2 Jun 2023
10 FREE THINGS TO DO IN SOUTHERN NSW
Often overshadowed by the north, the south coast of NSW is a hidden gem. The best bit? You can experience it all without ever opening your wallet.
Here's a must-see list of ten free things to do on the south coast of New South Wales!
Table of contents
Take in 140km of stunning coastal scenery with a road trip along the Grand Pacific Drive.
This iconic road twists and turns along the cliffs from the Shoalhaven Region all the way up to Sydney with the highlight being the 665m Sea Cliff Bridge just north of Wollongong.
Take a dip in Bermagui’s stunning ocean-fed pool. While the south coast has plenty of ocean pools, this one is often touted as the best.
Carved out of coastal rock and filled with clear, turquoise waters any day here is a day well spent. It’s also a hot spot for wildlife and an incredible whale-watching spot when the season is right.
Speaking of whales, every year, thousands of the giant mammals make their way along Australia’s East Coast as part of their annual migration and Eden in NSW is one of the best places to spot them.
Dubbed the ‘Humpback Highway’, Eden Lookout is the place to head if you want to catch a glimpse and stick around for the annual Eden Whale Festival in October – a free weekend-long event that celebrates this special time of year!
While you’re in Eden, a visit to Aslings Beach Rock Pool is a must.
This is yet another one of NSW’s incredible ocean pools and just so happens to be the most southerly ocean pool in the state. The 25m rockpool sits at the base of towering, marble-like cliffs at the end of Eden Beach and is patrolled in the summer months. It also has showers, picnic tables and a nearby skatepark and playground to keep active kids entertained for a whole day.
Translating to Paradise of the South, Nan Nien Temple is the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere.
Only a 10-minute drive from Wollongong, marvel in the architecture, learn the traditions of Humanistic Buddhism and connect with yourself on a deeper level. Entry to the grounds is free and the temple runs a complimentary Tai Chi and Meditation class every Saturday from 9:30 – 11am.
If you feel like a day away from the coast, the town of Bega has something a little different.
The Bega Cheese Heritage Centre is in the small inland town of the same name and invites cheese lovers to brush up on their cheese knowledge. Visit the ‘History of Dairy’ Museum which boasts an impressive display of vintage memorabilia that has shaped the family-run label for over 100 years. Don't forget to enjoy the samples from the Bega café!
Tucked away in the canyons of Nethercote Flora Reserve lies Nethercote Falls – an impressive flow of water that leads to a large, 40m freshwater swimming hole that is perfect for cooling off in the warmer months.
A steep 300m track will take you down to the track that leads to the falls where you’ll usually find a handful of others with the same idea.
Got a bike? Then head straight for the mountain bike trails in Tathra.
Stretching almost 50km, there’s a reason this small town has bike enthusiasts flocking. With trails for every level, you’ll be blessed with scenic views and hours of fun as you tackle the undulating sections of this popular track.
Get a glimpse of the ancient rock formation affectionately known as Camel Rock.
Believed to be more than 470 million years old, the landmark holds a deep cultural significance to the South Coast Koori people. For a different view, follow the 1.5km trail to the viewing platform at the back of Murunna Point.
Discover what lies under the surface at one of many incredible snorkelling sites along the coast.Credit: Snorkeling at Bateman's Bay / Destination NSW
Bass Point Reserve, Greenfield Beach, Narooma and Bateman’s Bay are all top of the list if you want to get acquainted with the local marine life. Expect to see plenty of coral, octopus, seahorses and even rays, turtles and dolphins!
READY TO PLAN YOUR SOUTHERN NSW ADVENTURE?