Royal National Park to Wollongong - 70km/80minutes
Depart Sydney and travel along Grand Pacific Drive to Wollongong via Royal National Park (world’s second oldest). Royal offers spectacular scenery from sub tropical rainforests to sandstone heathlands, unspoilt beaches and is also home to a large variety of flora and fauna species. Visit Symbio Wildlife Park for a close up encounter of native Australian and exotic animals from all over the world.
Stop at Sea Cliff Bridge and admire the amazing views north towards Bald Hill Lookout and Royal National Park, take in the view whilst standing over the South Pacific Ocean (watch out for migrating whales during May–November!).
Wollongong to Shellharbour - 29km/28minutes
Get back to nature at Killalea State Park the perfect place to unwind, enjoy a picnic or barbeque or stroll from the Minnamurra Spit along the sandy beaches and around Killalea Lagoon. Killalea is also home to 'The Farm' one of the best surf beaches on the coast and a National Surfing Reserve.
Head inland just a few kilometers and you'll experience Macquarie Pass National Park, nested in the Illawarra Escarpment and featuring densely timbered ridges and rainforest gullies, topped with majestic cliffs. The Cascades rainforest walk begins at the foot of Macquarie Pass where water falls from a height of 20 metres.
A site for scuba diving and snorkeling is Bass Point Reserve, a natural attraction in its own right, featuring one of the few diverse littoral rainforests in the region and magnificent coastal views. Take a walk through the reserve and enjoy the tranquil setting.
Lake Illawarra is ideal for water activities but is also home to a vast variety of bird life that can be seen from the water's edge.
Shellharbour to Kiama - 14km/10minutes
View the spectacular Kiama Blowhole with its unusual rock formation spouting plumes of water high into the air when the seas run from the South-east. If the ‘big’ blowhole is not running head south and see the ‘Little Blowhole ‘putting on a show.
Travel west to Jamberoo through rolling green hills to the Minnamurra Rainforest, featuring the breathtaking Minnamurra falls. See lyre birds, ancient fig trees and lush ferns or just enjoy the peace and quiet. Continue up on Jamberoo Mountain Road through rainforest to Barren Grounds Nature Reserve which is a bird watchers paradise.
While heading south from Kiama on Grand Pacific Drive to Gerringong and Gerroa, take in the view from Mt Pleasant with sweeping views of Werri Beach. Travel to Gerroa and take in the spectacular view of Seven Mile Beach and greater South Coast from Kingsford Smith Memorial Lookout.
Kiama to Shoalhaven - 40km/35minutes
Enjoy a dolphin and whale watch cruise on the calm waters of Jervis Bay, on the spectacular NSW South Coast. Watch the dolphins frolic and be enchanted by the magical scenery of the Jervis Bay coastline. For those who like to keep their feet firmly on land, walking trails at Booderee National Park will please all walkers, with an abundance of birdlife and flowering plants making for a delightful journey.
Beyond to the Southern Highlands
Explore the bush in the Southern Highlands and indulge in exhilarating walks, spectacular scenery and amazing wildlife. From tumbling waterfalls and steep sandstone cliffs to limestone caves and colourful wildlife, the Southern Highlands has something for everyone whether you're seeking beauty and tranquility or adventure and excitement. Some people just come to the Highlands to see the waterfalls, each with its own special ambience.
Beyond to Batemans Bay
Explore Murramarang National Park by car, foot or cycle. Take the North Durras/Depot Beach turnoff from the Princes Highway 14km north of Batemans Bay, then Durras North Road and turn into dirt track marked: ‘Discovery Trail’ and continue to the carpark near the lake. This walk commences with steps over a gentle climb and descent then becomes flat and easy. The trail features a viewing platform, several boardwalks and some formed timber bridges and gates. Ferns and spotted gums are predominant flora while stands of palms native to this region abound. The walk begins and ends by the shores of Lake Durras, regarded as one of the most unspoiled waterways in NSW. You are likely to see kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and native birds. Length: 1.5 km , Time: 45 minutes , Grade: Easy.
Beyond to Canberra
Explore the natural scenic surrounds on day walks and overnight hikes in Namadgi National Park or why not explore one of the 22 marked trails at Tidbinbilla Nature Park and see the native koalas, kangaroos, emus, wombats, possums and other Australian wildlife. If you want to stay in the city area, then visit the Australian National Zoo & Aquarium. Here you can ‘Meet a Cheetah’, see white lions or even do a Zoo Venture tour where you get to feed the animals with a zoo keeper. The award winning Zooventure Tour is one of the most hands-on zoo experiences available in Australia, and possibly the world. If you're an animal lover looking for the thrill of a lifetime, then a ZooVenture tour at the National Zoo & Aquarium in Canberra is just the thing.
Tip – If you are travelling along Grand Pacific Drive to Batemans Bay or Canberra, a good option is to stay overnight at one of the destinations along the drive. There are plenty of accommodation options available from international hotel brands to quaint and unique B&B’s to backpacker accommodation - something to offer any traveler. Refer to the accommodation section.
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The view from the top! @skydivethebeach #welovethegong https://t.co/ONL6HcdgpK12:16pm, May 20