Stretching from the southern edge of Sydney’s suburbs to the border with Victoria, the South Coast of New South Wales is one of the state’s most attractive regions. It’s blessed with beautiful beaches backed by the dramatic peaks of the Great Dividing Range and a picturesque landscape of rolling green hills. The mild year-round climate lures holiday makers to fish, surf and swim, while there are plenty of scenic drives to discover the charismatic towns and villages.

Follow the Grand Pacific Drive south from Sydney past the beaches of Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama, which is home to the largest blowhole in the world. Relax on the powdery sands of Jervis Bay and photograph what are claimed to be the world’s whitest sands at Hyams Beach. Surfers shouldn’t miss the opportunity to tackle the waves in the Killalea State Recreation Area, including the breaks known as “The Farm” and “Mystics”.

The South Coast is a popular destination for a whole range of water sports, with everything from stand-up paddleboarding to kayaking and fishing on offer. Be sure to sample the oysters and crayfish harvested in Batemans Bay, as well as the fine cheeses that have put Bega on the map.

At the southernmost end of the South Coast lies the small village of Eden, which once prospered as a whaling station. Today it is one of many spots along the coast where migrating whales can be spotted between June and November. Take in the views from the former lighthouse of Boyd’s Tower and visit the Eden Killer Whale Museum to learn about the legend of “Old Tom”.