I recently did a road trip with my friend Sofia Max (@i_play_sofiamax) in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. We had spent 5 days driving through the Central and the North Coast of NSW stopping over at Blue Mountains, Mudgee, Quirindi and Charlestown. After taking a few days break in Sydney, we headed to the South Coast. The South Coast has many national parks, beaches, lagoons and rainforest, and is popular for outdoor activities, camping and wildlife. Here are some of the highlights from our trip and a few places to visit on the South Coast of NSW.
1. Jervis Bay & Hyams Beach
Jervis Bay is a 102-square-kilometre (39 sq mi) oceanic bay and village on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia. It is said to possess the whitest sand in the world. My friend had booked a camping site at the Jervis Bay Cabins & Hidden Creek Caravan Park located on 5 acres of beautiful bushland next to the pristine waters of Currambene Creek. It was my first time camping and also my first time coming face to face with a kangaroo who had accidentally crashed on our tent in the middle of the night! We also visited the Hyams Beach that has the whitest sand I have ever seen on a beach anywhere in the world!
2. BOMBO QUARRY & HEADLAND, KIAMA
Bombo Quarry is a headland made of unusual basalt columns and walls caused by metal quarrying in the area in the 1880s and 1900s. It is located close to Kiama. From Jervis Bay, my friend and I drove to the Bombo Quarry with a landscape photographer from Wollongong called Brad Chilby (http://chilby.com.au). The landscape was quite spectacular with its unusual columns rising from the ocean and the waves beating down at the rocks.
3. Lake Illawara & Primbee Jetty
Located 100 kms south of Sydney, south of the city of Wollongong, north of the city of Shellharbour, and 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) northeast of Dapto, Lake Illawara is a large coastal lagoon popular for recreational fishing, prawning and sailing. The Primbee Jetty on Lake Illawara offers magnificent sunset photo opportunities. There is a parking lot near the lake.
4. WOLLONGONG HARBOUR OLD LIGHTHOUSE
From the Bombo Quarry, we drove to Wollongong Harbour and checked out the Old Lighthouse. The Wollongong Harbour Lighthouse or the Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse, also known by the locals as the Old Wollongong Lighthouse, is a historic lighthouse situated on the southern breakwater of the heritage-listed Wollongong Harbour in Wollongong, a coastal city south of Sydney, New South Wales in Australia.
5. TOWRADGI OCEAN POOL
After taking pictures and hanging out at the Bombo Quarry, Lake Illawara and the Wollongong Harbour Old Lighthouse, we made our final stop for the day at the Towradgi Ocean/Rock Pool. The rock pool is about a 10 minute drive from the Wollongong Harbour. It is 50 mts long with stunning views of the Corrimal Beach, Wollongong Beach and the lighthouse and harbour in the distance.
6. WOMBARRA OCEAN (ROCK) POOL, WOMBARRA
The Wombarra Rock Pool in Wombarra is a half an hour drive from Wollongong. After sleeping over the night in Wollongong, this was our first stop the next day. It was the month of March and even though it was raining, the water in the pool was still warm. There was nobody at the pool except a fisherman sitting some distance away from the pool. The pool is located along the Lawrence Hargrave Drive between Coledale and Scarborough. There is a small parking lot at the pool level.
7. SEA CLIFF BRIDGE, COALCLIFF
The Sea Cliff Bridge is located just south of Sydney in the northern Illawarra region of NSW. We came to the Sea Cliff Bridge with landscape photographer Brad Chilby (http://chilby.com.au) who took us down a secret passage from where we could enjoy the ocean with stunning views of the bridge.
8. JUMP ROCK FALLS, MACQUARIE PASS NATIONAL PARK
Jump Rock Falls and swimming hole are located at the bottom of Macquarie Pass. It was quite late in the evening and raining when we started hiking towards Jump Rock. Walking slowly we navigated our way through dense bush, moss and slime, and climbed over rocks and roots to arrive at the falls.
9. FITZROY FALLS, SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS
Fitzroy Falls is a small village in the Southern Highlands region of New South Wales, Australia, named after the famous 81 meter waterfall. We stopped here for two nights on our road trip in NSW. We stayed at a bush cottage which was in walking distance to the Fitzroy Falls and backed onto the Morton National Park.
10. JAMBEROO VALLEY & SADDLEBACK MOUNTAIN LOOKOUT
Jamberoo Valley is full of nature reserves and national parks and has a quiet, little village called Jamberoo located in the valley. The village is about 11 km inland from Kiama on the South Coast of New South Wales. From Sydney, it is a total driving distance of about 125 kms and takes about 2 hrs to reach Jamberoo. Even though it had been raining heavily during the last part of our trip, it cleared out the day we visited Jamberoo.
The Saddleback Mountain is located near Kiama in New South Wales, Australia. The mountain rises to about 600 mts. above sea level and the Saddleback Mountain Lookout offers stunning views of the Illawarra region.