Gems of the East Coast
The East Coast of Australia is one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline we've ever had the privilege to travel, and it's right here in our backyard. Just before Summer rolled around, we took a month off and travelled to the far South Coast of NSW in our van. Four whole weeks of simple, slow living in some of the magic spots along our coastline. Here are a few of our favourites:
While not actually on the coastline, Bellingen is well worth the short detour inland to experience the stunning countryside and breathtaking Promised Lands. Never Never Creek is a must-see. If you have more time you can also head up to Dorrigo and explore the many waterfalls.
Diamond Head, Crowdy Bay National Park
Diamond Head is a true gem, not too far from home. Diamond Head is found in the Crowdy Bay National Park, about half an hour south of Port Macquarie. Diamond Head is known for it's friendly kangaroos who will make themselves home near your campsite. There is a stunning coastal walk that takes you along a path surrounded by Banksia, wildflowers and other native flora. If you're here during whale season, this walk has some great vantage points to watch these magnificent creatures pass by. Wrapped around a beautiful stretch of ocean, Diamond Head is the perfect spot to spend a few days relaxing and reconnecting.
Forster & Pacific Palms
Forster itself is quite busy, but we found some of the most beautiful beaches we've ever seen on the southern end of the town, Pacific Palms. Elizabeth Beach, Blueys Beach and Boomerang Beach are must-sees; deep lakes of turquoise water surrounded by stunning mountainous headlands and rocky outcrops. Wallis Lake in Forster is also beautiful for boating, kayakaing, stand-up paddleboarding and swimming.
We tend to spend most of our time on the coastline, but a little trip inland was much rewarded with the beauty of Kangaroo Valley. We spent a day hiking the Three Views Walk, with stunning cliff edge views of river gorges and endless wilderness. The trail passes through open woodland and heathland with beautiful wildflower displays. We also visited the Two Figs Winery and highly recommend it; we bought one of the local produce plates and enjoyed a bottle of Rosé overlooking the rolling mountains.
Pebbly Beach is found in the Murramarang National Park, tucked behind the forest along the coastline. The perfect place to fish, hike, swim in the crystal clear waters or enjoy the splendours of the beautiful national park. There is a lovely walk that takes you past a number of hidden bays to swim in, we even found a fun longboard wave on the way to Snake Bay.
While we spent most of our time in Tomakin and South Broulee, all of the little towns just south of Bateman's Bay are worth exploring. Some of the other towns are Malua Bay, Mossy Point and Moruya. Be sure to visit The Rivermouth Cafe in Tomakin for a beautiful feed and Single Fin Gypsy in South Broulee for the best coffee around. Guerilla Bay is a stunning spot to relax by the water.
Dalmeny was our favourite spot from the whole trip, a secluded little beach town we probably never would have heard of had it not been for the tip off from a friend. The campsite at Dalmeny is on a low headland overlooking the water, you couldn't camp closer to the beach if you tried.
Just south of Dalmeny is another quaint little town called Narooma. Be sure to wander down to the inlet to see the resident seals and the famous Australia Rock. Spectactular coastal landscapes can be found by walking along the headland.