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
Follow the Grand Pacific Menu for everything from entrée to dessert and lots of treats to take home.
You'll enjoy everything from a barbecue or picnic amongst nature in Royal National Park, to numerous cafes at beaches and in coastal towns and villages to every style of cuisine in eating places cosy or vibey and uptempo to fine dining at restaurants recognised with chefs hats for their originality and culinary achievement.
Then there are pubs with seaside atmosphere and great food and little places where you'll pick up some local tastes to take home. Raise a glass to taste the distinctive wines of the Shoalhaven Coast region or Southern Highlands, some 30 or so different producers.
Nature's supermarket for apples, stone fruits and more straight off the tree, Glenbernie at Darkes Forest above northern Illawarra in the beautiful escarpment is a working orchard. You can taste and buy Royal Gala, Jonathan, Red Delicious, Fuji, Pink Lady and Granny Smith apples or stone fruits such as nectarines, peaches, apricots and plums in season. There's rich bush honey and pick-yourself raspberries and other treats at times. They also turn some of their fruits into Darkes Cider.
Located in the centre of Wollongong's Keira Street 'eat street' Lorenzo's is an established favourite that is always breaking new ground as the pre-eminent modern Italian.
The atmosphere is fresh and arty, with sophisticated service and an excellent wine list of outstanding Italian and Australian labels. Lorenzo's follows the Italian tradition of celebrating fresh produce from vegetables like zucchini flowers to octopus, baccala and fruits of the sea to creamy burrata.
Lorenzo is quite a foodie personality with a wall full of awards including Australia's best Italian restaurant just a few years ago.
Relish on Addison is a stand out dining experience in the heart of Shellharbour Village. By day a casual upmarket café, a great place for a relaxing stop or some fuel for further exploring.
By evening it's a contemporary Australian restaurant with menu changing seasonally. Chef Tom Laws has a philosophy of reflecting the best produce available at various times of year. Each evening from 5pm and at Sunday lunch a tapas menu is available, allowing you to share a variety of tastes or choose the a la carte option. The cocktail bar is a cherished meeting place and some of its creations have regulars coming back again and again. Relish is renowned for its Sunday breakfasts too.
By handcrafting hundreds of varieties of chocolates, confectionaries and preserves, The Treat Factory in Berry has become a famed gourmet food outlet. Sweet or savoury, they have a decadent treat for you.
Their secrets of preserving, along with many family recipes, have been handed down over four generations.
You walk into a dreamland of every chocolate and sweet treat you've ever imagined, and also nuts, dried fruit, teas and hot chocolate, handmade jams, sauces, syrups, chutneys, mustards, dressings, spice blends and dukkah and more. There's also a range of Japanese foods and ingredients. The gift boxes and vouchers are always well received.
On the outskirts of picturesque Berry, Silos Estate is a true vineyard experience with historic accommodation and fine dining with international chef. Its historic buildings have been restored and the property is a perfect reflection of South Coast country life. It takes its name from the 110 year old grain silos - one houses the wine cellar and the other a unique private dining room.
The award winning Silos Restaurant showcases country cuisine at its best. Head Chef Nick Gardner is a graduate of Tetsuya’s, Quay and international restaurants Arzak in Spain (3 Michelin stars) and The French Laundry (USA).
Australia’s Oyster Coast covers eight South Coast estuaries involving over 40 growers from Shoalhaven, Clyde, Tuross, Wagonga, Wapengo, Merimbula, Pambula and Wonboyn. They produce three oyster species - Sydney Rock, Angasi Oysters and Pacific Oysters. They maintain that in a similar way to how wine exhibits its distinctive terroir, oysters have a flavour reflecting their origin and the mix of nutrients in their habitat.
To allow you to discover this, Australia's Oyster Coast has compiled a special self-guided oyster trail.
Established 1936 by the local dairy community, the heritage Robertson Cheese Factory icon sits above the picturesque village of Robertson 740 metres above sea level. Through its old doors you can take in the spectacular scenery, lush greens hills and this famous dairy country. The view makes it a great place to stop for refreshment at the Factory Café while the gelato and sorbet made on the premises will have everyone smiling.
We give you the chance to taste and buy unique 'off the farm' cheeses that reflect generations of dairy tradition plus gourmet fare such as olives, jams, pickles, relishes and more. There are also lollies and treats of all descriptions. The Cool Room Emporium features an interesting and varied collection of clothes, homewares, and gift ideas.
When it comes to award winning restaurants, the Southern Highlands has you covered!
Biota means faithfully presenting local produce on the table in this beautifully designed two hatted restaurant with fabulous kitchen garden, bar serving unique cocktails and beverages and comfy rooms on site. The produce comes from places nearby or from right around the restaurant where you can see a biodynamic garden that underlines the Biota Dining philosophy. Enjoy five or seven course lunch or dinner.
Eschalot is one of the finest restaurants in the Southern Highlands of NSW. A reputation it has created and enjoyed since 2003. Located in the historic village of Berrima in one of the most significant heritage buildings, Eschalot delivers consistently beautiful cuisine with an elegant and understated sense of occasion.