Self-drive tour through New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia


Revisiting the Kiama Rock Pool (near the Blowhole)


9 March 2016

Car has been serviced, tyres and air conditioner checked.  The time has gone quickly but now the hour has arrived to set off on our self-drive tour down the east coast of NSW, around the Victorian border including East Gippsland, the Great Ocean Road, into South Australia, a 3-day cruise on the Murray River, returning through the centre of Victoria to Bright and Tallangatta (to visit friends) and Canberra (to visit a cousin) then home.

We set off at 9am and had a smooth and uneventful trip along the M1, M2 and M7 then turned off onto the end of the Bulli Pass and skirted around the city of Wollongong.  This is a drive I had taken many times in years gone past as my parents, in the 1960s and 1970s, had lived initially in North Wollongong, then the beautiful coastal town of Kiama.  It was a very nostalgic trip for me, with lots of memories of the wonderful times we had spent, especially when my sons were quite young, on the beaches and the rock pool at Kiama, and the lush farmlands nearby.

Passing Wollongong we turned left on to the coast road, stopping firstly at Shellharbour on Lake Illawarra, between the ocean and the dramatic Illawarra escarpment, for a sandwich and coffee.  Our next stop was at Bombo Beach, now difficult to find as the main road bypasses the beach.  It was always a wonderful sight to drive down the hill to Bombo Beach with Kiama set out ahead and knowing we were almost at our destination.  Lots of things have changed in the last 30 plus years!


Bombo Beach with the Kiama headland as a backdrop

Driving through the shopping centre we easily found the Big 4 Easts Beach caravan park and were soon settled in our comfortable cabin, only a few metres walk to Easts Beach.  It had been a fairly tiring drive on an extremely hot and humid day, with the aircon keeping us cool in the car.

We decided to return to town for dinner and, wandering along the main street we found Amy’s Cafe, where their special for that evening was Roast Rosemary Lamb Shanks or Roast Pork and Apple Sauce, just the thing for our first night, with a glass of red wine.  The restaurant was situated in the Historic Cottages at the beginning of the town, and plenty to see with the passers by on a very balmy evening.  Perfect way to start the holiday!

The Fishing Co-op with Black Bay in the background

Lots of things to see and do tomorrow on our last day in beautiful Kiama including a visit inland to Minnamurra Rainforest and Jamberoo and a meeting with two of my cousins who I haven’t seen in a long time.

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