When it comes to road trips, the grey nomads know where and when to go. One of their favourite routes is the drive down the south coast of NSW from Sydney or points north.
The road starts with a get out of Sydney hustle to the Royal National Park where the country really begins. The engineering feat of the Sea Cliff Bridge that ribbons out over the sea and avoids the cliffs and old dangerous highway is a drivers dream. Stop and sit at lookouts north of Wollongong, to scope the panorama of Stanwell Park through to Illawarra. Become enlightened at the Nan Tien Buddhist Temple near Berkley, a stunning building of worship that looks out to the escarpment.
Drive to secluded beaches, for a walk or a surf in some of the best breaks in all Australia. The road can change from inside rainforests, to screaming past bays and inlets from high on the cliff top.
The Kiama bends wind into and out of this fine seaside location emerging at Gerringong where the traveller may want to visit Gerroa, Berry or continue through to the popular Nowra where a turn off to Greenwell Point will find you at Jims Wilds Oyster service for freshly shucked oysters.
From here our greys love to travel or pit stop at Milton, a picturesque town on the highway down to the surf beaches and towns of Mollymook and Ulladulla.
The road here doesn’t venture far from the coast, through the main centre of Batemans Bay where all your conveniences are located. A holiday town with nice waterways Batemans Bay leads onto Moruya and Narooma, both well-known destinations on the scenic south coast.
Then we hit gold, as they used to back in the heady days of Australia’s Gold Rush at Central Tilba and Tilba. Only 360km from Sydney these National Trust protected towns are like stepping back into a bygone age in a central location close to all natural attractions.
A great place to day trip from while soaking in the atmosphere of a heritage style stay, is Fairview Farm Cottages. These completely self-contained cottages are perfect for two people. The farm has views of Mount Dromedy, a highly significant mountain. They are on the shores of the beautiful Wallaga Lake, near where they filmed “River Cottage Australia” got to www.fairviewfarm.com.au
Mount Dromedy or Gulaga Mountain is a major attraction in the area and is of special importance to the Aboriginal people of the far south coast. Take the walking track from Tilba Tilba up the mountain.
The villages showcase the grand style of our architectural past with houses and buildings as fresh and colourful as when they were built. A great place to stay or visit with all the unique shops and galleries.
Many of our grey nomad readers are quite about their past, when many of the baby boomers enjoyed what could be called an alternative lifestyle. Well an old hippy never dies, so for those of us not unfamiliar with the free thinking of our youth, get yourself along to the Gulaga Gallery and Bookstore, the best new age hippy shop this side of Venus and Mars. Hemp anyone? Clothes that is, cool shades and all sizes. Great one off clothes for the lady, handcrafted jewellery in a crafts town and enlightening books and candles to let the hippy back into us. 7 Bate St, Central Tilba, open 7 days, 9-5.
You can drive through to Cobargo as green hills roll away into mystical valleys. Cobargo is a working town of artisans, craft people and painters. A bustling, friendly village of rural and art, of farm and sculpture. A great place to stop, visit and stay
This atmospheric town has a laid back vibe that only the south coast could produce. One place you don’t want to miss when you’re here is the Cobargo Laneway and Beyond Markets held every Saturday from 8am-1pm. Check out and try the fresh cakes, produce from local farms, seedlings, herbs, jewellery and craftwork form the locals, you’ll really dig it. There is a wealth of talent in this cute, quirky Austrian town and you’ll find all you want in good, Australian made leather at South Coast Leather, from Akubras, R.M. Williams, Driza-bone to handmade leather belts, bags, boots and heaps more. You know you look good in leather! Got to www.southcoastleather.com.au or pop in at 68 Princes Hwy, Cobargo.
Cobargo is close to the beach and rivers for surfing fishing or boating, you have to stop here. It’s surrounded by wilderness areas, National Parks, rugged mountains and is a buzzing vibrant place. Stock up on your market grown produce, at Cobargo Farm, an open garden farm at Lot 1, Bermagui Rd, Cobargo. You will not find fresher eggs, fruit, spices, honey, veggies and flowers anywhere.
If you fancy some meat with all this local fresh organic produce in Cobargo, you cannot beat the famous local institution, Benny’s Butcher. Raved about by locals and visitors alike, Benny’s have what some say are the best sausages you’ll ever taste. Varieties include gluten and preservative free lamb snags, Italian spicy pork, chicken with pine nuts and feta, venison and many many more. Their range of local sourced lamb and beef are perfect for the road travellers BBQ’s and they deliver as far as Bermagui, so no order is too big or small. Call for a roast, a mixed tray or anything you can think of. Perfect for your holiday or local stay over, from paddock to you, local, fresh and top quality at fantastic prices go to https://www.facebook.com/BennysButchery or call into Shop 1-3, Princes Hwy Highway, Cobargo.
You can drive on to Bermagui form here where oyster farms and tours are located. If your road trippings stay at the fabulous South Coast Holiday Parks Bermagui overlooking Horshoe Bay with views back to Gulaga Mountain go to www.southcoastparks.com.au for more information.
Wherever you travel on the south coast of NSW you’ll find the serenity or action you seek. We will have more on this fabulous region in our next issue.
Follow the advice for sustainable food consumption when you’re on the road, by shopping local, eating local and spending locally and you support he business and families of the are you are enjoying.
You may also like our article on Australia’s Oyster Coastline click here to read.