NSW South Coast For Few Days - Help?

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Nov 20th, 2008, 10:12 AM
  #1
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NSW South Coast For Few Days - Help?

Hello Again:

Thanks to Bushranger's suggestion, we may indeed do a short trip by car to NSW beaches south of SYD. The kangaroos and the natural setting appeal, as would having a swimming pool or a bay calm enough for a dip.

That said, if we are going that way, we don't want to miss out on any attractions of the area- would you make a base at any one particular spot on the coast in order to visit Jervis Bay, Montague Island or Hyam's beach, or are all of these places so vastly far from one another that we should just do a night to night itinerary, despite the fast pace?

Thanks for advice. Our taste runs to modern, stand alone accoms. A town or two within striking distance is preferable for us as we like to eat out, but fish and chips are fine- nothing fancy.
We like easy bush trails, coastal breezes and would very much like to see lots of wildlife.

Also, sorry to sound like an idiot, but in NT we were constantly worried about the possibility of crocs...do they appear in waterways in this region as well?

Thank you. Our time is tight for this last minute pre-Chrissy trip, so your help is invaluable in our planning.

Cheers,
Peterman
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Nov 20th, 2008, 01:43 PM
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Sorry, one add on after a few hours research:

I see that driving distances to Jervis Bay are listed as 2.5 hours ex Sydney, and yet that is the same time frame as the web site for the resorts that appear to be much further down the coast, such as Murramarang NP.I suspect I'm reading something incorrectly, or is one trip by local roads and the other more difficult going?

Thank you again.
We're still considering QLD, but the news about the storms is a deterrent...plenty of soggy at home.

Cheers,
Peterman
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Nov 20th, 2008, 03:41 PM
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Hyam's Beach is beautiful, there's a very good cafe there and there are other restaurants at Huskinsson that are OK. I've always liked the look of these beach cottages but haven't stayed there:

http://www.hyamsbeachseasidecottages.com.au/

Narooma (near to Montague Island) is about 3-4 hours from Sydney. There are two very good cafes in that town and one good fish and chipes--there's an excellent restaurant on the river at Moruya. Montague Island is well worth visiting to see the fairy penguins arrive back at dusk and waddle up to their nests. There's a great bush walk to an Aboriginal women's sacred site at Tilba--astonishing anthropomorphic rocks and it's a good place to see lyre birds also.


Other possibilities on the south coast: Bermagui, Termeil.
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Nov 20th, 2008, 05:00 PM
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Hi, Peterman, we did this trip in October of 2007. It is very low key and pleasant. I don't know if our accommodations will be of interest because we were looking for cheaper accommodations to offset the splurge we did later on a liveaboard boat. We drove south from the airport upon landing in Oz from Seattle through the Royal National Park and saw lots of birds. it was a magical moment in our trip--just starting out, early in the morning, and we knew were were in Oz when we saw white parrots flying about! (the sulphur crested cockatoos to be precise). We considered going to Symbio Wildlife Gardens along the way, but it was expensive and we still had a drive to get to Jervis Bay. We stopped at Kiama for lunch and to see the blowhole (which wasn't blowing a lot despite huge winds.) Then on to Jervis Bay and a late trip to the Boderee national park there and saw a kangaroo just hopping by us and dolphin in the water really close to shore. We stayed at the Huskisson Bayside Motel. The next day we went to the park again and hiked a bit in the botanical garden and then drove down to Narooma. It is also a small town. There are hotels on the coast but we elected for a B&B, the Bayside B&B, best booked through the Narooma Visitor's Centre. Over the course of three days, we strolled to the Australia Rock, did the whale watching trip with the stop on Montague Isl. for the penguins. That was very informational and the penguins were cute. But don't expect large amounts of them--there were only 40 or so--but worth the trip. Also interesting were the nesting gulls' protective behavior when were were walking up the trail to the lighthouse. Another day we went to Tilba Tilba and a small winery for wine tasting. Then on the way back to Sydney, we drove to Canberra and toured around with Neil_Oz and had dinner with him and his wife. We stayed in Goulburn for the night and lucked into seeing the Big Merino (sheep)!!! All of this travelling took 6 days (and I left out some things we did) so don't think you can just zip down to Narooma for the day. Those 6 hours they say it takes are LOOOOOOOOOONG hours on a two lane road with stops, slow downs for towns, round abouts, etc. You can't just figure 50-60 miles will take an hour. It's more like 50 KM is an hour and a half. I am very very glad we did this part of the trip since it is a part of the country that Australians often go to for holidays and it is different than the more dramatic parts, but it IS very low key. Going to Canberra was a surprise (we originally hadn't planned on that) but we are very glad we went, not only to meet Neil and Robin, but also to see the capital and the really interesting Australian National Museum.
Sally in Seattle
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Nov 20th, 2008, 05:17 PM
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First of all Peter, to put you at rest, there's no Crocs down south and even when/if you get to the NT there's not one lingering behind every second tree either, waithing for the unsuspecting tourist - you can even go for a swim in places in Kakadu National Park quite safely which I did earlier this year.

Hyams Beach/Jervis Bay are probably about 2.5 hours, it being a little further off the highway and Murramarang/Batemans Bay area a tad over three hours, and you can add another half hour to hour depending on time and traffic severity around Sydney when leaving.

If you do decide to go that way, take a turn at Heathcote into the Royal National Park(great lookout at top) and head on down to Lawrence Hargreaves Drive for a spectacular ocean/cliff-side drive alternative to Wollongong.

Narooma is quite a bit bigger than two cafes and a F&C shop make it sound and the Golf Club there right on the coast is a reasonable dining spot, and yes, there's boats out to Montague Island from there.

A little tale about Monty:, Monty being a big white pointer shark who Bermagui fishermen legend would have us believe called Montague Island home(maybe a liking for seals and penguins!).
Anyway, a few years ago I met an Austrian women who was travelling about doing a bit of wwoofing[ www.wwoof.com.au ] and one place happened to be a farm/afternoon tea place on the Narooma Lake where a lake cruise boat would call in - the operator offers Austrian a freebie trip to Montague Island, the trip including a swim with the seals! - my eyes must have said it all, for she then says, "I met a girl from near there and when I told her, she said 'are you crazy''didn't you know about big Monty' and her eyes were just as big as yours have gone"

So look, before you dive in with the seals, do ask the operator if Big Monty is on the other side of the island, a myth. a legend or just plain been caught for the fish and chips!

And talking of Fish and chips, do make sure of finding a place where they use "Flake" (or more commonly known as shark - not to get back at them but it is a great eating fish if fresh, and should be fresh enough down south - make sure you do not eat some just before the seal swim or if Monty or cousins are lurking they could smell their kin oozing out of you and get angry!

Jervis Bay is great for its white silica sand beaches and the area is very popular with annual caravan and camping holiday makers looking to get close to a great beach, but other than the beach, there are limitations and better forest walks can be had in the more temperate rainforests further south - a few in Murramarang/BB area and more in national parks heading down the coast.

[[[I was going to add this in as saving my best for last just in case you were lucking out (that means no luck downunder AFAIAC) and getting somewhat pissed with the whole idea, so have put it up top - no pool, beach not real close but besides that, best value on the coast in pristine location - build yourself a roaring fire at night if permits allow, and yes BTDT]
http://www.tilba.com.au/tilbafarmcabins.htm

And Central Tilba, just 2 km. down the country road is sort of like a town out of the wild west transplanted on the south coast - http://www.tilba.com.au/ ]]]

So if you get halfway down the list and you're still lucking out, try there!

Murramarang is about halfway between Jervis Bay and Narooma and I'd stop at JB on the way down, a little place beforehand called Berry too - you'll drive through it anyway, and alternatives to Murramarang depending on any minimum booking period conditions and availability would be http://www.southcoastgetaway.com.au/...VTNSCBB012.htm

Just remembered too, that this is for just before Xmas and so you had better start trying for vacancies real quick and the further south away from Sydney you try, the better luck you may have.
http://www.south-coast-accommodation.com/ is just the other side of BB and then quite a selection here:http://www.takeabreak.com.au/Bateman...comodation.htm

I've just been browsing, looking for some forest cabins I've seen before down near Wallaga Lake which is a bit south of Narooma and this isn't really it, but close (and could be??) http://www.rent-a-home.com.au/accomm...ragga-bay/3177 and have a look for Barraga Bay here http://www.rent-a-home.com.au/accomm...a-lake-heights as there's a few more or the same one?

But you'll see there's a minimum seven day booking though seven days at $150 or whatever aim't really much worse than 4 days at $250 if you think of it like that.

A couple more between Narooma and Wallaga Lake/Barraga Bay:
http://www.mysterybaycottages.com.au/
http://www.tilbawaterfrontcottages.com/

There's a great little winery just out of Narooma too, "Tilba Valley Wineries" and not a bad drop either - take some snags or whatever and they have a BBQ there you can use while you sample your buys and it's on the back scenic road to the Tilba Cabins.

Most Auto hires have a restriction re going off the bitumen/sealed surfaces but the Scenic Road is safe enough taken easy and what the Hire company don't know, they don't know!

Staying as far south as Tilba, you're not too far away for a drive to places like Tathra and Merimbula either.

You're heading down into Australia's best kept secret - actually Barbara Striesand when she married whoever it was a few years back spent some time down that way.

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Nov 20th, 2008, 05:42 PM
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Goodness, thanks very much for all of this.

Accoms, indeed, are becoming the issue, of course. That and what seems to be a shortage of time on our end to do everything...

In the meanwhile, we're revisting this idea of south QLD but are concerned about the weather.

We're better at those logistics having been between Brisbane and Noosa before, but what about a drive south, maybe seeing Tweed Heads to Ballina and the town where they did Danny Deckchair (to name another Hollywood luminary)?

We have flexibility in routing our international into Brisbane, which is why we're focused on that option in particular.

Apart from avoiding the theme park areas and Surfer's Paradise, would you warn against this as one of the options for eating up our days due to weather concerns? Flooding? Flies?

Bushranger- we could have used your good sense when every single leaf crunch and dark log was a croc waiting to attack us as we hiked through Kakadu. Next you'll tell us there are no cassowaries in Cairns lagoon.

Thank you all again. We're not giving up hope of the drive and perfect looking (and sounding) Hyram's Beach Cottages, but we are being realistic in sorting out our options.

Cheers,
Peterman
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Nov 20th, 2008, 10:19 PM
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Peter,

You'll find the north coast of NSW much more developed and holiday popular than the south coast.

Thus your chances of getting something amongst the gum trees near an idyliic beach that even the kangaroos think highly of is going to so much more a long shot.

Is the town you're thinking of for that movie I've never heard of Byron Bay by any chance?, a great great spot if you do not mind the crowds in low season and have to do a Crocodile Dundee in high season - you know the scene where he starts walking across peoples heads!

Had to near do that in venice one time, but Hoges is a little fella, smaller than most of the Italians who would have been about half of my weight and I do not think they would have responded as well!

The advantage you have there in swimming of course is when someone shouts shark, you do not have to run too hard for everyone ashore will surge out a bit trying to get a gander and so if there's swimmers out further than you, they kind of become shark snacks - just kidding of course but the place does become crowded.

And then not best of all, you can get not only some flooding about the north coast but a heap of it.
The floods do usually occur a bit later in season but who knows with this year - looks to be a big wet summer, but then it could also die off.

South Coast is largely free of flooding and the other advantage if you want to do some walks etc., you could quite likely find it a tad cooler and even if not, humidity is going to be a lot less.

If you want Queensland way, I'd suggest you might have a chance of getting something in a palce called Agnes Water - you can do a trip to the reef from there and also you have the furtherest north surf beach, but it'll be warm and humid.

It's a six hour drive from Brisbane or 1.5 hours from Bundaberg and another option might be fly to Rockhampton > http://www.gkiholidayvillage.com.au/ but again it will not be "Quiet"
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Nov 21st, 2008, 01:28 AM
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I love the south coast.

Beautiful beaches, but, fortunately, not the "beautiful people"!.

As Sally says, it's very low key.

We have a place at Kiama, just south of Wollongong, so get at least that far quite often.

Silo's Winery, at Jasper's Brush has quite a good restaurant. I'd also recommend Poet's Corner, in Gerringong.

Food in Kiama is pretty tragic, I'm afraid.

Further south, I like Greenwell Point, simply because there's absolutely nothing there. It's a small fishing port, with some accommodation, and good fish and chips. Oysters, too.

Huskisson itself is not much - the pub beer garden has a good view, and you can have lunch there.

Hyams Beach and Jervis Bay generally look pretty good. The sand really is white.

Pebbly Beach is a favourite - if you like to be mobbed by kangaroos. It's a bit north of Batemans Bay, and the road in in a bit rough - see note above about taking rental cars on unsealed roads. Good if you like to share the beach with the odd 'roo. (and birds)

Booderee National Park used to be full of assorted critters (no crocs) - but the last time I was there - about 2 years ago, we only saw a couple of parrots. It was in the Christmas New Year period, however, and the place was full of people.

I haven't seen much further down - but places are generally not too crowded.

Before Christmas, you probably could go without pre-booking - there's bound to be something. After Christmas, don't even think of it.
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Nov 21st, 2008, 08:46 AM
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Interestingly enough, Margo, we had the best fish and chips of our trip in a little place in Kiama! It was recommended by a real estate agency that we stopped in for that purpose. Or it could have been the brilliant sunshine, view of the water, and "Oz-ness" of our first day down under, but that lunch was excellent.
Sally in Seattle
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Nov 21st, 2008, 11:36 AM
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Again, my thanks to everyone who has responded.

So much in NSW's corner...so little for QLD...except, of course, for available bedding.

Thanks for that Dundee memory. Reminds me to pack my sleeveless leather vest.

Danny Deckchair was Bellingen and gosh if that didn't look like 'the' iconic Oz country town. A major flood could definitely give a different impression...decisions, decisions.

Thank you again. You've all been so generous with your time and help. And you'll be pleased to know from the other thread (or at least I am pleased to report) that we did manage to find some old dusty hotel points that we'd been accummulating over the years and will be able to stay right in town for NYE and the night after. Might as well use them now before the companies go under. In our vernacular, we have lucked out! (Which is a good thing for us, oddly).

Cheers,
Peterman

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Nov 21st, 2008, 04:20 PM
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Ah yes, Belligen, not that I know Danny Deckchair but Belligen is considered to be a gem of a town, been through a couple of times but not stayed and it'll fit all your desires other than the coastal breeze but some cool relief there anyway as you're getting off the coastal plain a bit.

There's some falls up the road a bit, possibly Egor or Ebor[w/o consulting a map] but anyway, a little pull in there where I parked up in a campervan one night and then in morning mist, plenty of kangaroos about - except for lazing around on golf courses and out in pastures you do not get to see so many through the day most places.

Did our Jack Thompson have a role in Danny Deckchair for it sounds like the name of a film he'd be in and he was living up in those parts a bit [and could still be doing so for all I know].

I had not mentioned inland so much earlier but it's a good chance you could get something easier - but no need to go so far either for some lovely areas up in Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley/Barrington Tops north of Sydney and Southern Tablelands going south and within an hour or so drive of Jervis Bay, a place called Kangaroo Valley in fact and though popular, you could be OK before the Xmas crush starts.
http://www.country-accommodation.com.au/contact.html and http://www.southcoast.com.au/nowol/c...s/accogues.htm , a houseboat? - http://www.southcoast.com.au/nowol/c...s/accoothe.htm or 'Piece de la resistance' - http://www.holidayonline.com.au/Berr...VTNSCBE014.htm
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Nov 21st, 2008, 04:43 PM
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And for you,Bushranger:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0337960/

Cheers,
Peterman
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Nov 21st, 2008, 06:20 PM
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On fish and chips: if you go as far as Narooma/Moruya you'll pass through Batemans Bay, which could bea convenient place for lunch. After crossing the bridge over the Clyde River turn immediately left into the township, and a few hundred metres along enter a pay parking area on your left. There's a pretty good fish 'n chips place at the end of the car park, and you can eat out the back alongside the river. I wouldn't advise the riverbank, though, as the gulls will drive you mad.

If you like oysters the Clyde River variety are excellent. If you want to rough it and shuck your own you can buy them cheaply by the bag (obviously you'll need to equip yourself with an oyster priser-opener or whatever they're called - I've found to my cost that a screwdriver is a poor substitute).

Note that the Princes Highway isn't like say US101 in California - it's mostly one lane each way, so give yourself time.

(Sally, I'm glad you enjoyed your brief taste of Canberra. I'm still thinking though that if I'd known you were an art major I'd have taken you to the National Gallery rather than Parliament House.)
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Nov 21st, 2008, 07:22 PM
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Neil,
Have you ever popped into Nelligen and tried Renate's Hamburgers if she is still there making them.

And if you haven't done the drive between Braidwood and where the descent starts on the fostiest of mornings, the sun glinting of the iced willows id fairylandish!

I've got a bush block down near BB I still may have to yet call home.
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Nov 21st, 2008, 07:30 PM
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And thanks for Danny Peter, and no1, still doesn't ring a bell though I waited until wife just returned from her Belly Dancing practice as it looks more her cup of tea and she seems to recall it having been on tele.

Maybe I was watching footy or some suspense movie/series downstairs and she took the hounds upstairs for better company to watch it.
I'll keep an eye out for it as we get lots of repeats during the summer hols no rating period.
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Nov 21st, 2008, 11:58 PM
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I've made a mess of things- responding to the other post as if it were this one, but I'll put a final stamp of thanks here as well, since the answers to my question about North of SYD attractions seems to be within this thread.

Excellent news on that fish chips reco, Mr. Oz. Thanks for that. And to Margo for her food thoughts as well.

Sally that is exactly our method for finding the best places to eat/ directions, etc. If you can;t recall the name, we'll just find the agent ourselves.

Very much looking forward to small scenic roads, even though our first ever roo spotting was the side of a highway at night between MEL and the penguins...



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Nov 22nd, 2008, 12:23 AM
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Bushranger, we're getting too close for comfort - we have a bush block at Long Beach.

Regettably I've never sampled Renate's burgers, but I'll try to make a point of doing that now. I'm a big fan of a serious traditional Australian burger, served of course with big fat chips (salt and vinegar, thanks). I trust that despite her German name Renate has resisted the regrettable practice of adding cheese or, worse, pickles.

The last time I was in Nelligen was when a bunch of us took a boat trip up the river from BB, but that included lunch. It's a nice way to spend a few hours.

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Nov 22nd, 2008, 02:31 AM
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Crikey Neil, we could be closer than you think, like Sea Acres Drive for me.

It's a few years sice I sampled Renates hamburgers and the Mahoneys Beach shop has done a good job on them too when I've been down from time to time to rough it in the shed.

Long Beach was great until they started the beach front sardine development and I was half interested in bushier blocks that were up the top as there was a bush track down to the southern end of LB, but then a guy in on the development snapped some up before they were even on the market and was intending to build units there.

So for now, I'll just hang on to the acreage back a bit, but still not too far to hoof it down.
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Nov 22nd, 2008, 11:22 AM
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Practically neighbours, Bushranger - our block is at the end of Benandra Forest Place (it's on the market at the moment).
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Nov 22nd, 2008, 01:01 PM
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I'll bet the fish n chips in Kiama came from Saltwater Grill?? in Terralong Street. Best F&C around.
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