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Melbourne to Sydney: South Coast of New South Wales

The scenic South Coast of New South Wales is a perfect road trip destination. Kiama, Minnamurra, Jervis Bay, Hyams Beach, Tilba Tilba, Merimbula… And Kangaroo Valley if you like a side trip.

The Merimbula to Sydney highway winds between green hills and turquoise ocean waters. Or maybe you prefer the well marked tourist routes that take you to remote villages and beaches.

We loved the last 500 km of our Melbourne to Sydney coastal drive and this post will show you what we saw on the South Coast of New South Wales.

The Little Blowhole, Kiama

Kiama Little Blowhole, South Coast of New South Wales 

On our road trip through the south coast of New South Wales we stopped at Bermagui, Tilba Tilba, Jervis Bay, Kangaroo Valley and Kiama. These places are marked on the map below.

We also wanted to make more stops in national parks along the road but our timetable didn’t allow that. And there was another reason too: national parks have gravel roads and driving on them is not allowed if you rent a campervan.

And at the end we were driving in a terrible hurry since we had to return the campervan before the office at Sydney airport closed. For this reason we had to take the M1 motorway all the way from Wollongong to Sydney.

More Places to Visit

Wattamolla Lagoon, New South Wales South Coast

Wattamolla Lagoon, New South Wales South Coast

Between Wollongong and Sydney there are places you should absolutely see like the the Sea Cliff Bridge and north of it the Royal National Park with the amazing Wattamolla Lagoon. But luckily we had been to those places before. If you haven’t seen Wattamolla and Sea Cliff Bridge go and visit.

Now about our drive:

South Coast of New South Wales on the Map


The map shows the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia, and our driving itinerary from Merimbula to Sydney. You can zoom in the map to see it more in details.

The places where we made longer stops are marked on the map. In all we used two or three days to this trip but would like to stay longer.

We started from Merimbula in the south and the next stop was Bermagui.

How did we come to Bermagui? That’s in my previous post Melbourne to Sydney: Australia South East Coast Drive.


Tathra Beach, Tanja and Bermagui

Bermagui, New South Wales

Bermagui, one of the resorts on the South Coast of New South Wales

At the beginning we didn’t use the highway. We took a small country road from Merimbula, along the coast to Tathra Beach and on to Tanja. Both were very scenic areas so this was a good side trip. Then there was a national park and after some driving in the national park we came to Bermagui. Bermagui is a pretty village between the ocean and a large lake. It’s a popular fishing destination and there are nice walks along the shore.


Views of Bermagui, New South Wales South Coast

Bermagui has some nice beaches and also lagoons, and right behind the camping where we stayed the night was a wonderful small sea water pool, called the Blue Pool. Bermagui Tourist Park was one of the best campsites of our whole trip, it was in the middle of the village which is practical and we had a fantastic sea view from our campervan.

Bermagui harbour, New South Wales

Sunset at Bermagui, South Coast of New South Wales 

The evening was warm so we walked around in the village and the harbour and looked at the fantastic sunset.


Evening by the sea


Tilba Tilba and Central Tilba

General Store at Central Tilba

Tilba Tilba general store

The two historic villages Tilba Tilba and Central Tilba are just a short way from Bermagui. The villages are popular bus tour destinations and it’s easy to see why.

Particularly Tilba Tilba has a long row of well preserved historic houses so it offers a nice setting for a lunch or coffee. And also the rolling green hills in the milk production area look beautiful.


Tilba Tilba, New South Wales, Australia

Jervis Bay and Huskisson Beach

Huskisson beach, New South Wales

The white sands of Huskisson Beach

Jervis Bay further north is famous for its white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. We wanted to see if the sand truly is as white as in photos, and it really was! The waters were calm and so good to swim, and at distance we could see some dolphins.

Huskisson is the biggest tourist resort with a wide selection of accommodation, and a short drive south is a smaller beach, Hyams Beach.

New South Coast by campervan: Huskisson Beach, Jervis Bay

Hyams Beach

Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay, Australia

Hyams Beach New South Wales South Coast drive

Here are some pictures of the white sand Hyams Beach in  Jervis Bay.

South of Hyams beach is Booderee National Park that has great beaches as well and  also some walking tracks.


Hyams Beach in photos

Kangaroo Valley

Suspension bridge, Kangaroo Valley

The old bridge of Kangaroo Valley

From Nowra north of Jervis Bay we decided to take a detour from the Melbourne to Sydney highway. We wanted to see Kangaroo Valley. The road to Kangaroo Valley turned out to be very winding and steep, first it went up a high hill and then down the other side. We wanted to give up and turn back since this road was not for campervans, but there was no place to turn. Then we finally came down to the valley and Kangaroo Valley really was worth the trouble!

There was a nice old village with historic houses and Kangaroo Valley also has Australia’s oldest suspension bridge across the gorge of Kangaroo River.


Side trip to Kangaroo Valley 


Easts Beach Camping, Kiama

The bay of Kiama on the South Coast of New South Wales 

Kiama was our next destination, returning from Kangaroo Valley. The town is two hours south from Sydney and since Kiama is in such a pretty place we decided to stay the night on the nearby campsite.

Kiama is a place where I’d like to stay a week, not just one night. The small town, or is it just a village is in a very picturesque setting between rolling green hills and the ocean. You can walk along the excellent walking paths along the cliffs on the shore and in between there are many sandy beaches.


More views of Kiama

The camping was at Easts beach with direct access to the beach and the paths, and also the Little Blowhole was at walking distance.

Saddleback Mountain Road, Kiama

Countryside outside Kiama, Australia

Countryside on Kiama Hills

We made a side trip towards the Saddleback Mountain lookout. The road climbed quickly and soon we could enjoy fantastic views of green countryside.

Other things you can do in Kiama: You can also make a trip to the country village of Jamberoo and Minnamurra Rainforest close to it . There are also the famous Minnamurra Falls, or if you like waterfalls you can drive to Carrington Falls farther away. One more thing is to try the Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk.


Saddleback mountain, Kiama

Kiama Blowholes

The Little Blowhole, Kiama, South Coast of New South Wales

The Little Blowhole, Kiama, South Coast of New South Wales 

Kiama has unusual rock formations that make sea water spout high in the air with a whoosh and you can that  in two different places. Firstly there is the Kiama Blowhole in the village, and then the Little Blowhole which is a little bit difficult to find.

On the day we visited Kiama the Little Blowhole was a lot bigger than the big one since the waves came from the right direction towards it.


Kiama lighthouse and blowholes

Minnamurra Heads and River

Minnamurra River, South Coast of New South Wales

Minnamurra, South Coast of New South Wales

In a brochure we happened to see a picture of the lagoon of Minnamurra River and the picture looked so special that we had to go and check the place.

The place was a bit hard to find and there were some low railway bridges on the way there. So to get there we had to leave the camper where the low bridge was and walk quite a bit, to see that the place was just as fantastic as it was in photos.


Minnamurra heads and lagoon


Minnamurra became our last stop before Sydney. We were running out of time and had to rush to Sydney. The campervan rental office at Sydney airport closed 16:30 and we got there just exactly one minute before, after our navigator had guided us to a wrong campervan company next door. But such things happen and we did it! We got to Sydney, after a long drive from Melbourne!

End of South Coast of New South Wales drive: Sydney

End of South Coast of New South Wales drive: Sydney

We were in Sydney, after 1600 kilometres of experiences to remember!  All these kilometres were fantastic and the whole driving route from Melbourne to Sydney along the coast  is amazing. After all the driving we had done the taxi ride through Sydney to our apartment felt like a very short drive.

I hope you enjoyed our drive along the South Coast of New South Wales and all the way from Melbourne. We enjoyed the trip so much and this gave us so much more than flying from Melbourne to Sydney in an hour and a half!

Please feel free to share your own experiences of driving in South Coast NSW or  from Melbourne to Sydney.

My All Sydney Posts

On this category page you can find my other posts about Sydney and New South Wales:

Melbourne to Sydney Drive Along Coast

How did we arrange our Melbourne to Sydney campervan trip, what was our itinerary and how was the whole drive like? You can read the story in my main post Melbourne to Sydney Drive along Coast.

Melbourne to Sydney coastal drive with campervan

Melbourne to Sydney coastal drive with campervan

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