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 Australian Surf Rowers League has been embraced by the surf lifesaving community all around Australia, and together surf lifesavers look forward to continued relationships for many years to come. The sport of surf rowing requires effective team work and a high level of fitness, two attributes of the Royal Australian Navy. Surf rowing as a sport is an ideal means to promote the healthy ideals of the Royal Australian Navy. The Australian Surf Rowers League and its members provide an important community service by conducting Surf Lifesaving duties, beach patrols on many Australian beaches. The partnership alliance aims to increase public understanding of Navy and the importance of the Navy values: Honour, Honesty, Courage, Integrity and Loyalty. An event not to be missed.
The Eat Merimbula Festival is the premium food festival of the Sapphire Coast NSW. Each year the region comes together to celebrate the local chefs, cooks and produce of the region. In 2021 we’ll be serving up a different kind of festival with the focus on smaller individual events and supporting local restaurants. Fans will get the chance to travel between our towns and villages for bespoke EAT themed foodie experiences and standalone events which showcase our local cafes, restaurants and chefs in their "natural environment".
The Gallery at Greenwell Point has a fabulous collection of Easter Goodies which are just in. Gorgeous felted Bilby and Rabbits, Super Cute knitted Chickens and Beautiful Ceramic Eggs and Eggcups. Timber Bunnies. The Gallery has a good selection of new artworks which have recently been installed. So if you are looking for an original artwork produced by a local artist, call in and look this Easter. So why not escape this Easter to the beautiful Shoalhaven and call into the Gallery at Greenwell Point and maybe enjoy Greenwell Point's famous fish and chips. All their artists reside in the Shoalhaven, so you are buying a locally made product. They are a small community art Gallery and look forward to seeing you soon at The Point Gallery and Craft in the quaint fishing village of Greenwell Point. The Gallery also has a great video of historical photographs of the local area and tourism ambassadors for the Shoalhaven, and they have a range of Maps, Leaflets and Brochures.
The Kiama Woodcraft Group annual Expo is on again. There will be demonstrations in various types of woodcraft – Wood Turning, Bandsaw work, Woodcarving, Scroll Saw work, Pyrography and more. There will also be a display and sale of their members work, with a wide range of woodwork styles and skills on show. If you are looking for a special gift or just love the art of woodcraft, then come along and see the wonderful variety of work on display. There will also be a selection of traditional tools available for sale, as well as a wide selection of craft timbers from a local timber supplier. If you think you may like to join a woodcraft group, then why not visit them and talk to some of their members, who are always happy to share their knowledge and try to answer any questions you may have.
Over 30 Master Builders from all over New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory will be travelling to Wollongong to showcase their brick building skills using LEGO. There will be over 100 tables of custom built LEGO displays, ranging from Architecture, City Trains and Star Wars. There will be children's play tables, LEGO R/C racing cars, live mosaic building, monster LEGO prizes, raffles and loads of other activities to do. This event will be a Covid Safe event and comply with all necessary New South Wales Government regulations in force at the event. Companion Cards are accepted; ID just needs to be shown at the door upon entry.
Experience a market with a difference! Nan Tien’s Health and Wellbeing Market is held on the first Saturday of every month, at the Nan Tien Institute Plaza. The market is focused on your holistic health and environmental sustainability with a wide variety of stalls and free Tai Chi and Meditation classes! There is also a special event each month. Enjoy supporting local growers and artisan producers whilst browsing through items to brighten your heart. Natural health remedies, arts, crafts, homewares and more. They also have a selection of tasty plant based meals and snacks, as well coffee, tea and refreshemnts! Afterwards, you may like to walk across the footbridge to the adjoining Nan Tien Temple (The largest Buddhist Temple in Australia) to explore it's stunning architecture and beautiful gardens! Please join them for a wonderful day out!
The workshop will begin with an introduction to the ethics and principles that underpin permaculture and a discussion of the ways in which these can be used to design systems that are both sustainable and abundant. -Explore the various levels of holistic site design and land management practices on the Green Connect farm site. -Meet the chickens, bees, pigs and sheep, and learn how they have been integrated into perennial food systems to help repair the land and yield ethically raised produce. -Walk the creek line to see how bringing back indigenous rainforest species as part of a biodiversity belt is helping to create a diverse ecosystem that complements our food production. - Understand the sustainable cropping techniques that produce veggies and herbs for households, restaurants and cafes throughout the Illawarra. - Learn how nutrients are recycled throughout the farm to create production and efficiency rather than waste. - Hear how permaculture has been used as a vehicle for empowering former refugees, young people, and the wider community. This in-depth tour and workshop is for anyone interested in permaculture design, regenerative agriculture, backyard gardening, urban agriculture, local food systems, sustainable and ethical animal management, fairness for agricultural workers, recycling organic waste, or the role of native restoration in agricultural landscapes.
Steel City Strings is back with an exciting new program of Australian music, including the highly anticipated World Premiere of 'Cinque Forme d'Amore' ('Five Kinds of Love') by Elena Kats-Chernin, ‘Cinque Forme d’Amore’ (‘Five Kinds of Love’) by Elena Kats-Chernin, voted the most popular Australian composer in 2019’s ABC Classic’s Favourite Composer countdown. This piece was commissioned by local philanthropist Sue Kirby in memory of her late husband, Judge Jack Goldring. Also featuring ‘Nothing is Forever’ by Matthew Hindson, Ann Carr-Boyd’s lively ‘Fandango’, Moya Henderson’s spiritual Aboriginal themes in ‘The Dreaming: Utterly Sacred: In Honour of 40,000 Years’; Andrew Ford’s evocative, sparkling ‘Bright Shiners’, and ‘Blue Poles’ (from The Manhattan Epiphanies); and the sublime and deeply moving ‘Elegy in Memoriam Rupert Brooke’ by Frederick Septimus Kelly. The APRA/AMCOS award winning ensemble will energise audiences with the unique sound of Australian music and culture. Come and celebrate the music from our region!
The South Coast Writers Centre and LadyMoon Productions are celebrating International Woman's Day with an array of local and talented acts and a fully-catered dinner. The evening will feature entertainment from comedian and public speaker Malika, comic singer/songwriter Tia Wilson, spoken word poets Medusa's Daughters, and indie-folk trio Rare Birdz. AUD40 of each ticket goes directly to catering partner The EVE Project AU. The EVE project is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to support, empower and equip female survivors of abuse. Your MC for the evening, Shane Ladymoon, shall be donning her ballgown for the festivities, and encourages attendees to get dressed up as well! Book just a couple of tickets or a whole table for your girlfriends. Door prize and raffle on the night.
Illawarra's biggest and best Annual Brick Show is back for its fourth year to raise much needed funds for The Kidzwish Foundation Over 30 Master Builders from all over NSW and the ACT will be travelling to Wollongong on the 6th and 7th of March to showcase their brick building skills using LEGO. There will be over 100 tables of custom built LEGO displays, ranging from Architecture, City Trains and Star Wars. There will be children's play tables, LEGO R/C racing cars, LIVE mosaic building, monster LEGO prizes, raffles and loads of other activities to do. This event will be a COVID Safe event and will comply with all necessary NSW Government regulations that are in force at the time of the event. Please note photos and media will be taken at this event and used for promotional and media purposes. If you don't wish to have your photo taken, please let the photographer know. Companion cards are accepted, ID needs to be shown at the door upon entry.
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