Romance on the South Coast: Your Weekend Getaway Guide
Stretching from Sydney’s southern edge to the Victorian border, Australia’s stunning South Coast is the definition of ready-made romance. Boasting everything from white sandy beaches and old-school fishing villages to national parks and rugged rainforests, this picturesque region promises endless adventure.
Go glamping in Jervis Bay, kayak on Kangaroo River or sip sundowners on the Yarrawa Estate, we’ve handpicked the best places to eat, drink sleep and explore along the South Coast, for a weekend of unadulterated romance…
For a romantic weekend in the South Coast, make sure to..
Lace up your hiking boots and tackle this walking track in the Morton National Park. It’ll take about three hours, and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the coasts and cliffs of the Shoalhaven region.
Where to eat and drink..
Rise, shine and start your day with a cup of coffee
In Berry, make a beeline for Milkwood Bakery (and grab a loaf of their famous sourdough while you’re at it). In Huskisson, drop by Pilgrims Café– and if you’re meat-free, stay for brunch. The café is entirely vegetarian, and it’s delicious.
Pick up a doughnut at Berry Donut Van
Ask anyone who’s tried a freshly baked and glazed doughnut from the famous food truck: it’s a must!
Cosy up at Berry Sourdough Café and Bakery
Sitting pretty in a rustic barn, the café is famous among foodies for its artisan bread and pastries.
Grab a pie at Kangaroo Valley Pie Shop
If you’re in the area, pop into this heritage-listed shop for a chunky steak and mushroom pie. Don’t forget the mushy peas. Southern Pies is also excellent.
Sit down to dinner at Bistro 146
While you’re in Kangaroo Valley, make a night of it with a meal at this bistro. Choose a seat by the fireplace during the chilly months or outside under the grapevines in summer, and tuck into the simple and seasonal menu.
Enjoy a long lunch at Rick Stein at Bannisters
Nothing says romance than a booking at the South Coast’s most iconic eatery. Part of Bannisters by the Sea, this hatted restaurant is known for its fresh seafood – order the oysters and something with shellfish, and you’ll be in heaven.
Eat with a side of live music at The Waterhouse
There’s a reason why locals flock to this spot in Jervis Bay: the views are epic, the wine list is seriously impressive, and there are live acoustic sessions every Sunday. Oh, and the food is next-level good, too.
Sip on sundowners at The Huskisson
Perched on the water, this upscale pub is the perfect place to catch the sunset. Nab a seat on the deck and you’ll have a front seat to watching the pastel colours streak the sky.
Grab pre-dinner drinks at Cupitt’s Winery
Tucked away in Ulladulla, this intimate bar is ideal for a casual glass of wine – or if you fancy it, a craft beer. Did we mention it’s a fromagerie too?
Taste-test the colourful cocktails at Bannisters Rooftop Pavilion
One of the South Coast’s chicest hotels is also home to its best rooftop. The pool bar has a killer list of classic and creative cocktails to suit every palate. If you’re in the mood for a Sunday session, there’s live music from 4pm.
Indulge in ice-cream and chocolates
When the sun is shining, go to Berry Ice Creamery for colourful ice-cream cones or Il Locale for the most mouthwatering line-up of gelato. For chocolate lovers, Berry Chocolatier is a little slice of heaven. Try the handmade salted caramel truffle.
Sample plates of local produce at SOUTH on Albany
This stylish spot dishes up a Modern European menu, and the chefs exclusively use local and seasonal produce. Every plate is bursting with freshness and flavour, but we love the pork cutlets with parsnip puree.
Visit the oldest pub on the South Coast
The Friendly Inn in Kangaroo Valley has been around since 1892, and it’s a treat. Head to the beer garden – it overlooks the rolling green countryside and mountains beyond.
Feast on Asian delights at Hungry Duck
You’ve probably gathered that Berry is a foodie paradise! If you’re craving Asian food, head to Hungry Duck for share plates in a fine dining – and very romantic – setting. Chef David Campbell plucks most of the ingredients from his garden and local farmers.
Enjoy dinner by candlelight at The Gunyah
For the ultimate date night, book The Gunyah, which is part of Paperbark Camp. The treehouse-style restaurant is stunning, and the balcony has the best view of the starry sky. Dinner is a set, three-course affair, and it’s incredible.
On the way home, stop for lunch at Wharf Road
Sitting on the banks of the Nowra River, Wharf Road is one of a handful of hatted restaurants on the South Coast. The menu is creative, with most dishes finished on the South American-style barbecue.
What to do..
Stroll along Hyams Beach
Hyams Beach is famous for having the ‘whitest sand in the world,’ so this may just be the most romantic ‘long walk on the beach’ ever.
Watch the sunset from Bogey Hole on Mollymook Headland
May we suggest bringing a bottle of wine? During the day, the rockpool is ideal for swimming, snorkelling and basking in the sun.
Pamper yourselves with a couple’s spa treatment
Stock up on fresh, local produce at Berry Produce Markets, then have a picnic
Local growers, producers and providers sell their goodies at these markets, held on the second Saturday and fourth Sunday of the month.
Deck out your place with local homewares
Refresh with a swim at the South Coast’s beautiful beaches
Hyams Beach, Seven Mile Beach and Mollymook Beach are beautiful, while Cave Beach is a go-to for keen surfers.
If you subscribe to the idea that couples who sweat together, stay together, you’ll adore this. The 2.5km look takes in Hyams, Greenfields and Seamans Beaches. For a more adventurous (aka strenuous hike), try Cape St George Lighthouse– hello, cliffs! – or Green Patch for glimpses of white sand and kangaroos.
Rent a bike from Jervis Bay Bike Hire and cruise the 5km path that runs between Vincentia and Huskisson. Or, play a round of golf at the scenic Mollymook Golf Club. Water babies can kayak or canoe down the Kangaroo River (you can rent gear from Kangaroo Valley Kayaks).
Where to stay..
In Berry, this one-bedroom cottage – which dates back to 1868 – is the definition of rustic-chic. It’s as romantic as it gets, with views of the rolling countryside, plus a full kitchen, fireplace, and double bathtub.
Love a B&B? Steps away from Hyams Beach, this one is charming, with rooms opening up onto the terrace or sun-soaked courtyard. Our advice? Walk on the white-sand beach, then come back for breakfast (it’s free and served until 11am).
For a lavish stay, book one of the five private suites at Mt Hay Retreat in Berry. If you can peel yourself away from your luxe room, you’ll find landscaped gardens dotted with fruit trees and a 33-metre heated pool and spa.