple of minutes. This pub, with its dramatic cliff-top location, is the ideal place to have a drink or a meal. Leaving the Scarborough behind, keep going along the Drive, until you see the signs that will direct you to Wollongong. As you pass through the ‘Gong, the turnoff for Mt Keira will appear on the right. Mt Keira Road slowly winds upwards to the top of the mountain.

The view from the summit is extraordinarily expansive. Cameras, with their narrow lenses, don’t do it justice- you have to see it for yourself. While up there, you may wish to have a bite in the restaurant. That done, double back to the highway, turn right and then follow the signs to Kiama, which you should reach some time in the early afternoon.

This seaside town is one of Australia’s most sparkling jewels. Besides being the proud owner of a famous blowhole, it boasts the most exquisite coastal scenery. There could be no better place to go for an aimless drive or a romantic stroll. An ample selection of accommodation and eating options makes it a good place to spend the night, too.

Late on Sunday morning, you will have to bid a reluctant farewell to Kiama. It is now time to return to Sydney- but along a different route. An incredibly scenic country highway leads through rainforest and over mountains, as it passes through Jamberoo on its way to Moss Vale. Along the way, a nondescript sign will suddenly appear, alerting you to a lookout to the right. Do not miss it, as the pastoral panorama that is awaiting you will make you gasp in wonder.

Get an overview of the drive on this map

After lunching in Moss Vale, take the time to look around historic Berrima and charming Bowral, before linking up with the Hume Highway back to Sydney.

This itinerary is designed to be done at a gentle pace. And as these pictures prove, it is well worth the effort.

Bald Hill
Sea Cliff Bridge
Kiama Blowhole
Jamberoo countryside
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Why? A weekend you will never forget
When: Any weekend when the sun is forecast to be shining
Where: Kiama and surrounds
Cost: Petrol, food and accommodation will set you back several hundred dollars
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