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orange bulletDay Trip : Sydney To The South Coast

A trip of 133 km from Sydney to Kiama.

Travel via Princes Highway (Route 1) then take Route 68 along Farnell Avenue, Sir Bertram Stevens Drive, Lady Wakehurst Drive and Lawrence Hargrave Drive and back onto Princes Highway.

Over 16,000 hectares of land are protected within the borders of the Royal National Park that lies on the southern outskirts of Sydney. A day tour through this region should take in the highlights of the park plus the magnificent south coast landscape beyond.

Further along the coast is the large provincial city of Wollongong and the seaside holiday town of Kiama, the end destination of your trip.

Take the Princes Highway out of Sydney and turn left into the Royal National Park along Farnell Avenue. At Audley, stop off at the park information centre where you will also find nearby picnic grounds and some historic 19th century buildings to explore.

The Royal is the second oldest national park in the world, having been first established in 1879, and it preserves a beautiful natural landscape of heathland, woodlands, swamps and rain-forest, plus a coastline of sandy coves and soaring cliffs. All the highlights are easily seen by car, or make some extra time available to try some of the 150 kilometre network of walking trails that snake through the park.

From Audley, follow Sir Bertram Stevens Drive to the south, making a detour off to Wattamolla and Garie Beach for their spectacular ocean views, swimming and picnic spots. Resume the trip along Lady Wakehurst Drive, and turn south on to Lawrence Hargrave Drive just below the southern border of the park.

This is where you are going to be treated to some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in New South Wales, if not the whole of Australia. As the road leads down from the upper clifftops, you will wind in and out of small inlets and past the old coal mining towns of Coalcliff, Scarborough, Wombarra and Coledale.

Further to the south, located between the surf coast and the massive rainforest-covered escarpment, lies the sprawling industrial city of Wollongong. Rejoin the Princes Highway and follow the signs to Kiama, a pretty coastal village with wooden houses and huge pines. Kiama's best known attraction is the blow-hole where surging ocean swells are forced up through a hole in the rock, creating great spouts of water.

The most direct return route back to Sydney is via Princes Highway.