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.
Batemans Bay Paddle Challenge 2018 - join in a weekend of paddle races and activities on the waters of the Clyde River on the unspoilt New South Wales South Coast. With events for serious competitors, casual paddlers and families, this exciting new event is sure to inspire. Races start at 10am, with registration from 8am. Enjoy novelty events and entertainment from 2pm. Food stalls, fire pit, fire twirlers in the evening, capped off by a free fireworks display. Competing or not, come and join them. Make sure to register for this event now on the website provided.
Cam has been an actor and stand up comedian for the past 16 years and was the co-host of a brand new show on Channel 9 called Unreal Estate alongside Kate Langbroek in 2016. He has regularly appeared on the Today show, co-hosted Studio 10 on Channel 10 and can be heard as a weekly co-host on Triple M’s Merrickville and The Weekenders with Dan Ginane in Sydney. As well as performing sell out shows across the country and receiving five star reviews and award nominations, Cam featured at the televised Montreal Just for Laughs Festival at the Sydney Opera House in 2015 as well as the televised Sydney Comedy Festival Gala on the Comedy Channel. As an actor he’s featured on Channel 7’s Big Bite, Blue Heelers, ABC’s ‘Soul Mates’, Wham Bam Thankyou M’am and was also cast in the ABC series How Not to Behave.
Award winning Australian vocalist Emma Pask has firmly established herself as one of this countries favourite voices in Jazz. Her effortless honest stage presence combined with her powerful vocal ability, leaves audiences spellbound and inspired. Emma is sure to delight as she interweaves storytelling through timeless swinging jazz standards, upbeat latin rhythms, tender ballads and of course some raucous blues. There have been many musical highlights throughout Emma’s career. By request, she performed at the wedding of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, and she had the honour of singing for Diana, the late Princess of Wales. She has sung in London at The Queen Elizabeth Hall with the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Emma played support for American music legend George Benson on his Australian tour, and with Latin Superstar Ricky Martin singing her praises, you won’t want to miss her live. Presented by Strut and Fret in association with The Harbour Agency.
Enjoying a roast and a glass of wine is the perfect way to keep warm as the temperature drops. Festival of the Roast at The Loch once again takes the art of roasting to an entirely new level with a seven-course degustation and matching wines. Indulge in a wide array of local meats and vegetables from the farm and local fine meat suppliers in the Highlands, including duck and spatchcock from John Meredith, Loch lamb and beef and pork from Red Leaf Farm. These delicious meats will be accompanied by the hallmark wines of family run vineyards in the Southern Highlands – St Maur, Far Ago Hill and Tertini among others. While you’re warming up with melt in the mouth roast produce, you’ll be entertained by the stories of these award-winning producers and wine makers so bring your friends and families and celebrate the roast with them.
The 32nd Illawarra Autumn Jazzfest will be held from May 4 - 6, 2018 and they have begun planning it already. They aspire to create a really social feel to the festival where visitors to the Illawarra, local residents, musicians and jazz lovers can gather to share a common love of jazz music. More information will be uploaded to the website as it comes to hand....stay tuned folks!
This important retrospective exhibition from the Rix Wright collection, includes paintings, works on paper and sketches as well as photographs, ephemera and costumes. Hilda Rix Nicholas made a significant contribution to Australian art in the period between the First and Second World Wars with her nationalist landscapes and spirited portraits of soldiers. In France she also achieved a remarkable level of success and recognition for an Australian artist, particularly for her orientalist and pastoral subject paintings and drawings.
Hughesy has left an indelible mark on the Australian comedy scene over the last two decades. He nails gig after gig, sells out theatres nationally and continues to get better every year. Don’t miss him live at the Spiegeltent Wollongong!
The Gerringong Surf Music Festival is a free all day music festival held during the first week of May, in conjunction with the Autumn Werri Slash surf competition. Come down to the NSW south coast and check out a range of bands and music styles all inspired by surfing and surf lifestyle. There will also be a vintage surfboard display.
Rutter's Requiem is a glorious work by this prolific modern English composer. It's an original setting of the traditional requiem mass that preserves the sacred message while borrowing from other musical styles such as gospel music. The Illawarra Choral Society will perform this and other works in the beautiful acoustics of the Church on the Mall in Wollongong. They will be joined by soprano soloist Sarah Ampil and an instrumental ensemble including Heather Moen-Boyd on organ.
A suitcase, a candle, a blanket and a ring. Discover what physical exploration of the liminal space will bring. Circus Monoxide’s newest production, 5 of the Seven explores the space between the known and what’s next… it examined indecision, the longing for change and the variable space in between where you are and who you want to be. The show will bring a combination of dance, physical theatre, traditional circus apparatus and storytelling to the stage, to help craft an interpretive narrative that will give fresh meaning to circus. Join 5 of the Seven as they delve into the white-space. HOMEGROWN: A diverse showcase of five vibrant Wollongong Arts companies creating exciting things for our community. Supported by Merrigong Theatre Company.