Sapphire Coast

Saphire Coast New South Wales Australia

Cruising through the Sapphire Coast

South of Sydney to the Victoria border is the domain of the Sapphire Coast.  This stretch of coast is surprisingly quiet once you get south of the Sydney city limits.  Technically, Sapphire Coast starts around Narooma then South past Eden to the Victoria Border. It lives up to it's name with some of the most crystal clear sapphire water and unspoilt empty beaches we've ever laid our eyes on.

There's some amazing surf opportunities all along this stretch of coast.  As you travel from Sydney south towards the Sapphire Coast, check out the famous Sea Cliff Bridge just south of Royal National Park. As you travel even further south, make sure that you check out Mollymook. We've had some epic beach days, surf sessions, free hot showers, and even bioluminescent waves at that cool little beach town!

Just south of the town of Narooma, you'll find Camel Rock Surf beach. From the car park, you'll be able to access Camel Rock and Horse Head Rock just around the corner from Camel Rock formation. The safest route to Horse Head Rock is a trail that leads up the headland from the car park for a view of Horse Head Rock from above. But, if you wanted to get up close and personal with the famous Horse Head, at low tide, you can access it by a short beach walk past Camel Rock, hugging the coast line and up to a little rock scramble to get to that part of the beach. Make sure you check the tide so you don't get stuck in an unfriendly area. If you were going to get an epic shot of this famous rock, the tide seems to cooperate around the best times to take pictures, around sunset and sunrise. I've even seen some cool Milky Way shots. We would recommend planning out your route ahead of time and bringing shoes that can get wet and grip like Keen's, Teva's, or Chaco's to name a few.

After you've got your rock formation, surf or beach life satisfaction, check out Bermagui blue pool a couple minutes south of Camel Rock beach. There are so many amazing natural rock pools from Sydney south. It is hard to choose a favorite, but this one had to be one of our favorites. The shower at this rock pool blew my mind. It easily was one of the best beach showers I have ever enjoyed.

With so many empty and unspoilt beaches along the Sapphire Coast, you can almost turn off at any beach of the Tathra-Bermagui Rd and find yourself a private beach to lay the first footprints of day. Grab your beach gear, beers, and snacks to settle down for the day.

Northern NSW

Northern New South wales Australia

In our opinion, this is the jewel of Australia.  Where do we even begin?  With easily over 150 surf breaks and some of the most picturesque beaches you really can't go wrong with any detour in this area of the country.  We found so many amazing places. It would be hard to list them all. So we boiled it down to our 5 favorite places on this stretch of coast.

1. Smoky Cape and Arakoon National Parks - These two parks are pretty much combined into one NP.  If you head out to this area, you must check out Little Bay Beach were you will find the most amazing miniature beach and by far the most friendly kangaroos that you'll meet in all of Australia.  While we were there, we were fortunate to see at least 5 joeys in pouches. They were hopping around so curious of human life that they would come right up to you.  It was one of our most memorable Aussie experiences.  

2.  Dorrigo National Park - If you're into rainforest, waterfalls, and exotic bird calls then, you'll be into this park.  The drive into Dorrigo is amazing on it's own. It's even deemed "Waterfall Way."  If you catch it on the right season, you'll pass by multiple cascades flowing down the mountain and under the highway.  We stayed overnight in the park and woke up at sunrise. Then, we watched the sun come up over the Gondwana rainforest from the Skywalk that extends over the forest.  After sunrise, we walked down to Crystal Shower falls and had it all to ourselves for easily an hour.  We had walked to the other falls but, Crystal Showers was easily the best falls in the park.  There is also a bird watching platform with plenty of cool information that we checked out in the evening after we used the amazing picnic facilities inside the park. 

3.  Seal Rocks and Myall Lakes National Parks  -  In order to get to Seal Rocks, you'll have to drive through Myall Lakes so we just decided to spend a night in both of them.  Seal rocks has some amazing surf and that classic turquoise water you've come to expect in Australia.  We stayed the night in Seal Rocks and watched the sunrise over the pacific and just had an incredible time walking the beaches and surfing the point there at seal rocks.  You can even walk to the lighthouse and see a fairly large colony of seals on the "seal rocks".  Once we had enough sun and sand, we headed about 30 minutes inland to the quiet campgrounds of the Myall Lakes where we spent another night in solitude and watched the Milky Way reflect off the glassy waters of the Myall Lakes.  

4.  Crescent Head - The quiet surf town of Crescent Heads was just what the doctor ordered.  We arrived to relatively flat conditions, but received a hot tip form a local to head around the head down to Goolawah National Park.  We found some amazing surf and indulged in the Aussie laid back beach lifestyle.  If you continue down Point Plomer Road, you'll run into Point Plomer Campground and if you're lucky enough to score some waves here, you just might not leave.  

5.  Port Macquarie - Just a way down the coast from Crescent Head is the town of Port Mac. Per usual, chill as and amazing beaches.  This area caught us off guard, usually we kinda fly through the more "major" areas of Oz on our way down the coast but, we stuck around Port Mac for a few days.  The beaches and parks here were so amazing, we found friendly surf for all levels and advanced waves as well.  We also found small parks with amazing picnic areas and had no problems staying at the beaches overnight.  

Road trippin - Girraween to Bald Rock

Bald Rock National Park

At some point in your Aussie travels, you'll want to head away from the beach towards the outback.  If you're around the Brisbane/Gold Coast Area, there are two amazing National Parks that offer classic unusual outback terrain and it can all be done in a matter of three days.  So pack up your rigs and get ready to head into the outback territory on the Queensland/New South Wales border.

 Day 1: Driving out to Giraween takes anywhere from 3:30 min to 4 hours depending on where your coming from.  If you're into wine you can stop by an array of wineries in the Stanthorpe region before entering the park.  There are two campgrounds available in Girraween - Bald Rock Creek and Castle Rock, both are pretty much the same.  You can stay at either spot and access the park.  There are tons of day hikes inside the park.  We would recommend hiking to the natural bridge and onto the Pyramid summit where you will find an amazing balancing granite boulder.  Another great hike is to Castle Rock, where you can get killer views of the entire area.  Girraween is known for it's granite rock formations and I recommend taking some time to walk the tracks and marvel at how some of these rocks even exist in the middle of the outback.  Take an evening stroll around the park and you will definitely come across plenty of kangaroo.

 Day 2:  Wake up and if your feeling up to it, take a morning stroll and boulder around the granite, or have a cuppa and be on your way.  The drive from Girraween to Bald Rock is not very far. If you're low on gas, I recommend hitting up Tenterfield for fuel and supplies for your next evening.  The camping grounds are just right at the base of Bald Rock. Find a good spot, set up, and explore the area.  Bald Rock is Australia's biggest Granite monolith and it's an amazing rock to scramble up.  There is also an amazing old growth gum forest at the base of this monolith.  This park is seldom visited. So, don't be surprised if you only see a few other campers/hikers around.  We recommend catching the sunset over the outback from the summit.

 Day 3:  Set your alarm about one hour before sunrise get your headlight on and start the predawn summit up Bald Rock face.  If weather permits you will witness an amazing sunrise over a sprawl of gum and eucalyptus forest below.  Enjoy the solitude from this amazing rock and even take your shoes off for some of the best earthing in Australia.  After you're satisfied, head down, chill out at camp, and get ready to pack up and head out.

You can wrap the trip up by taking the B-60 to the A-1 and head north a bit into Byron Bay which is easily Australia's most iconic beach town.  Check out our Byron guide here.