A Weekend on the Coast: 7 of the best South Coast walks

The South Coast is breathtakingly beautiful. Stretching from Sydney’s south to the Victorian border, it’s the definition of untamed beauty with white-sand beaches, rugged rainforests and national parks nestled amongst charming fishing towns. And the best way to soak up the stunning scenery is by foot. From the beach to the bush, from short strolls to all-day hikes, these scenic South Coast walks promise adventure and beauty, all rolled into one. Pick a path – any path – and start exploring…

 White Sands Walk and Scribbly Gum

Length: 2.5km

Time:1 hour

Let’s start with this breezy loop, which follows the white-sand shores of Jervis Bay. It begins at Greenfield Beach’s picnic area, and passes by Chinaman’s, Hyams and Seamans Beach – so wear your cossies in case you want to cool off with a swim. As you walk, you’ll be spoilt by postcard-worthy coastal views, and if you’re lucky, you may even spot dolphins and whales frolicking in the sea. The return leg along Scribbly Gum Track moves away from the coastline and goes through the lush forests and woodlands, where you’ll spy furry locals like possums and kangaroos. If you’re in the mood for a longer walk, start from Plantation Point a little north of Greenfield Beach.

Light to Light Walk

Length: 30km one-way

Time: 2-3 days

This multi-day walk hugs the coastline from Boyds Tower on the far South Coast and finishes up at Green Cape Lightstation. It’s epic in every sense of the word, and usually takes a couple of days to complete (one way), but less-seasoned walkers often do it in sections. The trail is well-marked, but some of the terrain is tough, so you’ll want to wear proper hiking boots and bring lots of water. The reward? Stunning red-rock cliffs that tower over secluded bays and beaches, tea tree groves, forest and woodlands. The end point, Green Cape, is a hotspot seals and whales. As for campsites, look into Bittangabee and Saltwater Creek, then rest your head at Telegraph Station Bunkhouse.

Hare Point Walking Track

Length: 6km

Time: 3 hours

This trek takes in all the beauty of Jervis Bay National Park. It’s a little harder than it looks; it passes through soft sand dunes, which – as anyone who did Nippers as a kid will tell you – can be challenging terrain. Besides those sections, it’s quite flat. It kicks off at the Red Point picnic area and weaves its way through dunes and mangrove forests before ending at Carama Inlet on the northern edge of Jervis Bay National Park. You’ll be shaking sand out of your shoes at the finish line, but trust us when we say you’ll be doing it with a smile.

Sandy Creek Loop

Length: 6km

Time: 2.5 hours

If you’re a fan of birdwatching, you’ll love this coastal trail. Based in Bournda National Park, near North Tura, the loop takes you from the lagoon to the lake, passing waterways, rainforests and paper barks along the way. As you hike, you’ll spot rare and colourful birds like the yellow-tailed black cockatoo and sea eagles soaring ahead, and maybe even a kangaroo or wallaby hopping around. You can swim and fish in both Sandy Beach Creek and Bournda Lake, which is a godsend on a steamy day. Leave yourself around 2-3 hours for this hike depending on how well you walk on sand.

Haycock Beach to Barmouth Point

Length: 6km

Time: 2 hours

We love meandering down this path on the weekends. It begins at the Haycock Beach picnic area, and winds its way along the clifftops, woodlands and rugged rock formations of Ben Boyd National Park. You’ll also be treated to views of the pristine beaches below. The track, which takes roughly two hours, is an ideal spot for both bird and whale watching, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled. On the ground, you may see echidnas, goannas and even the odd kangaroo. When you reach Barmouth Point, go for a swim or enjoy a siesta in the sun before turning around.

Sitchu tip: For an easy, breezy walk, try the tranquil Pambula River Walking Track. Also nestled in Ben Boyd National Park, the 1.2km (return) trail passes by rivers and coastal woodlands, and its lookouts are perfect for whale watching. If you like, you can tack this on to the Haycock Beach to Barmouth Point walk.

Three Views Walking Track

Length: 9.5km

Time: 3-4 hours

Close to Kangaroo Valley, this walk is a weekender’s dream: it’s easy, flat and wonderfully scenic. As you may have guessed, it’s named after the three unique views it takes in. In a pinch, you can break it up into separate walks, but there’s something special about soaking up all three at once. The track follows the Brooks Plateau and Moolatoo Trig trails through lush woodlands, before hitting the first lookout at Lake Yarraunga. The next is Tallowa Dam and the last is Shoalhaven River and its gorgeous gorges. While you walk, you’ll see vibrant wildlife and wildflowers blooming in winter and spring.

Forest Walk to Sublime Point Track

Length: 14km one-way

Time: 5-6 hours

Stretch it out, because this one’s a bit of a trek! Described as an “extended day walk,” the walk is one of the South Coast’s best – and that’s a pretty big call. While it’s mostly flat, there are a couple of sharp ascents so you’ll want to lace up your good hiking boots. Start at the Wodi Wodi Track (Coalcliff) or Sublime Point Track (Austinmer) and then jump on the 11km Forest Walk. You’ll thread through a rare clifftop rainforest and dry eucalypt forest, but don’t forget to look down: the panoramic views of the coast will make your jaw drop. When you reach the Sublime Point lookout, climb down the ladder to Lady Fuller Park and flop over onto the grass for a well-earned BBQ. You can even do what the locals do and ask a friend to meet you there for a ride home!


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