Brassey Weddings Masthead

Land of Sun and Sea: your guide to the South Coast

Beatrice Smith

Every summer, Canberrans flock to the South Coast to relax on pristine beaches with friends and family.

But there’s a whole lot more to see and do than just take in the view. Here’s our guide to 25+ spots to swim, eat, drink, surf, relax and play from Jervis Bay to Eden.

Jervis Bay to Milton

BEST SURF SPOTS:

Cave Beach

Warrain Beach

Culburra Beach

  1. HYAMS BEACH

via facebook.com/pg/HyamsBeach

Easily one of the most stunning beaches on the coast, hands down. Think white sand and Caribbean-clear water.

Off Cyrus Street, Hyams Beach.

  1. WORLD FAMOUS FISH AND CHIPS HUSKISSON

This one gets 10/10 for location and taste. Grab a bundle before you head off for a spot of whale watching or take it to the big park next to Moona Moona Creek where it’s shallow, shady and family friendly with BBQs and amenities.

54 Owen Street, Huskisson. 

  1. PILGRIMS

via facebook.com/pilgrimshusky

An all-vegetarian, all-delicious menu that covers breakfast, lunch and coffee. Try the pancakes or one of their Mexican specials. Bit too far north? Never fear, there’s a Pilgrims in Milton too.

57 Owens Street, Huskisson | pilgrimsmenu.com

  1. LAKE CONJOLA

An adventure seeker’s paradise with kayaking, surfing, paddle boarding, bushwalking, boating and cycling in quiet, unspoilt surrounds. Perfect for families seeking a quiet getaway.

Lake Conjola Entrance Road, Lake Conjola. 

  1. FLOUR WATER SALT

A coastal bakery that’s a cut above the rest. The sourdough is out of this world. A decadent pit stop if you’re taking the Old Braidwood Road and driving down the coast.

87 Princes Highway, Milton | flourwatersalt.com.au

  1. ST ISADORE

An award-winning paddock-to-plate restaurant with stunning gardens and views. Perfect for a special occasion.

89 Crobyar Road, Milton | stisidore.com.au

  1. BANNISTERS BY THE SEA

Cocktails on the roof terrace while the sun sets? Don’t mind if we do. Feeling peckish? Book into the award-winning Rick Stein at Bannisters to sample the catch of the day from the master of seafood.

Bannisters’ breezy coastal décor and luxe rooms are perfect for a cheeky getaway for couples or parents.

191 Mitchell Parade, Mollymook Beach | bannisters.com.au

 Bawley Point to Broulee

BEST SURF SPOTS:

Mollymook

Ulladulla 

Bawley Point 

  1. BAWLEY POINT

Via Facebook

Exciting waves for older kids with the added bonus of Willinga Lake forming a shallow and sheltered lagoon on the south side of the beach. The ultimate family-friendly combination. If you’re a keen kayaker, Willinga Lake becomes deeper further upstream. Park at the end of Johnston Street, Bawley Point

  1. PEBBLY BEACH

Get up close with kangaroos and take advantage of the wide grassy areas and picnic tables along this gorgeous, relatively flat beach. A great day trip from Batemans Bay with just 30-minutes driving time each way.

Follow the signs from the Princes Highway

  1. EAST LYNNE STORE

This rather unassuming looking petrol station at the side of the highway was voted to make the best pies in New South Wales (yes, really). We recommend the Apple Pie with fresh cream.

Princes Highway, East Lynne (just past the turnoff to Maiden Road)

  1. WRAY STREET OYSTER SHED

With five generations of oyster farmers under one roof, Wray Street is where to find the freshest Clyde River oysters on the coast.

Last shed on Wray Street, Batemans Bay

  1. LILLI PILLI BEACH

Turquoise coves framed by towering trees are just one of the reasons that Lilli Pilli’s serene beaches are beloved by artists and creatives. If you’re looking for a green, low-key getaway in the midst of the hectic summer season, this is it.

Off the George Bass Highway, Lilli Pilli

  1. RIVERMOUTH GENERAL STORE

A quirky surf-themed gift shop and sprawling café rolled into one, the Rivermouth Café is located near Tomakin’s family-friendly beaches and is just off the highway. Great homemade sweets and healthy treats too.

101 Sunpatch Parade, Tomakin | therivermouthstore.com.au

  1. SOUTH BROULEE BEACH

Credit: James Blakeney

Unlike its incredibly-popular sister to the north, South Broulee is slightly less crowded and has the added bonus of a café attached to the Surf Life Saving Club. Great swimming, waves for both surfing and boogie boarding and plenty of space to spread out. If you’re so inclined, you can easily walk around Broulee Island from the beach too.

Park at the Broulee SLSC off Heath Street, Broulee.

Moruya – Tilba

BEST SURF SPOTS:

Durras North

South Broulee 

McKenzies

  1. MORUYA COUNTRY MARKETS

Craving that Farmers Market experience on your holiday? Visit Moruya on a Saturday for fresh vegetables, fruit, flowers, bric-à-brac and handmade goods. The markets are also right next to the Riverside Park playground and Moruya Public Swimming Pool, which will entertain the little ones for hours.

Every Saturday morning from 8am, at the end of Shore Street, Moruya

  1. TUROSS BOATSHED AND CAFE

via facebook.com/pg/Tuross-Boatshed

Deliciously fresh fish and chips perfect for eating with your hands after a morning at the beach.

93 Trafalgar Road, Tuross Head

  1. SUNSET SEAL SPOTTING

Narooma’s proximity to Montague Island means that seals and large rays are often spotted around the lagoon, especially when the fishermen are cleaning their catches at the end of the day. Keep an eye out in the late afternoon or evening and see who turns up!

Head to the eastern end of the Mill Bay Boardwalk anytime from 4-6pm

  1. MYSTERY BAY CAMPGROUND

A large clifftop eco campground (read: drop toilets and cold showers) that lies in proximity to not one, but three, stunning beaches, Mystery Bay is perfect for large camping groups who don’t mind getting back to nature.

190 Mystery Bay Road, Mystery Bay

  1. TILBA

via facebook.com/pg/beautifultilba

Lovers of River Cottage Australia, unite! Spot your favourite locals from the series as you stroll through this ridiculously adorable hilltop town. A jaw‑dropping tea shop, woodwork gallery, the famous Tilba Real Dairy, craft shops and even a pub cluster around a very walkable main street that’s perfect for a day trip.

Tip: Tilba Tilba and Central Tilba are two different towns right next to each other, but each has its own charms

Bermagui to Eden

BEST SURF SPOTS:

Potato Point

Dalmeny

Mystery Bay 

  1. BERMAGUI GELATI CLINIC

via facebook.com/pg/BermaguiGelatiClinic

Yes, you read that correctly—although there’s nothing medicinal here, just the relief that’s brought by a really, really good gelato on a hot day. The Gelati Clinic is part of Fisherman’s Wharf, which also houses some excellent fish and chips, a vintage store and even a wine bar.

73-79 Lamont Street, Bermagui

  1. THE BERMAGUI BLUE POOL

A fun alternative to the beach, the ‘Bermy Blue Pool’ is a large sea pool situated right next to town with a smaller pool for kids. The perfect place to cool off without the associated sand, there’s also a viewing platform above (great for whale spotting), an easily accessible car park and amenities.

Pacific Drive, Bermagui. Look for the street sign

  1. MIMOSA ROCKS NATIONAL PARK

Image: Beatrice Smith

If camping and hiking through pristine national park and swimming in acres of blue lagoon sound good to you, Mimosa Rocks National Park will be your haven. Sprawled between Bermagui and Tathra, keep an eye out for highlights such as The Myer House (which you can rent through National Parks NSW), Bithry Inlet and the culturally significant Aragunnu Bay (Mimosa Rocks lies within the traditional Country of the Yuin people).

  1. THE WHARF LOCAVORE

Featuring a gorgeous selection of ready to eat antipasto, locally-made preserves and with one of the best seats in town (right on the famous Tathra Wharf), you can’t go past the Locavore for a light lunch or morning tea.

On hotter days, the wharf turns into one big jumping/diving contest—make sure you pencil in a spot of ray-watching under the wharf too.

Wharf Road, Tathra

  1. DULCIE’S COTTAGE

Image: Hannah Rossi, Editing: Michael Nouri

From the team who arguably started the speakeasy trend with their Shady Pines Saloon in Sydney comes Dulcie’s Cottage. You’ll find one of the coolest South Coast bars inside an unassuming weatherboard cottage in Merimbula.

60 Main Street Merimbula | dulcies.com.au

  1. LONGSTOCKING BREWERY

Pambula’s first craft brewery, producing delicious, handmade brews on site. Perfect for a post-surf catch up.

3546 Princes Highway, Greigs Flat | Facebook @ longstockingbrewery

  1. EDEN SMOKEHOUSE

A fragrant haven for lovers of smallgoods where locally-caught fish like salmon, ocean and rainbow trout are smoked to perfection. We recommend the Salmon Gravlax.

20 Weecoon Street, Eden | edensmokehouse.com.au

  1. EDEN KILLER WHALE MUSEUM

Described as the “most incredible human and killer whale partnership ever witnessed on the planet”, this museum details the story of the Yuin peoples’ symbiotic relationship with the killer whales of the south coast as well as whale skeletons and other exhibitions.

184 Imlay St, Eden.

This article originally appeared in Magazine: Summer for Summer 2017/18, available for free while stocks last. Find out more about Magazine here

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Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Online Editor involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise, you’ll find her at the movies or ordering a cheese board. More about the Author