The Grand Pacific Drive

Start Point: Bayswater Car Rental

Finish Point: Blowhole, Kiama

Distance: 132 km

Estimated Driving Time: 2 hrs 27 mins (Not including stops)


  • Governor Game Lookout (Optional)
  • Stanwell Tops Lookout
  • Sea Cliff Bridge
  • Austimer Beach
  • Flagstaff Hill Park, Wollongong
  • Blowhole, Kiama 

Remember to have your GPS set to these checkpoints to get the most out of the Grand Pacific Drive!


Just 45 minutes south of Sydney, Grand Pacific Drive is one of the most scenic drives in Australia. If you are after breathtaking views of the spectacular coastline, this 132km long drive is just the ticket. Starting at the heritage-listed Royal National Park, the second oldest national park in the world, the drive takes you past coastal cliffs and dramatic viewpoints, by quaint seaside villages and white-sand beaches before heading over the famous off-shore Sea Cliff Bridge that hugs the coastline. 

The Grand Pacific Drive, with its distinctive brown signage pointing you in the right direction, then winds through the seaside city of Wollongong with its two historic lighthouses. Then your journey leads further south, taking you to the dramatic sight of the world's biggest Blowhole in the coastal town of Kiama and beyond. Whatever you do, don't forget your camera and if you can, take your time: these kind of views are worth savouring, so stop off and enjoy them whenever you can.

(Courtesy of Destination Wollongong)


Governor Game Lookout

Inside Royal National Park is one of the first highlights of the drive: Governor Game Lookout, named after the state's 5th governor. This is a great spot for a break from the car as it offers brilliant coastal views which change dramatically depending on the season and the weather. You might even spot some whales during the migratory season. Don't just look out to sea though as the heathland can be spectacular, with native flowers such as boronia and gymea lilies frequently in bloom. The lookout is in the southern precinct of the park and parking is available.

Stanwell Tops Lookout

Heading south of Royal National Park, you'll see signs to Stanwell Park, a pretty coastal town. If you glance up, you might see a hang glider or two in action, as the strong currents and steep hills make this an international centre for the sport. You could join in if you're feeling adventurous, or if you want to stay on firm ground, the panoramic views from Stanwell Tops Lookout over Illawarra's northern coastline offer plenty of drama too.  Enjoy the great view of the glorious surf beach and the town itself. Parking is available at the lookout along the road.

(Courtesy of Destination Wollongong)

Sea Cliff Bridge

A highlight of Grand Pacific Drive, this award-winning bridge is a spectacular feat of engineering. For 665 metres the bridge, which opened in 2005, hugs the coast between the high battlements of the Illawarra Escarpment as it goes over the Tasman Sea. There are views of world class surf beaches all the way to Wollongong, and is a great place for whale-watching during the migratory season. You can park your car at the northern or southern end of the bridge, and there is pedestrian access along its entire length if you want to really stretch your legs.

(Courtesy of Destination Wollongong)

Austinmer Beach

Another 8 kilometres on from Sea Cliff Bridge is Austinmer Beach, a long-time local hangout. It's popular thanks to its wide expanse of white sand, two rock salt water pools and handy facilities including a kid's play area and picnic tables. If you feel like a swim, the beach is patrolled from September to April. Aside from the beach, here is a good place to break up your journey as there are plenty of shops and cafes shops lining the western side of the beach, and there's a convenient car park nearby.

(Courtesy of Destination Wollongong)

Flagstaff Hill Park, Wollongong

New South Wales' third biggest city is a worthy stop on the Grand Pacific Drive. It may seem peaceful now, but there's a lot of history to be found in Wollongong. Walking up to Flagstaff Hill from the harbour you can see three defensive cannons which date back to the late 1860s. The hill was also used as a fort in the 1890s with a battery of 68 pounder guns to deter a potential Russian attack on the harbour. The city's two historic lighthouses are also worth a look. There is a car park on Endeavour Drive.

(Courtesy of Destination Wollongong)

Blowhole, Kiama

See spectacular plumes of water spraying up to 25 metres in the air at the biggest natural Blowhole in the world. Just 35 kilometres from Wollongong, the famous Blowhole is a big tourist attraction. When the seas are running from the south-east, the plumes of water can thoroughly drench bystanders – beware! There is a car park just south of the Blowhole as well as an informative Information centre and picnic area. The attraction is open from 9am – 5pm.

(Courtesy of Destination Wollongong)


Pingbacks and trackbacks (1)+