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Coastal adventures – South side

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Wild About Whales
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Family walking along the Scribbly Gum track and whale watching at Jervis Bay National Park. Photo: D.Finnegan/OEH

The South Coast of NSW is an area often loved by Sydneysiders as a place to escape for the summer holidays. But as the locals will tell you, this stretch of coastline has so much to offer, and especially during the whale watching season.

From Wollongong and surrounds and the picturesque Illawarra Escarpment Conservation Area, right down to Jervis Bay National Park, there are so many great spots for whale watching in our national parks. And there's so much more to see and do in addition to whale watching. Here are a few highlights:


Located just outside of Nowra, take Sand track walk (north) in Seven Mile Beach National Park through the forest and admire the birdlife in this park. This short walk allows you to experience both the unique forests and stunning golden stretch of beach that make up this national park. Or you can take Sand track walk (south) which starts from the southern end of the beach and takes you through forested hind dunes running parallel to the beach.

Gorgeous natural wonders await you on She-Oak crossing walk in Bomaderry Creek Regional Park. This two hour trail makes the most of the natural wonders of the park with a hidden gorge, cool rainforest and softly running creeks.

Walk through ancient burrawang palms on Burrawang track from Conjola Lake to Buckleys Point in Narrawallee Creek Nature Reserve. This walk takes in a spectacular range of coastal wetlands and a patch of coastal rainforest with breathtaking scenic views.

In Jervis Bay National Park take White Sands walk and Scribbly Gum track which are interconnecting walking tracks that together create a beautiful – and easy – loop walk. You'll pass several glorious white sand beaches, be treated to incredible bay views at various points along the track and enjoy bird watching and glimpses of dolphins too.

Great climbs, views and waterfalls

Head inland from the coast to find Buderoo National Park featuring stunning Carrington Falls. With its cascades, waterholes and rock pools, some regard these falls, where the Kangaroo River plunges over 50 metres to the gully below, as the most beautiful on the south coast.

More waterfalls await at Morton National Park, also just inland from the south coast. Belmore Falls walking track near Kangaroo Valley offers no shortage of lookouts and sensational views of the valley and falls. And it's also worth a visit to the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre just near the Fitzroy Falls with loads of interesting information about the local history, wildlife and bird watching of the area.

And if you're feeling fit, one of the best climbing opportunities on the south coast is Pigeon House Mountain Didthul walking track. The hike is steep in parts but it results in amazing views from the top of the mountain, from Point Perpendicular in the north to Mount Dromaderry in the south. Views across bush to the ocean make the steep climb, with negotiating ladders to the summit, totally worthwhile.

Get on the water

Termeil Lake in Meroo National Park near Batemans Bay provides a peaceful refuge for wildlife and visitors. Great for kayaking, no powerboats are allowed on the lake so there's nothing to disturb the peace while you're paddling and exploring the backwaters and tributaries.

Jervis Bay Marine Park, with its crystal clear waters is one of the best places along the NSW south coast for dolphin and whale watching on the water.

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