The south coast is known for glowing white sand, freshly shucked oysters and more beaches than you can visit in a whole week.
There's plenty of activities to do on the coast: kayaking, surfing, kite-surfing and diving. One often overlooked adventure along the coast is bushwalking, and the south coast offers some incredible scenery for those travellers ready to don the backpack.
Australian Community Media has travelled up and down the coast, collecting a list of the 11 best bushwalks on the south coast. So lace up your hiking boots and get out there.
1. Three Views Walking Track - Kangaroo Valley
9.5 kilometres return. 3-4 hours.
This fairly flat trail winds along the top of three different cliff faces, offering three unique and beautiful views over the Kangaroo Valley.
The route forks into three prongs like a giant 'W'. If you're feeling tired, you can call it a day after one, or you can tackle all three in a day.
The path is surrounded by scribbly gums and yellow bloodwood trees, and does open onto some unfenced cliff edges - so do be careful!
2. Minnamurra Falls Walk - Budderoo National Park
4.2 kilometres. 1-2 hours
This is a well sign-posted boardwalk through Gondwanan rainforest, surrounded by towering tree ferns, emerging at viewing platforms for Minnamurra Falls. With La Nina bringing frequent rain this summer, time your walk right and you'll witness the falls at full flight.
The first portion of the walk - the Loop Track - is wheelchair accessible, and while you won't see the waterfalls, it remains a beautiful adventure.
3. Mount Bushwalker - Morton National Park
7 kilometres return. 3.5 hours.
With a name like Mount Bushwalker, this hike throws a challenge to any would-be adventurer: You might call yourself a bushwalker, but have you conquered Mount Bushwalker?
5 kilometres return. 3 hours.
Captain Cook saw and named Pidgeon House from the Endeavour in 1770. The peak juts prominently out of the surrounding plateau; you can see it's iconic shape on the horizon from all around the Shoalhaven area.
What can be seen from everyone can also see everywhere: the top of Pidgeon House/Didthul offers panoramic views over the ocean and down the coastline.
To earn such a view, you'll have to traverse a lot of steps, but it is well worth the effort.
5. Bingi Dreaming Track - Eurobodalla National Park
13.5 kilometres one-way. 4-6 hours.
This track stretches all the way along the coastline from Congo to South Tuross, tracing a route the Brinja-Yuin people believe was taken during the Dreamtime. It's a coast walk full of the heritage and history of the custodians who have lived there over 20,000 years.
There's multiple access points along the trail, so you can break it up into stages or conqueror it all in one go.
If you're hiking between winter and spring, keep an eye out for whales as they migrate up and down the coast.
6. Pretty Beach to Pebbly Beach - Murramarang National Park
16 kilometres. 6 hours.
Pretty Beach to Pebbly Beach actually connects two trails - the Pretty Beach to Snake Bay walking track and the Pebbly Beach to Snake Bay walking track. It can definitely be done in stages over multiple adventures.
Sections of this trail are unmarked and parts of the northern section of this trail traverses rock shelves that can be underwater in high tide or in rough surf conditions. Check the forecast before heading out.
For those willing to take this challenging walk on, you'll be rewarded with unique insights into Murramarang National Park.
The area is popular with kangaroos; Pebbly Beach is famous for photos of kangaroos in the surf. Don't forget your camera.
Keen adventurers can add to the walk by taking a detour past Durras Mountain.
7. Corn Trail Walking Track - Monga National Park
16 kilometres one way. 6 hours.
Visitors to the south coast travelling from Canberra will have driven past the start to this hike. It is a grade four, challenging walk travelling through mountain ridges and rainforest ravines, across rivers and up sandstone mountains.
The trail head is well signposted, but there aren't many signs along the walk, so do take a map and be sure of your navigation skills. You could try and retrace your steps in one 32 kilometre effort, but if you only plan on doing 16 kilometres you'll need to arrange a car at the end of the trail.
8. Gulaga Mountain Walk - Tilba Tilba
14 kilometres return. 6 hours.
This trail traces the footpath forged by goldminers in the 19th century along the slopes of an ancient volcano. You'll wind through pillars of white gums, rainforests and pagoda outcrops. While there's no view at the top, you'll catch glimpses up and down the coast through the tree line as you hike.
9. Sandy Creek Loop Track - Bournda National Park
6 kilometres. 2-3 hours
Beginning 40 minutes north of Eden, this loop explores a cross-section of the diverse beauty on offer in Bournda National Park. Along the paperbark-lined trail there are opportunities to swim and fish at both the lake and the beach.
As one of the less-visited national parks along the coast, Bournda is teeming with largely undisturbed wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled for kangaroos, eagles and waterdragons apricating on the rocks.
10. Haycock Point to Barmouth Beach Walking Track - Ben Boyd National Park
3 kilometres one way. 2 hours.
This track provides spectacular views up and down the coast, so be sure to bring your binoculars during whaling season. The trail along the cliff line rises and falls like the waves pounding into the rocks beneath you. You can retrace the trail for a six kilometre walk, but why not finish by enjoying a well deserved swim at Barmouth Beach?
11. Light to Light Walk - Ben Boyd National Park
30 kilometres. 2-3 days.
The longest walk on this list, the famous Light to Light Walk can also be completed in stages. The walk contains everything one could wish for in a coastal walk: secluded beaches, mysterious, pristine coves, whale lookouts, sculptured pagodas, rainforests, gum forests and even palm trees.
Taking two to three days, it is not for the feint-hearted, but for those prepared to carry their own equipment and camp beside beach, a wonderful coast walk adventure awaits.
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