The Sapphire Coast is located on the far South of New South Wales, and in our opinion is one of the most underrated areas in Australia! The Sapphire coast is peppered with pristine beaches, national parks and charming seaside towns. If you’re planning a road trip in NSW, then look no further because the Sapphire Coast should be added to your list.
Spending five weeks exploring this region still doesn’t seem to be enough. There are so many stops and activities we could include in this itinerary; we have picked our top 6 stops to help you plan an awesome road trip on the South East coast.
Where is the Sapphire Coast?
The Sapphire coast is half-way between Sydney and Melbourne and begins around Tilba Tilba, and runs right down to the Victorian border near to the Green Cape Lighthouse. It is around a 3-hour drive from Canberra, and a 6-hour drive from Sydney.
Before we get in to the best places to visit on the Sapphire Coast, if you haven’t already checked out our Budget tips for your next road trip we recommend starting here. We run through a number of suggestions and recommendations based on how we road trip including the route, must have phone apps, and planning financially for the unexpected.
This trip was made possible by using the new American Express feature Plan It™ Instalments.
Plan It allows you to pay off your Credit Card balance across a period that works for you, with zero percent interest, and a fixed monthly fee. It has meant that we have been able to spread out our road trip expenses across a three-month period, but there are also six, nine or twelve month plans available.
You can find more information here if you think this might help you plan your next adventure.
Sapphire Coast Stops
Tilba was an unexpected favourite of ours! This gorgeous quaint town was like being transported back to the 50’s. There are delicious cafes to choose from, shops with local produce, old school sweet shops and postcard buildings.
Tilba Lake House
The best part about Tilba Lake Camp is that it is nestled right between the coast and country, so you literally have the best of both worlds. This was our first experience staying in a static tiny home, and if you haven’t done so already, we highly recommend the experience!
If you already follow us on our socials, you will know we are a big fan of van life and so used to living in a compact space. We started researching into tiny houses and found that is has become a huge movement, people are choosing to live simply and live with less. It is fantastic to be able to enjoy a stay at this tiny home, but with all the luxury touches included.
Just 30 minutes South of Tilba is Bermagui, a seaside town that is famous for deep-sea fishing. There are many natural attractions in this area including Camel Rock, which as the name suggests looks like a camel, the Blue pools and Wallaga Lake.
Park up at Tura beach for this beautiful headland walk - an easy scenic stroll which takes you through a beautiful forest and down to spectacular ocean views. It is the perfect whale watching spot during winter/spring and the most perfectly shaped rockpool is waiting once you reach the end of the trail.
We took a dip in the middle of September, and even on a cool spring day the pools are so inviting.
Pambula is known for its huge, curved beautiful beaches. The wildlife is in abundance including many, many kangaroos that are often found roaming on the beach.
Pambula has everything depending on your preference. It is right on the coast, so a day at the beach is a must. Butthe tiny town of Pambula also offers a coffee roaster, a bakery, and even a brewery. We sampled all three and highly recommend checking out Wild Rye’s bakery – the vegetable pie was so delicious that we ended up back here three times!
Spend an afternoon at Long Stocking Brewery and try their beer paddles, where you can sample 4 beers for $10. If you get there on a weekend the wood-fired pizzas are also a must.
Discovery Parks Pambula leads right on to a secluded beach, the perfect spot to watch the sun go down.
Ben Boyd National Park
Ben Boyd National Park is a spectacular park and is divided in to two sections. The first section is bordered by Pambula in the North, and the second section at the Green Cape light station at the South.
The majority of camping opportunities and areas are situated in the south part of the park, which is where we spent most of our time, in particular around the Pinnacles and the Salt Water Creek area.
Incredible rock formations, rock pools and unspoiled beaches are found at every corner of Ben Boyd. Long beach has a spectacular landscape; the 65-million-year-old Pinnacles which almost looks like layered cake. Up close, the white sandy chalk is almost otherworldly, and the red clay is surprisingly rust!
To get here, you can park at the Pinnacle car park and head straight for the Pinnacle Loop track, or check out one or both of the Pinnacle lookouts that are clearly sign posted along the walking route.
Salt Water Creek
This campground is secluded and right on top of a beautiful, remote beach. The rugged coastline is a dramatic mix of texture and colours, with the deep red rock extending right round the bay and further south. We ventured across the rocks and stumbled upon the perfect his-and-her rock pools.
The bush is full to the brim with wildlife, wallabies, kangaroos, goannas, possums and birds. In the ocean, it is not uncommon to spot dolphins playing in the big waves and whales on their migration – we were lucky enough to see both on our trip in the month of September!
This campsite is also along the Light to Light walking route, but unfortunately a big part of it is closed at this moment (2020) due to the devastating bush fires, but this is something we would love to return to once it has re-opened.
Get a card that will cover the cost of your trip and help you plan for your future adventures too. American Express’ new Plan It feature allows you to plan for all the expected and unexpected expenses that can come up during your trip.
Thanks to American Express Australia for sponsoring this post.