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Road Trip NSW's Sapphire Coast

16 Sep 2021

It’s time to start preparing for that summer road trip along one of Australia’s most beautiful stretches of coast.

Whether you’re piling into the family wagon or setting off for that first romantic break, the Sapphire Coast in New South Wales is an opportunity to explore wild coastlines, secluded beaches, and pristine national parks.

PAMBULA LSAmb 055 Photo Credit John Montesi

A Road Trip along the Sapphire Coast is an escape for growing families. Credit: John Montesi  

Time to Hit the Road!

Located halfway between Australia’s two largest capitals of Sydney and Melbourne, the Sapphire officially stretches from the coastal town of Eden in southern New South Wales to Bermagui just 100 clicks north.

However, with such immense beauty on offer and so many cute coastal nooks and country towns to discover, why wouldn’t you keep going towards Wollongong?

Alternatively, if you’re travelling from north to south, escape the big smoke of Sydney as soon as you can and start your summer road trip from there!


PAMBULA LSAmb 055 Photo Credit John Montesi 2

Discovery Parks - Pambula Beach is metres from the water. Credit: John Montesi

Backed by towering forests and surrounded by vast country paddocks, quaint country farming towns are dotted along the early part of this journey from north to south.

Coastal destinations like Batemans Bay, Bawley Point and the entire Shoalhaven region are unmissable stops on the Grand Pacific touring route.  

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Jewel in the Crown

Considered a jewel in the crown of the NSW South Coast, the Sapphire is appropriately named not only because sapphires are abundant in the area, but because it sparkles with raw beauty!

Pambula Beach 3   Photo Credit Road to Rainbows 091621 ja

Surf's Up all over on the Sapphire Coast. Credit: Road to Rainbows

Well known as one of Australia’s best whale-watching destinations, there’s a huge variety of activities to get involved with.

Whether it be swimming, fishing, snorkelling, surfing or kayaking in crystal clear waters, up and down the New South Wales South Coast there are opportunities to indulge in the very best of Australian beach culture. If you’re travelling with kids, a quick game of ‘I spy’ will likely feature surfboards strapped to car roofs and kayaks poking out the back of car windows!

Clifftop Exploration

Beaches not to be missed in this region include Tathra and Merimbula Main Beach, which are popular family spots.

For those looking for something a little more secluded, Mimosa Rocks, Bournda and Ben Boyd National Park are worthy of some cliff-top exploration.


The indoor pool at Pambula Beach is popular with the smallest road-trippers! 

Pambula is also home to some of the most picturesque bays in the region, and Discovery campers here have long loved being greeted by dozens of kangaroos who have taken up residence in our park!

Merimbula and Pambula Lakes

While in Pambula, don’t miss the chance to visit the stunning Merimbula and Pambula Lakes, two of the Sapphire’s most incredible natural wonders.

A kayak trip here is an experience that will live long in the memory, or why not consider a boat tour out to a real oyster farm where you can learn about ‘oyster husbandry’ and ‘shuck’ your very first pearl!

There are also several Indigenous sites along the tree-lined banks of the Pambula River, which is an ancient waterway of cultural significance to the original Djuwin Nation.

Sapphire Coast IG   Pambula River Mouth

If you do like chasing waterfalls, Nethercote Falls is well worth the 20-minute drive inland.

After a steep but manageable hike down to the falls, tranquility and natural beauty await. If you get lucky, you might even have it to yourself!

Nethercote Falls   Photo Credit Road to Rainbows 091621 ja

Nethercote Falls is an oasis of calm. Credit: Roads to Rainbows

Whale Trail

As mentioned, the region is well-known for its whale watching.

Each spring, the waters off Bermagui, Tathra and Merimbula act as a stopover point for thousands of humpback whales who migrate north from Antarctica to breed and tend to their young each year. This makes the Sapphire Coast one of the few places worldwide where you can watch whales feed, rest and nurse their young as they complete their journey.

Whale Watch   Photo Credit Destination 2 NSW 091621 ja.webpPhoto Credit: Destination NSW

At Eden, the publicly-owned Eden Killer Whale Museum has now been open in some form for over 85 years.

Exhibitions about historic whaling operations that took place in Twofold Bay in the late 1800s include a full skeleton of ‘Tom’ the Killer Whale, a legendary Orca who famously led a pack of killer whales as they hunted a pod of Baleen whales on their southward migration.

Need more reasons to visit the Sapphire Coast?

Check out Sapphire Coast NSW’s Instagram page for more visual inspiration!

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