Everyone has that desire to just take a day and drive away — visit places, see the sights, meet people, and just have a road trip adventure. Thankfully, there are many such adventures in Australia. Since most of the country is connected by roads, it’s perfect for trips of different duration and destinations.
One of the most popular among these road trips is the Grand Pacific Drive. This 140-kilometre drive passes through coastal parts of New South Wales. It’s defined by its scenic land and seascapes and exciting stops along the way. It’s one of those trips that will have you thanking driving school.
If you’re planning your next road trip, here’s what the Grand Pacific Drive has to offer.
The Grand Pacific Drive website recommends that drivers start from the Royal National Park in Sydney. It’s around an hour away from the city’s CBD so make sure to consider that when making your plans. Of course, you can finish the whole drive in just a day, but you can also stretch out the trip to suit your driving style and better experience what each stop has to offer.
While at the Royal National Park, you can fish, barbecue, and bushwalk. You can even see the famous Figure Eight Pools.
Then, you’ll head south to Wollongong.
Your first stop is the Bald Hill Lookout. Not only are the views offered on this hill stellar, it’s also a popular hang-gliding spot. Try it out if you’re up for the adventure.
The hill overlooks the stunning Sea Cliff Bridge. It’s the embodiment of the Grand Pacific Drive. Driving on this road, with nothing but waves and nature on both sides, is one of the most liberating parts of the trip.
Time for some local snacks and souvenirs. The welcoming town of Austinmer offers a comfortable stop for drivers. They have a variety of restaurants and shops to choose from. They also have a parkland perfect for picnics and a tidal pool that’s widely known. Don’t forget to try their famous fish and chips.
You’ll arrive at the Wollongong City Centre next. Here you’ll be greeted by entertainment zones and shopping centres. It also has an array of bars that offer different and unique atmospheres.
But if you’re into a more laid-back time, drive further along until you reach Wollongong’s Foreshore. Dine while overlooking the city’s historic harbour. It’s a great place to burn a couple of hours.
You should also visit the ‘Paradise of the South’ or the Nan Tien Temple. It’s a traditionally built Buddhist temple but with many modern features. It’s an excellent site for retreats and meditation courses. According to their website, they even hold special events that you can take part in.
The cafes, bars, and restaurants of Shellharbour Village make it a must-see stop in the Grand Pacific Drive. It also has its own range of boutiques where you can find different items of interest.
You should also visit the Killalea State Park when you’re in Shellharbour. It’s a famous surfing reserve that has walking trails and seabird breeding areas. Spend the night here in a tent or in one of the many bunkhouses around.
The Grand Pacific Drive is an experience reserved for people who love the road and the sea and everything in between. Good luck and have fun on your next adventure!