The 140km Grand Pacific Drive starts in the Royal National Park, located just outside of Sydney, about an hour's drive from both Sydney's CBD and Wollongong. Experience the 15,000 hectare expanse of bush, beaches and waterfalls at one of the world's oldest national parks. Highlights in the park include; Audley, Wattamolla, Garie Beach, The Coast Track, Governor Game Lookout and Bonnie Vale Campground. Tip: Follow the Grand Pacific Drive directional signage from Farnell Avenue, at the start of the National Park, and it will direct you along the entire drive passing through Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama en route to the Shoalhaven region.Discover Royal National Park
Glistening beaches, a spectacular green backdrop, a brand new city centre, several vibrant eating and entertainment zones . This dynamic changing city is just the perfect size. You'll see skydivers descend to the beach, surf schools and hang gliders. Enjoy 17 amazing patrolled beaches, beautiful botanic gardens, a spectacular historic harbour and the beachfront 'Blue Mile', the entertainment centre, art gallery, small bars and now a brand new world class shopping centre and city mall. The Illawarra escarpment is the Great Dividing Range as it adjoins the coast with its dramatic cliff faces, spectacular lookouts and many moods and colours. The northern villages of Bulli, Thirroul, Austinmer and Coledale are beachside playgrounds with great food and shopping.Discover Wollongong
You'll marvel at the shades of blue, green and yellow as the Grand Pacific Drive takes you across the Lake Illawarra estuary, the start of our aquatic playgrounds.You're soon in one of Australia's most forward-looking and fastest growing communities, a leader in urban design and planning. The latest shopping and community services are alongside lovingly preserved nature along our beaches and coastal reserves with an outlook that embraces the past and builds an innovative future. The city is building a marina to complete its excellent array of facilities that include a stunning golf course and other sporting venues. At the Illawarra Regional Airport an aviation museum features flying examples of historic planes as well as an F-111 and the first ever Qantas 747. You can often sit in the pilot's seat for a selfie!Discover Shellharbour
The first settlers called it Kiama for 'the Place where the sea makes a noise' but today the noise comes not just from the famous Blowhole and its cousin the Little Blowhole, but from a picturesque caf scene set amid historic buildings housing unique shops, the maritime atmosphere of our harbour and famous lighthouse and attractions such as the breathtaking coastal walking tracks around places like Bombo and Jamberoo Village with its awesome action park. Kiama is surrounded by coastal beauty in areas like Gerringong, Gerroa and the cool tranquillity of Minnamurra Rainforest and its roaring waterfalls and soothing streams. The rolling hills around Kiama offer picturesque drives along lanes lined by dry stone walls past classic dairies and farmhouses. Saddleback Mountain lookout allows you to get a bird's eye view of the entire district and coastline.Discover Kiama
When George Bass named the 'Shoals-haven' he couldn't have imaged it would become so loved as a holiday destination. The very names of the dozens of towns and localities of the Shoalhaven conjure up images of great vacations ranging from placid relaxation at beaches or national parks to some of Australia's best fishing, to wineries and restaurants. Think places like Kangaroo Valley, Berry, Shoalhaven Heads, Coolangatta, Greenwell Point, Culburra, St Georges Basin, Bendalong, Manyana, Lake Conjola, Milton, Narrawallee, Mollymook, Ulladulla, Burrill Lake, Dolphin Point, Durras - all holiday favourites.Accommodation ranges from various styles of camping or cabins, to Australia's first 'glamping' resort, to luxury stays with dinner like Rick Stein's Bannisters.Discover Shoalhaven
The Southern Highlands is an atmospheric destination where magnificent homes and gardens dot the rolling hills and towns like Bowral, Mittagong, Berrima, Moss Vale, Bundanoon and Robertson have a character all their own. Bowral is famed for its boutiques, gourmet restaurants, gardens, galleries and Tulip Time Festival. It's aptly the site for the Bradman Museum as young Don grew up in the town, practising his cricket against a water tank. The highlands have some of Australia's best country accommodation from magnificent manor houses to cosy B & Bs. Natural treasures include Fitzroy Falls, the Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk and Wombeyan Caves with their surrounding wilderness area. The town has some of the most interesting shopping and galleries. The area has many quality wineries with welcoming cellar doors and top restaurants.Discover Southern Highlands
The Clyde River is one of Australia's most beautiful with a backdrop of green hills, national parks and state forest. It runs through the famous resort town of Batemans Bay with its endless attractions from great food (especially oysters), accommodation from luxury to camping. From beaches to the famous foreshore walk, to world class fishing, to diving and snorkelling in Bateman's Marine Park to family attractions like Birdland Animal Park-Eurobodalla has it all!Discover Eurobodalla
The Sapphire Coast on the NSW South Coast is the ideal adventure landscape where you can reconnect with nature. All year round the national parks are natural playgrounds and the lagoons and seas are our wonder-filled aquarium. Explore artisan galleries, taste the freshest of produce from the land and the sea, sample local wine, study Aboriginal history and culture, and the history of the pioneers. Or lose yourself in nature, in whatever way you choose.Discover Sapphire Coast
There are so many (yes, so many!) events happening along the Grand Pacific Drive every week. From festivals to sporting events, concerts, high teas, shows, race days and more.
Use the Events Finder below to see what's happening while you're travelling the Drive and be sure to include an event in your itinerary.
The Berrima District Museum brings you a beautiful exhibition in its new digital gallery celebrating the talented artisans of the Southern Highlands. Showcasing the very best of local art, design, food and wine, the exhibition utilises state of the art technology to bring to life the stories of the artisans in their own words. Discover the most interesting makers in the region and see beautiful artwork created especially for this exhibition. Makers include Sculpture by the Sea winner, sculptor David Ball, weavers Natalie Miller and Brooke Munro, Ceramicist Tania Rollond, Painter James King, Moonacres Kitchen, Eling Forest Winery and a bunch more!
Now in its third year, Dressage by the Sea 2019 will be hosted on the grounds of Willinga Park, a world-class equestrian centre set on 2000 acres of the NSW South Coast in the seaside town of Bawley Point. It’s been called the best equine facility in the Southern Hemisphere and combines stunning architecture, sculptures, and a native botanical garden, with the latest in equine technology, luxury stables, and extensive facilities for the agistment and training of horses. This event will showcase elite dressage competitors attempting to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. This is a unique opportunity for a rural community to get up close to elite dressage horses. It's the only international dressage event in rural NSW. The event promises an enjoyable day out for spectators, with excellent food including local produce such as oysters, chocolate, cheese, and berries. New Zealand’s best riders will also have their eyes on the prize, with several expected to make the journey. The best of the best will battle it out in the Grand Prix Freestyles, where beautiful horses perform dressage to choreographed music.
Join them for a double celebration as they open their new Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre and reveal the winners of the prestigious Basil Sellers Art Prize. With a AUD20,000 major prize and a AUD5,000 Eurobodalla award up for grabs, this is not only a significant prize for Eurobodalla, but a significant state-wide award. A huge congratulations to this year’s finalists: Suzanne Shelley, Gillian Wilde, Tim Moorhead, Lucila Zentner, Graeme Krake, Janet Isobel Jones, Joe Bollen, Max Berry, Janece Huntley, Madeleine Kelly, Anh Nguyen, David Whitfield, Nicole Grimm-Hewitt, David Ramsland, Stuart Whitelaw, Zuza Zochowski, Jane de la Vega, Heather Burness, Mirabel FitzGerald, Amanda Fuller, Andrew Smith, Marian Webb, Raewyn Lawrence, Nicolette Eisdell, Grace Paleg, Stephanie McClory and Suzannah Jones.
Under the musical direction of 2017 ARIA nominee and local music teacher, Alison Garvie, the Stanwell Park Arts Theatre (SPAT) Music orchestra presents their third concert - Blockbusters to the Beach. SPAT Music welcomes musicians in the region to share their love of performing live music for the local Illawarra community and visitors. Come listen, sing along and enjoy some of the most amazing musical scores Hollywood has ever produced. All performed for you in this uniquely ‘Aussie’ setting. This concert also welcomes the return of SPAT Singers who will perform as guest artists during the concert. The musical program is wide and varied and will have your toes tapping and voices singing! You can be assured of a great musical evening. Bring a picnic and blanket to enjoy this unique outdoor concert event. Bookings are essential and can be made online.
*** Latest event details are yet to be confirmed *** Choppers for Charity is three days of fun filled community activities of barefoot bowls, golf, trivia night, a street parade with lots of stalls, and entertainment. There will be motor bikes, cars, emergency vehicles, and a dragon boat on parade, as well as the CareFlight helicopter on display. There will be a wooden boats sail past and the Sussex Inlet River Dragons on their dragon boat taking people out for a trial paddle. The weekend is always a family friendly, fun filled three days, with lots of exciting things to see and do. Visit the Sussex Inlet Choppers for Charity web site for more information.
Coledale Markets - the Original Coal Coast Market was established in 2002 in the grounds of Coledale Public School, 60 kilometres south of Sydney along the scenic Grand Pacific Drive. The community event is held every fourth Sunday of the month with stalls, food, music, hidden treasures and chilled vibes. How to get there: Train: Coledale train station is a five minute walk down Cater or Young Streets to Coledale Public School. Bus: No buses along Lawrence Hargrave Avenue on Sundays Walk: Always a good choice! Car: Coledale Beach carpark is 50 metre north (the preferred spot) or street parking around the school.
Raised on a fourth generation grazier property in central NSW to now the picturesque escarpment of Austinmer, and a few places in between Elise Idiens brings her rural life to the city through expression made in her photography and creative writing. Elise’s extensive career as a hairdresser and passion for rural Australia has led her through a journey using these mediums determined to make Australian’s know their Australia better. The photography exhibition opening of ' On The Road' Collaborates with a yarn circle hosted by Koori Country Fire sticks and a soundscape produced by artist and musician Anna Langdon.
California psychedelic heavyweights Earthless will return to Australia and New Zealand next February and March in support of their acclaimed 2018 studio album Black Heaven and their new live album From the West. Comprised of singer/guitarist Isaiah Mitchell, drummer Mario Rubalcaba and bassist Mike Eginton, Earthless have previously toured down under four times; the last time in 2015. In the intervening years, the primarily instrumental trio has embraced Isaiah's soulful vocals, featured on more than half the tracks on Black Heaven, and local fans will hear these newer tracks, as well as many older deep cuts, in these upcoming shows.
The Cobargo Folk Festival is a volunteer-run, folk and roots music festival held over the first weekend in March every year. The Festival's three-day program of music, dance, ideas and performance arts celebrates its unique location in the historic village of Cobargo in the foothills of Gulaga Mountain, an area rich in culture, history and stories. In the 23 years since its establishment, the Festival has grown to become one of Australia’s best-loved small festivals because of its intimate size and friendly vibe, its high quality artistic program, featuring local, national and international performers, its opportunities for active participation and its commitment to showcasing regional produce and arts/crafts. Winner of the Festival and Events Gold award in the 2016 NSW Far South Coast Tourism Awards, the Cobargo Folk Festival's reputation is growing both at home and overseas. A place to reconnect, relax and be creative with family and friends, the Festival offers a warm and authentic experience in a beautiful part of the Far South Coast hinterland.
Enjoy a night out in Paris - in Wollongong! ARIA nominated Baby et Lulu bring their six-piece band to the Music Lounge for a show of gorgeous French music, full of joie de vivre, seductive harmony, and that Baby et Lulu je ne sais quoi! Lara Goodridge (FourPlay String Quartet) and Abby Dobson (Leonardo’s Bride) combine their amazing talents in an explosion of French chic. The Jazzy, French chanson will have you feeling like you’re sitting in a Parisian café, even if you’ve never been to France.