Southern Highlands and Illawarra Coast DriveA wonderful day out in the country for a group, family, couple or an individual. this tour takes in the natural beauty of the Southern Highlands, returning along the very scenic coastline to the south of Sydney. Along the way are many great picnic spots, parks and gardens, cafes and restaurants, arts and crafts outlets, steam train rides, museums, wineries, rainforest and beachside walks, panoramic vistas across waterfalls, valleys and canyons and the Illawarra coast.
Depart Sydney via Hume Highway or South Western Motorway towards Liverpool. Proceed along Hume Hwy past Campbelltown. Take Mittagong exit.
Mittagong shopping, arts and crafts, Dahlia Festival (every February), All Aboard Model Railways at Braemar, Wombeyan Caves (via old Hume Hwy via Welby).
At Mittagong, take Old Hume Hwy to Berrima.
Berrima historic village and travel stop for stage coaches on the Hume Hwy. Arts and crafts, Courthouse Museum, Joadja Winery, Amber Park Emu and Ostrich Farm, Berrima Museum. Proceed along Old Hume Hwy over Wingecarribee River, left into Oldbury St and Berrima Rd to Moss Vale. Left into Illawarra Hwy and town centre.
Moss Vale industrial centre of Southern Highlands and main station on Southern Railway. Shops, Thorsby Park Homestead/Museum (1834), Leighton Gardens. Proceed out of Moss Vale, following signs to Bowral.
Bowral shops, cafes, arts and crafts, Bradman Crickt Museum, Tulip Festival (September/October), Mt Gibraltar (views over Bowral/Mittagong, picnics, walking trails), Wingecarribee Dam (take Kangaloon Rd), Schoolhouse Museum.
Proceed south along Bong Bong St, left into Kangaloon Rd, right at Sheepwash Rd towards Nowra, left into Nowra Rd. Stop and view Fitzroy Falls (80 metres high).
Hampden Bridge, Kangaroo Valley
Continue on Nowra Rd to Kangaroo Valley (arts and crafts, bush walks, Hampden Suspension Bridge), a great spot for lunch. Proceed along Cambewarra Rd towards Nowra (coastal views from Cambewarra Lookout). Visit Nowra or turn left on reaching Princes Hwy to Berry (arts and crafts, cafes, wineries). Proceed north to Kiama (beaches, cafes, lighthouse, natural blowhole, Cathedral Rocks), passing turnoffs to Gerringong and Gerroa (Kingsford Smith Memorial and Lookout) on right. Proceed north on Princes Hwy, re-joining main tour at Albion Park.
For a shorter drive, from Fitzroy Falls, proceed along Nowra Rd, left into Pearsons Rd to Robertson. On the way, take Myra Vale Road through Morton National Park to Belmore Falls (78 metres high), Hindmarsh Lookout (views to Kangaroo Valley). Road from Park leads directly to Robertson.
Robertson arts and crafts, cafes, rainforest walks, Robertson Nature Reserve, The Illawarra Scenic Mountain Railway (The Cockatoo Run) March to November, Kev Neels Old Time Music Machines.
Proceed along Illawarra Hwy, a stop-over at the Robertson Pie Shop on the left is highly recommended. Proceed along Illawarra Hwy down Macquarie Pass. Alternatively, take Jamberoo Rd past Carrington Falls, Barren Grounds Bird Observatory, Jamberoo Park, Minnimurra Falls and Minnimurra Rainforest Park (walks). Proceed along Drualla Rd and Jamberoo Rd to Albion Pk (tourist railway).
Sea Cliff Bridge, Illawarra coast
Follow signs at Albion Park to Wollongong and then Sydney via Southern Freeway. At Gwyneville, take Princes Hwy exit rather than Mt Ousley Rd. Follow highway north to Bulli. Turn right into Lawrence Hargave Dr and follow coast north. Stop and enjoy the view down the Illawarra coast at Stanwell Tops. Return to Sydney either by Lawrence Hargrave Dr via Helensburgh or Lady Wakehurst Dr through Royal National Park.