Feb 9, 2011

Sydney to Wollongong on the Grand Pacific Drive

We had a trip to make to Wollongong, and every trip is an excuse for exploration so we took the scenic route, going through the Royal National Park and doing part of the Grand Pacific Drive. The Drive is to NSW what the Great Ocean Road is to Victoria and South Australia. Having done the fabulous G.O.R, I was keen to be on a coastal road again.

Traffic was bad in Sydney, so it was a welcome relief when we entered the Royal National Park and exited the congested roads. At first, the view was of short bushes both left and right, and I wondered if the long route through the national park was worth it. Then taller trees came into view, and snippets of green rolling hills, and we passed a picturesque creek which looked pinic perfect.

Grand Pacific Drive Royal National Park

scenery Royal National Park New South Wales

45 mins later, we emerge to be greeted by breathtaking views. After being cloistered by trees, we were now surrounded by the wide blue expanse of the sky. The coastline is a thin curvy line separated by the blue sea on one side and green hils on another. Houses dot any spot along the coast with flat land to build on(and even where there wasn't), and we passed several small pockets of sandy beaches where crowds thronged.

The highlight of the drive for us is without a doubt the aptly-named Sea Cliff Bridge, which is built right on the sea, and at the edge of a cliff. Since you see the horizon right in front of you, this feels like an 'infinity' bridge - creating the illusion that you are driving out to sea. Of course, me shooting blindly out of a car window doesn't do it justice, go here for more.

sea cliff bridge

Sea Cliff Bridge

Sea Cliff Bridge

Note : The drive from North Sydney to Wollongong took about 2.5 hours, an hour longer than it would have taken via the highway. Once you get to the Royal National Park, just follow the sign that says Grand Pacific Drive and it's pretty straightforward.

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