The Grand Pacific Drive is a scenic coastal drive that stretches from the Royal National Park about an hour south of central Sydney, through the seaside New South Wales villages and towns of Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama, and Shoalhaven. Visitors can choose their own adventure with numerous coastal and rainforest walks, surfing, swimming, shopping, and endless dining options along the route.
Breathtaking coastal views abound along the 86 miles (140 kilometers) stretch of road that make up the Grand Pacific Drive. Visitors can admire the views from Bald Hill Lookout, Stanwell Tops, and Sea Cliff Bridge, among other top sights, or just enjoy the scenic drive. The route passes coastal villages and the city of Wollongong with beaches, art galleries, and dining options to explore.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There are 100 beaches, estuaries, and coastal lagoons along the route to explore.
- Visitors can continue on from the Grand Pacific Dive to the Southern Highlands, or into Victoria.
- The Royal National Park boasts roughly 60 miles (100 km) of walking and cycling trails
- Accommodations along the route range from campgrounds to luxury hotels.
How to Get There
The Grand Pacific Highway starts at the Royal National Park (an hour south of Sydney) and finishes at Shoalhaven.
When to Get There
Driving conditions on the Grand Pacific Highway are generally good year round. Whale-watching season peaks in July and September, and other seasonal activities include motorcycle riding, hang gliding, skydiving, hiking, and surfing.
Sea Cliff Bridge
Sea Cliff Bridge has become an iconic landmark along the Grand Pacific Drive. The $36 million (A$49 million) snake-shaped bridge, which links surrounding coastal areas, offers dramatic views of the ocean. Visitors can drive or walk it, and it makes a prime perch to spot all manner of native marine life in the clear waters beneath the pylons.