How about an easy and fabulous road trip?
In this article we'll "drive" you through our experience as we discovered 6 must-see locations only a few hours south of Sydney.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: GET SOME WHEELS
All major car rentals are present in Sydney, but if you are due to get an early flight on your way out of Australia as we were, the best thing is to hire the car from the airport terminal rather than in town. This way you can return the car without fuss as they have more flexible hours and most of all you will not occur a fee for dropping the car at a different location.
We hired with AVIS as not only they had a special offer for the 3 days that we needed the vehicle for, but also they are the most flexible in regards to payment options which is always handy.
If you don't have a credit card for instance you can pay by debit card or cash. There were only 2 of us traveling so we got the smallest vehicle they had which was a Toyota Yaris. It was an automatic car with unlimited KM and light consumption: ideal for the type of trip.
1. STANWELL PARK
Take the A1 which then becomes the M1 and is commonly called the Princess Highway and head south in direction of Wollongong. You'll drive through stunning national parks and about an hour from Sydney you'll reach the exit for Stanwell Park.
This picturesque coastal village is entered after a number of tortuous turns to descend from the mountains. Here you can stop for a walk at the Stanwell Park Beach Reserve or at Baird Park.
Stanwell Park is famous for paragliding, hang gliding and rock climbing. So, if you are after some adrenaline fueled open air activities, this is one of the best spots in the whole of Australia.
It's great and saves you spending extra money for a sat nav, just make sure your mobile is unlocked and you buy a local SIM to get your internet going. We used Optus for the duration of our visit in Australia and it worked well.
2. GRAND PACIFIC DRIVE
One of these is the Sea Cliff Bridge which is simply breathtaking. The 665 meters bridge will definitely be a highlight of your drive. The views are so dazzling that if you want to stop to enjoy them you can do just that!
There is a viewing platform where you can stretch your legs and admire the coast as well as looking out for whales heading North or South during the migrating season.
If you thought Stanwell Park was charming, wait until you see _Kiama. As the locals will tell you "once you arrive, you may never want to leave", so find hotels to stay in Kiama, here.
Kiama takes its name from the Aboriginal word Kiarama which means: place where the sea make a noise.
There are a number of things to be seen in this town, but the star attractions are 2 in particular: the Lighthouse and the Blow Hole.
They are both located on the same spot, which is on a rocky promontory that stretches out to the sea. This all area is of great interest for geologists because Kiama was the site of two volcanic flows, called the Gerrigong Volcanics which came out by the nearby Saddleback Mountain, now a collapsed vent.
The Blowhole is part of an erosion process on the more recent rock. And even if you aren't a geologist, trust us you will find this amazing whether you are 7 or 70 years old!
Park your car by the Lighthouse and take a walk around the area. There is a 7 kilometre southern extension to the coastal path that has been opened so you can walk along the cliffs to Gerringong. If you enjoy surfing there are several competition hosted in the area every year. Check out Surfing Australia for all the details.
If you are travelling with your family, something else that you may enjoy whilst in this area, it's to visit the nearby Jamberoo Action Park for a thrilling day of rides and water based activities.
Established in 1857, the pub is still to this day a main point of gathering for anyone wishing to enjoy a drink (they have 10 draft beers as well as a great list of wines and hot beverages) some gastronomic delicacies, and if you wish to stay in the area for the night they also have affordable accommodation.
5. JERVIS BAY
Let's head South a little more towards one of the best coastal points in Australia: Jervis Bay.
Jervis bay is known to have the whitest sandy beaches and it's exactly these as well as turquoise waters that make this area one of the most beautiful not only in Australia but in the world.
If you come all the way to Australia, Jervis Bay must be on your must-visit list.
There are two national parks: the Booderee National Park and Jervis Bay National Park.
By visiting Booderee National Park you also get the chance to see the ruins of Cape St. George Lighthouse. Resting on the top of rocky cliffs, the old lighthouse is a perfect view point to enjoy the stunning coast line as well as looking out for whales that pass by in high numbers during the migration season (June to July and September to November).
Hayams Beach. This beach is nestled in the middle of Jervis bay. The sand here is known to be the finest and softest as well as the whitest one in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records
There are several bakeries in town offering a vast array of treats such as pies, cakes and pastries.
You are literally spoiled for choice!!
We had some yummy pies and cakes (as the one in the picture) and coffees at the Huskisson Bakery & Cafe` and highly recommend it!
6. FITZROY FALLS (Merton National Park)
It's easy to bask away in sunny Jervis bay with all that there is to enjoy and do, but we had more to see before leaving Australia, so after a visit to Huskisson we headed to the mountains.
About an hour away from Jervis Bay, after driving through Nowra, and Kangaroo Valley and a number of mountainous turns that will get any racing driver's heart pumping, you'll reach the Fitzroy Falls Reservoir and straight after that you'll arrive at the award winning Fitzroy Visitor Center.
Here, you can park your car ($3 AUD per vehicle per day), explore the center to find out more about the area and then walk to the observation decks to admire the falls.
The trails are easy to walk and filled with information about flora and fauna living in Merton National Park.
First, you can grasp a plunging view of the 80m Fitzroy Falls descent and then continue the walk to see the Twin Falls. Both are spectacular!!
Let us know in the comments below what are your favorite places and as always if you liked this article please come find us on social media or sign up to our newsletter.