Two Week NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary

For those who live in Sydney, a road trip down the NSW South Coast is pretty much a rite of passage. I have many fond memories from my childhood, and during my adult life, of holidays visiting parts of this stunning and often underrated part of Australia.

The NSW South Coast is generally quieter than travelling north from Sydney. The beaches more untouched, the towns more quaint and the local produce in abundance. It ticks all the boxes for all kinds of trips, from family holidays, couple road trips and friend group getaways.

With lots to see and do, where do you start with planning your NSW South Coast road trip itinerary.

First, you need to work out how long to take for your South Coast road trip from Sydney. From there you can determine how many places you’ll be able to fit into your time. However if you want to see all the best bits in one trip, my suggestion would be to allow at least two weeks.

If you don’t have quite as much time to spend then you can use this South Coast road trip itinerary and pick parts out of the road trip to explore at different times.

Hiring a Vehicle

First thing you will need is a vehicle. If you live in Sydney or nearby, you’ll likely have your own car. If you will be flying into Sydney you’ll need to hire a car, campervan or caravan.

There is plenty of different types of accommodation available on the NSW South Coast to accommodate those travelling both by car and by campervan or caravan. Holiday parks with space for campervans, caravans and campers are in abundance in most towns along the coast.

A car will give you more freedom to park on the side of the road to discover something new. While campervan’s and caravans are your home on wheels. There are pros and cons to both options. Read my post on choosing the right means of transport for more on this.

Which ever option you choose, Hertz has great car, campervan and caravan hire options with comparative prices.

NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary

NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary Map - The Trusted Traveller
NSW South Coast Map

Days 1 to 2 – Sydney to Kiama

Set off from Sydney in the early morning to allow plenty of time for stops along the way to Kiama, the first destination on this two week NSW South Coast road trip.

Sydney to Kiama Map - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

Things to See Between Sydney and Kiama

Leaving Sydney you have many options for places to stop and explore along the way. In order below is a list of some of my favourites:

The Royal National Park – One of the oldest National Parks in the world, there is heaps to explore here and you could quite easily spend a week just seeing everything in the park. For this trip I’d suggest driving through the park rather than taking the highway south. Maybe make a stop at the Audley Boatshed for a coffee or short walk at Wattamolla.

Wattamolla in the Royal National Park - The Trusted Traveller

The Grand Pacific Drive – This is a beautiful stretch of coastal road with stunning beaches and breathtaking bridges that allow you to drive over the ocean away from the sheer cliffs above. You can read more about some of my favourite spots on the Grand Pacific Drive here.

Sea Cliff Bridge on the Grand Pacific Drive - The Trusted Traveller

Wollongong – The 10th biggest city in Australia, don’t let this put you off as most of the city is facing the coast and has a really relaxed vibe. Wollongong is a great place to stop halfway through your drive to Kiama to have a dip in the ocean and grab a bite to each for lunch. There are lots of great cafes, restaurants and take-away stores along the beaches.

Norhtbeach, Wollongong - The Trusted Traveller

What to See & Do in Kiama

The sleepy town of Kiama is the perfect place to stay the night. This lively town is full of restaurants, cafes and boutique shopping as well as some must see attractions around the area.

The Blowhole – This natural phenomena is basically a hole in the volcanic rock that shoots water metres into the air when the sea rushes underneath. It is said to be at its best when the seas run from the south east but having been there dozens of times myself, I haven’t left disappointed regardless of the sea direction.

Kiama Blowhole - The Trusted Traveller

Kiama Seaside Markets – Kiama hosts two monthly markets, on the third Sunday of the month for handmade goods, and the other on the fourth Saturday of the month selling local produce.

Terrace and Sandstone Walk shops – This small collection of shops are housed in restored timber houses circa 1886 which are the last of their kind. They were originally built by the local miners and today house boutique shops, restaurants and cafes.

The Terrace and Sandstone Walk Shops in Kiama - The Trusted Traveller

Kiama Coast Walk – This 20 km walk along a sign posted coastal track takes you from Minnamurra Village through Kiama and finishes at Werri Beach in Gerringong, south of Kiama. You can do the walk in sections or complete it in a whole day. More details about the walk can be found here.

The Beaches – Kiama has some fantastic beaches for all occasions. Looking to spend the day relaxing and swimming, head to Surf Beach which is patrolled; wanting to escape and have a beach all to yourself, check out Jones Beach which is also a great spot to see the Cathedral Rocks; endless stretches of sand can be found at Seven Mile Beach just south of Kiama in Gerroa; or my personal favourite Werri Beach where you can enjoy all of the above plus watch the locals surfers in action.

Jones Beach, Kiama Downs - The Trusted Traveller

Jamberoo – Famous for the water park of the same name, there is more to Jamberoo than waterslides. A nice short countryside drive inland from Kiama, Jamberoo has weekend markets, quaint stores and a small array of excellent cafes.

Where to Stay in Kiama

Here are three accommodation options to suit all budgets that I recommend you check out. All are centrally located, highly rated and come with excellent facilities.

Budget – Kiama Shores Motel

Mid-Range – Big4 Easts Beach Holiday Park

Luxury – Terralong Terrace Apartments

Days 3 to 5 – Kiama to Jervis Bay

Kiama to Jervis Bay Map - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

The next stop on your road trip NSW South Coast is Jervis Bay. The drive from Kiama to Jervis Bay isn’t far, taking less than an hour. You can have a late start and make a few stops along the way. There are two routes you can take, first along the highway or take the detour through the coastal towns of Gerringong, Gerroa and Shoalhaven Heads.

Berry – One of the top quaint towns in NSW, in Berry you will find plenty of great places to eat, lovely little local shops selling locally made items and some top pubs. If you are there for breakfast or morning tea, check out the Milkwood Bakery or for lunch the meals at the Great Southern Hotel are always great. Just a few minutes drive from the main street is the Berry Treat Factory, a great place to stock up on treats for the long road trip ahead.

Quaint shops in Berry - The Trusted Traveller

Shoalhaven Heads – The quintessential sleepy seaside town. A nice place for a stroll to stretch the legs after being in the car. The Shoalhaven River meets the sea here so you get the best of both worlds, nice river and ocean views plus a great stop for a swim!

Shoalhaven Heads - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

What to See & Do in Jervis Bay

Jervis Bay is a year round destination fringed with stunning beaches, pristine national and marine park and quaint little towns with an abundance of delicious places to eat and drink. The whole area has a very chilled out vibe with lots to see and do for all ages.

Booderee National Park – Home to some the the areas most stunning beaches like Caves Beach and Murray’s Beach where you might run into a few of the local kangaroos who like to hang out in the car park. This National Park also has some great short walks, ruins and interesting Botanical Gardens. You could easily spend a day or more just exploring this park.

Murrays Beach, Jervis Bay - The 16 Best NSW South Coast Beaches - The Trusted Traveller

White Sands Walk – Beginning at Greenfield Beach picnic area this walk takes you on a loop past some of the best white sand beaches on the bay including world famous Hyam’s Beach, said to have the whitest sand in the world. The whole loop takes about an hour and is relatively flat, so good for most fitness levels.

Hyams Beach in jervis Bay - The Trusted Traveller

See Whales and Dolphins – During whale season (roughly June to November), these majestic creatures like to make their way into the bay and sometimes put on a bit of a show. However, if you’re not in the area during whale season then you can still see the amazing dolphins that live in the bay. The best way to see these creatures is on a cruise. Here are three great options to choose from:

A pod of Dolphins in Jervis Bay - The Trusted Traveller

Point Perpendicular Lighthouse – On the northern end of Jervis Bay, this lighthouse offers spectacular views looking out over the bay and through the opening out to sea. You can even make out the white sands of the beaches that rim the bay.

Point Perpendicular Lighthouse view - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

Nearby St Georges Basin – Just 10 minutes from Huskisson (the main town in Jervis Bay) is St Georges Basin, a shallow lake home to some of the regions most beautiful flora and fauna. From Erowal Bay and the few towns along the Basin you’ll be able to go fishing, see flocks of birds take off and land on the still water and watch kangaroos lazing by the shore just before sunset. Its one of the most peaceful places on earth.

St Georges Basin - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

Where to Stay in Jervis Bay

Here are three accommodation options to suit all budgets that I recommend you check out. All are centrally located in Huskisson, highly rated and come with excellent facilities.

Budget – Huskisson Holiday Cabins

Mid-Range – Huskisson Beach Bed and Breakfast

Luxury – Ceespray on Owen

Days 6 to 8 – Jervis Bay to Batemans Bay

Jervis Bay to Batemans Bay Map - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

Heading further south in the morning from Jervis Bay, the drive to Batemans Bay is about two hours with lots of beach stops and detours along the way.

Lake Conjola – On the lake of the same name, this sleepy little town is a short detour from the highway and a great place to grab a coffee and stretch your legs with a walk along the lake front.

Milton – A little further south on the highway is the historic town of Milton which is packed with art galleries, antiques and, surprisingly for the location, fine dining restaurants. Grab a treat from the Heritage Bakery at the very least.

Mollymook – Popular holiday spot for families in summer, I love the beach here which is patrolled during summer and great for a swim or surf. The town also has some great beach cafes and fish and chip shops, so this could be a good place to grab a late breakfast or lunch.

Mollymook Beach - The Trusted Traveller

Pretty Beach in the Murramarang National Park – Taking the Bawley Point turn off from the highway, this slightly longer detour is worth it for the stunning and secluded beach you’ll find at the end, Pretty Beach. From Pretty Beach there are lots of walks you can do, keeping your eye out for kangaroos in the grass. Also a great spot for a picnic.

What to See & Do in Batemans Bay

Arriving in Batemans Bay will be the start of your adventures in the Eurobodalla region of the NSW South Coast. Famous for amazing beaches and waterways perfect for outdoor activities and food, incredible locally sourced food. The countryside throughout the whole region is rolling hills with grazing cows on the right as you head south and aqua blue ocean on the left.

Oysters! – The Clyde River which runs right through Batemans Bay is home to plenty of oyster leases meaning an abundance of local oysters for you to eat. My favourite spot to grab and oyster is The Oyster Shed on Wray St where you will get the freshest oysters served either on the deck over looking the river or for takeaway.

Eat oysters at The Oyster Shed - The Trusted Traveller

Mogo – 10 minutes south of Batemans Bay is the tiny town of Mogo. The street is lined with quaint antique and crafty stores as well as a few great places to grab a bite to eat, maybe even a locally made cake. While in Mogo, check out the zoo there which has a great reputation for the protection of endangered species, you can even feed a giraffe!

Mogo - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

Hit the Beach – There are lots of beaches around Batemans Bay. My favourite would have to be McKenzies Beach in Malua Bay, just south of town on the coastal tourist drive. Its less crowded and has beautiful semi enclosed surrounding cliffs.

McKenzies Beach, Malua Bay - The Trusted Traveller

Mossy Point – On the coastal tourist drive south of Batemans Bay is this lovely little coastal township where the Tomago River meets the sea. Down by the river mouth you can hire a kayak and paddle up the river spotting sting rays as they glide under the kayak. It is pristine beauty at its best.

Kayaking at Mossy Point - The Trusted Traveller

Durras Discovery Trail – Just north of Batemans Bay off the highway is the southern part of the Murramarang National Park where you will find this 1.5km loop walk through the rainforest. It is a great escape from the beaches in summer with temperatures generally lower in the rainforest.

Where to Stay in Batemans Bay

Here are three accommodation options to suit all budgets that I recommend you check out. All are centrally located, highly rated and come with excellent facilities.

Budget – Batemans Bay Holiday Park & YHA

Mid-Range – Clyde View Holiday Park

Luxury – Bay Breeze Boutique Motel

Days 9 to 11 – Batemans Bay to Narooma

Batemans Bay to Narooma Map - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

The next stop is what I think to be one of the best places to visit on the NSW South Coast, Narooma. Around an hours drive from Batemans Bay to Narooma with more stunning countryside and coastal towns to explore along the way. You could easily have a late start today, however make sure you allow enough time to check out some of these spots along the way.

Moruya Heads – A sleepy coastal town with great Tuesday local farmers markets and beautiful views where the Moruya River meets the sea.

Sage Farmers Market - The Trusted Traveller

Coila Prawns – If you love prawns, a stop at the service station on the highway here will allow you to buy some of the freshest prawns you can get. These are not just any prawns though, they are Coila Lake prawns which are small, sweet and delicious, with the prawns completing their entire lifestyle in enclosed waters, which is rare.

Tuross Head – Another lovely sleepy town along the coast and probably one of my favourites. There’s a great short tourist drive you can do around Tuross Head if you don’t have much time here. It takes in all the best spots around town including some lovely lookout spots.

Tuross Beach, Tuross Head - The Trusted Traveller

Bodalla Dairy Shed – Cheese and dairy lovers will be in heaven in this place. Here you can taste and buy locallly made dairy products including the Bodalla Cheese Company. I especially like their saltbush cheese for something different and don’t forget to grab a deliciously fresh milkshake for the road.

Cheese Tasting in the Bodalla Dairy Shed - The Trusted Traveller

Dalmeny Drive Detour – Just before arriving in Narooma, you can turn off the highway and continue the rest of the way along the coastal Dalmeny Road for beautiful beaches and coastal views. There is also a coastal walking path which you can walk part of to stretch your legs after the drive.

What to See & Do in Narooma

Narooma is gateway to some of the best beaches, snorkeling and wildlife on the NSW South Coast. Set on the Wagonga Inlet, it is a popular place for family holidays, fishing and lazy days at the beach.

Hit the Beach – Surf Beach right in the heart of Narooma is the most popular beach in the area and rightly so. The water is crystal clear, the sand pristine and it is patrolled all throughout summer making it great for swimmers and surfers. It is also home to the Glasshouse Rock formations, great for exploring at low tide.

Surf Beach at Narooma - The Trusted Traveller

Montague Island – Located just 9 km off the coast of Narooma is this nature lover’s paradise. It is home to a famous lighthouse as well as many animal species such as the little penguins, seals and sea birds. You can visit the island on a guided tour at various times throughout the year.

Swimming with Seals on Montague Island - The Trusted Traveller

Mill Bay Boardwalk – A short 350m boardwalk around Mill Bay is the perfect way to start the day off when visiting Narooma. Locals and visitors a like take this walk to see stingrays feeding and take in the beautiful surrounds.

Mystery Bay to 1080 Beach Walk – This moderate 5 km return walk through the bush also has the option of a beach walk return when tides are right. The walk is located just a 10 minute drive south of Narooma.

Gulaga Walk, Mt Dromadery – A little further south of Narooma, this walk is a lot tougher than those mentioned above and is good for those who have good physical fitness and are looking for a challenge. It is 14km return taking around five hours to complete with the majority of the walk heading straight up to the top of this extinct volcano.

Where to Stay in Narooma

Here are three accommodation options to suit all budgets that I recommend you check out. All are centrally located, highly rated and come with excellent facilities.

Budget – Coastal Comfort Motel

Mid-Range – Narooma Palms Holiday Apartments

Luxury – Top of Town Motor Inn

Days 12 to 14 – Narooma to Merimbula

Narooma to Merimbula Map - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

The final leg of this NSW South Coast itinerary takes you further south to the town of Merimbula and part of the spectacular Sapphire Coast. There are two routes you can take, the first is just to head straight down the highway in about an hour and a quarter through the countryside or you can take the more scenic coastal route in just under two hours stopping at scenic coastal towns along the way.

Tilba Tilba – Similar to Mogo, this historic little town is home to some quaint little galleries and antique shops as well as cafes selling local produce.

Tilba - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

Camel Rock – One of the oldest rocks known in NSW. Access to the beach of the same name is via the car park and take a walk along the beach to see the rock which is, as the name says, shaped like a camel.

Camel Rock - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

Bermagui Pacific Drive – A short drive around this coastal town where you can visit Dickinson Point for spectacular ocean views or take a dip in the Blue Pool, a natural rock pool that shines sapphire colour on a sunny day.

Bermagui - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

Tathra – Head into this sleepy fishing town to walk out on the famous pier and grab some fish and chips while enjoying the peace and lovely views.

Tathra - NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary - The Trusted Traveller

What to See & Do in Merimbula

The heart of the Sapphire Coast, Merimbula is a lively coastal village surrounded by pristine marine and national parks. There is an abundance of things to see and do for those who love being outdoors and lots to keep the foodies happy too.

Ben Boyd National Park – Named after entrepreneur, Ben Boyd, the park was first established in 1973 and encompasses an area of over 10,000 hectares. It’s the perfect place for nature and wildlife lovers to explore with plenty of excellent walking tracks, interesting geological features and structures, beautiful beaches and opportunities to spot wildlife. You could easily spend a day or more exploring the park.

The Pinnacles - The Trusted Traveller

Enjoy the Beaches – Right in the heart of town you will find great beaches to relax and enjoy some water sports. For something a bit quieter, head further south to Pambula or Eden.

Haycock Point Beach- The Trusted Traveller

More Oysters! – If you haven’t had your fill of this delicious morsels yet then you are in the right place. Pambula oysters are among some of the best in Australia. While you can buy them all over the region fresh, it doesn’t come fresher than joining Sponge on his Magical Oyster Tour around his Pambula River oyster leases. He will even pull an oyster fresh from the water for you to try. Read more about my tour experience with Sponge here.

Oyster leases in the Pambula Lake - The Trusted Traveller

Whale Watching – From September to November each year humpback whales can be seen off the Sapphire Coast making their way south to Antarctica for the summer. There are of course lots of places where you can spot them from the shore but the best way to get up close to these incredible creatures is on cruise.

Take a Walk – There a many great walks around the Sapphire Coast for all fitness levels:

  • Merimbula Boardwalk that starts from right in the heart of Merimbula and follows the water’s edge for 3.4 km to Lakeview Drive;
  • Eden Boardwalk takes you around Curalo Lake and along Aslings Beach for about 6km; and
  • Mt Imlay is a challenging half day walk to the summit is 6 km of steep track that requires a bit of rock climbing and scrambling. Your efforts are rewarded at the top with nice views of the surrounding area.
Eden Boardwalk - The Trusted Traveller

Where to Stay in Merimbula

Here are three accommodation options to suit all budgets that I recommend you check out. All are centrally located, highly rated and come with excellent facilities.

Budget – Ocean View Motor Inn

Mid-Range – Seashells Apartments

Luxury – Albacore Apartments

Getting Back to Sydney

You have a few options to get back to Sydney once your NSW South Coast road trip is over.

The quickest way is the inland route via the Snowy Mountains, Canberra and the Southern Highlands. If you have a few more days to spare on your holiday, you can make a few stops along the way in these three regions. Driving straight without stops, this drive will take about five to six hours.

Alternatively, you can just head straight back up the Pacific Highway the way you came. This drive will take you a little over six hours.

Continuing to Melbourne

Another option if you have a lot of extra time is to continue along the coast into Victoria and onto Melbourne.

There are lots of places to explore on this route and you could easily spend another week or two on your road trip.

Visit sleepy Mallacoota, explore the Gippsland Lakes and take in some of the most untouched national parks in the region.

Check out this Two Week Sydney to Melbourne Road Trip Itinerary (The Coastal Route) for more ideas on where to stop and stay.

Over to you!

Which part of this NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary are you most looking forward to exploring?

Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.

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