Tour Description

Kiama and the Shoalhaven Coast

Eight Days: May 2021

Included in the tour:
  • Home pick-ups & set downs (most metro areas – please contact us for details)
  • Picnic-style morning teas & all meals as per the itinerary
  • All accommodation & admissions to all attractions
  • Experienced & informative tour driver/guide.

 

Situated on the coast of New South Wales, picturesque Kiama is bordered by rugged rainforest in the west and golden beaches in the east. We stay in stylish accommodation overlooking Kiama Harbour while we explore the Illawara region. We visit the famous Kiama blowhole, relax on a Dolphin watching cruise, tour the beautiful city of Wollongong and travel the amazing Sea Cliff Bridge to take in the views from Stanwell Tops. Tucked away between Sydney and Canberra, the Shoalhaven is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the tourist hot spots on the east coast, yet offers so much diversity and stunning landscapes to enjoy.

 

Day One 

(includes light lunch and two course dinner)

After home pickups (limited areas*) we transfer to the Endeavour Tours coach to begin our journey to Kiama and the Shoalhaven, one of the prettiest areas on the New South Wales coast.

We head out of the city through the Adelaide Hills, making our way to Tailem Bend for our morning tea break. A little further on we join the Mallee Highway and stop in the small town of Pinnaroo, where we enjoy our lunch today.

Back on the road we cross the border into Victoria and travel through Ouyen and Manangatang, stopping to stretch our legs along the way. At Tooleybuc, we cross the Murray River into New South Wales, our third state today!

From here, it is only a short drive to our first night’s accommodation at the Balranald Motor Inn (to be confirmed).  The hospitality here is lovely and there will be time to freshen up before coming together for dinner.

Day Two

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

Following a hearty breakfast, we board the coach for a morning drive across the Hay Plain. Our first stop for the day is in the town of Hay, where we enjoy morning tea. Located at the intersection of the Sturt, Mid Western and Cobb Highways, Hay has always been an important centre for transport and communications. It was a port for the riverboats which plied these waters many years ago and was an important staging depot for Cobb and Co Coaches.

As we near the tranquil rural town of Narrandera, the landscape becomes more undulating with larger trees. It is here, in the heart of the Riverina that we stop for lunch.

Refreshed, we continue to Junee, where we stop in at the Junee Liquorice and Chocolate Factory situated in the historic Junee Flour Mill. A number of certified organic confectioneries not available to the public can be bought exclusively from the Mill Shop as well as all other product lines, so we take the opportunity to purchase some goodies if we wish!

Our final destination for today is Cootamundra, birthplace of cricketing legend Sir Donald Bradman, universally regarded as the greatest batsman of all time.  After checking in at the Cootamundra Gardens Motel (to be confirmed), there will be time to settle in and relax before dinner.

Day Three

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

Cootamundra’s links to Bradman has led to a special interest in the sport among the community: the town boasts no less than nine cricket ovals!  So before leaving, we take a stroll along the Cricket Captain’s Walk at Jubilee Park to visit the bronze sculptures of Australian test captains and the life size statue of Sir Donald Bradman.

After leaving Cootamundra we travel east along the Hume Highway, stopping at Yass to stretch our legs and enjoy morning tea.

A little further on we reach Moss Vale, a pretty town in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. Dairying was once a major industry here, but now stud and hobby farms, alpacas and cool climate vineyards are popular industries.

Following lunch we travel through the beautiful scenery of the Southern Highlands and continue to Kiama situated on the coast. Kiama is well known for the ‘Blowhole’, a natural rock formation which can spurt water up to 60 metres into the air when there is a good swell.

After a drive around the town, we check into our well-appointed accommodation at the Sebel Harbourside Kiama (to be confirmed) overlooking Kiama Harbour and Pacific Ocean. As we are staying here for the next five nights, we can unpack and get settled in before dinner.

Day Four 

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

Today we head north along the coast road to Wollongong, a seaside city which lies on a narrow coastal strip between the rainforest-covered Illawarra Escarpment and the Pacific Ocean. It is the third largest city in New South Wales and is the commercial, industrial and cultural centre for the south coast. We are joined by a local and taken on a guided tour of the city which will include seeing Flagstaff Hill and Belmore Basin.

Belmore Basin played a large part in Wollongong’s early development as a busy sea port. Unique to Belmore Basin are two lighthouses, one fully operational and the other serving as a monument to its maritime past. Immediately adjacent to the lighthouse on Flagstaff Hill are two major pieces of artillery used to fortify the harbour in the 1890’s. Overlooking a picturesque harbour studded with Norfolk Island pines, there are always many pelicans to be seen that are attracted by the large fishing fleet that resides here.

Following our tour we enjoy lunch, before travelling north along one of the most spectacular coastal drives on the east coast. The Sea Cliff Bridge is located at the point where the Illawarra Escarpment plunges into the South Pacific Ocean. This 665 metre bridge sweeps over the water offering breath-taking views of the ocean on one side and the cliffs on the other.

After crossing the bridge, we journey through Stanwell Park, a picturesque coastal village, towards Stanwell Tops. Here, we call into Bald Hill Lookout where we see the Sea Cliff Bridge from a different perspective, admiring the engineering feat that has been achieved and the spectacular views of the escarpment and coastline.

No doubt we will cross the bridge at least one more time, before leaving this fantastic piece of coastline to return to Kiama for a good night’s rest after today’s sea air!

Day Five

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

After breakfast this morning we drive south to the quaint fishing village of Greenwell Point on the banks of the Crookhaven River. Despite its size it is one of the leading seafood ports in the Shoalhaven, renowned for its prime oyster beds and fishing.

We visit Jim Wild Oyster Farm where we learn all about the local oyster farming industry from Jim himself and he is certainly a colourful character!  We also have the opportunity for tasting if we wish. If you’re an oyster lover, they don’t get much fresher than this!

We make our way back into Nowra, the largest coastal town in this area and the administrative and business ‘capital’ of the Shoalhaven. After lunch in town we visit the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Australia’s largest aviation museum. Formerly known as Australia’s Museum of Flight, it is located just outside the main gates of the Royal Australian Naval Air Station at HMAS Albatross Nowra. Displayed over 6,000 square metres, the museum has one of the finest collections of historic military aircraft in Australia and a superb collection of engines, aviation equipment, models, uniforms and memorabilia.

We leave Nowra and travel the scenic route along the coast to Gerroa where we stop at the Kingsford Smith Memorial Lookout. The lookout offers a great panorama of Seven Mile Beach National Park and magnificent views of the coastline. The memorial is in the shape of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith’s famous aircraft called the ‘Southern Cross’ and commemorates his historic record-breaking flight across the Tasman to New Zealand on January 11th 1933.

We then head back to our accommodation to relax before dinner.

Day Six

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

Our tour takes us to the Jervis Bay region this morning, an area of outstanding beauty with some of the whitest sands in the world and crystal clear waters.

Crossing the Shoalhaven River we continue to Huskisson, for one of the highlights of our tour — a Dolphin Watch Cruise on Jervis Bay. The Bay plays host to a resident pod of bottle nose dolphins all year round, which number between 80 and 120 depending on the time of year, so it is very likely that we will experience the thrill of seeing them. Alongside the dolphins we can relax and enjoy the scenery of unspoilt white sandy beaches, calm bay waters and local sea birds on this tourism award winning cruise.

After disembarking we have lunch in Huskisson then visit the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum. This museum houses the only wooden ferry left in New South Wales, the Lady Denman, which was built in Huskisson in 1911.  Although the Centre is based around this historic ferry, there is much more to enjoy here including an art gallery and beautiful gardens to explore.

The drive back to Kiama is scenic and on arrival, there will be time to freshen up before our three course dinner at the Sebel.

Day Seven

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

Following breakfast we return to Wollongong to discover more about the city. Our first stop is at the Wollongong Botanic Gardens at the foot of Mount Keira. These tranquil gardens feature a variety of themed displays ranging from the Dryland to the Rainforest. Other areas include the Woodland Garden, the Herb Garden and Sir Joseph Banks Glasshouse. We are taken on a guided tour before enjoying morning tea here in the gardens.

Following our time spent in the gardens we drive to Mt Keira, which rises 469 metres above sea level. Part of the Illawara Escarpment which spans 200 million years of geological history, the lookout offers breathtaking views and the opportunity for some great photos.

After lunch we visit the Nan Tien Temple, the largest Buddhist Temple in the southern hemisphere.  Meaning ‘Paradise of the South’, Nan Tien was opened in 1995 and has since become a venue for local and international tourists as well as a an important centre in bridging different cultures. We are taken on a guided tour and visit the museum of this award winning attraction.

Travelling back to Kiama along the coast, we pass through the beautiful seaside towns of Port Kembla, Shell Harbour and Bombo before arriving back in Kiama.

Day Eight

(includes cooked breakfast and light lunch)

We farewell our hosts this morning and take the scenic route towards Sydney. We will take the opportunity to admire views of the coast and stop for morning tea before arriving at Sydney Airport.

A guide will take us through the check-in procedures before escorting us to the gate, ready to board our direct flight back to Adelaide.

On arrival, we are met by an Endeavour Tours representative who assists with luggage collection and takes us to meet the drivers who will take us home with vivid memories of the beautiful Illawara region on the New South Wales coast.