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Sapphire Coast NSW: The Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary (2024)

Sapphire Coast NSW: The Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary (2024)

The Sapphire Coast is a spectacular area of the South Coast of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia. Featuring breathtaking beaches, mesmerising coastal rock formations and captivating national parks, the Sapphire Coast is one of the most stunning yet underrated areas in NSW. In this article, we’re going to run through an epic Sapphire Coast road trip itinerary. We’ll include all of the nitty-gritty details about where to go, what to do and where to stay. On top of that, you’ll find helpful content such as maps to help you plan your awesome adventure of the Sapphire Coast in NSW.

About Sapphire Coast NSW

Also known as Bega Valley, the Sapphire Coast in NSW stretches from Bermagui in the north to Eden on the Victorian border in the south. The area is located much further away from Sydney than other coastal areas such as Kiama, Jervis Bay, Bateman’s Bay and Eurobodalla. That’s one of the main reasons the area isn’t explored as much. For sure, Sapphire Coast tourism isn’t as prominent compared with tourism in coastal towns closer to Sydney.

Regardless, you should definitely consider doing the drive south from Sydney to the Sapphire Coast on the Far South Coast of NSW. The Sapphire Coast has some of the most stunning coastal landscapes in NSW. Yet, the area isn’t overrun by visitors.

By following this road trip itinerary, you’ll get to experience all of the best things to do on the Sapphire Coast. Personally, Beck and I think the drive from Sydney along the South Coast to Sapphire Coast makes for one of the best road trips in Australia.

Below, we’ll look at a map of the area so you can get your bearings before we get stuck into the specific details of this Sapphire Coast road trip itinerary.

An ocean rock pool called Bermagui Blue Pool is a must-see place on any Sapphire Coast NSW road trip itinerary
Bermagui Blue Pool

Sapphire Coast NSW Map

So, where is the Sapphire Coast? Below, you’ll find a map showing the exact location of the Sapphire Coast on the Far South Coast of NSW. Feel free to click on the image of the Sapphire Coast map to access an interactive map.

A screenshot of a map showing the location of Sapphire Coast on the South Coast of NSW
Map of Sapphire Coast NSW

Sapphire Coast NSW: Road Trip Itinerary

Of course, you may be starting your Sapphire Coast road trip journey from Sydney. Once you pass Narooma and arrive in Bermagui, that’s where this itinerary begins.

In Bermagui, you can enjoy spectacular beach walks and crystal clear turquoise oceans and bays. You can also visit attractions in the lesser-known Mimosa Rocks National Park. You’ll then finish the day in Eden – a destination that’s famous for its whale watching.

The following day, you’ll explore Beowa National Park. There, you’ll explore marvellous geological rock formations, experience wildlife-watching opportunities and enjoy more stunning and secluded beaches. In addition, you can squeeze in a visit to the nearby Nethercote Falls in the Pambula region near Eden.

Bear in mind, that this road trip itinerary of the Sapphire Coast in NSW is action-packed and tailored towards outdoor enthusiasts. It’s a two-day itinerary, which involves exploring from sunrise to sunset. So, get ready for a busy yet enthralling adventure! Practically speaking, it may be best to stay in Bermagui, before commencing this road trip itinerary.

Of course, feel free to jump on the slow travel bandwagon and split this Sapphire Coast road trip itinerary over as many days or weeks as you like.

A rock formation called Horse Head Rock is an integral part of any Sapphire Coast NSW road trip itinerary
Horse Head Rock

Sapphire Coast NSW Itinerary Breakdown: Day 1

Here’s a breakdown of the first day of this Sapphire Coast road trip itinerary. Click here to see these Sapphire Coast attractions marked on a map.

Sapphire Coast NSW Itinerary Breakdown: Day 2

Here’s a breakdown of the second day of this Sapphire Coast road trip itinerary. Click here to see these destinations on the Sapphire Coast marked on a map.

Sapphire Coast NSW Itinerary: Day 1 Map

Here’s a map, showing the first day of this Sapphire Coast road trip itinerary. Feel free to click on the map to help you navigate this awesome first day of your trip exploring the Sapphire Coast.

A screenshot of a map showing the Sapphire Coast road trip itinerary drive in NSW
Sapphire Coast NSW map: Day 1


Your adventure begins in one of the best beach towns in NSW – Bermagui. This town is located in the northernmost section of the Sapphire Coast. Similar to the nearby Eurobodalla Coast, the highlights of Bermagui for outdoor lovers are its wondrous coastal rock formations and stunning oceanside setting. It’s a beautiful coastal town that can be enjoyed all year round!

Pelicans at Bermagui Harbour. A bird is captured flying in the background. A blue sky with boats in the distance. Close by is a small pier that is occupied by many pelicans. The pier is stained by seagull poo.
Bermagui Harbour

Camel Rock

From Bermagui, head to and park at the Camel Rock Beach Car Park. It’s a fairly large car park so you shouldn’t have problems finding a space, particularly if you head there early. From there, it’s a short five minute walk to get to the base of Camel Rock on the beach. As you approach the ocean, views of the huge wondrous rocks by the saltwater will start to fill your vision. There’s also a viewing platform at the car park to view Camel Rock.

We were quite impressed with this rock formation. The resemblance to a camel was uncanny! Nature never stops leaving us amazed. Of course, the more well-known rock formation in Bermagui is Horse Head Rock.

Read more: Camel Rock, Bermagui – The Complete Visitor’s Guide

A rock formation called Camel Rock is a highlight of any Sapphire Coast NSW road trip itinerary

Horse Head Rock

Horse Head Rock is an amazing rock formation along the Sapphire Coast of NSW and a genuine highlight of this road trip itinerary. We think the best way to experience Horse Head Rock is by accessing the base of the amazing coastal landmark. This involves doing a walk from Camel Rock Beach. But, it’s only safe to do this walk during low tide and low swell. And, even in favourable conditions, the walk is challenging and involves demanding and slippery terrain.

Of course, if the conditions aren’t favourable or you want to avoid the difficult walk to the base of Horse Head Rock; there is a backup option for seeing the rock formation. You can simply do a clifftop walk to the Horse Head Rock Viewing Platform.

Read more: How to Get to the Bottom of Horse Head Rock (at Low Tide)

Beck at a rock formation called Horse Head Rock is a highlight of any Sapphire Coast NSW road trip itinerary

Bermagui Blue Pool

The Bermagui Blue Pool is certainly a standout attraction on this Sapphire Coast road trip itinerary. Beck and I visited in winter and weren’t brave enough to go for a swim. Yet, the sensational coastal scenery alone is a satisfactory reason to visit.

From the car park, there is a paved path leading to a fairly steep set of steps descending to the ocean pool. There are about 75 of them. Once you make your way down, feel free to go for a swim or merely walk along the rocks. Once you are finished there and have conquered the stairs, there are various spots to view the ocean pool next to the car park. Viewing the pools from above will provide a great perspective of the ocean pool among its coastal surroundings.

Read more: Bermagui Blue Pool – The Complete Visitor’s Guide

Dan walks around the edge of rock pool called Bermagui Blue Pool, which is one of the best places to visit on a Sapphire Coast NSW road trip itinerary

Bruce Steer Pool, Bermagui Harbour

There is another ocean pool worth checking out nearby! This time, it’s the Bruce Steer Pool. Sure, it isn’t as spectacular as the Bermagui Blue Pool. But it’s still worth the visit if you have enough time. You should park by Dickinson Park and walk by the ocean pool, towards Bermagui Point. This involves walking out on a pier towards the water. Lovely views of the bay and Rockwall Beach will surround you.

Mimosa Rocks National Park

Mimosa Rocks National Park is next on this Sapphire Coast road trip itinerary. This national park has a diverse ecosystem of beaches, lagoons, sea caves, headlands, off-shore rock formations as well as bushland and coastal forest. Certainly, it’s a gloriously remote and untouched place, which is just perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.

Of course, there is so much to see and do at Mimosa Rocks National Park. It’s a great place for bushwalking, beach hopping, swimming, surfing, snorkelling, kayaking, birdwatching and camping. So, you could easily spend a few days here. But, as part of this Sapphire Coast road trip itinerary, you may need to just prioritise one activity. We recommend exploring the short Mimosa Rocks Walking Track from Aragunnu Campground.

Once you arrive at the campground, locating the trail is easy. Initially, you’ll walk on a dirt trail among the coastal bushland. After walking through sections of the large campground, you’ll reach a boardwalk hugging the shoreline that takes you to the Mimosa Rocks.

Along the boardwalk, you’ll cross over the largest Aboriginal midden in the park. This is a sacred cultural site for the Indigenous people of Australia, so please stick to the boardwalk. At the end of the boardwalk, you’ll see a large pyramid-shaped rock. This is where you can still see remnants of the Paddle Steamer Mimosa at low tide. This is a shipwreck that occurred in 1863.

Read more: Mimosa Rocks National Park – The Complete Visitor’s Guide

From the boardwalk lookout, views other Mimosa Rocks and surrounding coastline is somewhat impeded by lovely wattle trees. But in the distance, are the very distinct mimosa rocks and a small island with a grassy green top.

Tathra Beach

Tathra Beach is a spectacular 3km long beach in the heart of the coastal town of Tathra. The dazzling golden sand beach is surrounded by a narrow foredune consisting of coastal bushland, providing a superb natural ambience. Beck and I enjoyed exploring Tathra Beach and highly recommend visiting during your Sapphire Coast road trip.

If you have time, we also recommend checking out Moon Bay, which is a smaller yet more secluded beach. It’s possible to do a bushwalk to Moon Bay starting from the Ray Whyman Reserve, just south of Tathra Beach. From Moon Bay, you can also do a short walk to a scenic viewpoint called Wajurda Point Lookout.

Read more: Tathra Beach and Its Fantastic Beachside Accommodation

Kianinny Bay

Kianinny Bay is certainly a lesser-known attraction along the Sapphire Coast of NSW. To get the most out of your visit to Kianinny Bay, park at the end of Kianinny Street at the Chamberlain Lookout. From there, you’ll get your first taste of this hidden gem. The emerald green colour of the water is stunning. Admittedly though, the best views are to be seen from a lower viewpoint.

To enjoy the best viewpoint, descend the steps down towards the bay. During the descent, you’ll have some epic photography opportunities. You can then continue your walk down the steps to the boat ramp by the bay. Overall, Kianinny Bay is a quick stop but a good stop to add to your Sapphire Coast road trip itinerary.

Read more: Kianinny Bay – A Spectacular Bay That You Need to Visit in NSW

Views of Kianinny Bay


Continuing south from Kianinny Bay, you’ll soon arrive at one of the most spectacular NSW beach towns – Merimbula. Featuring immaculate beaches, sparkling lakes, an aquarium, a theme park, a wildlife sanctuary and a great dining scene, Merimbula has a lot to offer. At this stage of the day, you probably won’t have a lot of time to explore Merimbula. But, even a quick stop, at perhaps the Merimbula Main Beach will give you a taste of one of the most dreamy NSW coastal towns.


After passing through Merimbula, you’ll arrive in Eden, which is where we recommend staying the night. For whale watching enthusiasts, Eden is the place to be during the whale migratory season from May to November. There’s even an Eden Killer Whale Museum and an Eden Whale Festival during October!

After arriving in Eden, we imagine you’ll be ready for a rest after all of the exploring on the first day of your Sapphire Coast road trip. But, if you still have a bit left in the tank, we recommend heading to the incredible Aslings Beach Rock Pool for golden hour.

Aslings Beach Rock Pool

Aslings Beach Rock Pool is one of the most mind-blowing ocean rock pools in NSW. Featuring dramatic pink and white cliffs, the rock pool is one of the most awe-inspiring places to visit on the Sapphire Coast of NSW. For sure, ending the day at Aslings Beach Rock Pool is the perfect way to wrap up the first day of your road trip.

Sapphire Coast NSW Itinerary: Day 2 Map

Here’s a map, showing the second day of this Sapphire Coast road trip itinerary. Again, feel free to click on the map to help with navigation around the Sapphire Coast.

A screenshot of a map showing the Sapphire Coast road trip itinerary drive in NSW
Sapphire Coast NSW map: Day 2

Beowa National Park (Formerly Ben Boyd)

For sure, Beowa National Park (formerly Ben Boyd National Park) is one of the best places to explore on the Sapphire Coast of NSW. Featuring remote beaches, geological wonders, superb coastal lookouts, abundant wildlife and historical attractions, there is a lot of good stuff to see at Beowa National Park. That’s why most of the second day of your Sapphire Coast road trip itinerary takes place in this sensational national park.

Read more: Beowa National Park (Formerly Ben Boyd National Park) Guide

A wombat

The Pinnacles

Amazingly, The Pinnacles formed around 65 million years ago! The orange and white cliffs of The Pinnacles are surely one of the most iconic places on the Sapphire Coast of NSW. Beck and I agreed that seeing The Pinnacles was one of the major highlights of this Sapphire Coast road trip itinerary.

To get to the main viewing platform, you’ll simply complete the Pinnacles Loop Walking Track. From The Pinnacles Car Park, it’s an approximate 1km flat and easy trail through coastal bush. Early morning is a great time to visit The Pinnacles. Not only is it a quieter time to visit but the early morning light brilliantly illuminates the cliff rock face.

Read more: Pinnacles Loop Walking Track – 20 Things You Need to Know

Beck and Dan at a multi-coloured cliff wall called The Pinnacles, which is a must-see place on a Sapphire Coast NSW road trip itinerary

Pinnacles Beach

After returning from the Pinnacles Loop Walking Track, we recommend heading to Pinnacles Beach. A flat boardwalk will lead you through coastal shrub and down to the beach. For sure, it’s one of the best Sapphire Coast beaches. Beck and I spent a good while here walking along the beach, enjoying its natural beauty.

Read more: Pinnacles Beach – The Ultimate Visitor’s Guide

Beck at Pinnacle Beach at Beowa National Park (formerly Ben Boyd National Park)

Haycock Point

Next on this Sapphire Coast NSW itinerary is Haycock Point. Of course, the Haycock Point to Barmouth Beach Walk is a popular trail. But, considering the action-packed busy itinerary, you may only have enough time to hang out at Haycock Point, where you’ll find amazing purple-coloured rocks.

The beach itself is yet another gorgeous stretch of coast. But then again, are there any bad stretches of coast in Australia? If you arrive early, you may enjoy this beautiful place to yourselves. Personally, that’s what Beck and I experienced. It was just us, the purple rocks nestled in the golden sand and the ocean smell. It was nice to be able to quietly soak it all in!

Beck among purple-coloured rock formations

Ben Boyd Tower

Next on the Sapphire Coast itinerary is Ben Boyd Tower. Interestingly, the tower, instigated by Ben Boyd, was never completed nor commissioned as a lighthouse. There is even a missing section that was displaced by lightning! Other than seeing the historic tower, you’ll enjoy superb views of the Pacific Ocean, Twofold Bay and the gorgeous coastline surrounding Beowa National Park.

A trail leads to a tower called Ben Boyd Tower

Bilgalera Point

Near Ben Boyd Tower, you’ll find the lesser-known Bilgalera Point, where you’ll find a 200 metre wharf that extends out into Two Folds Bay. From this wharf, you’ll enjoy marvellous views of the surrounding coastline. Unfortunately, when we visited, Bilgalera Point was closed. This was a real shame as we heard the water around the bay is crystal clear. Hopefully, it’s open when you visit!

Disaster Bay Lookout

En route to Green Cape Lighthouse, you’ll pass a stunning lookout called Disaster Bay Lookout. As expected, the lookout provides gorgeous views of Disaster Bay. But, you’ll enjoy views towards the Nadgee-Howe Wilderness area that edges towards the Victorian border.

Dan and Beck at a viewpoint overlooking a beach

Green Cape Lighthouse

By visiting Green Cape Lighthouse, you’ll arrive at the southernmost part of Beowa National Park. Built in 1883, Green Cape Lighthouse is also the southernmost lighthouse in NSW. If you want to learn more about the history of the lighthouse, it’s possible to do a guided tour on request. Otherwise, you can do a short walk to the Green Cape Lighthouse and Green Cape Lookout. From the car park, it’s a very easy walk, where you’ll pass the lighthouse and then enjoy epic views of the coastline.

Green Cape Lookout is also an excellent spot for whale watching. Beck and I were lucky enough to see some whales from afar. Amazingly, the whales were waving with their fins. Other whales were gently dipping above the surface of the ocean when gliding through the water. Additionally, there are often fur seals closeby playing on and near the rocky shoreline around Green Cape.

Green Cape Lighthouse in Beowa National Park (Ben Boyd National Park)

Bittangabee Bay

If you make it all the way to Green Cape Lighthouse, you should also stop in at Bittangabee Bay. It’s a beautifully secluded bay, where you’ll find a campground and a picnic area. The water is a surreal shade of turquoise blue, while the bay is surrounded by rocky headlands and serene coastal bushland.

A bay called Bittangabee Bay

Nethercote Falls

For sure, you’ll likely need a full day to explore Beowa National Park. If you do have some time up your sleeve at the end of the day, we recommend checking out Nethercote Falls. Admittedly, photos don’t do this place justice. Although the waterfall is only around 10 metres high, it plunges majestically from a gorge that’s surrounded by amazing vertical rock walls. Indeed, the rocky amphitheatre surrounding the waterfall is just as spectacular as the waterfall itself.

Read more: Nethercote Falls – Everything You Need to Know

A small waterfall not flowing as powerfully as usual

Sapphire Coast Road Trip Recap

So there you have it – the ultimate Sapphire Coast road trip itinerary. Personally speaking, our favourite part of this road trip was seeing the stunning geological formations such as Camel Rock, Horse Head Rock and The Pinnacles. And, undoubtedly, we think that Beowa National Park is one of the most underrated national parks in NSW!

Below, you’ll find useful information to help plan your Sapphire Coast road trip.

How to Get to the Sapphire Coast in NSW

Of course, you’ll need your own set of wheels to road trip along the South Coast of NSW. We drove a 2WD during this road trip to the Sapphire Coast. Yet, bear in mind that there are unsealed roads to navigate when accessing attractions in Mimosa Rocks National Park and Beowa National Park. By driving slowly and carefully, Beck and I managed fine in a 2WD. Of course, a 4WD will ensure a quicker, safer and more comfortable drive along unsealed roads in these national parks.

Car Hire

If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.

To find out more about renting a car with Discover Cars, read our Discover Cars review and Discover Cars Insurance review.

Sapphire Coast NSW Accommodation

To make this Sapphire Coast itinerary work, we recommend staying in Bermagui, Merimbula and/or Eden. For sure, these coastal towns have the best accommodation on the Sapphire Coast of NSW.

In the sections below, we’ll outline the three best places to stay in Bermagui, Merimbula and Eden. For more information about each accommodation option, including current prices, availability, offers and guest reviews, we recommend heading straight to

Bermagui Accommodation

Admittedly, Bermagui doesn’t have loads of accommodation options. But, it’s really a quality over quantity scenario as Bermagui is home to some of the best accommodation along the Sapphire Coast. Of course, the standout option in Bermagui is the Bermagui Beach Hotel.

Top 3 Accommodation in Bermagui

Merimbula Accommodation

From either Merimbula or Eden, you can conveniently complete the second day of this Sapphire Coast road trip itinerary. Merimbula is home to a wide range of accommodation options – some of the best on the Sapphire Coast.

Top 3 Accommodation in Merimbula

Eden Accommodation

Eden is an obvious place to stay if you plan on exploring Beowa National Park. Compared with Merimbula, you’ll find more budget-friendly accommodation in Eden, exemplified by the number of motels and motor inns. Still, Eden has other fantastic accommodation to choose from in the form of hotels and holiday apartments.

Top 3 Accommodation in Eden

Sapphire Coast Camping

Of course, you’re Sapphire Coast road trip itinerary may involve camping. When it comes to camping in this area of NSW, you’ll find the best campgrounds are located in Mimosa Rocks National Park and Beowa National Park.

Mimosa Rocks National Park is known for having excellent beachfront campgrounds. In the national park, there are four campsites, including the Aragunnu, Gillards Beach, Middle Beach and Picnic Point campgrounds.

In comparison, there are two campgrounds in Beowa National Park. These include the Saltwater Creek Campground and the Bittangabee Campground. Both campsites are located brilliantly on the coast.

Sapphire Coast Road Trip Essentials

Below, you’ll find some useful gear to have on your Sapphire Coast road trip, or, on any road trip or trip overseas.

Anker Portable Power Bank
Anker Portable Power Bank

Keep your phone, laptop and other accessories charged while you’re on the go with the Anker Portable Power Bank. We wouldn’t travel without this high-quality portable charger.

Sea to Summit DryLite Towel
Sea to Summit DryLite Towel

The Sea to Summit DryLite Towel is the best quick-dry microfibre towel. This compact, lightweight and super-absorbent towel is perfect for travel.

EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter
EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter

Having an EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter is one of the best accessories to travel with, especially if you’re travelling to multiple continents during your trip.

Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise Cancelling Headphones

If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly yet high-quality noise-cancelling headphones for travel, then look no further than the Anker Soundcore Space Q45.

Wise Multi-Currency Card
Wise Multi-Currency Card

We use the Wise Multi-Currency Card to pay online and when we travel abroad. It’s really easy to use and a lot cheaper than using bank cards. To order a free card, click the button below.

To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite travel gear, camera gear and hiking gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.

Sapphire Coast NSW FAQs

Below, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about the Sapphire Coast in NSW.

Where Does the Sapphire Coast Start and Finish?

The Sapphire Coast stretches from Bermagui in the north to Eden in the south.

Why Do They Call it the Sapphire Coast?

It got its name from the clear turquoise colour of the water along this stretch of the coast.

How Many Beaches Are on the Sapphire Coast?

There are more than 150 beaches in the area.

Bonus Tips About Visiting the Sapphire Coast

  • Visit in winter: all year round, you won’t have huge crowds to contend with along the Sapphire Coast in NSW. That’s because it’s pretty far enough away from Sydney and Melbourne. In fact, it’s about a halfway point between these two cities – the drive to Eden from either city is around seven hours! Yet, we assure you that visiting in winter means it will be even quieter. Plus, that’s the best time to see whales.
  • Don’t skip Mimosa Rocks National Park: although not that well known, exploring the Mimosa Rocks National Park will be well worth your time.
  • Check tide and swell times: to ensure safety when exploring the base of Horse Head Rock or The Pinnacles, you’ll need to check the tide and swell times.
  • Check the NSW National Parks website: before visiting any national park in NSW, make sure to check the NSW National Parks website. That way, you can check for closures and plan accordingly.

Other South Coast NSW Guides

For sure, you should visit more of the stunning NSW South Coast. Of course, there are many excellent NSW South Coast holiday destinations to choose from. By reading our guides below, you can start to figure out which area on the South Coast of NSW you’ll explore next!

Couple walking along Hyams Beach, one of the best beaches in Jervis Bay
Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay

We hope you enjoy this road trip itinerary to the Sapphire Coast of NSW. Please bookmark this page as a reference to help you plan your drive and journey to the Sapphire Coast in the future!

Daniel Piggott

Dan is a travel blogger, physiotherapist, hiker, natural wonder seeker and world traveller. He loves writing travel guides to help his readers explore the most beautiful destinations in the world.

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