In partnership with Tourism Australia
An enduring escape destination for couples, families and friends, the NSW South Coast has `plenty to offer.
Mother Nature’s best is on show with native bushland, clear waters and white-sand beaches along this long expanse of coastline.
The district’s reputation for quality produce and great food is well founded with charming eateries and working farms to visit.
The South Coast stretches from Wollongong in the north to the Sapphire Coast in the south, and with plenty of interesting towns and spots to explore, why not pack up the car for a road trip.
Here’s a taste of some of the wonderful experiences you’ll be rewarded with along the way.
KAYAK TO OYSTER FARMS
Get the best of both gourmet and natural worlds in the one hit with Region X’s Clyde River Oyster Tasting Kayak Tour.
After an introduction to the kayak equipment and paddle practice, you’ll hop into a double sea kayak to see national parkland and explore the calm waters of the Clyde River Estuary at Batemans Bay.
These same waters are home to some of the coast’s best oyster farms and on this tour, you’ll be able to pull up to a jetty and hear from the team behind The Oyster Shed at Wray Street talk about cultivation techniques, farming methods and oyster varieties, as well trying fresh molluscs and even purchasing some to take home.
MORE INFORMATION: regionx.com.au/package/oyster-coast-clyde-river-tour
LEARN ABOUT THE LAND’S ABORIGINAL HERITAGE
A First Nations owned and-operated cultural service provider on Yuin Country, Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness aims to educate visitors about Koori Country through immersive tours and experiences in Narooma on the far south coast.
On your chosen curated experience, you’ll learn about Aboriginal dreaming stories and be able to take part in and witness traditional Aboriginal ceremonies, dance and yarning circles.
Other experiences include a traditional sound-healing workshop and cooking demonstration, where you’ll learn some of the world’s oldest food and healing techniques.
You’ll also tour significant sacred sites on Yuin Country following the Djirringanj Dreaming trail or head to sacred Gulaga Mountain ascending through national parkland.
MORE INFORMATION: ngaranaboriginalculture.com
SNORKEL WITH WHALES AND SEALS
The majesty of sea life is awe-inspiring and this experience takes that awe to a whole new level.
Huskisson-based operator Dive Jervis Bay offers scuba diving activities to showcase the diverse marine environment of the NSW South Coast, including the migration of humpback whales returning from warmer waters up north around mid-August to late-November.
Boats are limited to 10 participants (in line with national safety guidelines) heading out for whale watching.
Once you dive into the water, you may even be able to snorkel alongside these magnificent creatures, or head to a popular seal hangout for a paddle with them.
MORE INFORMATION: divejervisbay.com
DINE AT A PADDOCK-TO-PLATE LOCAL FAVOURITE
Just minutes away from Milton, located in a late-1800s cheese factory at Woodstock, is the idyllically situated Milk Haus.
A wholefood cafe with a kitchen garden, a 1930s heritage-listed farmhouse and a cooking school, this enterprise has become a South Coast destination of its own.
The cafe runs a menu informed by a mantra to make simple, honest fare – free of toxins, preservatives and artificial nasties – inspired by seasonal produce from the grounds.
There’s also a cooking school, and workshops on raw food, vegan food, gut health and basket weaving.
MORE INFORMATION: milkhaus.com.au
VISIT AN INCREDIBLE ANIMAL KINGDOM
Ten kilometres south of Batemans Bay is the wildlife haven of Mogo Zoo in the historical mining town of Mogo.
The park and its animals – many species of which no longer exist in the wild or are endangered – were saved from the bushfires by zoo staff who stayed to fight flames and spot fires. The zoo is welcoming visitors once again, after closing a second time in 2020 due to COVID-19.
MORE INFORMATION: mogozoo.com.au
TASTE AWARD-WINNING SMALL-BATCH GIN
Nestled in the verdant green hills of Bega Valley, Stony Creek Farm Distillery is the award-winning micro-distillery where North of Eden gin is made.
Only 200 bottles of gin are made at a time in the distillery’s beloved copper still, Jill, demonstrating a commitment to small-batch artisan methods and handcrafted refinement of the process.
MORE INFORMATION: northofeden.com.au
EXPLORE A COMMUNITY-DRIVEN GARDEN OASIS
Six months after the fires swept through the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden, the much-loved grounds have reopened with new themed gardens funded by grants and community fundraising.
Recently completed buildings – a visitor centre, cafe and herbarium – survived the fires and are ready to take in visitors.
MORE INFORMATION: erbg.org.au
STAY AT SHOALHAVEN HEADS
A perfect base in Shoalhaven Heads, Mountain View Resort provides family-friendly accommodation just a short drive from Seven Mile Beach, renowned wineries and Shoalhaven River.
Choose from options such as comfortable cabins and drive-through caravan sites. You’ll also enjoy the resort’s facilities, including a swimming pool, tennis courts and a walking track. MORE INFORMATION: mtview.com.au
FOR THE FOODIES
GO ON A MAGICAL ROCK OYSTER TOUR
The world-renowned Sydney rock oyster is native to the Sapphire Coast.
On one of Captain Sponge’s Magical Oyster Tours, discover the history and techniques of oyster farming and you can sample freshly shucked oysters straight from the water.
DISCOVER DAIRY DELIGHTS
Bodalla Dairy is a thriving hub with the Dairy Shed and Milkbar cafe, an ice cream lab and cheese factory. Its bush tucker cheddar range is inspired by native plants such as saltbush, quandong, eucalyptus and wattleseed.
Kids will also love feeding the animals at the dairy farm.
PULL UP A STOOL AT THIS SMALL BUT MIGHTY EATERY
Jo Thomas and Alex Delly were the owners of the highly regarded restaurant St Isidore before opening casual eatery Small Town in Milton. The drinks list offers a great variety from iconic Australian names to small-batch producers, while the menu lets the local produce shine.