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Travel Tips

The Grand Pacific Drive is an endless road of discovery. Whether you’re looking to surf your first wave, taste some amazing local produce, experience the thrill of falling (or soaring) from great heights, or just relaxing on a beach, you will find the perfect escape along the Grand pacific Drive.

In this section we share our tips that can help you build your perfect Grand Pacific Drive getaway, from the best mode of transportation to weather, cycleways, camping sites and Visitor Information Centres, you’ll find what you need to plan your visit.

Happy planning!

Car: the best way to do the Grand Pacific Drive

The best way to experience the Grand Pacific Drive: by car!

The Grand Pacific Drive is a beautiful coastal drive that takes you through small coastal villages, national parks, city centres and more. To experience it in its fullness, and be free to stop wherever and whenever you wish, a car is the best way to travel.

Whether you switch on your GPS and let it guide you to your desired stop, or you simply find yourself in the Royal National Park with the only plan being to drive south, a car will allow you to truly experience all that the drive has to offer.

If you don’t have a car at your fingertips, we strongly recommend hiring a car. There are many hire car companies available in Sydney and along the drive. To find the best deal, use Driveaway.com.au. This site will search across all hire vehicle providers to find the best deals for you.

Weather

Timing your visit.

The Grand Pacific Drive is a year-round destination! From hot beach days to snuggling in with a delicious glass of wine and some cheese, there’s a season for everyone along the Grand Pacific Drive.

The climate along the Grand Pacific Drive is coastal to say the least. Summer (December, January, February) is mild with the average temperature hovering between 25 and 26 degrees Celsius with around 13 wet days per month. 

Autumn (March, April, May) brings a slight cool change with temperatures averaging 24 degrees in March, 22 degrees in April and 20 degrees in May. Rain days also reduce in Autumn with an average of 9 wet days per month.
 
Winter (June, July, August) is mostly mild and dry with an average low daytime temperature of 17 to 18 degrees and an average of 8 wet days per month.

Springtime (September, October, November) brings warm days and cool nights with average daytime temperatures between 20 and 22 degrees and an average of 12 wet days per month.

Ultimately we boast a mild climate with enough rain to keep the scenery green and lush. You may catch a super-hot or very cold day in the summer and winter, but otherwise set in for mild temperatures that let you do pretty much anything and everything year-round.

Places to Stay

You’ll find an accommodation option to suit every taste and budget along the Grand Pacific Drive. From large, beach-front hotels to boutique BNBs, family holiday parks and camp sites with a view, there’s a bed (or a place to put one) for everyone.

Hotels, motels and apartments

Enjoy the comfort of a well-made bed, amenities and a warm welcome at a great range of accommodation properties along the Grand Pacific Drives. Whether you prefer a trusted chain such as a NovotelAdina or Mercure, or the charm and warmth of a small, family-run property, you’ll find a bed to suit you.

Follow this link to Booking.com where you’ll find an extensive list of accommodation options along the South Coast (aka the Grand Pacific Drive).


Holiday Rentals

If you prefer to experience an area like a local, a holiday rental is a great accommodation option that lets you stay in a house and enjoy the freedom that comes with it such as fully equipped kitchens and more space.
Both AirBNB and Stayz have a great range of holiday houses along the drive. Emerald & Aqua can also provide you with a great list of options in the more northern parts of the drive (i.e. Wollongong).

Holiday/Tourist Parks

Need a place to let the troops run wild? A tourist park is a great option with cabin-style accommodation and wide open spaces.
The top tourist parks along the Grand Pacific Drive are listed below:
Caravans and Camping

Powered or unpowered, there’s a site to park your caravan or pitch your tent along the Grand Pacific Drive starting as early as in the Royal National Park.
Here’s a few of our top picks along the drive: broken down into regions:

ROYAL NATIONAL PARK
WOLLONGONG
SHELLHARBOUR
KIAMA
SHOALHAVEN

Cycling & Cycleways

For those with two wheels, the Grand Pacific Drive is a road cyclist or mountain-bikers dream! From winding coastal roads to rugged, steep mountains, you’ll find a track to get your heart pumping.

To learn more about the cycleways in each of the regions along the drive, use the following links:

Visitor Information Centres

We’ll admit it’s impossible to give you ALL the information you’ll need to know about the Grand Pacific Drive. They say computers are smarter than people but we disagree. 

To speak to a human expert on the regions that make up the Grand Pacific Drive, contact one of the many Visitor Information Centres that are dotted throughout the Drive. Call ahead and let them answer your specific questions, or pop in for some inspiration as you make your way along.

Click View More below for a full list of all the Visitor Information Centres located on the Grand Pacific Drive.
Royal National Park Visitor Information Centre
2 Lady Carrington Drive, Audley
Open: Daily 8:30am – 4:30pm
T: 02 9542 0648
E: royal.nationalpark@environment.nsw.gov.au

Southern Gateway Centre
Princes Motorway (M1), Bulli Tops
Open: Daily 9am – 5pm (some public holidays may be 10am – 4pm)
T: 02 4267 5910 / 1800 240 737
E: tourism@wollongong.nsw.gov.au

iHub Visitor Information Centre (Wollongong)
93 Crown Street, Wollongong
Open: Monday – Saturday 9am – 5pm, Sundays and Public Holidays 10am – 4pm
T: 02 4267 5910 / 1800 240 737
E: tourism@wollongong.nsw.gov.au

Shellharbour Village Visitor Information Centre
Cnr Addison & Wentworth Streets, Shellharbour Village
Open: Daily 9am – 5pm
T: 02 4221 6169 / 1300 656 169
E: tourism@shellharbour.nsw.gov.au

Kiama Visitor Information Centre
Blowhole Point Road, Kiama
Open: Daily 9am – 5pm
T: 02 4232 3322 / 1300 654 262
E: tourism@kiama.com.au

Shoalhaven Visitor Information Centre (Nowra)
Cnr Princes Highway & Pleasant Way, Nowra
Open: Daily 9am – 5pm
T: 02 4421 0778 / 1300 662 808
E: tourism@shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au

Public Transport

We certainly recommend a car or campervan as the best form of transport to use along the Grand Pacific Drive. It will give you the freedom and flexibility you need to stop whenever and wherever you want to. If you don’t have your own car or vehicle we recommend hiring a car. Visit driveaway.com.au for a huge range of hire cars available.

If this is not an option for you, don’t let that stop you from making your way along the drive. Between busses, trains and taxis you’ll be able to see plenty of the sights.
Tour Companies

If you’d like a guided tour of the Grand Pacific Drive, contact South Coast Scenic Tours. They have a range of drives and packages along the Grand Pacific Drive, giving you an excellent alternative to traversing it yourself or using public transport.

For those that like to feel the wind in their hair, Just Cruisin’ Motorcycle Tours also offer drives along the Grand Pacific Drive…from the back of a Harley Davidson or trike!

Trains

The Grand Pacific Drive is located along the South Coast Line of the Sydney Trains railway network. The earliest stop on the drive is in Helensburgh (the closest stop to the Royal National Park) and the last stop is in Bombaderry in the Shoalhaven.

If you want to see the Seacliff Bridge, get off at Coalcliff Station and walk 1.7 kilometres (approximately 25 minutes) south to find yourself standing on the 665-metre long masterpiece.

To access the Wollongong CBD jump off at either North Wollongong or Wollongong Station. From there you can get on the Free Gong Shuttle which will take you to all the key locations in Wollongong including the foreshore, shops, restaurants and key attractions. The bus runs every 10 minutes between 7AM and 6M and every 20 minutes from 6PM to 10PM.

For the Shellharbour City Centre, get off at Oak Flats and jump on Bus 37, 51, 53 or 77 to reach Stockland Shellharbour. This is the major shopping centre and business precinct in Shellharbour. To go to Shellharbour Village, a quaint seaside village where you’ll find a cute café and a spot of shopping take the train to Shellharbour Junction Station and get either a bus or a taxi to the Village.

To reach Kiama’s City Centre get off at Kiama station. It is conveniently located in the heart of the CBD so you’ll easily be able to walk to the beach or and many cafes and shops along Kiama’s main street (Terralong Street). From here you can also make your way to the beginning of the Kiama Coastal Walk that will take you down to Gerringong.

Bombaderry is the last station on the South Coast line and will put you in the Shoalhaven. From there you will need to make your way further south via bus or taxi.

Buses

There are a number of buses that you can take to get you from A to B along the Grand Pacific Drive.

As your destinations are limitless, we have included links below to follow to access the relevant bus timetables based on the region you want to explore and the direction you’ll be heading.

If you’re in Wollongong and wanting to go north (i.e. up to the Seacliff Bridge and/or further north to Helensburgh and Sydney) use the Premier Illawarra bus service and take Bus 2 (Wollongong to Stanwell Park). If you have gotten off the train at Helensburgh, use Bus 15 to take you south to Stanwell Tops.

If you are in Wollongong and want to make your way to south to Shellharbour, use the Premier Illawarra busses 51, 52 Or 53.

If you are in Shellharbour and want to go south to Kiama, use the Premier Illawarra Bus 71.

If you’re in Kiama and want to go further south, Kiama Coaches can take you to Gerringong and as far south as the Seven Mile Beach in the Shoalhaven.

The Shoalhaven Bus Service is also an option of you are looking to use bus transport in the Shoalhaven region including locations such as Nowra and Berry.

Taxis

For those smaller distances, and/or if you’re after pure convenience and speed, there are a number of taxi companies along the drive that can get you from A to B quickly and with ease.
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