A great place to unwind is on the winding roads between Wollongong and Audley in the Royal National Park. The leisurely forty-five minute drive (55km's) via the Princes Highway (M1) and Lady Wakehurst Drive (B65) offers scenic views of the ocean and lush forest lining this coastline.
The lush forest of the Royal National Park
We set out at Wollongong despite rainy weather, firstly making our way through Thirroul, a seaside town with a vintage atmosphere. Enjoy the beach, shops and cafes here, along with those in Austinmer
before making your way onto the famous Seacliff Bridge.
The Seacliff Bridge spans five kilometres, with ocean on one side and towering cliffs on the other. This bridge, part of the Grand Pacific Drive, is one of Australia's most scenic drives. I find it reminiscent of The Great Ocean Road in Victoria.
Seacliff Bridge (another occasion when it was sunny)
Just before the National Park is Bald Hill which has a lookout across the Pacific Ocean and the South Coast. Stop here to not only enjoy this beautiful view but some history. This is where Lawrence Hargrave, pioneer of flight, began his experiments. Today it remains a popular hang-gliding location.
is one of my favourite spots within the National Park. It makes for a longer journey via Sir Bertarm's Drive, but why the rush? With nature walks, a beach, and a lagoon towered over by waterfalls, it's no wonder why this is a popular family day-trip location.
Wattamolla is worth a stop this summer
Audley was our final stop for the day. The low-wave river is a serene and stunning venue for leisure. Have a picnic. Explore the waterways by canoe. A cafe and amenities allow you to get back to nature without being too far from those creature comforts. The location is also great for weddings and other functions.
At last we reached the serene Audley
There are many other natural retreats in the Royal National Park, and along the South Coast. Take a day trip, or even a few days out from the bustling city, as there are several camping spots across the area too. This will allow you to further immerse yourself in these picturesque parts through bush-walks, swims, and more.