• Sam Wilson

Stunning NSW South Coast

A Paradise For Photographers



From Kiama to Bermagui (and beyond) this area is thankfully a seriously underrated part of our beautiful country. Go visit and enjoy (but don’t spread the word too far and ruin it lol).


Not to mention that it has faced some incredible challenges since late 2019. It has copped not just the pandemic, but devastating bushfires at the very end of 2019, to be followed by floods early 2020, the pandemic and floods again at the end of 2021.



Glasshouse Rocks, Narooma

I have been fortunate to visit different areas of this beautiful coastline over the last few years, so I will share with you some of my photography highlights from these visits.



To start with, take the scenic view when driving - you won’t regret it. Stop off at Bulli Tops and enjoy a coffee with a view that’s hard to beat before driving over Sea Cliff Bridge and lunch at the Scarborough Hotel also with stunning views.



The view from Bulli Tops - there are worse places to enjoy a coffee I'm sure you'll agree

Sea Cliff Bridge


The second most photographed bridge in NSW (after Sydney Harbour Bridge), the Sea Cliff Bridge is a suspended bridge on the Lawrence Hargrave Drive which makes up part of the Grand Pacific Drive.


Sea Cliff Bridge was built in 2005 in response to the unsafe conditions that the previous road was subjected to. Rock falls and mud slides would often happen, meaning road closures and road blocks were frequent – sometimes even the road would be closed for several months at a time!



A rather moody sunrise at Sea Cliff Bridge

Kiama and Surrounds


Kiama is a beautiful seaside town on the NSW South Coast, best known for its beaches, blowholes, volcanic rock formations and scenic stretches of coastal walks.


To me Kiama is always busy, but it’s a slow kind of busy if that makes sense. Parking can be interesting, but once you’ve nailed that, you can just relax and wander around this lovely coastal town filled with fine cafes and boutiques (oops, I always spend too much here).


My go to accommodation is always the Terralong Terrace Apartments

- central to everything and a bit of luxury is always a nice way to start a tour down south.


What to photograph while you’re staying in Kiama


  1. Bombo Quarry

This now disused blue metal quarry is a must! The scenery is fantastic and it’s well worth a visit at sunrise - you can witness the amazing power of the ocean watching the waves smashing up against the rocks. Be wary though, the surface is very uneven so make sure you wear good shoes. Allow around a 15 minute walk from the carpark at Bombo Beach.



Oh Bombo - One day I will visit when your waves are pumping

2. Cathedral Rocks

Years of erosion have shaped these volcanic rocks into stunning forms that are magic to photograph at sunrise. Best at low tide, this is an easy walk from Jones Beach, Kiama Downs.



Sunrise at Cathedral Rocks

3. Lighthouse and Blowhole

Located right in town this is a must see location - it’s always fun trying to catch the spray as it ‘whooshes’ into the air. Best at high tide, but good to see at all times.







Clearly I need to head back when there's more swell!

Fun fact courtesy of Visit NSW - Their foundations were formed from volcanic lava flows about 260 million years ago (that’s 100 million years before the dinosaurs).

4. Saddleback Mountain and a drive through around the countryside to Jamberoo


Less than a 10 minute drive from the lighthouse, Saddleback Mountain Lookout gives you the best views in town. It really shows off how spectacular the coastline and surrounding farmlands are. Try to go on a clear day and you will be able to see as far as Port Kembla in the north all the way down to Milton in the south. There are 3 separate lookouts so make sure you check them all out - perfect for panoramas!



One of the 3 views from the top of Saddleback Mountain

If you have time, continue on through to Jamberoo through dairy farmland and head to the Minnamurra Rainforest - this has a wonderful 1.6km elevated boardwalk loop, or head upwards to Minnamurra Waterfall.



One of the many stunning vistas around Kiama

Just one of the friendly locals

Side-Note

A trip down south really isn’t complete without a little detour to Berry. Only 20 minutes from Kiama, this small historic town is great for a quick coffee or retail therapy in one of their boutiques and gift shops - for a treat don’t miss The Famous Berry Donut Van



Once you’ve photographed everything you can find in and around Kiama, it’s time to continue southwards to the Eurobodalla Coast.



Map courtesy of - https://www.southcoasttravelguide.com.au/

Meaning ‘Land of Many Waters’, this part of the eastern coastline has not only a ridiculous number of beaches, but stunning national parks and townships to stop in and wander around.


With 85 beaches in the region there are endless opportunities for photography. Each are unique in their own way and all equally beautiful and very much pristine and unspoilt




Wandering around Broulee

Batemans Bay


At the north end of the Eurobodalla region, Batemans Bay is a great central location to base yourself for a few days at least as it has everything you could need and numerous photography locations all within 30 minutes.


There are loads of accommodation and dining options, plus a great little shopping centre that has Coles, the all important Liquorland plus Kmart etc should you forget anything.


Here’s a selection of images from the surrounding area -














Side must visit - Mogo

Mogo Zoo is less than 15mins away from Bateman’s Bay and a great way to spend a few hours. Follow this with a nice lunch and wander around the quaint little shops - do not miss the fudge at the lolly shop!





Once you’ve met the locals at the zoo, lunched, and topped up the snacks at Mogo, it’s time to head on down to Bermagui, which is the start of the pristine Sapphire Coast.


BUT, on the way to Bermagui is Narooma - home of the famous Glasshouse Rocks


These are possibly the most photographed rocks along the Eurobodalla coastline and not to be missed. You can either add a night in to shoot these, or they are only a 30 minute drive from Bermagui.





Bermagui

Bermagui is a beautiful town on the Sapphire Coast with lovely beaches and coastal walks. It continues the photography paradise that the south coast is famous for.


The caravan park has some great cabins to stay right in town, and Bermagui Hotel has a great restaurant.


If you want to get flash for dinner, then you can’t go past II Passaggio for authentic Italian cuisine and possibly the best Espresso Martini I’ve ever had


The photography starts right in town with the Blue Pool that has resident seals year round, and within just a 15 minute drive you have Camel and Horse Head Rock.


Camel Rock is a spectacular ancient rock formation that was created around 450 million years ago. It is easily accessible by a short beach walk and good to photograph at either sunrise or sunset - the moodier the better for this location.




Horse Head Rock is located about 200m around from Camel Rock but really needs to be accessed only at low tide if you want to photography it from the beach.


The way I saw it was from the top walking along the cliffs and looking down. At the time I visited I wasn’t brave enough to walk around the rocks but would definitely attempt it next time as long as I had someone with me. It is super popular with photographers and it’s easy to see why.





This is only the tip of the Sapphire Coast but it is as far south as I’ve explored - oh dear, guess I’ll have to head down that way again as I’ve been told there are many more beaches to visit before reaching Victoria so that’s for another post.


One Last Note - It would be remiss of me not to mention doing a dolphin or whale watching cruise while you're down that way.







That’s It For Now


Next up we visit the 12 (How Many?) Apostles


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