The name says it all. It’s considered one of the most spectacular drives in Australia. And for good reason. What lies ahead are 240 kilometres of pure scenic views of coastline, rainforest, national park, historic villages and iconic marvels natural and man-made.
Because we want you to have everything you need for a truly epic road trip along this incredible stretch, we’ve done the research for you.
So, where does the Grand Pacific Drive start?
Good question. The Grand Pacific Drive starts in the Royal National Park, 45 minutes south of Sydney’s CBD. Pick up your Thrifty vehicle from any of our Sydney Metro car hire locations, or our Sydney Airport location if you’re flying in.
Sydney to Wollongong
99 km south of Sydney | 2-hour drive
Your first stop is The Gong. There’s certainly no shortage of activities here! Scuba diving, sky diving, surfing, and fishing are just a few off the top of the list.
And those of you looking for something a bit more relaxing, there’s the botanical gardens, a historic harbour, the beachfront Blue Mile, and 17 stunning beaches to choose from. This dynamic city is becoming a must-see destination in its own right.
Must see: The iconic Sea Cliff Bridge – 665 metres of coastline. You’ll feel like you’re driving over the crystal blue waters of NSW.
Starting your journey in Wollongong? Simply pick up your car hire in Wollongong at our Thrifty store.
Wollongong to Shellharbour
20 km | 25-min drive
This charming seaside town is perfect for cycling, nature walks and…more beaching! Pristine coastlines greet you on one side with calming countryside on the other.
A World War II shipwreck is popular among divers as is the ocean pool with locals and tourists alike.
Meanwhile, Shellharbour Village offers a vast range of delicious restaurants, cafes, and gift shops.
Must try: Shellharbour is famous for its fish and chips, so grab a picnic blanket, get some to take away and don’t forget the tartare sauce!
Shellharbour to Kiama
15 km | 15-min drive
If you’re thinking Kiama Blowhole, you’re right on the money! Home to the ferocious natural wonder, Kiama is yet another picturesque stop on the Grand Pacific Drive.
It’s known as the Heart of the South Coast, and it’s easy to see why. Here, you can experience the magic of the Kiama Coastal Walk, hike up to the Saddleback Mountain Lookout or sample some tasty local treats at the Farmers’ Market.
Must see: There’s not one but two blowholes in Kiama. The second one, Little Blowhole, although not as big, is still every bit as impressive.
Kiama to Shoalhaven
72 km | 1-hour drive
What a place to finish up your road trip of the Grand Pacific. The Shoalhaven region is regarded by many Australians as a premier holiday destination thanks to its unmistakable beauty as well as the variety of ways to unwind.
Stroll the white sandy beaches or enjoy a wildlife tour in Jervis Bay, indulge in some cullinary delights among the popular food and wine establishments in Milton or Cambewarra. The choice is yours.
Don’t miss: You’re on the best shucking trail on the coast – oysters are a speciality in Shoalhaven so head to Jim Wilds Oyster Service. You won’t be disappointed!
The beauty of the Grand Pacific Drive is that it can be done as a day trip or stretched out across several days, giving you a chance to explore the above townships for longer. You can easily extend your Thrifty car hire, should you choose to stay in one or more of these towns.
Who knows, you might even decide on a sea change after you’ve taken the Grand Pacific!