The South Coast is a year-round destination, spend your days window shopping through charming local villages. Meet friends for coffee and a bite to eat in the many local cafes making up the trendy café scene. Take a drive and explore the quaint country lanes and winding, leafy drives in the hinterland, South Coast villages are teeming with places to explore and things to do. Read on for our suggestions during your stay at Bangalay.
Kiama is a must visit for travellers to the South Coast. The Blow Hole, a natural rock formation which spurts water up high into the air in the right conditions draws people from near and far to enjoy the fascinating display. Just down from the hill from the blowhole is the Kiama ocean pool which is a picturesque spot for a quick dip, and if you continue around the headland you will reach the fishmarkets where you can get a tasty bite to eat or grab some prawns to go and enjoy a picnic down in the harbour at Black Beach.
The main street is lined with quality cafes and eateries, sprinkled with the odd boutique shop and if you continue further north past the Kiama Park you will come across the Terrace Shops at Kiama – Deer Willow is a haven for any shopaholic, bring your purse and you have been warned!
Milton is an art lovers and boutique shoppers paradise.
The creative community are very passionate and hold markets and stores showcasing their creative talents. You must stop in for a meal at Pilgrims Café – renowned far and wide for their amazing, mouth-watering vegetarian meals. A drive into the country from here will have you at St Isidores a contemporary, hatted restaurant in the hills of Milton, where local produce is the star of the show – you can even take a wander through their market garden, where what’s in season inspires their menu.
Cupitt’s Winery is a must do on the itinerary, featuring a vineyard, restaurant, brewery and fromagerie. Milton is also just a hop, skip and a jump from the coastal havens of Narrawallee and Mollymook, and further down the road lies the bustling town of Ulladulla.
If you’re in Mollymook, seafood king Rick Stein has a restaurant perched on the cliffs of Mollymook looking out over the ocean and Tallwood in Mollymook is another dining experience you won’t want to miss!
Jamberoo is a gorgeous original dairy farming community and is set in the hinterland off Kiama. There is a real country community vibe here and many of the historic buildings remain, including the schoolhouse, church and the pub. Stop in for a drink at the Jamberoo Pub, built in 1857. This historic Pub is a haven for both visitors and locals and regularly hosts local musicians adding to the community feel. The Illawarra Tree Top Walk is a short drive from here, and the famous Jamberoo Action Park will thrill even the biggest kid.
‘The Valley’ as it’s referred to by locals, is synonymous with arty and passionate people. The town attracts many talented and creative residents and a walk along the main street will uncover amazing local creations by some of the areas talented makers. The people aren’t the only special element of this town, with a picturesque river (Kangaroo River) running through the town and a drive up to the Upper River will showcase breathtaking scenes of lush beauty. Historic Hampden Bridge which sits over the Kangaroo River is Australia’s only remaining timber decked vehicular suspension bridge from the nineteenth century and is a tourist attraction in its own right. If you’re after a bit of an adventure here, you can take a trail ride with The Man From Kangaroo Valley Trail Rides- his passion and respect for the horses is in itself, a beautiful thing to see. If you’re after adventure on the water, Kangaroo Valley Safaris take tours along the river and up to the Shoalhaven Gorge – you have to see it to believe it – a magical place. Kangaroo Valley is also home of local coffee roaster Kangaroo Valley Coffee, the brew of choice for Bangalay Dining. While you’re there be sure to visit their café and sample this great coffee cooperative.
Berry has long been associated with trendy boutique shopping, eclectic markets, great cafes, award winning restaurants and a bustling community vibe. The town is still busy, despite the completed bypass but you might just get a park on the Main Street these days! A day of shopping in Berry is a day well spent, with many hidden gems to uncover if you explore the side streets and alleyways. You can take your pick from a series of quality cafes, all serving tasty meals and great coffee.
About thirty minutes drive south of Bangalay, and set amongst the lush farmlands of Pyree, the Jindyandy Shops comprises of a series of boutique shops and sheds with various wares for sale. It is a real treat exploring these stores and you must finish your shopping expedition with lunch at either Greendales, where you can sit out the back and look over the fence at your cow neighbours, or The Butter factory which is a historic butter factory-turned-restaurant with a great reputation for delicious meals and great service.
With a river, beach and national park bordering the town, Shoalhaven Heads is a great place for nature-based adventure. Surfing, horse riding and fishing are all favourite pastimes here and you can’t help but unwind due to the relaxed, low key vibe of the town and the people. Just a few minutes drive to three of the region’s best wineries, Shoalhaven Heads is a great place to base yourself as a group while sampling the regions local drops on a wine tour and the nearby town of Berry will have your boutique shopping needs fulfilled.
Gerroa has long been a favourite with beachgoers due to the gentle waves and sheltered conditions on the northern end of the beach. Patrolled in Summer, it’s not unusual to see pods of dolphins frolicking in the waves and amongst the surfers. You can hire a kayak near the bridge and paddle upstream to explore the waterways and check out the bird and marine life along the way.