The coastline spanning the distance between Sydney and Batemans Bay has many twists and turns, many quiet bays and roaring surf beaches, and many photographic moments waiting to be captured.
Heading south out of Sydney through the Royal National Park, your route mirrors the start of the scenic Grand Pacific Drive. Stop for a swim in sleepy Stanwell Park, or tackle the Wodi Wodi Walking Track for some excellent views across the Illawarra Escarpment. Then hop back in the car and continue over the Sea Cliff Bridge, a cantilevered architectural feat that guides you out over the ocean for 455 metres before introducing you to Wollongong.
This seaside city is the third-largest in the state, but it still offers superb natural features. It occupies a thin strip of land between the rainforest-covered Illawarra Escarpment and an almost continuous run of surf beaches
South of Wollongong, stop for some fishing, prawning and sailing on Lake Illawarra before checking out relaxed Shellharbour and unspoilt Kiama, where the major attraction is the spectacular blowhole, which shoots water 20-odd metres into the air.
If you’re hankering for a pub lunch and some antiques shopping, pop over to cute-as-a-button Berry, or take a scenic drive to the lush pasture lands of Kangaroo Valley, before approaching the historic Nowra Bridge. With the surrounding area known for farming, foodies will be delighted by the local produce available in Nowra’s cafés and restaurants.
Less than half an hour’s drive south, you’ll hit the white beaches and calm waters of Jervis Bay and the Shoalhaven region. Dig your toes into the world’s whitest sand at Hyams Beach, or launch into a fishing trip, sailing adventure or dolphin-watching expedition from Huskisson, the main town of Jervis Bay.
To the south, Jervis Bay is bordered by Booderee National Park, home to the only Aboriginal-owned botanic gardens in Australia, in which members of the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council work to share knowledge of the different uses of native plants, including as food and medicine.
South of Jervis Bay, pass through charming seaside towns like Mollymook and Ulladulla. Refresh yourself with another swim at Pebbly Beach or South Durras, before finishing your day’s drive in lively Batemans Bay – the heart of Australia’s Oyster Coast.