DRIVES AND ROAD TRIPS

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Sydney to Eden road trip

The state’s stunning south coast is unmasked on this resplendent route. Sparkling beaches, shimmering lakes, ancient formations, and extensive national parks are all interwoven with a superb succession of inviting holiday hotspots.

The highlights crop up in no time. Pictured: Bombo Headland, Kiama. Credit: Dee Kramer Photography.


   
 
 

What: Sydney to Eden via the coast

Distance (approx.): 475km

Driving time (approx.): 6hr 30min

Suggested time: 5-7 days

Summary: The drive mostly follows the Princes Highway as it snakes southwards, departing that roadway only as it nears Bermagui and then linking with it again just past Merimbula as it reaches Eden. A host of diversions entice along the way.

There's spectacular scenery all the way to the end. Pictured: Ben Boyd National Park, Eden. Credit: Destination NSW.

Highlights

  • Royal National Park
  • Sea Cliff Bridge
  • Kiama Blowhole
  • Murramarang National Park
  • Mill Bay Boardwalk, Narooma
  • Central Tilba/Tilba Tilba
  • Camel Rock, Wallaga Lake
  • Tathra Wharf
  • Eden Killer Whale Museum
  • Ben Boyd National Park

The journey

For easy navigation, we’ve divided this route into four sections:

  • Sydney to Kiama
  • Kiama to Batemans Bay
  • Batemans Bay to Bermagui
  • Bermagui to Eden

Sydney to Kiama

Once past Sydney’s boundaries, this route quickly presents a compelling diversion to Royal National Park. The world’s second-oldest national park is crammed with eye candy.

Just past Helensburgh, it’s worth rerouting along Lawrence Hargrave Drive. It leads to scenic Sea Cliff Bridge, which for more than 600m takes coast hugging very literally.  

Sea Cliff Bridge. Credit: Destination NSW.

Back on the main route, the city of Wollongong soon emerges – although the highway bypasses its centre. In and around here are excellent attractions like Wollongong Botanic Garden and neighbouring Mt Keira Summit Park.

Further south is impressive Fo Guang Shan Nan Tien Temple, the southern hemisphere’s largest Buddhist temple.

Austinmer Beach, Wollongong.

Skirting around Lake Illawarra, the drive soon finds Kiama. This trendy seaside town is known for its excellent beaches and visual treats that include Kiama Blowhole, Cathedral Rocks, and the quirky basalt columns of Bombo Headland. For more epic views, head to Saddleback Mountain Lookout.

BIG4 accommodation along this leg

Kiama Blowhole Point, Kiama. Credit: Destination NSW.

Kiama to Batemans Bay

Detours galore tempt on this leg. It starts with Seven Mile Beach National Park, near Gerroa, which has links with legendary pilot Sir Charles Kingsford Smith.

On the main route, it’s worth a stop at Nowra to explore the aviation-themed Fleet Air Arm Museum.

From here, diverting to Jervis Bay reveals the enchanting sight of Hyams Beach, a world-famous white sand creation. Nearby is Conjola National Park, ripe with dazzling and diverse scenery.

Hyams Beach. Credit: Jordan Robins.

Further south is the aquatic playground of Lake Conjola before the charming towns of Milton, Mollymook, and Ulladulla emerge; the latter features a picturesque harbour.

Minutes east of here is Cupitt's Estate, a wonderful winery and brewery with equally delightful views. Pressing on, there’s more aquatic adventures to be had at Burrill and Tabourie lakes. 

Cupitt's Winery. Credit: Destination NSW.

While the Princes Highway begins to gradually stray away from the coast, inviting villages and their pristine beaches are always within reach. Bawley Point is one such example.

Nearby Murramarang National Park is equally worth a slight diversion. It features magnificent beaches alongside dramatic coastline and extensive forest. 

Pebbly Beach, Murramarang National Park.

Returning to the main road, Batemans Bay soon appears. Set on the Clyde River and within a stone’s throw of the coast, the town delivers all manner of aquatic fun. In addition, Birdland Animal Park and Oyster Shed on Wray Street are among leading attractions.

BIG4 accommodation along this leg

Clyde River Bridge, Batemans Bay. Credit: Destination NSW.

Batemans Bay to Bermagui

Continuing the descent, this section quickly reaches Mogo, which has a popular privately owned zoo.

Diverting to Guerilla Bay is encouraged. This secluded spot features striking ancient rocks that backdrop golden sand. It neighbours the seaside village of Broulee, which has a gorgeous beach. 

Guerilla Bay. Credit: Destination NSW.

Returning to the main path, the riverside town of Moruya emerges. Just east of here, the river meets the sea at Moruya Heads. This alluring spot is blanketed by Eurobodalla National Park with its secluded beaches and captivating coastal views.

Further along, Big Niles Brewing Co. makes for a great pitstop at Dalmeny before the route exposes the beguiling sight of Wagonga Inlet, which surrounds Narooma.

Admire the inlet’s vivid waters and its marine life with a stroll along Mill Bay Boardwalk or head beachside to spot a cluster of funky formations that include Glasshouse Rocks.

Wagonga Inlet, Narooma. Credit: Destination NSW.

From here, the Princes passes lakes and veers marginally inland where the charm-laden village of Central Tilba and its sibling Tilba Tilba provide tangible trips back in time via heritage streetscapes.

Soon after, the route leaves the Princes Highway and takes Bermagui Road, revealing the sparkling sight of massive Wallaga Lake. Opposite the lake, Horse Head Rock and Camel Rock are mesmerising coastal creations. And don’t miss a tour of fascinating Montreal Goldfield

Horse Head Rock, Wallaga Lake. Credit: Above Down Under by Dee Kramer Photography.

Minutes south is Bermagui, an instantly likeable town set on a massive harbour. Soak it all in at the lively Bermagui Fishermen’s Wharf or take a dip at Horseshoe Bay or Blue Pool.

BIG4 accommodation along this leg

Blue Pool, Bermagui. Credit: Destination NSW.

Bermagui to Eden

This final stretch begins by passing even more pretty beaches, and there’s a cellar-door alert at Mimosa Wines. Continuing, the road slices through Mimosa Rocks National Park, which features lagoons, rainforest, fascinating formations, and more sparkling sand and surf.

From here, it’s on to Tathra. The laidback seaside town also has an inviting beach, and its historical wharf is home to a museum and shadowed by a must-reach lookout. 

Tathra Beach. Credit: Destination NSW.

Further south is Bournda National Park where kayaking, coastal walks, and birdwatching are on the menu.

The route then reaches Merimbula, ideally positioned between a lake and the coast. Bar Beach headlines its superb sandy strips while a combined aquarium and wharf-side restaurant is among the town’s best attractions.

Bournda National Park. Credit: Destination NSW.

Continuing south, the road skirts around Pambula and its large lake before reaching Eden.

Overlooking Twofold Bay, the state’s southernmost town has immense appeal. Eden Killer Whale Museum fronts its attractions list and is joined by spectacular beaches and a feast of natural and historical treasure within the two distinct sections of Ben Boyd National Park.

BIG4 accommodation along this leg

Aslings Beach Rock Pool, Eden. Credit: Destination NSW.

Hit the road for a NSW getaway. Start by booking a stay at a featured BIG4 park below.

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