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 Eurobodalla Agricultural Show will be full of interesting events including horse ring events, wood chopping, competitions for local produce including food, plants, and animals with very strong competition ensuring quality exhibitions. There is a fireworks display and lots of stalls displaying the many talents of local arts and crafts people. There are also competitions for the local stock, including cows, sheep, goats as well as dogs and cats. This is a very enjoyable and interesting agricultural show with much to offer both young and old, held in the picturesque Moruya Showgrounds.
Legendary Australian band Cold Chisel will be hitting the roads with their massive Blood Moon Tour 2020 this December through to February next year. They will be playing very special outdoor shows in Perth, Busselton, Adelaide, Hunter Valley, West Tamworth, Sydney, Wollongong and Canberra as well as winery shows in Orange, Wahgunyah, Brisbane, Yarra Valley and Geelong for A Day On the Green. Special guests: Birds of Tokyo Magic Dirt Busby Marou 19Twenty
Visit Illawarra Fly this Australia Day long weekend for some true blue Aussie fun! Try your hand at their thong throwing competition and see if you can reach their eskies positioned across their open field to win prizes. Watch all the fun and games from their outdoor seating area at their own Café 106 - and cheer on your family and friends! Plus enjoy a sausage sizzle with proceeds going to the RFS and of course the breathtaking Treetop Walk which allows incredible views over the Illawarra escarpment. Not only are they celebrating with a little Aussie competition, but families can also follow their Gruffalo Spotters Trail adventure. New for this summer The Gruffalo Spotters Trail takes your visit to the next level, as you search the Treetop Walk to bring the characters to life using the free augmented reality app – ‘The Gruffalo Spotters AUS’. Identify special markers across the Treetop Walk to activate Mouse, Fox, Owl, Snake and The Gruffalo! Watch as the storybook characters enter your world, and jump beside them to get your photo together! No matter your age, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures this Australia Day Long Weekend!
Celebrate Australia Day with Breakfast by the Lake. The day includes a huge AUD4 breakfast, citizenship ceremony, civic ceremony including presentation of the Australia Day Citizen Awards and ambassador address and free entertainment. Breakfast from 7am to 10am. Enjoy live music, sand modelling competition, animal farm, pony rides, face painting, live entertainment plus much more.
The Kiama area celebrate Australia Day on the 26 January with morning activities and food across some of their townships: Kiama Downs; Jamberoo; Kiama and Gerringong. These events are free, family-friendly and inclusive to everyone! More information will be added to this event closer to the date.
This family friendly, alcohol-free community celebration of Australia Day is the largest event on Wollongong's calendar. Activities start early in the morning with the Illawarra Aquathon and continue throughout the day with multiple entertainment stages, stalls, amusement rides, hands-on children's activities, street theatre and beach and water fun culminating in a spectacular fireworks display over Wollongong harbour. Introducing new activities such as Ozzy Doggy Show, UOW Global Corner, Remondis Youth Chill Out Zone and much more
Australia's favourite swim-run, the MMJ Australia Day Aquathon is back for the 21st annual edition come Australia Day 2020. Aquathon day is what the locals call it, and what a blast it is. Near 2000 take part, participants travel far and wide, and its on for all ages, all abilities. Held at picture perfect Wollongong Boat harbour, a little over an hour south of Sydney, the spectacular venue offers the the perfect venue. Wollongong has become one of NSW's destination hot spots and the harbour is central to the city, shops, cafe and vibrant centre. There are four swim and run distances which can be enjoyed by kids to adults, beginners to the competitive and in individual or tag team categories. Rounding out the morning activities, the four kilometre Warrigal Fun Run-Walk-Roll is for anyone. Come with the family, friends or own your own and get set for a very special event- be cheered on by a huge crowd, smile as you receive your finisher medal. Organisers go all out ensuring a fun, safe event for all. Plus stay on, as a full program of activities takes place concluding with a spectacular fireworks show in the evening.
Friday they're kicking off the long weekend paying homage to one of their country’s most popular and successful bands, INXS! Saturday has TripleJ Hottest 100 Party, they're all set to host yet another cracker get-together this year for the Triple J Hottest 100! They'll be airing the entire countdown throughout the venue, listening up to the hottest songs of 2019, carefully selected by you. Let's be honest, because it was such hard work choosing a mere 10 tunes, you deserve a drink. Sunday: Sit, back and relax in their bean bag chill-out zones, while they host their biggest Australia Day Party to date! Where better to have the Ultimate Summer Australia Day Backyard Party than in their very own Beer Garden? Giant Beer Garden Games Meat Pie and Lamington Eating Competiton Live Entertainment
Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony Minnamurra Public School Gerringong, Werri Beach Breakfast and Live music and novelty games Jamberoo, Kevin Walsh Oval Breakfast, Live music and Novelty games Kiama, Coronation Park/Surf Beach Breakfast Kiama Downs, Surf Club - Jones Beach Breakfast, Novelty games, Live music
Bega Cheese Bega Cup Carnival is going to be fantastic! Held the first weekend in February every year at Sapphire Coast Turf Club, it will be a huge weekend with masses of prize money on offer, entertainment and much more. Bringing trainers/horses and jockeys from all over Australia to compete at the the best country race course, Sapphire Coast Turf Club. Combined with the Sapphire Coast Caravan and Lifestyle Expo, its the place to be. There is entertainment on throughout the two days, as well as free buses to and from the track. See the website for details of bus times and pick up location points. There is also loads of entertainment for kids over the two days, including a free jumping castle both day. Sunday sees the biggest Fashions on the Field of the year. Day One is proudly sponsored by George Grant Memorial, Eve O'Brien Properties, Wilton Logging, Sapphire Plaster and USG Boral Day Two is proudly sponsored by Bega Cheese, ilg, Power FM, 2ec, Bega Betta Electrical, Walcott Exploration Services and Tanja Park Stud