South Coast SplendourSpectacular views and the freshest seafood on Australia’s Southeastern Coast.

Our city car is lightly packed as we set it free on the open road, ready to explore the wonders of the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Just one hour into our drive from Sydney, we commence our descent from the top of the escarpment: It’s a sense of being on the precipice of something special. And we are…The city of Wollongong has welcomed us with open arms.

First on our list, we decide to hit the bends in a classy Cliff to Coast Sports Car. More than just a rental, we take our glistening Porsche along the cliff-hugging roads and across the 665-metre Sea Cliff Bridge. An absolutely spectacular variety of sights accompany the purr of the engine, and we stop frequently at lookouts and villages to enjoy our prepared morning tea and lunch.

Once the dream-mobile is safely, albeit reluctantly, returned, we satnav to our accommodation for the night. We choose the Novotel WollongongNorthbeach, drawn particularly to its stunning Mediterranean bar/restaurant Pepe’s on the Beach. It features whitewashed floors and bright colors, and stunning outdoor deck overlooking the beach. We start with oyster shots, then share Southern fried chicken sliders, sashimi and fish tacos.

The next morning we arrive in time for lunch in Kiama, keen to refuel so we are ready to take on the famous Kiama Coast Walk. Hiking boots on, we agree to take on only the third section of the spectacular walk, which in full, stretches from the coastal township of Minnamurra in the north (the place name means “plenty of fish” in the local Aboriginal dialect) to Werri Beach in the south, and takes us right out to the cliff edges where we are convinced we can see whales breaching! After six kilometres of cliff tops, ocean views, circling local birdlife, and helpful markers about the geology and history of the area, my partner’s Instagram account almost shuts down under the strain of the multitude of postcard-perfect shots on offer.

In reality, we could have spent days exploring the wide variety of local natural attractions that feature on this three-park walk. One to come back to for sure.

We head to Gerringong to search the coastline for whales, then we drop in to the historic Schoolhouse , which has been given a new lease on life; it’s now the place to sample artisanal cheeses and yoghurt using the best local milk, plus a range of teas grown organically nearby.

Seeking simplicity, we settle into a deluxe beachside cabin at Kendalls on the Beach Holiday Park. A balcony overlooking the ocean and a glass of wine in hand is all we need. The only sounds are the waves gently crashing on the shore and our glasses clinking.

Leaving this part of the coast the following morning, we continue trekking south to the glorious Shoalhaven region, which is a foodie, nature and adventure lover’s paradise. Crystal clear waters, striking hillside panoramas and deep, lush valleys—the scenery alone is sure to leave you captivated. Bewitching scenery aside, the emerging “foodie scene” is capturing the attention of connoisseurs from far and wide, with an impressive range of re­nowned restaurants, local produce trails and fresh (as in straight off the boat fresh) seafood available—your tastebuds will want to unpack and stay in the Shoalhaven. We decide to recharge and refuel at Cupitt’s Winery, tucked behind the quaint village of Milton. At this boutique winery and restaurant we taste award-winning wines, learn about the winemaking process, sam­ple local produce, and take in the extraordinary views across the vines to Burrill Lake and the Budawang ranges. Absolutely magic.

Then we peel ourselves away from one piece of heaven to experience another. Here we are at Jervis Bay’s spectacular white sandy beaches; it is magnificent to soak up the true wonders of this enchanting bay. This is truly heaven on earth. Whale and dol­phin watch cruises are available from nearby Huskisson, while a large choice of bushwalks can be found in and around Booderee National Park. The White Sands Walk along the shores of Jervis Bay is an enjoyable way to combine regular swims and panoramic views of the bay, including a dip at famous Hyams Beach with its crystal white sands.

Having always wanted to experience ‘glamping’ we arrive at nearby Paperbark Camp to rest our hats for the evening—a world of camping for grown-ups. An incred­ible, soulful experience, we indulge in the beauty and peace of the cosy setup. Lucky enough to stay in the King Parrot tent (can we categorically call this camping?), the sea breeze flows through the canvas, bringing with it the scents of the surrounding euca­lypts. Want to see a kangaroo while you shower? You can here! Their open-air private ensuite is perfect for bird watching and kangaroo spotting while you enjoy a steaming hot shower.

It seems we have to drag ourselves away early the next morning, and it’s high time for more adventure—we’re ready for a whole new perspective on this amazing coastline from the air!

After arriving in the township of Moruya, we take off in a South Coast Seaplane to explore Montague Island, which has been classified by the National Trust as a Landscape Conservation Area for its scenic, scientific and historical values, and if you want to see the littlest penguins, you will here! A picnic lunch is perfect to sit with these little guys and just be.

Sightseeing from the sky is thirsty work so we take advantage of the fact it’s the first Friday of the month. The River Moruya restaurant hosts a local produce dinner that day, which consists of four courses made up from only fresh local ingredients.

We decide to throw caution to the wind and stay on another day. Our final frontier is Australia’s newest and most prestigious food trail—Australia’s Oyster Coast, which stretches for 300 kilometres between the Shoalhaven River and the New South Wales-Victoria border. Home to eight of the most environmentally sustainable oyster growing estuaries in the world, oysters farmers here operate under internationally-recognised environmental management systems, ensuring pristine aquatic environments for growing oysters to the highest levels of quality and taste. We experience the oyster industry first hand by sampling genuine Oyster Coast produce.

As we settle back into our car to drive north again, we fondly recall the many pleasures of our few days, and we wonder how we can transport just a little of Australia’s perfect NSW South Coast back home.