Take off on beautiful quiet country byways
Most visitors never forget their decent into Kangaroo Valley with its glimpses of glorious vistas. The locals claim that Kangaroo Valley is Australia's most beautiful valley and the best way to discover this enchanted area is on the dramatic scenic drives that dip and hug the escarpments. Other magical areas, in the South Coast and Southern Highlands, also offer wonderful varied scenery which is why this region is so popular with Sydneysiders and Canberrans.
Your hosts will help you discover the very best scenic drives, provide maps and recommend day trips that will let you explore this beautiful unspoilt region. Here are some recommended scenic tours.
1. Grand Pacific Drive
En route from Sydney if you have the extra time consider a more leisurely journey south by taking the Grand Pacific Drive. Pass through the Sydney Royal National Park, with its dramatic cliff top panoramas. Dine on fresh fish in Wollongong Harbour and then pass through Jamberoo to the Illawarra Fly and the Southern Highlands before reaching Fitzroy Falls. It is an exhilarating journey and helps to create that real sense of a holiday break rather than a rush to leave the city.
2. Mountains to the Sea - South Coast Scenic Drive
From Kangaroo Valley drive up to Fitzroy Falls to appreciate awesome view from the top of the escarpments. Look down on the 230 metre waterfall.
Driving on to Burrawang you'll pass some of the richest pasture land in the Southern Highlands and quaint rural views.
Stopping in Burrawang or Robertson for morning tea before taking the breath taking drive down the Jamberoo Mountain Road and into the Jamberoo Valley before arriving in Kiama for lunch.
The fresh sea air and the stroll around the Blow Hole refreshes. Choose the road to Gerringong and Gerroa and down Seven Mile beach. Here you turn to Berry and pass paddocks with terrific views to the west. The afternoon light makes the escarpments glorious.
Arrive in Berry where you can pause for some shopping or enjoy afternoon tea. Finally, drive back to your cottage through the forests and glens as you reach Kangaroo Valley.
3. Bushwalking, Wildlife & Historic Southern Highlands Tour
Explore the Highlands. Another suggested drive is up through Fitzroy Falls, take the East Rim wild flower walk and pass through rainforest and the stunning Warrawong. Then drive to Bowral home of the Bradman Oval and International Cricket Hall of Fame for enjoy morning coffee, or choose one of the well run coffee chops in Bowral high street.
Now drive to Berrima for lunch and to stroll around this very pretty village with Australia's oldest pub and antique shops.
On your return trip stop off at Berkelouw's Book Barn & Cafe for afternoon tea (they also do a great lunch) and browse their immense collection of over 200,000 secondhand and collectible books.You will be passing National Trust heritage listed landscape between Berrima and Sutton Forest, valued for its farms and distinctive paddocks.
Taking the Nowra Road turn back to Fitzroy Falls and Kangaroo Valley.
4. Nature, History & Dolphin Watching Day Tour
Jervis Bay and South Coast NSW
Start with a scenic drive to Cambewarra Lookout where you can view almost 150km of coast from a height of 650 metres. Descend Moss Vale Road and into Nowra where you can explore Meroogal - a Historic Houses Trust property built in 1886 and the home of four generations of women. Meroogal has charming character and houses a wonderful collection giving insight into Australian women's lives through the decades.
Afterwards, travel south to Jervis Bay and stop in Huskisson for a light lunch overlooking the sea. You can take a 2 hour dolphin watch cruise or stroll along the shady pathway the follows the bay.
Continue your drive round Jervis Bay to Booderee National Park and enjoy a Fireside Yarn with Julie Freeman of the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community. This is a fascinating experience where you will hear the stories and learn the importance of Jervis Bay to the traditional owners.
On return you can enjoy dinner at the Wharf Road Restaurant & Bar (Tel: 4422 6651)by Nowra Brdge or the Butter Factory (Tel: 4447 1400) in Puree restaurant b efore making your way back to Kangaroo Valley.
5. Winery & Produce Tour - South Coast Scenic Tourist Drive
Take the Kangaroo Valley Road to Berry and call in at the Berry reat Factory. Handmade chocolates, chutneys and preserves, there are over 200 different lines made from this charming purveyor for fine foods.
While in Berry pop into the antique stores and Berry Patchwork Quilt Studio. The Berry Country Fair is on the 1st Sunday of the month. Now drive to Coolangatta Estate along a glorious country lane to see paddocks and small farms and pass Coolangatta Mountain an important Aboriginal sacred site. The vineyard has lovely early settler buildings which were partly built by local Aboriginal people. Try the wines and enjoy a grand lunch at this important historic and multi award winning vineyard. Note close by is the Shoalhaven Heads Seafood & Fresh Produce Fair held every Saturday 7:30 till 11:30 a.m.
Drive along the Shoalhaven River and admire the great views of the mountains ahead. Pass through North Nowra to arrive at the award winning Cambewarra Estate. This vineyard has won a Double Gold in the US for its Botrytis Chardonnay, Bronze for its Verdelo, three bronze medals for its Port and an overall 90/100 score by James Halliday. At the cellar door, Louise Cole will be delighted to arrange wine tasting.
Now take the scenic Bugong Trail to Lyrebird Ridge Organic Winery. Then take the Mount Skanzi Road to Kangaroo Valley. The Kangaroo Valley Village Markets are held on the 2nd Saturday of the month and close at 2:30 p.m. so you might wish to add this to the beginning of your journey.
Finally continue on up charming Upper River Road and Scotts Road to meet Sue and Mark Foster at Yarrawa Estate and try their award winning Chambourcin and unwooded Chardonnay. Wander through the citrus and nut trees and be tempted by their chutneys and fruits while overlooking Kangaroo Valley in the late afternoon. Then back to you cottage to try the wines you bought!
6. Classic Sports Car Touring
Hire Crystal Creek Meadows' classic 1969 silver MGB convertable and discover the joys of taking to the road and enjoying the scenary, hearing the bird song and smelling the fresh scents from the forests.