Ask any New South Welshman and he, or she, will tell you that their particular ocean drive is the equal, or better, of the Great Ocean Road in Victoria! And they could be right. The 140 km stretch of quality highway that is the Grand Pacific Drive traverses a beautiful section of the state’s coastline. And what a grand drive it is too!
If you head out from Sydney you’ll start your journey in the world’s second oldest national park. This, the Royal National Park, is worth a visit in its own right. From the National Park you head towards the coast before turning south. The drive then follows the picturesque coastline to Wollongong. Be prepared for some stunning coastal vistas!
This section of the drive crosses the superb Sea Cliff Bridge. An engineering masterpiece, the bridge soars out over the Pacific Ocean. On the other side it hugs ancient towering cliffs. There are parking areas to the north of the bridge if you want to park your car and walk across it. This alone is an experience we definitely recommend. The footpath runs the entire 665-metre length of the bridge on the ocean side. From it you can peer down into the crystal clear waters of the Pacific Ocean beneath.
This section of coastline also has many coastal towns along the way. Stop off to experience local cuisine. Check out the activities on offer, including hang gliding at Bald Hill. Or visit the many heritage sites and buildings.
Wollongong is the biggest urban area in this part of the coast so you may want to spend a bit of time exploring. Once through Wollongong you head to Shellharbour and Kiama. From there, you’ll traverse the beautiful Shoalhaven before finishing up in Nowra. The countryside around here is pretty amazing. From the spectacular Kiama blowhole to the ancient cliffs along the Sea Cliff Bridge. Rainforest, lush farming country, exquisite beaches and bays, heritage buildings and more. You can experience them all on the Grand Pacific Drive.
When you reach Nowra you can continue south around the coast to Melbourne (and the Great Ocean Drive!) Alternatively, you can head inland to the country’s capital city Canberra. Or visit the beautiful Southern Highlands. All these routes loop back to Sydney, making this a great holiday journey.