8 Iconic Experiences on the South Coast

The famous Kiama blowhole and lighthouse | Destination NSW
The famous Kiama blowhole and lighthouse | Destination NSW

8 Iconic Experiences on the South Coast

The South Coast of NSW is brimming with exceptional sights and activities. From unspoilt beaches and historic towns to close encounters with kangaroos, exploring these iconic Australian destinations will create treasured memories for all travellers. 

One of the best things about the South Coast is how close it is to Sydney. For people living in the city, it’s only a couple of hours drive to reach Wollongong. Once there, one of the best ways to become immersed in this region is to do a self-guided cycling tour and enjoy the freedom of riding a bike through the coastal landscapes.

Read on to discover 8 must-do things on the South Coast.

1. Visit the Largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere

Something a little unexpected on the coast of Australia is the Nan Tien Temple in Wollongong. This is the largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere. It was built in the ‘90s with the intention of bridging Eastern and Western cultures. Visit the temple and its well-manicured grounds for a peaceful experience and discover the beautiful architecture, art and Buddhist culture. 
Cyclist entering the Nan Tien Temple Complex |  <i>Kate Baker</i>

2. Spot Kangaroos in the Wild

Seeing kangaroos in the wild never gets old. Especially if they’re lazing on a grassy patch next to a sandy beach – does it get more Australian than that? The NSW South Coast has many postcard-perfect opportunities to admire Australia’s most famous animal. One of the most serene locations for kangaroos spotting is in Murramarang National Park near Batemans Bay and in Jervis Bay National Park.
Wild kangaroos in the field |  <i>Caroline Mongrain</i>

3. Pay your Respects to The Famous Berry Donut Van

The Famous Berry Donut Van is a South Coast institution. Found in the historic town centre of Berry, this food and coffee shop has been operating for 55 years.  If you haven’t tasted one of their warm donuts (and coated your lips with cinnamon and sugar) then you’re missing out. It’s the ideal treat - especially if you’ve worked up a sweat pedalling around the area.

4. Get Sprayed by the World’s Largest Blowhole

The Kiama Blowhole is a favourite with visitors to Kiama |  <i>Destination NSW</i>
Each year, almost a million tourists flock to see the world’s largest blowhole in Kiama. People are often surprised by the loud roar of water as it propels from the blowhole at Kiama. It’s great fun to watch the waves shoot the water up and turn to spray in the air. Be sure to visit the nearby lighthouse and soak up the chilled vibe of Kiama’s harbour too.

5. Admire the Majestic Whale Migration

Go whale watching at Jervis Bay, Huskisson, at the end of your cycle trip
From a rock blowhole to a living blowhole, the South Coast has it all. Perch yourself in an observation point or join a whale watching tour and see the epic migration of the whales in action. Between May and November, whales make their way along the coast in search of seasonal waters, and on their journey they love saying g’day. Also keep your eyes open for dolphins, seals and penguins – the South Coast is full of marine life.

6. Discover Hyams Beach & the White Sands Walk

Australia is renowned for its laidback beach culture, and with long stretches of unspoilt beaches, stellar surf and inviting waters, it’s no surprise. When searching for the perfect beach, there is one which shines brighter, or rather whiter, than the rest. According to the Guiness World Records, Hyams Beach in Jervis Bay has the reputation of having the world’s whitest sand. Although this status is up for debate, beach lovers will still enjoy laying a towel down on Hyams Beach and going for a swim. For further exploring, we highly recommend the White Sands Walk. This is an easy 90 minute return stroll that takes in the pure white sandy beaches of Jervis Bay National Park.
Cycle to Huskisson, Jervis Bay, on the NSW South Coast |  <i>Dee Kramer</i>

7. Indulge in the South Coast Wineries

The South Coast is home to several vineyards that are as celebrated for their wine as for their idyllic landscape. They often have a fascinating history, such as the Coolangatta Estate near Berry, which was originally a convict-built village that’s been transformed into a gorgeous vineyard. Be sure to add the Crooked River Winery near Gerringong, Cupitt’s Estate in Ulladulla, Two Figs Winery in the Shoalhaven and the Cambewarra Estate in Nowra, to your list of great spots for a tasting, meal or sunset drink.

8. Cross the Iconic Hampden Bridge

In the Kangaroo Valley you can cross the Hampden Bridge, which is Australia's last surviving wooden suspension bridge (although it may be more recognisable for its sandstone turrets). The Hampden Bridge is symbolic of the colonial history within Kangaroo Valley and visitors can learn more about this part of Australia's past at the Kangaroo Valley Pioneer Village Museum.
Historic building in Kangaroo Valley |  <i>Bruce Baker</i>

If you'd like to explore the South Coast of NSW, consider the South Coast Self Guided Cycle tour. Over 6 days, you'll pedal from Thirroul in Wollongong down to Huskisson in the Jervis Bay Marine Park. Discover local sights and attractions at your own pace, stay in comfortable hand-picked accommodation and enjoy the convenience of daily luggage transfers. Or for a shorter experience, join the 3 day Kiama to Huskisson Self Guided Cycle tour.
Which of these fantastic experiences have you done? Anything else that you can recommend? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


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