The New South Wales South Coast has plenty to offer families seeking a spring getaway. From Shellharbour to the Sapphire Coast and Kangaroo Valley, these are our South coast spring must-dos.
This stunning walk covers 22 kilometres of coastline from the Minnamurra River all the way to Boat Harbour Gerringong. Spring is the perfect time to walk it, as it’s not too hot.Adventurous families can attempt the whole walk- or tackle one section at a time. Kiama Tourism breaks the walk into three easy natural sections, each taking between 1.5 and 3 hours to complete.
Section One winds past headlands, surf beaches and Kiama town centre from Minnamurra to Blowhole Point. It takes about three hours to complete the 8.4-kilometre trek. Along the way families will have stunning views over Mystics and Killalea beaches as well as Rangoon Island (named after the shipwreck in 1870). Make sure you check out Bombo Headland. Here you can observe the spooky basalt columns known as “the graveyard”.
Section Two, from Blowhole Point to Loves Bay, winds past Kiama Beach, past the pine-tree dotted headland to Kendall’s beach and on to the little blowhole. The little blowhole is a lesser-known blowhole. It shoots up with a northeastern wind. This section is super fun for kids. Who doesn’t love the blowhole? It’s also the shortest track. The 5km walk should take about 1.5 hours. But it is harder than section one. Section two ends at Loves Bay and offers stunning views of Kiama and the lighthouse.
Section Three covers six kilometres from Loves Bay to Gerringong. This is the newest section of the walk and it is dramatically different from the other two sections. This walk zig-zags through coastal pastures, overexposed clifftops and rainforest remnants. It’s stunningly beautiful and offers incredible views of the ocean. If you want to feel like you are away from everything – this is the walk for you.
Don’t have a car? Don’t worry. The Kiama Coastal Walk it is all accessible by train station (there are four along the trail).
Montague Island Nature Reserve
Montague Island is home to hundreds of seals, thousands of little penguins and more than 90 bird species. Between September and November, you’re likely to see whales frolicking in the water around the island as they complete their southern migration.
The island is just off the South Coast town of Narooma. Families can take a day tour or stay overnight in lighthouse accommodation. Montague Island has two lovingly restored lighthouses keepers’ cottages. The cottages have five bedrooms, barbecue facilities, shower, toilets and electric power. They are suitable for up to 12 guests.
Children aged 15 and over can participate in the Montague Island conservation volunteers program. Volunteers contribute to the long-term preservation of the island’s little penguin colony by monitoring and protecting nesting boxes on the island.
The south coast isn’t just beaches. Kangaroo Valley is a secluded, quiet country town nestled between the beaches and the Southern Highlands. It’s two hours drive from Sydney, but it feels like a world away.
Kangaroo Valley has plenty of fabulous farm stays. Most of these are fantastic for multiple family or multi-generation getaways. In spring, you can see baby animals on the farm.
Hire a kayak and explore the river during the day and cosy up in front of a log fire at night.
Our top tip – indulge your sweet tooths at the Kangaroo Valley Fudge House.
Let the dogs out
One of the worst things about the holidays is leaving our pets behind. But if you choose the Sapphire coast – you can take them with you.
Merimbula and Bermagui have plenty of pet-friendly accommodation from holiday parks to hotels and holiday rentals.
Pets are welcome at parks and beaches in every town on the Sapphire Coast. Head to Main Beach, Short Point Headland or Lion’s Park Beach if you would like your dog to have some off-leash fun. Lion’s Park has a great barbecue and picnic area so you can spend all day relaxing in the sun, sand and surf. Here’s a list of the pet-friendly beaches on the coast.
Away from the coast, the Bega River is also off-leash and pet-friendly.
Get paddling at Shellharbour
The calm waters of Lake Illawarra are a great place for families to learn to Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP).
Shellharbour mobile paddleboard school offers lessons in a safe and fun environment. Choose from a wake-up paddle, cruise Lake Illawarra or venture out on a lights on after dark paddle. Private and group lessons are available with an accredited ASI SUP Instructor.
Travel allows you to get outside your bubble. It makes you realise there are other ways to do things, and that’s OK. Plus, I am a huge fan of skiing and for the best powder – you need to head overseas.